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Passing the baton


Are you part of your parish music?

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In 1987, the music leader in my parish issued an invitation to make choir involvement part of our Lenten offering.

It twigged a nerve for me and led to life-long participation in the seasonal music liturgy. By Easter, there came several additions to singers and musicians. It was alive!

There are many holes appearing in community life where the elderly become infirm and die, taking with them parish skills and knowledge.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we lost our nonagenarian tenor, a concentration camp survivor and witness to faith and trust in God. Last year, we lost one of our lovely contraltos to cancer. People move jobs and parishes.

With such a great deal to give and to share, how do we pass the baton?

Without a plan, is it realistic to believe the next generation will just pick it up, will carry on the tradition? If we don’t succeed in enlisting them, we lose their precious gifts and the new life they bring. How are parish schools linked? Can this be stronger? Our next generation inherits not only the wealth of our tradition but also the responsibility to absorb as much as possible to live it with their children. Neglect breeds a barren field.

Making music part of the Mass benefits everyone. It taps into a spiritual element that increases the meaning for each person. Listeners experience a richer celebration of the sacrament: performers likewise in addition to sharing their talents. It enlivens each parish.

Rosemary McGrath is from the Norwood parish.



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