This article is taken from Music Director, Kerey Quaid’s talk at Masses during September.
I want to invite you to join one of our parish choirs; and to remind you, in case you don’t want to join a choir, to please sing at mass anyway. I truly encourage everyone at Mass to sing along with the choir or cantor every time the words are on the screen, or a song number is announced, and every time that our presiding priest sings a sentence that needs our response.
To everyone who usually does sing, I want to say “Thank you!” Our singing as a community– as a family–is part of why we come to mass, to praise God together. When everyone joins in the song, it inspires us all, and it strengthens our faith and our sense of unity. And when we sing together, it pleases God! I am not making that up: the Scriptures tell us repeatedly to sing to God.
One example is Psalm 96-
“Sing to the Lord a new song, Sing to the Lord, all the earth. [Not, “all the choir members,” but “all the earth”!]
…For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.”
St. Paul told the Colossians to “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” [Col. 3:16]. And the book of Revelation tells of the elders, living creatures, and the saints all singing to Jesus, the Lamb of God in heaven.
God is worthy of your sung praise, even if you don’t think you are a good singer. I have heard all the excuses for not singing, and I can tell you with confidence, almost none of them are valid. If a parent or teacher told you when you were a child that you ought to stop singing, it probably had more to do with their patience and fatigue than it had to do with your singing. And even if it was about your singing, it probably just had to do with how well you knew the song, not your potential.
To join a choir, you need to:
• be able to carry a tune, in the same key as the rest of the group.
• be available at least most of the time, for the weekly rehearsal.
• be willing to learn new things and be a team member.
That’s all! Everything else is numerous little details that we teach you as we go, week to week. But, I know that very few people will make a new commitment just because they are reading an article online. So, if you have heard someone sitting near you who sings well, and you think they should be in the choir, then the next time you’re at mass, please take a second to tell them that they should be in the choir!
There are many good reasons to be in a choir – you will learn more about singing, about the liturgy, you will make new friends, and will have songs in your head to help you remember God’s words for all situations in life. Our choirs for the Saturday 5 p.m. mass, and the Sunday 10 a.m. mass practice on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Our choir for the noon Sunday mass practices on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the Serra Center. Our choir for the Sunday 5:00 p.m. mass practices on Sundays at 3:30 p.m. before mass. The Saturday 7:00 p.m. choirs, and the Filipino choir practice at different times, please send a note to the music office for details. And if we can get some teens to find one time of the week or month to rehearse, we would love to have a teen/youth choir regularly in the rotation.
Also, if you are a music lover but just don’t want to sing, we need several more people to serve in adjusting our microphones during mass. This involves using some nice hi-tech equipment, careful listening and attention, and quick responses. You need calm nerves and good ears for this post—but it is essential for us in Serra Center, where we must rely on amplified sound for the homilies, prayers and song leaders to be heard.
Please do consider offering your time and talents to join our music ministry- and in any case, remember that God would like to hear you sing, and God is worthy of all praise! Amen!