Music Ministry at OLC

The Bible tells us that God loves good music offered in worship of Him. Psa. 47:7 instructs us to "sing praises with understanding." The Lord commands and gladly accepts our sung praises if they rendered with a pure, clean heart; that is, in spirit and in truth. An overview of Old and New Testament verses (Psa. 33:2-4, Psa. 81:3, Psa. 98:6, I Chron. 25:5-6, II Sam. 6:5, I Chron. 13:8, 1 Chron. 15:24, I Chron. 16:42, 2 Chron. 5:12, 2 Chron. 29:27, Neh. 12:27, Rev. 5:8, Rev. 14:2, Rev. 15:2, and especially Psa. 150, among others) clearly reveals the importance of sung and instrumental music; and some of these same references even mention musical instruments in heaven!

In the Old Testament, we read that the Lord chose to use trumpets to accomplish his purposes, including to summon and alert His chosen people. See for instance, Num. 10, Josh. 6:4, Psa. 81:3, Ezek. 7:14, Ezek. 33:3-6, and Joel 2:1.

The New Testament mentions singing hymns during the Last Supper: "When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives" (Matthew 26:30). Also in the New Testament, we are told that God's angel will sound a mighty trumpet blast to awaken the dead on the Last Day. 'The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed' (I Cor. 15:51-52). 'For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thes. 4:16-18).

The epistles (or letters) of the disciple St. Paul found in the New Testament instruct us about singing in church in this manner: 'Speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord' (Eph. 5:19). Paul also wrote: 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; singing with grace in your hearts unto God' (Col. 3:16). Singing is an activity in which all assembled worshippers can and must participate, not just trained musicians.

There is a familiar quote often attributed to Saint Augustine, although the original source is likely not St. Augustine. The phrase in Latin is "Qui cantat bis orat" or "Qui bene cantat bis orat." Translated into English, this means "those who sing pray twice" or "to sing (well) is to pray twice." But before this praising of God in song can be truly prayerful, the spirit of praise must run high in the soul. The song of the lips must first have been a song in the soul.

In Western Christianity, that which we now refer to as 'Gregorian chant' evolved from earlier forms over time. Pope Gregory I was often credited as the 'composer' of Gregorian Chant. In sacred art, St. Gregory was often depicted as receiving the dictation of plainchant from a dove sitting on his shoulder, representing the Holy Spirit, thus giving Gregorian chant the stamp of being divinely inspired. Later, Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, and countless others have composed masterpieces of liturgical music. In the Eastern Church, St. Ephrem the Syrian, St. John the Damascene, and St. Cosmas of Maiuma (also known as Cosmas Hagiopolites), among others, were known to be great composers of hymns. "The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care” (Sacrosanctum Concilium).

To continue reading please click here


If you would like to participate in the music ministry at OLC as a choir member, cantor, or instrumentalist, please speak to the director of music for the Mass that you regularly attend. If you are reasonably proficient and willing to make the necessary commitment, you are welcome and encouraged to volunteer for our music ministry. Please contact the rectory so that the responsible party can get in touch with you. Please remember that music is not magic. It doesn't somehow just 'happen.' A successful liturgical music program requires planning and rehearsal time. While the ability to read music is not required to sing in one of our choirs, such skill is helpful. You can expect to learn a great deal from participating in the music ministry.


Si desea participar en el ministerio de música de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad como miembro del coro, cantor o tocando algún instrumento, hable con el director de música de la Misa a la que asiste regularmente. Si usted es razonablemente hábil y está dispuesto a hacer el compromiso que es necesario, es bienvenido y lo animamos a ser voluntario para nuestro ministerio de música. Por favor, póngase en contacto con la rectoría para que la parte responsable pueda ponerse en contacto con usted. Por favor, recuerda que la música no es magia. De alguna manera, simplemente 'no pasa'. Un programa de música litúrgica exitoso requiere planificación y tiempo de ensayo. Si bien la capacidad de leer música no es necesaria para cantar en uno de nuestros coros, dicha habilidad es útil. Puede esperar aprender mucho de su participación en el ministerio de música.