A couple weeks ago, we sang the hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing?” The refrain of this hymn boldly proclaims, “No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I’m clinging. Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?” With planning the music back in June, it turned out to be very timely as that was the weekend we had the huge rainstorms through all three Masses! I have to admit I was chuckling when we sang it at each Mass. There is so much truth to the text of this hymn (it is #686 if you would like to read the poem). If we cling to Christ, we can make it through all tumult, strife, persecution, trials, etc. When the pandemic shut everything down two years ago, I know that many of us clung to the arts—music especially— to get us through. God, the Divine Artist and Musician, has given us such a gift in music to lift us out of the earthly and into the divine. As our Music Ministry resumes rehearsals this week, I encourage everyone to prayerfully consider joining one of our groups! Our musicians have such a wonderful and joy-filled time leading our congregation in song. Yes, sometimes it can be hard work, but the gift we give back to God by our efforts is certainly worth it! You do not need to be able to read music or any musical experience! All that is necessary is a love of song! Here are our groups:
Cantors: Cantors lead the faithful in singing at all weekend Masses, holydays, weddings, funerals, and special liturgies when no other musical group is present. Their primary function at Mass is that of the psalmist: proclaiming the Responsorial Psalm from Sacred Scripture. Cantors usually sing once per month during the ministry season and twice during the summer. Each cantor rehearses with the Pastoral Associate for Worship the week before he/she sings.
Parish Choir: The Parish Choir leads the faithful at the 8:00 AM Sunday Mass three times per month and at the 11:00 AM Mass one time per month. The choir also sings on most holydays and special events (Forty Hours, Christmas, and Holy Week Cantatas) from September through Corpus Christi. Repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to contemporary choral pieces. Membership is open to men and women of high school age and older. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 PM and some Sundays between Masses.
Saint Wendelin Ringers: Our handbell choir is for men and women who are high school age and older. The Ringers play at liturgies, most commonly weekend Mass, usually once per month. So that all may enjoy the sound of the bells, the Ringers rotate through the weekend Mass schedule. Rehearsals are held from 6:30-8:00 PM on Tuesdays evenings in the church.
Contemporary Ensemble: The Contemporary Ensemble is a group that gives a contemporary flair to the music of the Church. The group leads the faithful in song for the 11:00 AM Mass on the first and third Sundays, most holydays, and special liturgies (Forty Hours, Jesus by Candlelight, etc.) from September through Corpus Christi. The ensemble is comprised of vocalists, guitarists, piano, drums, and other instruments such as flute or clarinet. Rehearsals are TBA.
Memorial Choir: The Memorial Choir ministers to the bereaved of our parish family through singing at funerals and the annual All Souls’ Day Memorial Mass. All parishioners are welcome to join the Memorial Choir. Since most funerals are during the week, this is a great opportunity for those who are retired. Rehearsals are held 45 minutes prior to each funeral.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES THIS YEAR!
Children's Choir / Children’s Handbells: One of the most beautiful ways to involve children in the Mass is through song. This year we are going to offer the opportunities of a vocal and handbell choir for our children. These two groups will be open to all students in grades 1-8. The Children’s Choir / Children’s Handbells will practice based on availability of the members involved. The groups will sing/play approximately every two months during the ministry year: in October, at Christmas, in Lent, in Easter, and at Pentecost. Students learn singing/ringing techniques, musicianship, and deepen their spirituality. Anyone who is interested should contact me at [email protected].