Spiritual Director: Fr Gavin D’SouzaOur Church Choirs
Music is an essential part of human life – it adds joy to our celebrations and gives expression to our sorrow. Spiritual music lifts our minds from material things and helps us focus on our relationship with God and the world around us. Sacred music is especially composed for the celebration of divine worship (the Mass and sacraments) and possesses the qualities of sanctity and beauty.
The Church has a rich tradition of sacred music and places great importance on it, calling it ‘a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy’ with the purpose to glorify God and sanctify the faithful [Sacrosanctum Concilium, 112]. Pope John Paul II said,
‘As a manifestation of the human spirit, music performs a function which is noble, unique and irreplaceable. When it is truly beautiful and inspired, it speaks to us—more than all the other arts—of goodness, virtue, peace; of matters holy and divine’.
Sacred music is considered holy – set aside exclusively to worship God. As Christians, we too are called to holiness, and to full and active participation in the Eucharist. This participation is both external (responses and singing) and internal (prayer and reflective silence). Jesus himself sang a hymn with his disciples after he instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper (Mt 26:30).
Singing the scripture brings many blessings. The spirit of unity in worship creates a sense of oneness among the people. The mutual affection among members of a choir arises from an understanding of one another through a common love for music. This bond extends to the congregation when we sing together during a Mass, and further, to our daily life in the parish community.
How often have we read or listened to a scripture text and ‘heard’ the tune in our minds? How many times do we find ourselves humming a hymn as we go about our day? This too is a form of prayer – constant communication with our Father in heaven, which sustains our relationship with him.
Singing also helps us memorise scripture verses and recall them in times of joy and sorrow, expressing our innermost feelings and giving us strength and consolation. The words of the psalms come to mind when we see the beauty of Nature or while celebrating a special occasion or when we are troubled. Singing hymns strengthens our faith in God and our trust in his boundless love and mercy.
Singing in a church choir has many physical, psychological and social benefits. It calms the mind, lifts the spirit and exercises our respiratory, cardiac and nervous systems. Regular practice improves our musical understanding, pitch, rhythm, vocal skill and memory, while also instilling in us a sense of responsibility and commitment. Being in a choir makes us happy, positive and energetic. It widens our social circle and brings people from all backgrounds together for a common purpose.
Every time we sing, we are reminded to be thankful for the gifts that God has given us – our health and talents; our family and friends; our work and material possessions; our freedom and privileges; the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life with our heavenly Father and our loved ones. God is generous and merciful indeed!
The music ministry of our parish fosters a full, conscious and active participation of the congregation gathered for the celebration of the liturgy. Our choirs provide appropriate choral music, support, lead, and enhance the singing of our congregation at all masses and paraliturgical services. Members have the opportunity to extend their musical talents while enriching their spiritual lives through music.
Our Church Choirs