AST WEEK I mentioned that Having a Vision is critically important to my life as a church musician (or, as I like to refer to myself in front of my wife, a sacred musician), and that my vision must be informed by the mind and heart of the Church. Make no mistake, you will get nowhere without such a vision. Today I would like to share with you an incredible place where such a musician had a great vision, informed by the mind and heart of the Church.
In 1963, Dr. Theodore Marier founded St. Paul’s Choir School at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Boston in response to De musica sacra (1958). What I find so interesting is that by opening himself to the Church’s vision for liturgical music, he founded such a school in the very same year that the Second Vatican Council Fathers were drafting and ratifying Sacrosanctum Concilium (read through paragraphs 112-116—Dr. Marier could have composed those lines himself). I guarantee you that the music those boys sing on a daily basis is just as important of a formator in their lives as the lectures and homilies given by their teachers and priests. I think that the St. Paul Hymnal is simply another fruit of such a vision. I also think St. Paul’s provide a blue print for us.
What I want to know is why doesn’t every Cathedral in the US work toward such a vision? Why can’t every parish implement such a vision? What, you don’t think they have the funds, the talent, the proper support? Who cares. The apostles were twelve of the biggest bunglers Christ could have chosen. St. Peter might have been the second worse, and he was made the Rock! Still, those men changed the entire course of history. Stop finding excuses and get started! If I can do it, that means ANYONE can! Just do it!