Music Department Mission Statement
The Second Vatican Council taught that “liturgical worship is given a more noble form when the divine offices are celebrated solemnly in song.”* For this reason, inspired by the accounts of singing in Sacred Scripture and a love of sung Roman Catholic liturgy, the music ministry of St. Mary/St. Joseph strives to support and to nourish the parish’s musical life by all means available.
* Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, §113.
For the purposes of fostering the congregation’s sung participation in the Mass and of executing liturgical song whose nature and function is ministerial rather than congregational, St. Mary/St. Joseph has established a number of music ministry programs that serve our liturgies:
The principal choir of our community alternates singing at the 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday Masses and at major parish events. Rehearsals are on Thursdays from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in the church. There is no audition or prerequisite to read music in order to join; only your love of music, a desire to sing, and your commitment are required. Membership is open to those of high school age and up.
A cantor’s first ministry is to proclaim the Responsorial Psalm. In addition, cantors lead the assembly’s singing. Auditions are required, and training is on an individual basis. Cantors are expected to sing as members of the parish choir and to minister as cantors on a year-round basis.
Seasonal music plans at St. Mary/St. Joseph
Congregations sing parts of the Mass in addition to the dialogues. For the parts whose text does not change from day to day (traditionally called the “Ordinary” of the Mass), such as the Gloria in excelsis, there exists such a variety of quality musical settings that parishes typically vary music for these parts of the Mass with the liturgical seasons. In addition, congregations also are asked to sing during the processions of the Mass, where texts may be taken from a variety of sources such as hymns, Sacred Scripture, or the day’s assigned liturgical chants.
For the purpose of assisting in a fuller participation in the liturgical singing at St. Mary/St. Joseph, plans for music that varies by the liturgical season are made available below. In addition, St. Mary’s Choir prepares CD’s of seasonal liturgical music (Lent, Advent, Triduum, etc.), which are made available to all parishioners of St. Mary/St. Joseph prior to the beginning of each of those seasons.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of Church documents concerning liturgical music.
- Second Vatican Council: Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum concilium) (1963)
- General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Vatican, 2000; U.S. edition 2003)
- Instruction on Sacred Music (Musicam sacram) (Vatican, 1967)
- Instruction on Sacred Music and the Sacred Liturgy (De musica sacra) (Vatican, 1958)
The following are links that are of interest concerning liturgical music:
- National Association of Pastoral Musicians
- Church Music Association of America
- Choral Public Domain Library
If you are interested in being a member of The Choir
Contact: Sue Langston
Church office at 936-894-2223.
If you are interested in serving as a Cantor
Contact: Sue Langston
Sue Langston at 979-268-6886.