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Andrew Motyka is the Archdiocesan Director of Liturgical Music and Cathedral Music for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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Be Good to Your Choir
published 16 April 2014 by Andrew R. Motyka

ERE IN INDIANAPOLIS, we celebrate our diocesan Chrism Mass on the Tuesday of Holy Week. This works better for most of the parishes in the archdiocese since many of them have to travel several hours to get to the cathedral (Indianapolis is actually the northernmost part of the archdiocese). After this afternoon’s Chrism Mass, I thanked our Archdiocesan Choir, and apologized for being a bit over-ambitious this year with my music selection. They performed admirably, so I’m not sure I learned my lesson.

In these final days of Lent, as we head into our final rehearsals and take a breath for the big plunge that is the Sacred Triduum, remember to thank your choirs. You have put in countless hours of preparation, practice, and some other P word that I can’t think of because I’m so tired. However, I get paid to do this. It’s exhausting, and edifying, and frustrating, and wonderful, but in the end, it’s my job.

Your choir, on the other hand, does this because they volunteer. They spend hours in rehearsal after a full day of work that isn’t music-related. Remember to acknowledge their commitment and sacrifice for the Church’s liturgy. People that haven’t gone through this many rehearsals can’t understand exactly how much effort goes into making liturgy beautiful. Your choir does this because they love Jesus and they love music. Give them at least a bit of feedback to let them know that you, at least, appreciate what they do.

A bit of Easter candy won’t hurt, either.