Singing in Choir = Mass Attendance?

I’m new to the faith, and in RCIA at my local parish. Just this week, I joined the chorus and am excited for Mass this Sunday.

My question is: obviously, I’ll be at Mass, but does this attendance really count? I think I’m actually going to “miss” being in the pews and participating … I’m just not sure if I should be attending another Mass (Saturday vigil, or one earlier in the morning) to fully participate and ensure that I’m fulfilling the Mass attendance requirement as a Catholic. Since I’m new … I want to start out with good habits!

Thanks for your input!

Yes, it definitely counts! There is no requirement to be sitting in a pew; the requirement is to be there. In most (if not all) choirs, you will still say the responses, listen to the readings and the homily, receive Communion (once you are accepted into the faith) and so on. That’s going to Mass. You’ll just be doing more as a member of the choir – but the priest and the deacon are also doing more, and you can be sure that their “attendance” at Mass “really counts”!

Thanks for the quick response, Mark!

No problem (as a choir member, I have a vested interest in this topic!) I should mention that if your choir did something really bizarre like leave the church during the parts when you weren’t singing, that would be a different matter, but other than that it is universally recognized that attending Mass in the choir constitutes attending Mass.

Blessings and good luck on the rest of your journey in the Church!

I have to chuckle, and I’m not making fun, I just find your POV refreshing Matt. So many people have the idea that to be participating at Mass, you have to be “doing” something, like reading, being in the choir etc.

When I led RCIA, we eventually recommended that the catechumens NOT join a Church group until after they’d been baptized/received sacraments.

This is simply because it IS easier to learn about the Mass when you’re not being distracted by something else, like trying to find the correct page. And where it’s not a liturgical activity you’ve joined, it might end up just taking time away from your preparation to enter the Church.

We also had the problem one year of so many up-and-coming Catholics being in the choir, that when it came to the Easter Vigil, we had no one to cantor psalms because they were either being baptized, or sponsoring those being baptized! But that could have just been us…

But those are just our local ‘rules’ they’re certainly not Church rules.

Welcome home and sing loudly!

If this were a few years ago, I would have had to do a double-take at your name there, Matt, because a colleague of mine was baptized into the Catholic Church, and started singing in the choir before her baptism, communion, and confirmation! I was her confirmation sponsor, and actually, there would be no way I would be singing in any choir, I have a voice only slightly less abrasive than the actress who played the lead role in the series, “The Nanny!”

Absolutely, singing in the choir counts as Mass attendance! That’s what I love about all you new converts, your enthusiasm! Working closely with my old colleague Roz was a faith-refreshing experience for me, and I remember those days very fondly!

Mark - the parish that I’ve been attending RCIA at and going to Mass at is pretty conservative (kneeling at the altar rail to receive the host, lots of Latin, etc.) and the choir follows suit, we’re just up in the loft instead of down in the pews.

I’m glad I gave you a little chuckle :slight_smile: I don’t think participating in Choir will detract from my Catholic education, I think it should enhance it. The choir is quite large (30 or so members when everyone is present), so hopefully Easter Vigil mass won’t be a problem when I am away!

I can totally relate to how you might miss sitting in a pew some Sunday. I usually am either the server or lector at the early Sunday Mass at my parish due to lack of volunteers. I haven’t really been able to sit in a pew for Sunday Mass since September.

Enjoy being in the choir!

I am a professional chorister, and right now I’m working in the choir of a large Episcopal parish. In the past, I have had a job in a Catholic church choir, and, for me, it was indeed a huge distraction from Mass. There was a lot going on up in that loft. I was also serving as a cantor in that parish, so I was at two Masses each weekend, and being cantor was much less distracting for me. If I had not been a cantor, I probably would have tried to attend another Mass just for me.

Now, I am a cantor at Mass every other month on Saturday evenings and sing in the Episcopal choir most every Sunday. I like it much better that way, because I am free to concentrate solely on the music when I’m at work and solely on worship when I’m at Mass. On opposite months, I even get to sit in the congregation and not have a job at all - what a luxury that is!

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