About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark is the Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. His compositions have been performed worldwide.
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"The local church should be conscious that church worship is not really the same as what we sing in a bar, or what we sing in a convention for youth."
— Francis Cardinal Arinze (2005)

Join a Choir! Now!
published 31 August 2018 by Richard J. Clark

RJC_FaureRequiem R. ALFRED CALABRESE hit the nail on the head this week when he published Saving the Church, One Choir at a Time. Read his article before you read mine (below), especially his three wonderful suggestions on what musicians can do. He also states, “Do not be fooled into thinking there is nothing we can do, lowly church musicians that we may be. We have the power because we’re on the ground, in the parishes. We have credibility…Now is the time for action.”

If you are thinking about singing in a choir, now is the time to join one! Join your local parish choir. Just sing. The camaraderie and endorphin rush alone is worth it!) If you are already in a choir, know that your sense of purpose is greater than you know.

Having served in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002 when the crises hit, I recall that as we made music each week, we made music more fervently. It was a deeply profound prayer that brought us closer to God in time of pain and, yes, anger. It was a prayer no one could take away from us, nor from the faithful who continued to pray at Mass despite frustration, anger and despair.

When you sing in a choir, know that you will impact people’s lives in ways you cannot imagine and likely in ways you will never know. There is no line between sacred music and prayer. Music IS prayer. Preparation is prayer. Do it with love because God is love and God is a prayer.

Join a choir! Rehearsals are the prayer that bond musicians together as one with God.

Y NOW, MANY OF YOU ARE AWARE of my other recent professional developments. Soon I will begin a new role as Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. As a new position in Boston, the Director of Music of the Archdiocese is not a position of power or prestige but of service. Nor is it to micromanage 280+ parishes in the Archdiocese, but to offer guidance and support—liturgical, musical, and pastoral. There will be more about this later at an appropriate time.

While I go with joy to serve in this new role, truth be told, I am in no celebratory mood at this time. My heart breaks, and words cannot describe the unspeakable harm and pain suffered by too many for too long. Fury, anger, and exasperation barely begin to describe the mood of the faithful today.

However, these circumstances only punctuate a call to serve. Giving of ourselves in service is why we do what we do.

IF YOU LIVE AROUND BOSTON, consider joining your parish choir, the Archdiocesan Choir or the Cathedral Choir:

THE CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS CHOIR WELCOMES NEW SINGERS! (11:30 a.m. Mass.) Ability to read is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be stellar at first. It will improve greatly over time. Ability to sing straight tone when called upon is a huge help. If interested click here to email me.

My first Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is Sunday, September 16th. Most fittingly the Cathedral will celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. (The Introit Chant Nos autem gloriari is in order!) As it is the Titular Feast of the Cathedral, the celebration is moved to the nearest Sunday. (Sept. 14)

THE ARCHDIOCESAN CHOIR WELCOMES NEW SINGERS! Singers from all over the Archdiocese are welcome to sing at special Archdiocesan events.

Coming up soon: Permanent Diaconate Ordination, Saturday, September 29th at 10 a.m. With the Cathedral still under renovation, it will take place at the beautiful Holy Name Parish in West Roxbury. If interested click here to email me.

Soli Deo gloria