Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
October 12, 2009
Young liturgical leaders 'feel the fire' of music ministry
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
SHERWOOD PARK - Youth leadership is an important component of many parishes across Alberta.
More and more young people desire to grow as musicians and are responding to the call to serve and lead as music ministers and liturgical leaders.
"I attended David Haas' Music Ministry Alive! in St. Paul, Minnesota for three summers, ever since 2007, so I know him that way," said Alesha Bogdan, who attended his liturgical workshop Oct. 3 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.
MUSIC MINISTRY ALIVE!
Music Ministry Alive! (MMA) is an annual five-day institute held every summer at St. Catherine University. The program is under the direction of Haas and a team of musicians, liturgists, teachers and youth ministers. Talented young people of high school and early college age grow in their musical, liturgical and leadership skills.
This holistic approach is structured around a daily celebration of prayer, sessions addressing musical skills, liturgical preparation and leadership, Scripture and evening celebrations and concerts.
Bogdan, 19, attended the workshop, which has helped her once again "feel the fire of music ministry," and she says it's up to young people like her to keep that ministry alive in the Church. She soon hopes to find an Edmonton parish to attend on a regular basis, and get involved with its liturgical music.
"I hope to get involved in the music ministry. Especially right now I find that a lot of parishes do not choose correct music for the various readings. That's also what three years of MMA has helped me with," she said.
Haas has been an international advocate for the role of young people in the life of the Church. MMA has graduated over 1,200 students over the past decade, many of whom are now serving as pastoral musicians and in other areas of ministry.
John Santos, a choir director at Holy Name Parish in Calgary, attended Haas' workshop because he is a big fan of his music, and is always looking for new ways to improve the music and liturgy at his parish.
"This is the first liturgical workshop that I've been to, even though I've been director for quite awhile, so I just came here with an open mind ready to absorb anything," said Santos.
He especially found information for the cantors about not hiding behind the lectern and being more welcoming with their smiles and bodily gestures to be useful.
"I'm going to tell them that a lot of the leadership, not just from the cantor but the choir also, is visual where they have to transmit the visual cues to the congregation, so that when they come in they are invited to sing and are active participators in the liturgy," said Santos.
The young adults play an active role in the parish life at Holy Name. Their presence at Mass has increased as they started taking on various liturgical duties like reading and serving.
"In my choir, the vast majority of the members are young adults. We used to have a youth program for junior high and high school teens. It's no longer active, but many of the youth, in spite of that, are active in other roles like reading, they're lectors, they're ushers and they are involved in all of the choirs in the parish," said Santos.
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