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Sing of God's Goodness

Mary Beth Knude-Anderson, diocesan director of worship for Chicago, received loud applause at the convention when she declared, "I think it is time to bid farewell to the stigma that the Catholic Church in town is the one where nobody sings!" She stressed the importance of music in liturgy saying, "We don't merely sing at the liturgy, but we actually sing the liturgy.... Singing the liturgy is what people need to be doing...."

Words are not enough to express the joy and gratitude we share for the gift God has given in his Son. Dr. Truitt points out that there isn't much time in the ritual of the Mass to stop for deep emotion. Liturgical music and song allow us to share with others the joy we feel in God's presence.

Liturgist and composer Warren Grayson Brown calls for choirs to show their enthusiasm for God's word by the way they sing. A choir singing with feeling gives the congregation an invitation to do the same. "People need permission to act upon what is in their hearts," says Brown.

Many Catholic parishes presently have very strong music programs and their congregations are committed to making their liturgies full and prayerful through ritual music and singing. In each of their communities, these churches are already known as churches that sing.

"The churches that have good music are full!" remarks Dankler. "Thatdoesn't mean you need all of the equipment of a rock band or a 50-voice choir. It means having an organist or pianist with musical training and music education, and cantors who know how to lead."

If we are living the gospel, we will look forward to coming together to share with God and one another faith so alive and joy so full they can only be expressed by our singing.

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