Like the five wise virgins, the best music directors are prepared and always looking ahead. Here are some ideas to make sure your lamps burn bright all year long.
Get your personal liturgical calendar ready. Starting with the First Sunday of Advent, mark each Sunday with its corresponding observance. Use your diocese’s ordo (published by Paulist Press) or the USCCB’s downloadable calendar to check dates. Next, mark the days for the Easter triduum and all the holy days of obligation.Give yourself time to pray with each day’s readings and prayers before you begin choosing music. You could even invite other music ministers and pastoral staff to pray and discern with you. Click To Tweet
Now, coordinate with other staff members to mark the following events: RCIA rites, special blessings, presentations, other sacraments, collections at Mass, cultural feasts of your community, your parish’s patron saint day and anniversary of dedication, major diocesan events and liturgies, and liturgical days proper to your region. Include secular holidays and your vacation days and those of your colleagues.
Finally, begin preparing for each season. Start with the Easter triduum. Everything in the year leads up to it and flows from it. Then move on to Lent and Easter, and then Advent and Christmas. Finally work on Ordinary Time. Divide it into Winter, Summer, and Fall sections. Give yourself time to pray with each day’s readings and prayers before you begin choosing music. You could even invite other music ministers and pastoral staff to pray and discern with you.