My old parish has hired my replacement and he’s off to a good start, from what I can tell by the parish web page.
Before I arrived in ’02, this parish agonized over music at the early 7:30 Mass. The pastor who hired me said Christ the King through Baptism of the Lord and the Ninety Days was to be musical. Quietude for the ordinary Sundays.
When new priests and musicians arrive in a parish, there’s the inevitable negotiation from the parishioners who think they can wedge in on something. The new guy’s not buying:
As we journey through this Advent season of change and new beginnings, I thought I would address a question which I have received here at STM, “Why are we singing at 7:30am Mass? The people that go to that Mass just want to get in and get out.”
First of all, let me say that people just “get in and get out” at Starbucks. Mass is a place where we gather together to be with God. The Saint Thomas More parish family is a prayerful and worshiping community. In keeping with that spirit and the new liturgical documents on music in catholic worship “Sing to the Lord” (issued by the USCCB) I would like to share with you directly from the documents why we are singing at 7:30am Mass:
In the Celebration of the Mass the faithful form a holy people, a people whom God has made his own, a royal priesthood, so that they may give thanks to God and offer the spotless Victim not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, and so that they may learn to offer themselves.” This is the basis for “full, conscious and active participation“ of the faithful demanded by the very nature of Liturgy.
Singing is one of the primary ways that the assembly of the faithful participates actively in the Liturgy. The people are encouraged “to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalms antiphons and hymns.” The musical formation of the assembly must be a continuing concern in order to foster full, conscious, and active participation. Sing to the Lord 24, 25, 26
As we continue our Advent journey through song, I will continue to share excerpts from these documents with you.
Go get ‘em, Joe.