Music in our liturgies is a most important part of our worship and has been since the earliest Christian days. Remember in the scriptures that the disciples gathered often and sang “hymns, songs and spiritual songs.” We are encouraged in scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers to find our voices in worship. There is no such thing as a person who cannot sing, only those who are reluctant to do so! We encourage all people to gather their musical talents, as humble as they may be, and offer them in our worship experience. The Director of Music and Liturgy is most happy to talk to you about how you may find your place in the liturgical and musical ministries of the church.
The cantor has the special role of leading our sung responses at mass. The cantor most often serves as the psalmist, leading the responsorial psalm, and also other music that requires an assembly response. The cantor is not a soloist. With the accompanist, the cantor leads the assembly in the music of the liturgy. In addition to the Sunday and Holy Day Masses, cantors also assist at weddings, funerals, and other special liturgies. Cantors should possess a clear, accurate and pleasant voice. Auditions are required for cantors. Cantors meet regularly with the music director to prepare for their weekend assignments.
The Canticle Choir is a choral ensemble that leads the music ministry at one Sunday Mass each week between September and Pentecost Sunday in the spring. They also provide musical offerings of unison, two, three and four part choral music ranging from early chant to the music of today. The choir is divided into the usual voice parts of soprano, alto, tenor and bass. This singing group is open to women and men from high school age on up. We also welcome BGSU students into our lively and happy group of singer. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and we meet one half hour before our Sunday Mass. The Canticle Choir sings at the 10:15 a.m. Mass on the first and third Sundays and at the noon Mass on the second, fourth and fifth Sundays.
The Folk Choir is a folk music ensemble that leads the music ministry at one Sunday Mass each week. They also provide music for our monthly bilingual Mass. The group centers around guitar, bass, woodwinds, percussion and other instrumentation. Singers and instrumentalist are welcome to offer their talents. The Folk Choir rehearses weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the church. The Folk Choir plays at the noon Mass on the first and third Sundays and at the 10:15 a.m. Mass on the second, fourth and fifth Sundays.
A relatively new musical group at St. Aloysius is the Adult Handbell Choir. Our parish owns three octaves of both Malmark handbells and handchimes. Handbell Choir rings at weekend Masses about once a month. A handbell ringer needs to have some knowledge of musical notation and rhythm, but the rest can be learned as one progresses with the group. The membership remains pretty constant, but we do have the occasional opening, and often have the need for a substitute ringer. The bell choir rehearses on Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m.
A different school class leads the enthusiastic music ministry at our school Masses each week. The school music teacher seeks out interested singers to serve as cantors, and the music director rehearses with them for their leadership role. Student percussionists are now assisting with rhythm and musical effects.