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Music Notes for July 5, 2015

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is accompanying a congregation that sings. The organ can be a loud and powerful instrument, so it can be very easy to drown out the people, especially when there are a smaller number gathered for worship. The cathedral organ was built with the resources to accompany a full church, so our typical attendance means there is much of the organ that goes unused every week. I try to vary the colors, but there is only so much organ I can use unless the people in the pews sing.

And this past week, I heard you singing! It was a delight to hear good strong voices singing the Amen at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and even the refrain during the communion song. It’s been just about one month since I introduced the new musical setting of the Eucharistic Acclamations, and I’m glad to be able to hear your progress in learning them. Communion is another of those moments when even some of the congregations that sing well tend to go silent, so I was thrilled to hear you singing then as well.

Whether the music is old and familiar or new and different, take courage in the fact that you are part of a group effort. Many hands make light work, and many voices together can raise the roof! There are some familiar songs for Mass this weekend, and I know President Obama can sing at least one of them. St. Augustine reportedly said that “Singing is praying twice,” so I encourage you to be efficient and raise your voice in song!

Looking for a challenge to use more of the organ,