LINCOLN (SNR) – The Diocese of Lincoln will host its third annual Sacred Music Clinic Saturday, Aug. 25, at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, 320 N. 16th St., Lincoln.
All who give of their time and talent for the sacred music in the liturgies of their parishes throughout the Diocese of Lincoln are invited to attend the day of talks, singing, fellowship, and prayer.
In 2016 and 2017, the sessions focused on the Church’s instructions for the singing of the Mass and not just at Mass, that is, prioritizing singing the prayers of the Mass itself from the responses of the priest and people to the “Glory to God,” “Our Father,” and more.
The clinic this year will feature talks and sessions by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, Father Daniel Rayer, Father Brendan Kelly, Father Justin Wylie, Amy Flamminio, Nicholas Lemme, Amy Johnson, Mary Odgaard, and other Nebraska church musicians. Father Rayer, chairman of the diocesan liturgical commission, will give the opening address focusing on options for the music of the funeral rite.
The Mass for the Order of Christian Funerals, traditionally known as the “Requiem Mass,” has many beautiful chants that have been celebrated for centuries, but have often fallen into disuse in recent times, Father Rayer explained.
“The Requiem Mass gets its name from the Introit for the funeral Mass that begins, ‘Requiem aeternam’ or in English, ‘Eternal rest,’” Father Rayer said. “We will look at this chant and some of the other classic chants for the funeral Mass, as well as some English chants and hymn adaptations which could be used in our parishes today to incorporate into our funeral liturgies some of the ideas and prayers found in the traditional chants.” Other topics will include Bishop Bruskewitz’s memories of attending Vatican II as a young priest, Father Wylie’s reflections on the importance of singing the Psalms, practical sessions on selecting music for Mass, and more.
Mary Odgaard, music director at St. Peter Parish in Lincoln, will give a breakout session on fostering the fellowship and prayer life of a choir.
“As musicians, we often focus on striving for perfection: perfect pitch, perfect intonation, perfect blend, perfect vowel, shape, perfect diction, perfect everything,” she said. “In the process, it is easy to forget the most important calling we have: to love one another. In striving to love better, our song becomes a life giving, nourishing prayer that reaches into the depths of the soul, bringing hope, healing, and joy.”
Participants will also have the chance to join one of two choirs during the day to sing for closing Mass at 4 p.m. This opportunity to sing sacred music with larger numbers of musicians is a special treat each year for many musicians who come from small parishes in the Diocese. It is also a chance to participate in what the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy calls “a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art”—the musical treasures of the Church, the singing of Psalms, prayers, and the Mass itself. The closing Mass will be open to the public.
Registration for the Sacred Music Clinic will begin soon and information can be obtained by visiting www.lincolndiocese.org/liturgy or calling Father Rayer, 402-488-0921.