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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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“In 1854 John Mason Neale co-founded an order of women dedicated to nursing the sick. Many Anglicans in his day, however, were very suspicious of anything suggestive of Roman Catholicism. Only nine years earlier, John Henry Newman had encouraged Catholic practices in Anglican churches and had ended up becoming a Roman Catholic. This encouraged the suspicion that anyone such as Neale was an agent of the Vatican, assigned to destroy Anglicanism by subverting it from within. Once, Neale was attacked and mauled at a funeral of one of the Sisters. From time to time unruly crowds threatened to stone him or to burn his house.”
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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.