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Raise you hand if you’re in the choir!

posted Mar 12, 2015, 4:44 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 4:44 PM ]
Were you at our parish mission last fall when ValLimar Jansen asked us this? Do you remember her explaining that the congregation is the primary choir in church, and that singers over by the organ are the supporting choir?

She catechized the importance of taking an active part at Mass through singing, praying, and giving praise to God, and she invited each of us “to take our place in the primary choir.” She encouraged us “to be mindful of our posture at Mass” and to “recognize the light of Christ in one another.”

Communal singing has long been a way for people to remember, share, and celebrate a familiar experience. And enthusiasm is contagious. By striving to be a stronger “choir”, perhaps those who are reluctant will get excited and want to be a part of all the positive energy; tapping their feet, humming the tune... If you’re enjoying yourself, others will journey almost any distance with you into the music.

In the current issue of Today’s Liturgy, editor Dr. Elaine Rendler-McQueeney recounts how she was recently asked the proper way for the leader-of-song to announce a hymn to the assembly. She responded “Let’s start with what not to do. Never say, ‘Please join with us in singing our opening hymn.’ Join with whom? It is their song! They are not joining with the cantor or the musicians or anybody. They are primary celebrators!”

So I’m doing my job, accompanying you. Our music ministers are doing theirs supporting you. Are you doing yours? And is the person next to you doing theirs? Can you raise your hand?