I’ve been a member of this forum for a long time, though I haven’t posted a lot. I’ve gone back and forth countless times during the past few years as to whether to take my interest in Catholicism to the next step and visit an RCIA class (though I know they generally start in Sept.). I’m tired of being on the fence and know that I need to decide soon whether or not God intends me to pursue this path, and stick with this decision. I do have a question, and I know it will be best answered by the Catholic churches in my area. These three churches may not all have the same rule on this, and I will be interested to find out. The question is, I enjoy singing and have experience in choirs at various Protestant churches over the years. If I began attending a Catholic church regularly and wanted to join the choir, would I be allowed to do so before I officially became a Catholic? Has anyone here experienced this situation and what were you told? Thanks in advance.
Yes, but you may have to go to two Masses. Let me explain: some RCIA classes are “dismissed” during the Mass.
Speak to the RCIA Director who will put you in touch with the music director. If this parish dismisses candidates during the Mass without a period of catechism or reflection immediately following the dismissal, you may just be able to leave your pew and join the choir. (I’ve seen this before.)
N.B.: I have never, ever heard of a candidate being turned away from the choir. There were several candidates who went to the earlier or later Mass just to sing with the choir, and unless you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I don’t know of any director who would say, “no.”
My answer is not authoritative, but I would call each parish’s RCIA Leader to ask just this question!
Our Church, under a pretty conservative pastor, had a non-Catholic choir director for awhile. He was finally let go under an economy move. So you should go ahead and join the choir. Wish I had the voice to do it. But I got kicked out of choir in the 7th grade because I couldn’t sing at all :shrug:.
There might be individual parishes that have rules about only Catholics in the choir but I think they are in the minority. You’ll have to ask to find out the rules at your parish. As was mentioned, there might be some masses that you can’t sing at due to RCIA conflicts and you might have to attend more than one Mass. Of course if instruction classes meet at the same time as choir practice that would be an issue.
I know we have had several candidates for full initiation in the choir at my parish.
If it were up to me, personally, to “vet” members of the choir, I’d say, OF COURSE! C’MON ABOARD!! I helped to organize a Gregorian Chant Schola for our little Tridentine Mass Church a few years ago. We were located in an urban area of a good-sized college town. I mention this, because our membership (& hence, the choir) was naturally “eclectic.” So we had a couple of secular Jews approach me about singing in the choir. They were both excellent musicians, very hardworking, & also fine, upstanding people. I felt (& still do) they were a wonderful addition to our group. As an added bonus, they would occasionally ask thoughtful questions about our Catholic faith + customs. This provided a nice opportunity to do a little evangelization on the side! Sadly, other members of the choir–“faithful” Catholics, I’m ashamed to say–did not share my views. Our non-Catholic friends were subtly (& not so subtly) nudged out of the group. My advice to you would be to proceed cautiously. A good place to start is with the parish priest. If he’s OK with non-Catholics in the choir, then it’s a good bet the other choir members will fall in line behind him.
I have never heard of a parish that made being Catholic a requirement of being in the choir and there certainly isn’t an official church rule or norm.
Welcome! It would be blessing if you had a good voice, LOL.
Choir Directors are always looking for talent, and those who are already accustomed to singing in church, in front of a group. I would think you would be welcomed.
At our Parish RCIA is after the last Mass. It will vary from place to place.
You should just make it known you want to join the choir. I’ve never held auditions. Those who are not well placed, tend to figure it out on their own and stop coming, But the ones with real talent or a decent voice even are always welcomes by all.
Don’t le the fact that RCIA has already begun in a lot of places hinder you!
It’s recommended that the process of discernment be at least several weeks, so you can still join.
God bless you!
Our “conservative” parish has an Anglican organist and at least one girl I knew of was also Protestant in our small schola.
Fa so la tra la la la. I cannot carry a tune. They pay me not to join choir, and my sister was director.
The OP mentioned that he/she has already been in Protestant choirs so he/she might already be baptized and need not be dismissed from mass.
My late wife was a choir director. She found that converts were frequently her best singers. She would have welcomed you with open arms.
I have nothing new to add, but to agree with everyone who says yes. I’m glad for that too. It’s how I met my wife!
Also membership in the choir is a great way to integrate into the parish community.