WHY WE SING: God has bestowed on his people the gift of song. God dwells within each person where music takes its source, and is present whenever his people sing his praises. A cry from deep within our being, music both expresses and strengthens the faith that is in us. Jesus and his apostles concluded the Last Supper with a hymn. (Mt 26:30) The Apostle Paul instructs the Christian faithful to sing together psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude to God. (Col 3:16; Eph 5:19) Thus the Church attaches great importance to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, continuing and developing the tradition first found in the Old Covenant and handed down by Jesus and his apostles. (SL I.)
A VARIETY OF ROLES: "We, though many, are one body in Christ". The entire assembly is called to participate fully in the Liturgy and to be actively involved in the music, each according to their role. Some members of the community with special gifts in leading musical praise and thanksgiving are called to serve as liturgical musicians. (SL II.) (Contact information is found below)
CONGREGATIONAL SINGING is the primary song of the Liturgy. "Singing is one of the primary ways that the assembly of the faithful participates actively in the Liturgy....All are encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalms, antiphons, and hymns". (SL 11, 26)
CHOIRS: The choir sings with and supports the congregation's song, sings verses or acclamations designated for the choir in dialogue with the congregation, and enriches the Liturgy with harmonies. At times, the choir may sing alone, drawing on a treasury of sacred music from various times, styles, and cultures. (SL 28-31)
~~Adult Choir is open to high school age and above, meets weekly September through May, and sings for either the 8:30 or 11:00 Sunday Mass on a rotating basis, for Christmas Midnight, Holy Week and Easter, and other special liturgies. At least once a year, the Choir presents a special program of song and prayer for the Advent, Lent, or Easter season.
~~Children's Choir is open to all Parish children in grades 4-8, meets weekly from the end of September to early May, and sings about once a month for either the 8:30 or 11:00 Sunday Mass, for Christmas Vigil, Palm Sunday or Easter, and First Communion. Emphasis is placed upon the musical and spiritual growth of choir members. Children's Choir includes opportunities to play hand-chimes or other instruments, social events, and singing at community centers, retirement homes, or other special occasions.
~~High School Choir is open to all Parish high school students, sings about once a month during the school year, and for Christmas Day Mass. Two practices (usually Tuesday and Thursday night) are held the week before the scheduled Mass. Both vocalists and instrumentalists are welcome.
~~Combined Choirs: At least once a year, various Choirs join musical forces together for a Mass or special program of song and prayer.
CANTORS: The cantor sings with and supports the congregation's song, and especailly when no choir is present leads and proclaims the Responsorial Psalm, the Gospel Acclamation, and any other verses, invocations, or acclamations designated for the cantor. (SL 37)
ORGANIST and INSTRUMENTALISTS: The organist and other instruments lead and sustain the singing of the congregation and accompany the choir or cantor. The many expressive voices of the organ and instruments add varied and colorful dimensions to the music. At times the instruments may play alone, such as preludes before Mass, a recessional or postlude, or at other times during the Mass. (SL 41-44)
References are to "Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship" from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which may be found on "Links".