Liturgy and the Ministers of Music
THE CELEBRATION OF LITURGY IS THE WORK OF THE PEOPLE
The Church uses many signs and symbols to celebrate its faith. Faith grows when it is expressed well in celebration. The use of music in Catholic worship is of great importance, as it conveys a sense of unity to the assembly and sets an appropriate tone for a particular celebration.
The celebration of liturgy–that is, the work of the people–is where different individuals come together and become one body, with a single mind and purpose. Liturgy is an activity and effort of the entire Church community and helps the community become full and active participants in the Church’s prayer and worship.
WHO ARE THE MINISTERS OF MUSIC?
Singing together in church expresses well the sacramental presence of God to his people. Singing is one of the primary ways that the assembly of the faithful participates actively in the Liturgy. Many of us think of cantors, choirs, accompanists, and various ensembles and musicians as the primary ministers of music. In reality, the assembly is the primary musician. All other musicians support the assembly’s song and are part of the assembly.
“Of all the sounds of which human beings, created in the image and likeness of God are capable, voice is the most privileged and fundamental.”
Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (2007) was developed by the Music Subcommittee of the Committee on Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). This document provides guidelines and direction to those preparing for the celebration of Sacred Liturgy according to the current liturgical books. Our Music Ministry Program adheres to the guidelines within the document.
The primary purposes of the Music Ministry Program at St. Ignatius of Loyola are to proclaim the Word of God in song and to lead and support the assembly’s song. As stated by Brother Roger, Founder of the Taize Community, “Liturgical music must be like John the Baptist: always pointing to Christ, never calling attention to itself.”
Liturgical musicians play well with others. We hope you prayerfully will consider becoming part of the Music Ministry Program and let music be your second language.
Nicholas McCaggDirector of Music Ministry