AST SATURDAY, I was presenting at the Summer Sacred Music Workshop in Jasper, Georgia. It was the first time I have ever present at a workshop and it was a very positive experience for me. I was blessed to be able to work with some wonderful faculty members: Fr. David Carter, Fr. Charles Byrd, Bridget Scott, Jonathan Eason, Maria Rist and Noel Jones. Many of our participants described the experience as joyful and peaceful. The turnout was really good, about 130 participants from 6 different states gathered at Our Lady of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church. I was very happy to see brothers and sisters from the Episcopal Church, Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church participating in the workshop.
Participants were introduced to the Ward’s Method during the workshop. They were split into 3 Chant Scholae and 2 Polyphony Choirs, where musical instructions were given. These groups also sang the Novus Ordo closing Mass. A keynote was delivered by Fr. David Carter, JCL, pastor and rector of the Basilica Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His talk was entitled “Re-discovery of the Church’s Sacred Tradition: II Kings 22”. He has given us permission to share his talk in written format:
In his talk, Fr. Carter compared his experience of discovering Sacred Music to King Josiah’s story. Through telling his story, he explained the theology of Sacred Music and the Church’s teachings on Liturgical Music. He also gave some practical suggestions on how to improve parish music programs towards the end of his talk. If you are interested in these suggestions, you can find them from page 12 onward in the PDF file. These suggestions are very helpful and I strongly recommend you to read them.
It is very touching to see so many people thirsting for true Sacred Music, the treasure of the Church. The Church is slowly rediscovering her Tradition. I pray that this workshop will bear much fruit.