Triduum 2011: Planning For Next Year

Even before our staff and liturgy commission unpack the Triduum, I get ready for next year while the events are still fresh in my head. I’ve asked a few people to send notes to me. In fact, Good Friday’s sacristan already has an e-mail in my queue. Even for a parish music director, this is a good practice: reviewing in mind the repertoire of major liturgical celebrations. Jotting down a few notes is helpful–I’m always grateful nine to eleven months later when I can read some helpful thoughts and reconnect my memories. Especially since I don’t own a pensieve.

I also find that two factors work against me these days. First, is my own general absent-mindedness. A staff colleague recommended years ago I attend a Fred Pryor business workshop, and it was one of the most helpful pieces of the puzzle of organization. Then I was fortunate enough to succeed a highly organized liturgist in Waterloo, Iowa in 1995. I’ve adopted her methods and outlines and I still use many of her meeting and liturgy templates to this day.

The second challenge is my own drifting mental abilities as I’ve inched closer to the end of my first century than the beginning of it. I just don’t have the recall I used to. I was alarmed the other day grasping in my head for the name of a parishioner. Grasping for ten or fifteen minutes–good thing she wasn’t in front of me.

Just a peek into what is probably a typical liturgist’s post-Triduum:

- I will be considering repertoire for next year. We had four new pieces at the Vigil. We also had less music overall, as the new pastor is less willing to sing the priest parts. In 2011, we’ll have a more seamless integration than this year. We didn’t change some parts that went with the sung blessing of water, and we probably will, since they work less well when the priest doesn’t sing. I’m a believer that if Easter Vigil music can be used during the year prior, especially the psalms and sacramental acclamations–that’s a plus for congregational singing Holy Saturday night.

- After two years here, it’s a good time to look at some of the practices here: candles for Easter Vigil, how to assemble tasks and to-do lists, and what assistance from ministries I can expect.

- For myself, I need to tighten up the selection of lectors, especially for the Vigil. I also need to assemble an usher team equal to the four we had working on sacristan and set-up at Mass.

Mostly, things go extremely well here, and I’m grateful for having the opportunity to tweak a good system and adjust repertoire instead of building from the ground up. What’s the word from your Easter Vigil?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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