Music in liturgy is meant to unify the assembly in worship and praise at the table of the Lord. As a gathered body, it is our responsibility to enter the song as full, conscious, and active participants. The liturgy documents speak volumes about the how, what, and why of music for liturgy. The most recent document for American Catholic Music Ministers, entitled: Sing To The Lord: Music in Divine Worship, paragraph 9 states:
“Charity, justice, and evangelization are thus the normal consequences of liturgical celebration. Particularly inspired by sung participation, the body of the Word Incarnate goes forth to spread the Gospel with full force and compassion. In this way, the Church leads men and women “to the faith, freedom and peace of Christ by the example of its life and teaching, by the sacraments and other means of grace. Its aim is to open up for all men a free and sure path to full participation in the mystery of Christ.”
When I read this paragraph I recall how, after the liturgy is over, my heart and mind will be filled with the piece of music that most actively describes my experience at liturgy that day. It stays in my heart all week and I find myself singing internally, through my minds ear, the words and melodies of worship from last Sunday. This act instills the word within me all week. It keeps me in full, conscious and active participation in the event even long after the liturgy has ended. It evangelizes my spirit and opens me to sharing that gift with others. It lights and keeps fed the fire of Christ. If this is what the true living God wants from us, to be full, active, and conscious participants, then we must enter the song no matter what our personal taste. “By God you are chosen; by name you are called” is how music can affect our souls if we are open to it. I hope you’ll consider an invitation to be active and conscious in your participation at Mass. I pray that members of the community will come forward to share their gift for music in our community, and I look forward to hearing you praise the Lord in song at liturgy.
Put on Faith
and your life will take on a new flavor,
it will have a compass to show you the way;
Put on Hope
and every one of your days will be enlightened,
your horizon will no longer be dark, but luminous;
Put on Love
and your life will be like a house built on rock,
your journey will be joyful,
because you will find many friends to journey with you.