The archdiocese of Toronto began running workshops to help choirs, organists and others get ready for the new texts and new music in May of 2011. The New Missal was used from the first Sunday of Advent.

Special Toronto Mass will commemorate church musicians

  • May 9, 2012

TORONTO - There’s a lot to sing about in the revised Roman Missal, and hundreds of Catholic musicians plan to do just that at Toronto’s Annuciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish on Pentecost Sunday.

By late April, the Office of Lay Formation had already signed up more than 200 musicians for a May 27 Mass with Cardinal Thomas Collins. The Mass will celebrate the last year spent preparing for and then implementing new Mass texts musically. Registration for the event will be open right up until the baton drops for the entrance hymn, said Lay Formation executive director Bill Target.

“This is to thank parish musicians for enabling the people in our parishes to learn to sing these new texts,” Target said.

The archdiocese of Toronto began running workshops to help choirs, organists and others get ready for the new texts and new music in May of 2011. The revised missal required several new musical settings that Church musicians have been teaching to congregations since Advent last year.

“This is a ministry. This is not a music gig. You’re actually working with people in a faith environment,” said Target.

The year spent adapting to the new texts has been an opportunity for musicians in all 223 Toronto parishes to learn more about their ministry, he said. One of the goals of the last year has been to get everybody singing, he said.

“We’ve had so many years of talking about congregational singing, but the reality in many parishes is that the music leadership sings everything and the congregation stands and listens — even though the music may be easily singable,” Target said. “We’re there to support and lead the congregation’s voice, not to supplant it.”

On May 27 the huge, combined choir will sing the new English chant setting of the ordinary of the Mass (Lord, have mercy, Glory, Creed, Holy, Holy and Lamb of God). The setting is found in the Celebrate in Song booklet from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and distributed to every parish.

The opportunity for so many church musicians to learn what other parishes and other choirs are doing has been a big benefit from the new missal texts, according to Target.

“The project of the Roman Missal has clearly demonstrated that parish musicians in this archdiocese are looking for direction and guidance,” he said. “So many people responded.”

Annunciation is at 3 Combermere Dr. in the east end, near Victoria Park Avenue and Ellesmere Road.

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