Pastoral musicians spend a great deal of effort trying to get people to sing. Our work is animated by the desire to assist the “full, active, and conscious participation” of every person in our assembly. We often select music that is familiar. We spend a great deal of time introducing new music with pedagogic strategies that are measured, reasonable, and pastoral. We put hymns in comfortable keys, we train instrumentalists to support congregational singing, and we form our cantors to be song leaders, not soloists.
For the most part, I’m willing to be we do a pretty good job of promoting and facilitating the sung prayer of those gathered in the pews. But, there is another voice that may need a bit more coaxing and a more delicate pastoral approach. Whose voice is it? Your pastor.
It can be difficult to get your pastor – or deacon, or bishop – to sing. Yet, singing is vital to our liturgy, especially for the role of the presider. The solutions can be tricky because the cause of the hesitancy – or refusal – on the part of your pastor can be varied and complex. To peel back these layers and to discuss some strategies, we turn to Fr. Ricky Manalo. We’ll hear one of Fr. Ricky’s compositions in today’s Ministry Moment.
To listen to the Open Your Hymnal podcast episode featuring Fr. Ricky's song, "Many and Great," visit the Open Your Hymnal website.
Visit NPM's digital resource library, referenced at the end of the episode.
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