The following is an excerpt from St Joseph Catholic Church, Bryan, Texas, on “The Importance of Music and Singing.”
“The subject of today’s Liturgical Minute is “the importance of music and singing in the Mass.” Music that blends both spiritual and artistic excellence, is liturgical – it is sacred. Such music has the ability to cultivate, strengthen, and deepen, the spiritual experience of those gathered for worship. The musical tradition of the Church is a treasure of immeasurable value.
Liturgical music never dominates, but serves. Sacred music imparts spiritual truth to one’s mind, heart and soul. It displays a dimension of meaning and feelings that mere words cannot. Music makes prayer more pleasing, promotes a sense of congregational unity, and confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites. When deciding which parts of the Mass are to be sung, preference is given to those which are more important; especially those which the priest, one of his assistants, or a cantor is to sing in alternation with the people, or which all are to sing together.
Singing is an expression of joy. In Colossians 3:16, St Paul exhorts the faithful assembled in expectation of their Lord’s return to sing together. He says “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” Our relationship to God is one of love, and whether we sing loud or softly, on pitch or out of tune, sing!! St Augustine very rightly says that “it is natural for a lover to sing.” We might also remember the ancient proverb that tells us “those who sing pray twice.” So sing your praise, your love song, to God – He will surely be pleased.”