Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What the Jesuit Music Ministry offers

Lifted from this website.


What training workshops do we give? In order to have animated and vibrant liturgies, a guide to the ministry of music is important. [By stating just that, the Jesuits in their Music Ministry is tacitly admitting that our liturgy is not animated and not vibrant, which is synonymous to saying that it is dead!]

The following is a list of what we can give. A workshop can be designed using some of these contents viz the needs of a choir or a parish music ministry.

1. The Vocation of the Choir: a short prayer reflection that roots each choir member to the invitation of Christ to serve their specific community. I believe that a choir member will not find their ministry meaningful or the challenges they encounter bearable if it is not rooted in the personal call of Christ. This includes rooting their gifts and their ministry in scripture and the appropriate behavior of someone called to perform a special role in worship.  [Sounds like a Vocation Director giving a talk to prospective candidates.  :)]

2. The Liturgical Structure of the Mass: a brief description of each part of the mass. A choir should know the rationale of each part of the mass so that they know what songs are appropriate for each — or they get to appreciate the Eucharistic celebration.  [Uhm...sige na nga.]

3. The Three Judgments: three simple judgments that each choir member needs to choose appropriate songs. It includes getting to know the reference books such as the Lectionary or the Sacramentary to help them choose songs appropriate for a season, a celebration or the readings of the day.  [Which surprisingly, after some music directors attended a seminar on this subject, you still hear songs from Don Moen and Praise, Inc. being sung in our Masses!  Ugh!]

4. The Order of Importance of the Songs at Mass. It gives a choir member the songs that should be sung with the whole congregation (such as the Acclamations and the Processional songs), and those that allows instrumental music or simply silence.  [Now this is interesting!]

5. The Importance of the Music Ministry in the whole Liturgical Celebration viz-a-viz the other Ministries such as the Ministry of Lector and the Presider at Mass.  [The writer, who is a Jesuit priest, does not want to use the term, priest.  The priest just presides not offers a sacrifice, well, because anyway, we are a community.  Kumabaya!!!] What are the areas of collaboration and when does another ministry respect the role of the choir (eg. when commentators sing solo or a priest dominates a song when there is a choir).  [I challenge a music director or organist to tell the priest to stop singing on the microphone so as not to get the spotlight from the choir.  I dare you.]

6. The Responsibilities of Choir Musicians such as the Music Director, the musicians, and the singers. What are expected of persons assigned to perform these roles.

7. Organizational Structure for Parish Choirs. Often problems arise because of the leadership structure. Or some choirs are part of a bigger organization. This workshop helps a choir discern their needs and the leadership structure that would fit their group.

8. Workshop on Choosing Songs: Choirs are given a specific liturgical celebration (eg. Holy Thursday, Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Birth of Our Lord) and they are asked to make a line-up of songs, according to the guidelines given above, and the Music Guidelines given by their specific diocese. Note: The Jesuit Music Ministry respects the music guidelines drafted by their Diocese.  [There are younger priests who have been liturgically trained by more conservative and more obedient priests who know what songs to sing in what seasons and these priests also use Gregorian chant which I doubt if the Jesuit Music Ministry would even teach those who would avail their seminars!  I doubt!  If you have a conservative and liturgically obedient priest, trust him to make up the list if your diocese does not have one published.]

9. Vocal Training: Simple vocal training is given by a JMM Choir such as Canto Cinco (C5). Each part of the vocal structure is explained, and appropriate vocal exercises are suggested to warm up their body structure. A vocal CD is given for free.  [GREAT!]

10. Workshops for Musicians. A simple workshop for parish musicians such as guitarists, [UGH!  No guitars pleeeeaaaassseee!] keyboardists and those who know how to play other instruments. [WHAT OTHERS?!?!?!]  Often parish musicians are self-taught or beginners. Musica Chiesa is group of musicians from the UP College of Music. They handle these simple workshops. They can also give a workshop for improvising music instruments such as shakers using rice grains.  [Goodness gracious!  What music are talking about here?  Quaker Oats?!]

11. Spiritual Activities such as Retreats and Recollections are designed for choir members, musicians and dancers.  [What?!?!  Music Ministry has dancers?  Change the name: Call it Willing-Willie Ministry! ]

12. Liturgical Dance Workshop. The UP Filipiniana Dance Group, trained in cultural dances, adapts traditional movements to liturgical songs to make liturgical dancing meaningful and enhancing to worship.  [A secular school, that is trained for dancing traditional folk dances will teach Catholic

And here is a sample of their liturgical dance:

Now here is the tricky part. This dance and singing of the Papuri sa Diyos was not during the Mass, ok.

But it gives those attending the seminar the impression that they can do this at Mass since as you have read in the first part, there is a need to animate our liturgy to make it more vibrant.  If they intend NOT to disregard Redemptionis Sacramentum, then why teach litugical dance in the first place, UNLESS they want this in paraliturgical activities and NOT DURING THE MASS.

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