Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Workshop on Pastoral Music for Weddings

Last night, at St. Mary, Mother of God parish in New Monmouth, the pastoral staff of the parish sponsored a wonderful evening for Engaged Couples preparing for their upcoming weddings. The Pastor of St. Mary's, Msgr. Mike Walsh, opened the workshop with a prayer and a brief presentation on the Rite for Catholic Weddings as ritual prayer. He emphasized the need to remember that weddings are prayer-events. Specifically, he stressed that weddings are liturgical prayer-events that should mirror the liturgies of Sunday Mass. He spoke wonderfully and gently about the need to pay attention to issues of hospitality, especially for non-Catholics and people who have not recently practiced their faith.

After Fr. Mike spoke to the couples and their families who had gathered with them, then the music ministers of the parish performed samples of some of the most popular music used in wedding liturgies. The Director of Music Ministries, Doris Ramme, gave a wonderful guide to the couples to help them make some initial music choices for their ceremony. Most of the parish's cantors were present to lead samples of Gathering Songs, Responsorial Psalms, and Songs for the Preparation of Gifts and during the Communion Procession. The musicians all stressed the need for music to help the entire congregation to take part in "full, conscious and active" ways in the liturgy of Christian Marriage.

Many kudos to Fr. Mike, Doris, and the musicians of St. Mary parish for their commitment to good liturgy, good pastoral music, and to the prayer of the church!

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