Keeping the song of faith alive in our parishes

It’s probably fair to say that long before COVID-19 came along, there were some real challenges facing music ministry in many of our parishes. For too long we’ve thought that if we had someone to play the organ, carry a tune and maybe pick a few hymns for Mass, that was the beginning and the end of it.

But that was never enough. And now, in the post-pandemic haze, the lack of focus and investment is beginning to show more than ever.

Over the years, the ministry of music and song has perhaps not been given the same ongoing support and formation as other lay ministries (eg. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist). And as parishes merge and restructure, it can begin to seem like time and (musical) talent are being spread more and more thinly.

Now we find ourselves with no one to replace our aging organist or choir leader. No new musicians or singers joining our ‘folk groups’. No one with a broad enough repertoire of hymns or understanding if the liturgy to plan the music for Mass.

We look hopefully to our young adults and too often they look back at us with glum disinterest or disappointment. For them the landscape of parish music and liturgy is unfamiliar, uninspiring and largely, unwelcoming.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has brought these ongoing issues into sharper focus, and brought new ones along with it.

That’s why we have put together the Parish Music Ministry Collective programme, to support, train and accompany those who are committed to re-imagining parish music ministry for this pandemic era and beyond.

Helping parishes and schools breathe life into the liturgy has always been at the core of CJM MUSIC’s mission and now our focus is firmly on raising-up and forming others.

Now, more than ever, we need to form ministers of music and song who are ready and able to lead, learn and keep the song of faith alive. That song of faith is right at the heart of our hopes for parish renewal and the new evangelisation, and we cannot allow the song to fall silent.

Click here to learn more about the Music Ministry Collective formation programme.

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