Leading music and prayer

Leading music and prayer

19th Sunday Ordinary Time – C

If you got into music ministry like I did, no one gave you an instruction manual. Maybe you had some musical training already, but you soon discovered that knowing how to make music didn’t mean you knew how to lead music for a singing, worshiping assembly. I went through a lot of trial and error and made some awful decisions early on. (“Let It Be” for Immaculate Conception, really?) But I got better with lots of help and humility.

Although I didn’t get a user’s guide on day one, a wise mentor did hand me a copy of the Vatican II documents. He said, “Read this if you want to work for the church and succeed.” I thought I was there just to play music at Mass. He knew better. Next to the presider, the one who leads the music probably has the most influence over how the assembly will pray at any given liturgy. Music ministers lead prayer as much as we lead music. So we have to know the church’s way of praying.

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So for those of you just starting out, think of these upcoming commentaries as your quick start guide to liturgical music ministry. And if you’ve been doing this a while, let’s use these weeks of late Ordinary Time to review some basics.

Let’s get started. Here’s your manual. Read on.

This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: arturmarciniecphotos.

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