Friday, September 09, 2005

WANTED: Full, Active Participation

Found this in the Denver Catholic Register.... Our good friend Perry will get a kick out of it.

How's the singing at your parishes?

A highly regarded music director from the Archdiocese of Seattle will be featured as part of an upcoming presentation and workshop with the theme, “Let My People Sing.”

Sponsored by the Archdiocesan Music Committee and Office of Liturgy, the event is for musicians, clergy and all interested parishioners. The activities will be held at the John Paul II Center, 1300 S. Steele St. in Denver.

Dr. James Savage, director of music at St. James Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Seattle, will give a presentation at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 called “How to Put ‘Active’ Back in ‘Active Participation.’”

Savage was invited to speak at the recommendation of Horst Buchholz, director of music at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, said Mary Lou Lybarger, music director at St. Joseph Parish in Fort Collins and chair of the Archdiocesan Music Committee.

“Horst had visited him and heard the congregation and said it is one of the best singing congregations that he’s ever heard,” Lybarger said. “We’re all excited to see what message he has.”

A workshop with the theme, “Recipes for Successful Assembly Singing,” will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. the next day. A Mass will be celebrated at 8:30 a.m.

In tribute to the archbishop's beloved Les Mis, the workshop really should've been called "Do You Hear the People Sing?" But oh well....



Blogger patrick said...

The singing is better in my parish than most others, but still could use a lot of improvement. It is a mostly black parish, so you end up with Negro spirituals, gospel tunes, and even - shudder - Marty Haugen, with old fashioned smells and bells to go along with it. The results could be (and sometimes are) awful, but usually they are quite supurb. (Liturgically, the pastor is sort of a mixture of Bishop Marini, Msgr. Peter Elliot, and Busby Berkeley, if that is possible.)

There needs to be more singing from the congregation though.

9/9/05 13:23  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

I always wondered what happened to Horst Buccholz once he disappeared from the movies a few years back.

9/9/05 13:39  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco has some of THE BEST congregational singing in the entire Archdiocese, as attributed by many visiting "firemen", including the form Abp Darth Levada and the Arch. Director of Liturgy.

Our choir is good and can be very good, but the "hat on the lady" is and has always been the congregational singing ability and strength of participation.

9/9/05 13:42  
Blogger Christ-Haunted said...

I blogged on this earlier this week, suggesting that getting rid of Oregon Catholic Press materials would be a good start. Then they can get rid of cantors singing in a strained falsetto and showtunes featuring crashing keyboards.

9/9/05 15:36  
Blogger patrick said...

OCP is unquestionably the antichrist incarnate. May it's very memory be a curse. Amen! Amen!

9/9/05 15:46  
Blogger RCEsq said...

That tendentious piety about "[s]he who sings, prays twice" obviously originated with someone who knew full well that the singer needs to make up for disturbing the prayers of those who are gnashing their teeth at the caterwauling around them. Where are the "go back to the early church" folks when you need 'em? Nowhere do you read that Jesus raised his voice in song to His Father or encouraged his disciples to join hands and sing Kumbaya. Please leave the singing to those in the choir who are actually good at it, and muffle those cantors who channel Celine Dion on the altar every Sunday.

9/9/05 20:17  
Blogger patrick said...

I game so long as if she can sing like Celine Dion or Arethra Franklin. If not, then its time to break out the tar and feathers.

Still congregational singing with a competent choir in the background is the best. I grew up with an excellent parish choir and There's no excuse for the refusal to sing good hymns and anthems at mass. None whatsoever.

9/9/05 21:00  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

An Episcopal priest friend of mine, years ago now, used to comment on his 8:00 AM "Plain Holy Communion" -

Say this outloud with a Southern accent (he was a wonderful gentleman from Alabama):

"No singin' - no sermon: it's their reward for gettin' up early!"

Methinks many Catholics would gratefully receive such a "just reward" !

10/9/05 12:21  
Blogger Aplman said...

RCESQ says, "Nowhere do you read that Jesus raised his voice in song to his Father..."

You might want to check out Mark 14:26 to see what Jesus and his disicples did between the Last Supper and the time in the garden. Looks like a song to me!

10/9/05 15:14  
Blogger Dymphna said...

My favorite Mass time is the 5:30 weekday one because there's no music at all. The cantor at my church has a lovely voice but her range and training are beyond most people. I sing soprano and I can't follow her. My husband doesn't even try. Either let the choir do all the singing or get musicians and cantors who come up with music that normal humans can sing. Oh and no more music from Jesus Christ Superstar during communion, please!

11/9/05 12:52  
Blogger Aplman said...

While one usually hears that parish cantors are UNtrained, Dymphna seems to complain that her cantor is too WELL trained. How is a trained cantor "beyond most people" in her parish?

Liturgical music for parish use is, for the most part, written in keys suitable for congregational particiption. I doubt that Dymphna's cantor is asking her organist to transpose hymns and acclamations to a higher key - and if she is, she's definitely at fault. It's not uncommon, however, for folks (especially men) to hear a soprano voice and immediately conclude that they "can't sing that high." The truth is that individuals with bass, tenor, alto and soprano voices can all sing in the same key. The cantor in my parish is a soprano, a conservatory graduate and (please forgive her!) well trained. She led our singing at Mass this morning and hundreds of people followed her leadership. Her natural talents and training did not at all impair her in her ministry.

Oh, and I'd be interested in learning what title from JC Superstar was sung at communion in Dymphna's parish, and how recently that occurred.

11/9/05 16:39  
Blogger Aplman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/9/05 17:01  

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