Thursday, February 26, 2009

interesting job posting

"Presently merging Catholic communities of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and St. John Student Parish (serving Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan).
Seeking a faith-filled, highly organized and competent pastoral musician to direct the music ministry of newly-merging community/university parish at two sites within one mile of each other. The candidate will have an appreciation of the full spectrum of liturgical music and styles in addition to organ/piano and directing skills. Responsibilities will include liturgical planning with a Director of Worship on a collaborative pastoral team; scheduling other instrumentalists and vocalists; coordination with the school music program staff; and the organization of diverse and vibrant ensembles (adult traditional choir, children’s choirs, multi-instrumental ensembles). There will be eight weekend liturgies (four at each site, including the diocesan televised Outreach Mass), as well as a full compliment of other liturgical celebrations. Salary negotiable based on education and experience."

I find this position interesting, mainly because of the size...both of these parishes are HUGE as is...but my biggest concern is...EIGHT weekend liturgies?
does the position require the music director to be at all of them?
(I'm ok after doing 3, tired after doing 4, and I've never done 5 before but I'm pretty sure that would be my absolute max.)

It's not even ALLOWED for a priest to do more than THREE!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

while working in the office today, I have fielded many phone calls wondering, well, I know what they mean is "when is Mass today."

how they word it though, is fascinating...
"When can we get ashes today?"
"Are you offering a service with ashes tonight?"
(I wish I could remember more specifics)

(not a single: "what time is Mass today?")

I was even sitting in the church, praying, this afternoon and someone wandered in... wondering something about "where's the ashes we can put on ourselves?"

It was probably a good thing I couldn't think fast enough to give him an explanation of how horribly theologically incorrect that question was. (I just shrugged and told him he "had to" come to Mass at 7 to "get ashes.")

I've heard or read it said somewhere, that aside from Christmas and Easter, the other favorite times for Catholics to come to Mass is Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday...because they "get something."

(also, of course, the reason that so many people in poorly-catechized churches leave right after receiving Communion...because, well, they've "gotten" something, so therefore they must have fulfilled their obligation!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vox Dei

I know there has been much criticism online about songs with the "voice of God," but here I am transcribing the Introit for the congregation to sing for the first Sunday of Lent, and they will be singing something like, "When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will rescue him and honor him; with long life I will satisfy him...."
When I first read it, I was like, "wait, who is 'he'?" and I had to read it and think about it a moment...

It just seems weird.
I'm just saying...

edit: ah, wait, I have an idea. I will put the "voice of God" in quotation marks.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

planning liturgical music

Planning the music for Mass used to be one of my favorite things to do. In fact, that is probably the most common question I get when people first hear my job; "So does that mean you get to plan all the music?"

the power!

But lately, especially the more I learn and read about what the Church directs the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be like...I find that nothing I do is quite correct.

I read the English translations in the Gregorian Missal of the proper antiphons for the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion, and I could try and pick hymns that match those at each of those spots. Trouble is, there aren't many hymns that match. Or for example, take the Communion for 2nd Sunday of Lent: "Tell no one about the vision you have seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
talk about random. No, there's not really any hymns that "match that."

Otherwise, I could try and find the "theme" of Mass for that day. My liturgy planning aids from various large Catholic music publishers give me such helpful hints as "Images of light are common to both sets of Gospel readings. X Y and Z are obvious musical choices that can be incorporated into Year B and RCIA liturgies today."

OR I could take the route of opening my hymnal to the "Lent" section, and randomly distributing the 8 or so acceptable song choices throughout the 5 Sundays of Lent.

I'm supposed to be planning Lent music right now, that's why I'm thinking about this.

In fact, besides planning music as used to be being one of my favorite things to do, Lent songs and particularly Holy Week songs are among my favorites for the year!

But this is just getting...frustrating.
(however, at the 10:30 Mass, I do incorporate both the English Entrance Antiphon, Proper Offertory verse, and Communion chant, so technically I don't have to worry about those proper texts.)

but besides that, it's just difficult. WHICH of those three routes should I go?
I think during Ordinary Time I tend to look more at the the proper texts, but for seasons like Lent I pretty much just distribute the 8 Lent songs among the Sundays, heh heh.