Weekly Bulletin Column

From Fr. Michael Reding

September 15, 2019

 

The One Who Sings Prays Twice

After Mass last weekend, when I was greeting folks in the gathering space, I met a couple from the Twin Cities who were visiting Saint Thomas the Apostle. They explained that our parish had been recommended to them by a person who had worked professionally as a liturgist. He had especially praised the music at Saint Thomas.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that. I hear often from parishioners, visitors, and professionals about the quality of our music ministry at Saint Thomas. Our liturgist, Mary Werner, has served the parish for thirty years and has built an enviable music program. She summons forth the best from our instrumentalists, our cantors, and our choir members. They appreciate the fact that, while she is seeking quality performance, she knows that what we’re really doing is prayer, and all of her choices reflect that priority. Mary approaches her work as ministry, knowing that the purpose of liturgical music is for “the glory of God and the sanctification of the people.”

After a summer hiatus, our choir at Saint Thomas resumed their ministry last weekend. It was a pleasure to have them back, enhancing the quality of our sung prayer. At this time of year especially, we invite new members to join the choir. They rehearse on Wednesday evenings. Many (but not all) choir members arrive early and enjoy the meal and prayer service that are part of Faith Formation for All, and then join their fellow singers when rehearsal begins at 7:00 p.m. in the church. Parish Choir members are diverse in age, from high school students to senior citizens.

For younger parishioners, we also have a children’s choir. Kids in grades 2-8 are welcome to join; they rehearse on Wednesdays 5:15-6:00 p.m. This is a great way for children to not only participate in and contribute to our parish’s worship, it’s also a great way for them to learn more about their faith and the church’s liturgy. Children from Catholic, public, and private schools are all welcome. Children’s choir for this year will begin on October 2. 

I’ve often thought that, if I were not a priest presiding at liturgies, I would love to join the choir. It’s a great way to meet other people and contribute to the most important work of the church – the celebration of the liturgy. In my experience, choir members are a fun bunch of people who bring out the best in each other and in the community.

If you’d like to know more about our music ministries at Saint Thomas – for children and adults – contact our liturgist, Mary Werner, at (612) 922-0041 or [email protected]