Liturgical music should be an integral part of Mass and all worshipers should take an active part in the music.
According to Musicam Sacram, Instruction on Music in the Liturgy issued by the Second Vatican Council, “Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when it is celebrated in song, with the ministers of each degree fulfilling their ministry and the people participating in it.”
Lee Gwozdz, Diocesan Director of Music, will present three music workshops in August at different deaneries to assist parish choirs refresh their music liturgy. Each workshop will consist of three-hour sessions divided into two parts.
Having deanery workshops will allow Gwozdz to work with parish musicians in smaller groups to target where they are and then to focus on what they need to enable them to assist their congregations in song.
“Hopefully attending these workshops will ignite a renewed spirit in our diocese of the importance of music sung during the Mass. Worship is the heart of our Church—the summit and fount—music is the heartbeat. So in a sense this workshop will help with the cardio factor and reinvigorate the heart,” Gwozdz said.
The person responsible for selecting and preparing the music for one or all of the Masses should attend the first two hours of the workshop session and all singers, or choir members, should attend the last hour of each session.
According to Gwozdz the main challenge is to train musicians that can in turn help the parish community sing and join in song at each Mass. “I will offer tips on how to involve the assembly; to make sure the music being sung can actually be sung by the assembly,” Gwozdz said.
In the first two hours of each deanery workshop Gwozdz will explain how to plan liturgical music for each Mass; the priority list of acclamations that should be sung at all Masses; the status of the new English translation in the parishes; the diocesan acclamations; how to teach the assembly song; the role of the cantor or song leader; the role of the choir; music resources for the assembly; copyrights; and music for diocesan confirmations. The last hour in each session is for singers.
For Corpus Christi deaneries, the Summer Music Workshop will be available on Saturday, Aug. 4, at St. Pius X Parish. The session is from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. For the Beeville, Five Points and Refugio deaneries, the workshop will be available on Saturday, Aug. 11, at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostle Parish in Corpus Christi. The session is from 1–4 p.m. For the Kingsville and Alice deaneries, the workshop will be available on Saturday, Aug. 18, at St. Gertrude Parish in Kingsville. The session is from 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
These three-hour sessions in the summer are the beginning, Gwozdz said. The goal is to have two of these deanery sessions a year. The next workshop will be in the spring.