How To Improve Church Music III: What’s A Pastor To Do

A pastor has to hire a competent professional he can trust, who is close to agreement with him in pastoral and theological philosophy. Then let go.Aside from that, priests can do a lot of familiarize themselves with music, even if their seminary training was deficient. I would suggest some of these:

– Attend choral concerts in your area. Listen to the best of church groups and community chorales and get a sense of what a real music director might accomplish in your parish. Invite the choir director to join you and talk about church music in a friendly way over a beer or a coffee after the performance.

– Listen to lots of music.

– Attend an occasional choir rehearsal and sing with the people. Get a sense of how your music director works with folks and get a better sense of how choir members see the church, pray in it, or what their challenges might be in doing so.

– Encourage organists–your own or someone else–to give lessons on the parish instrument.

– Host a concert every now and then, or maybe gather a group of parishioners to start a regular concert series.

– Provide a generous budget for your musicians to broaden their skills.

– Ask for an occasional voice lesson. It will help your singing voice, but you can also apply the physical principles you learn to your speaking voice. You’ll become a better homilist through a stronger set of physical skills. Regular voice lessons would be a great idea if you regularly chant the prayers of the Mass, but a “consultation” once or twice a year can be very helpful, especially if you schedule it just before the Easter Vigil and Christmas.

Any other suggestions from the gallery?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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