Taking into account the layout of each church, the choir should be placed in such a way:
a) That its nature should be clearly apparent-namely, that it is a part of the whole congregation, and that it fulfills a special role;
b) That it is easier for it to fulfil its liturgical function;
c) That each of its members may be able to participate easily in the Mass, that is to say by sacramental participation.
Musicam Sacram: Instruction on Music in the Liturgy (1967), no. 23
The liturgical celebrations of the Church have been enriched by music for many centuries. Music allows the liturgical assembly to express its unity in Christ through unity of voice. Through music, the assembly prays, lifting its hearts, minds and voices to God. Music is a crucial part of the liturgical celebration, and the role of music ministers is extremely important.
These music ministers, while they have a special role, are still part of the assembly. Therefore, there is a tendency in newer churches to place the musicians closer to the rest of the assembly. This can also help the assembly in their singing along with the music. As the statement above also indicates, such a placement also allows the musicians to participate in the Mass more easily. While the present architecture and factors such as the placement of the organ present challenges, parishioners have recommended we consider a place for musicians in a renovated church that places them closer to the assembly.
For the assembly to join in freely with the music, they also need to have easy access to the lyrics of the hymns and songs that are sung. Our present system of overhead projection, which has served us for many years, is ageing and has a number of limitations. We have also been asked, therefore, to consider a new system of showing song words, most likely through a computerised system of projection or display.
Don’t forget that your comments on the recommendations are welcome. You can speak to Frs. Denis or Paul, to any other member of the Liturgy Committee, email us at litcomwenty (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au or comment below.