What is the role of a Coordinator of Liturgies?


#1

Hi Everyone,

I am the coordinator of liturgies at the high school where I teach and have been this role last year. I am curious as to your thoughts on the following:

Do I, in this role, have a say about the music that is chosen for any of our liturgies (Masses and prayer services) throughout the year?

We have a music minister, but they choose to play the same songs over and over again (of course varying them based on what time of the liturgical year we are currently in). While this may make things easy for them, it can and has lead the students into a routine that has made them see these prayerful moments as routine themselves.

Any thoughts?


#2

I doubt very much that you are going to find that there is any definitive job description for such a job title. It would seem to me that the duties and responsibilities of such a position simply would be those that are assigned to it by the person or group who created the position.

I sense that you do not have the involvement that you would like in choosing the litugical music but I don’t think there is any official standard that is going to be of help. Again, ten different parishes/schools/communities would probably have ten different versions of what the role of a Coordinator/Director/Chairperson of the Litugy is.


#3

I would think a Coordinator of Liturgies would work very closely with a music minister.

How much say you have is going to depend on the duties assigned to you and to the music minister. But in my opinion you have every right to make suggestions as to the music that is used. Keep in mind that the skills and training of the music minister(s) are going to factor into this.


#4

I agree with this, especially the last sentence. Not sure what you want the current music replaced with. If you simply want different hymns, that shouldn’t be a problem for a competent pianist/organist. But if you want some kind of chant or polyphony, that’s a different story. Even though some people on CAF insist that chant is easier, that’s only true if the instructor knows how to “do it.” As for polyphony, it’s definitely not easy.


#5

Most liturgical coordinators do not work directly with the music (i.e. selecting hymns), but coordinate the music groups and other parish organizations like altar servers, lectors, extraordinary ministers, and ushers for Sunday Masses and for major feasts. They often supervise these groups to make sure, for example, that at Sunday Mass there will be the right number of lectors, servers, EEM’s, and musicians present. Sometimes a liturgy director will act as a master of ceremonies for complicated liturgies like the Easter Vigil Mass, subtly assisting people (and occasionally the priest) to perform their roles.

You should clarify with the pastor what your duties include, and if selecting hymns is a part of it, make sure that the music director knows that. Many musicians are extremely territorial!

A liturgical coordinator does not create his own liturgical activities, but is bound by the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) and is under the direction of his pastor, who is the de facto liturgist (and music director!) in any parish or school.


#6

While a liturgical coordinator would certainly have to deal with a priest in order for there to be a Mass–

If this is a high school there might not be any direct parish involvement with the school. It would depend on whether or not this is a parish school, an independent school, or a school under the jurisdiction of a religious order.

I’m certainly not saying the the GIRM doesn’t apply or that the priest who says Mass is not the liturgist!

I am just suggesting that the chain of command is likely to be different than that at a parish. The school principal will be the one in charge of the duties of the coordinator and the music minister. And unless there is a priest running the school you might have to go all the way up to the superior of the religious order or a bishop to find a cleric.

In all probability there will not be any Sunday Masses (unless this is a boarding school) and any altar servers, readers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, choir members, etc. are likely to be students.


#7

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