When I was eight, I joined the choir at my parish in Los Angeles because I was certain a talent scout would discover me and make me a star! I’m sure none of you had such wild dreams of fame and fortune when you answered the call to ministry.
Rather, true liturgical ministers nurture a servant attitude as those in today’s Gospel who did not seek the master’s gratitude but merely said, “We have done what we were obliged to do.” None of us are perfect at this, but thankfully the Spirit purifies and uses our imperfect attitudes for Christ’s mission nonetheless.When the assembly wants to applaud at the end of Mass, I’ve found it more effective and joyful as a music minister to simply applaud them right back. Click To Tweet
However, our servant attitude sometimes clashes with our assembly’s desire to show gratitude for the work we do. It is only normal to want to express thanks for work well done. For music ministers, that thanks is sometimes shown through spontaneous applause at the end of Mass. In light of today’s Gospel, should we try to stop this?
We could try to bulletin announcements or verbal requests to “hold your applause.” But when the assembly wants to applaud at the end of Mass, I’ve found it more effective and joyful as a music minister to simply applaud them right back. This lets them know that the work of the liturgy is one we share together done for God’s glory alone.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Aaron Burden, Unsplash, CC0.