Music in the Liturgy

As part of our weekly masses, there is some music sung by the choir or cantor alone.  But most is to be sung by the congregation – hymns, parts of the mass, etc.  The official liturgical documents not only say that congregations should sing, but also that they should sing with ‘full and active participation’.  For many this seems difficult: ‘I don’t have a singing voice;’ ‘I never hit the right notes;’ ‘ever heard a foghorn – that’s my voice;’ ‘I don’t even sing in the shower;’ ‘’No one would want to hear me – I put everybody off.’

But it’s not about the voice!  Congregational singing at Mass is not about whether you have a good voice or make beautiful sounds.  It’s not about whether people enjoy hearing you (actually no-one is listening to you except God!)  Singing at Mass is about tangibly expressing your praise, thanks and gratitude to God.  It’s about making ‘a joyful noise unto the Lord.’  It’s about hundreds of people sharing their voices to make something greater than the sum of the parts, for God’s glory.

So who can help with the Music Ministry?

  • Can you play the organ, keyboard or another musical instrument?
  • Do you enjoy singing?   New members are always needed for the choir.   You do not have to be able to read music or have a musical background.   Choir Practice is on a Monday night, 7 – 8.30pm at Mary Immaculate Church.
  • You may like to be a Cantor at the church where you normally worship each Sunday.
  • You may like to help select the music sung each Sunday.   This is prepared 8 – 12 weeks ahead.   For this you would need some knowledge of the Season of the Year and appropriate music for these times.   The music is chosen to fit in with the Readings of the day so you must be prepared to spend an amount of time in preparation.   The Parish has a large repertoire of hymns so you need to be familiar with them and also ready and able to source new and suitable hymns.   There are very helpful Workshops offered during the year by the Liturgical Commission in Brisbane to help with this.
  • Most of all you can help by joining in singing the hymns during the Mass – this is the best way to learn them, to make our Parish liturgies our ‘alive’, and to help create a welcoming atmosphere for ourselves and visitors to our Parish.

If you would like more information, please contact Sr Elisabeth at the Parish Office, 5510 2222, or lis@scp.org.au