SURVEY OFFERS INSIGHTS
ABOUT MUSIC AT MASS
The liturgical season that began on December 3 anticipates Christ’s return in glory. But its timing — immediately before Christmas — and the themes infusing its weekly readings point also to Jesus’ first appearance in a Bethlehem stable.
So Advent feels like, and tends to function as, a run-up to that beloved silent night, holy night. Not to mention serving as a reminder that time for holiday shopping is running out.
To make things even more confusing, the new church year begins with Advent. This is in contrast to the turn of our secular calendar a few weeks later.
For those churches that subscribe to liturgical materials services — OCP, GIA, etc. — Advent also brings new music books. And with those fresh, unwrinkled paperback volumes inevitably comes renewed discussion about the music we use at Mass.
Consideration of that topic in my parish was enriched this year by a survey with which we attempted to discern people’s preferences in hymns, instrumental accompaniment, and song leadership. Worshippers at all Masses were asked to complete and return a brief questionnaire.