Thank you for your time and consideration!
I’m looking for information on music in the liturgy (rules) and chanting. Are there any websites or books that you would recommend?
I have zero music background. I used to drive the lady who played the organ for our mission church for several years. We grew quite close. She taught my sister to sing. I would sit with my sister in the pew next to the organ at the front of the church. When the lady passed away, a novice student of hers took over. I sat next to the organ and helped cue her to play for the various parts of Mass.
The organ player wasn’t there for a day of holy obligation at some point so Father asked me to pick a hymn right before he walked down the aisle. In a rush, I picked the first hymn I recognized and we sang a cappella (turned out, I didn’t know how to sing the first verse). It was rough. It was really rough. It then became customary for me to pick out hymns (I did get better at it.) and lead us without music whenever the volunteer organ player was absent.
Our organ player moved. I’ve been leadings us in song for many months.
We got a new pianist! She has been playing for two or three months now. She is very good. She is also young (14) and still learning music. I’ve been working with her and her mom on cues and building a foundation. She was only playing hymns. Now, she is working on playing the various parts of Mass.
Working together was going fine but I noticed someone being pushy about the music with the girl and her mom. They come from a nonconfrontational culture and I was concerned. I talked to the mother about me being the point of contact. Her daughter had clearly been flustered by the encounter. She was very happy with that suggestion. I told the secretary of the church what we had decided and why. Would she please let our priest and deacon know and are they okay with that?
I’m the new music facilitator.
It was brought to my attention today that Father was upset that we played too long at last week’s Mass. I asked him about it and he was very nice. He said he wasn’t upset but since I asked, he explained that the music should be over by the time the priest washes his hands (offertory). If it isn’t over, it should stop immediately. I didn’t know that. I’ve just been timing it so the ushers didn’t have to do the second collection in silence. Most of what I know comes from attending Mass and reading the paperback book in the pew.
I love the faith and my church. I really want to do the best I can for them and for our new pianist and her family who come from out of town to help us with music.
Any suggestions on books, websites, etc. regarding liturgical music rules and how to chant as well as anything else you can think of would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you, again!