The Armchair Liturgist: Choir Summer Vacation

armchair.jpgPretty sure I’ve posted on this question before, but what are people doing if you give your choir time off in the summer? With Easter quite late this year, Pentecost moves to the Sunday before Father’s Day.

The cultural summer in the US begins with Memorial Day, and a lot of places cut out choir practice by then. How do Catholic parishes maintain an all-out Easter celebration? Would you insist your choir keep hard at it through June 11th?

In my parish, with the students gone, our music ministries are operating at about 40-50% of what they have during the main academic year. Anybody else finding choristers slipping away? How would you handle it as the armchair liturgist?

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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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4 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Choir Summer Vacation

  1. Liam says:

    Well, at my church, the boy’s choir sings during term, which ends the first weekend in June and resumes the second weekend in September. The adult choir sings through the later of Corpus Christi or Father’s Day (this year, CC is very late, of course). Then it’s paid cantors for the summer, except for the first Mass on Sunday mornings; the church is a furnace in the summer, so there’s no way you’d get anything resembling a volunteer choir or even a schola to do regular service in it for the summer, period, because it’s battle duty (which I do not do anymore for any reason, given past experiences with dehydration).

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    Our choir maintains a regular schedule through Pentecost. Then they are “out” until Labor Day.

    However, our parish sings to very well, with or without a choir, that we keep on keepin’ on and the music program suffers not. Once in awhile a guest soloist or musical accompanist is used, but basically it is the People of God making a joyful noise unto the Lord.

    Admittedly, we are unusual in our attention to and love of congregational singing.

  3. Edward47 says:

    In my parish, a cathedral, the paid choir that sings at our principal mass sings through Corpus Christi and then is off until mind-September. We get by with organist/cantor for the summer, except for the occasional diocesan event. However, we generally continue with full liturgical ceremonial (servers with incense, cross, candles, etc)

    Another small ensemble that does our Sunday evening service seems to continue year round without interruption.

  4. Mike K says:

    In my parish – also a cathedral – the choir sings until the end of June, when the patronal feast of the parish is celebrated, then is off until late September/early October (except for special events).

    Concurrently, the principal Sunday Mass is normally celebrated in Latin twice a month between September and June. During the summer, all Masses are in English.

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