Our parish had its MR3 music implementation meeting tonight. Music leaders, accompanists, and choir members were all invited. Our bishop has authorized September MR3 music, so we have some important decisions. We had a mix of grad students, residents, plus group leaders*, instrumentalists, and choir members.
I laid out the options. I mentioned this would be the first stage in a three-step process (for the parish) of examining our entire repertoire. (Step 2 will be psalmody and step 3 will be the future replacement of our aging hymnal.) We played through the usual new Mass settings, and listened to some others. While we didn’t choose a new setting, I think the group arrived at a thoughtful and mature concensus on even more important points:
Setting one will get implemented backwards starting October 7th/8th. We’ll begin with the Lamb of God, and work in reverse through the Mass to the Gloria. This start will also coincide with our Whole Parish Catechesis scheduled for mid-October.
The group determined that we should set aside our long tradition of change at Advent and Christmas in favor of maintaining the first new Mass setting through mid-February, when we can introduce a second setting for Lent. What excellent pastoral judgment.
Toward the end of the meeting, one group leader suggested retreat time. The eventual concept will be an evening next month with a dinner, evening prayer, a presentation on musicians as ministers and servants of the assembly, and then singing and playing through the new Mass setting.
That last idea … ! Are these people great, or what?! It all makes MR3 quite palatable to have such an active, engaged, prayerful, and sensitive group of musicians to serve with and work with.
Anybody else out there with a good plan?
* I inherited a great system at this parish in 2008: each Mass has its own choir director.