Tuesday greetings. I hope that your Labor Day Weekend was restful and enjoyable. I spent most of the time on my bike (a 45-mile ride on Saturday) and putting the finishing touches on a mansucript for a new book I hope will be published here at WLP. The working title? You Have Put on Christ: Cultivating a Baptismal Spirituality.
I went to a local parish for Mass on Sunday. When Mass began, I counted 21 people in the assembly; a few more joined as the Mass continued. I do not attend this parish regularly, so I am unfamiliar with the sung acclamations they use for the Mass. And, as has been the case at most parishes I have visited over the past 15 months, there was no provision made to alert any of us as to where we could find the acclamations. As a matter of fact, when the Gloria began, I looked around the church and there was no one singing. If I had known where to find the piece, there would have been at least one other voice added to the cantor's, the celebrant's, and the deacon's.
With the scores (pardon the pun) of musical settings of the Mass revised and newly-composed over the past several years, parish musicians have so many from which to choose. And I am sure this particular congregation was taught these new acclamations at some point in recent months. The singing was much better on the Eucharistic acclamations.
One of the first things announced at the beginning of Mass by the lector was a "special welcome for all who are visiting our parish today." Frankly, these words can sometimes simply be empty; this was my experience on Sunday. Part of music ministry is an extension of hospitality. If the Mass should be sung and if all are called into fully conscious and active participation, then it is a natural extension of hospitality to provide clues as to where to find the music. Providing words of a "special welcome" to me, a visitor, at the beginning of Mass is fine, but on Sunday, I found that this sense of hospitality was not followed through on.
Perhaps I am just too darn picky.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.