Thursday, January 23, 2003

My Ship of Fools Application

As a "once and future music director", as I describe myself on my blog site, I am fascinated with the myriad of approaches to the Roman Rite that are floating around out there.

Psychology Today had an article once about the efficacy of different schools of pop psychology, measured in terms of "perception of progress" by the patients themselves. They were attempting to determine, for example, whether Transactional Analysis worked better than Est, or Primal Scream worked better than some other equally silly fad.

What they found was that there was no trend at all in terms of the approach, only that there were effective practitioners, and ineffective ones.

This fits with what I've seen at church - contemporary-style worship can uplift the spirit, or be nails on a chalkboard. Traditional worship can be ponderous and suffocating, or vibrant and inviting. Its the implementation, far moreso than the approach, that matters. I've enjoyed the visits, even to parishes where everything was awful, because it's a chance to observe and learn.

I've been finding excuses to visit other parishes in my area - there are probably 100 within 50 miles of the house. But a reason is so much better than an excuse!

Oh, and the point of the "once and future" thing is that I ran a parish music program for five years, and loved it, but felt ill-prepared to change careers without the formal education to back me up. I have returned to college for a church music degree, and plan to return to the ministry when that is completed, pethaps 5 years or so down the road.

Thanks for considering me.

Best wishes,

Jay Ricketts

Think I have a chance?

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