Saturday, December 11, 2004

Notes from the Music Guy VIII

Different churches use the term "cantor" differently. Sometimes it's a fundamental difference, as in the Lutheran Church, where the cantor was the director of music for the parish. J. S. Bach was the "Cantor of Leipzig", for example - but I don't really picture him standing at the ambo with his arm raised. The Jewish cantor is much more like ours, but cultural differences elevated the cantor of the synagogues into local stardom of sorts - in the first part of the 20th Century, it was common for cantors to hold concerts at Carnegie hall, for example.

Even with modern Catholic worship, the roles are different in different communities. Some parishes have no cantor at all, some have two cantors at each mass. Some have a cantor who leads responsorials and a songleader who leads everything else. And some have a separate post called a psalmist who only proclaims the psalm, along with a cantor and perhaps a songleader as well.

Here, our cantors are stretched pretty thin, so they will serve as psalmist, cantor, and songleader. If you attend a mass where there is no cantor, chances are someone got sick: and our bench isn't deep enough to pull out a replacement at the last minute.

So if you feel called to sing God's praises, and to help the assembly do the same, then you're one of us. And we'd love for you to join the cantors of St. Clement's. We have at least two openings, and the more, the merrier. Please call the parish office and let me know if you'd like to be a cantor.

May Christ be the song in your heart,


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