For the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful
The Church enlightens and guides all in our parish in the use of liturgical music:
"The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The composition and singing of inspired psalms, often accompanied by musical instruments, were already closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Old Covenant. The Church continues and develops this tradition.
He who sings prays twice (St Augustine).
Religious singing by the faithful is to be intelligently fostered………and in conformity with the Church's norms. The texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine.
Sacred music is most moving and meaningful when in accordance with three principal criteria:
(a) embraces beauty that is expressive of prayer;
(b) invites and is encouraging of unanimous participation of the assembly at designated moments; and
(c) is in keeping with the solemn character of the celebration".
Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church - compare paragraphs 1156 - 1158.
In our own parish during Masses and other sacred ceremonies as confirmations, weddings, funeral services and children's liturgies, great care is undertaken among our variety of musicians and vocalists to inspire and touch people's hearts through the beauty of sacred music.
Being a parish of some considerable size, there is a parish choir, a highly capable quartet of adult male musicians, a music group of young adults, children's gatherings from St Paul's and St Clare's Catholic primary schools, an array of very accomplished organists, guitarists, keyboardists and vocalists, as well as enthusiastic planning and involvement from our resident clergy. Indeed, the sacred music of one of our Sunday evening Masses each month is guided and supported by a family of quality musicians.
Accordingly there is great variety when, according to a three-to-four monthly roster, different liturgical styles of music are celebrated at different Mass times over different weekends.
Some of the sacred music, especially with the choir, is drawn from the Church's great historical treasures. Other sacred music may well have been composed more recently, having a noticeably contemporary emphasis. Whatever the style, it's all good.
Initiatives in more recent years have included engaging the school children for weekend Masses from St Clare's and St Paul's and will, for the first time this year, include teenagers from Magdalene - our Catholic high school.
New and aspiring vocalists and musicians are most welcome to contact the parish priest to discuss ways of involvement. In our parish, the ministry is highly regarded, and those who are substantially involved are greatly appreciated. Visitors, especially during weddings and funerals, are often moved to extend compliments to the beauty of our sacred music.