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Vision for the Music Program

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By Dr. Mario Pearson

The head of the Cathedral Pastoral Council invited me to attend one of their meetings to share my vision and goals for the Cathedral’s music ministry soon after I arrived in November 2006. I am immensely grateful to all my predecessors who during their tenure faithfully developed and led the Cathedral's music and liturgical ministries since the start of the community's existence.

As an integral part of my presentation, I shared a paradigm that focused on a relational model of ministry. Much progress has been made as we enter a new and exciting chapter of ministry at the Cathedral.

In developing a vision for our music and liturgy programs, I reflected on three questions to help lend focus to my presentation.

How does our music and Liturgy reflect our core values?

Although artistry, and beauty, is to be valued it should not be done so for its own sake. What this means is that programs are not developed to showcase the Cathedral or the Diocese. It must point to and end for the glory of the God who has blessed us and continues to bless us greatly.

What do the Liturgy documents point us toward?

The documents tell us that "The liturgy is the summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows." Liturgies are prepared and not planned! In the document “Musicam Sacram” the second Vatican Council fathers clearly ordered the preservation and fostering of the great treasury of church music, beginning with the Gregorian chant up to the most modern compositions. This is to be done within the setting of liturgical worship, not merely in concert form. Most of this vast repertory that spreads across centuries of human achievement demands trained groups of singers and instrumentalists to perform. It is art and demands skill and training in the musicians needed to perform it. It is the highest form of human artistic endeavor, worthy of God and His worship.

How does my Passion for music, and love for liturgy enable me to be a leader and minister that creates empowerment and develops new paradigms in this time and in this place?

When we gather each week, we gather in a sacred time and sacred space. We gather to share our stories, to celebrate our history and to remember who we are and whose we are. Below is an outline of what I presented to the pastoral council.

Through Music

  • Light to the Nations Liturgy: During the Advent season each year.
  • Midnight Mass: Concert of poetry and readings with music begins at 11pm: Instruments and choir.
  • Requiem and Remembrance: Major choral work like the Faure Requiem, with Cathedral choirs, GHT Cathedral, and Diocesan Choir.
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe- December 12: Outreach to the Hispanic community, music, liturgy, costume, environment, cultural expressions.
  • Music and Liturgy retreats
  • Choir Opportunities
  • Expand cantor program to include youth as well.
  • Cathedral sponsored High School Choral festival.
  • Develop YOUTH NIGHT AT THE CATHEDRAL--Upbeat contemporary music for monthly Mass for youth and college aged students
  • Develop a small ensemble-SCHOLA CANTORUM to sing early church music. Schola sings at 2:30pm twice each month and the 9am and 8pm Masses once each month- ---they are also part of the Principal 11am choir for major Cathedral Liturgies
  • Music Director’s Ensemble [4th Sunday Choir]
  • Develop a Diocesan Children’s choir
  • Continue to develop instrumental ensembles
  • Invite Diocesan choirs and music programs to celebrate the diversity of our diocese and to celebrate liturgy with the Cathedral community and to sing at Mass

Through Liturgy

  • Ministry fair. Promote Liturgical and Social Ministries
  • Liturgical Ministry Newsletter
  • Bulletin/AV information brochures
  • Liturgical Ministries Day of Reflection
  • Liturgical Commission
  • Celebrating the Seasons workshops
  • Parish Evening Prayer- Taize Prayer
  • Volunteer and New Parishioner events

Through Evangelization

  • Audio Recordings of Cathedral music ministry and major Liturgies at the Cathedral
  • Broadcast on local radio station at peak liturgical seasons
  • Annual Hymn Festival
  • Ecumenical prayer and musical events
  • Musical/Theatrical events in the Cathedral

Through Artistic Relationships

  • Continue the tradition of summer organ recital series with GHT Cathedral
  • Midweek recital series
  • Missa Choralis- Touring choirs singing before, during and after the Liturgy
  • Professional Music organizations regularly schedule concerts at the Cathedral
  • Develop a Cathedral Music Series

I believe that exciting things happen when exciting people who are filled with the spirit gather to give praise to their Creator.

Above all, we should be mindful that ministry is NOT about us; rather it is about giving back to the God who has gifted us and the God who continues to bless us all with so much.

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