For the past 10 years, I have played an active role in music selection for the masses which I have led or co-led for Sunday liturgies, feast days, and retreats. During that time, I have done a lot of research and self-teaching to train myself on how to be better at selecting appropriate songs, hymns and psalms that connect to the readings for each mass.
Many parishes include a section devoted to their music ministry and, sometimes, songs are listed there for each Sunday. There are also a multitude of bloggers who have shared their own song selections. Then there are more official documents from organizations like Lifeteen and the CCCB (for the Catholic Book of Worship) with song suggestions for each week and each liturgical season.
Many times, I have immersed myself amongst these resources, spending hours at a time planning for a month or 6-week block of masses. Many times, however, I have been frustrated because I can’t easily find a resource that has a combination of hymnal/traditional and contemporary selections. They are often separated, in the same way that I see music leaders arguing about which is better: traditional and Gregorian Chant or contemporary Catholic & praise & worship music. So, I would return to the readings of the day and try to make the best connection I could to my own personal songbook and the hymnal my parish used the most.
While I am not a scholar of church liturgy, my quest to marry traditional and contemporary styles in a way that finds best practice for antiphon/song selections for each part of the mass is one I pursue with great zeal.
To keep up to date with what music we’re playing at my parish of St. Augustine’s, as well as notes and resources on how to improve your song selection, please visit: Mass Music 2017