Songleader to Choir

cantor at STA MassWhen I arrived in my new parish, we had a few highly-attended funerals. For the daughter of my retired predecessor, most of the choir sang. I was asked about reviving the funeral choir. Since it wasn’t my initiative, I acceded to the suggestion–one of the few big changes that has happened since my arrival.

I’ve also been careful about my vocabulary. Rarely do I utter the term “cantor.” None of the weekend Masses have single songleaders, so the psalmist comes from the ranks of the choir. In effect, the pattern is that one has to be a choir member in order to lead the Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, or such.

I think this is still unusual for the Church in the US, not a common practice: to have a choir at all Masses, even a small group. In fact, I can’t think of a good reason to schedule a single songleader–the last three parishes I served all had ample resources of willing singers. Even in Kansas City, where I encountered the remnants of the all-eggs-in-one-basket approach to parish music, the cantors sometimes recruited friends, sisters, and other singers. Once when a single singer was scheduled, eight women were in evidence.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgical Music, Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Songleader to Choir

  1. Liam says:


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