Night Vigil: A Night of Miracles

Have you ever been around a group of people who are striving for the same mission? When this takes place with God involved, miracles happen!

Tune in for Shalom World’s Night Vigil every First Friday. We want to thank Shalom World for inviting us to share our music for this blessed event. Share your prayer intentions with us, so we can join in prayer as one body in Christ!

Night Vigil begins at 8:00PM ET/BST. Experience inner healing and peace of mind as you spend time in adoration and praise and worship.

You can also watch on Facebook Live! or Stay tuned with SHALOM WORLD on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung TV, on your iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, and online at www.ShalomWorldTV.org/live  #ShalomWorldTV #NightVigil

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Restore: Advent

Advent. A time of hopeful preparation.

How beautiful it is that the Church gifted us with the liturgical seasons, so that we may get the most out of them. Jesus Christ instituted the Church to be the Mother of the Body of Christ. To guide us ever closer to God and one another.

We have chosen to present an Advent Restore this month to aid people in their journey of preparation for the coming of Our Lord. We come together in praise for all that we have overcome this year and worship Him for the gifts He has given us in faith and love.

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Come and experience a blessed evening full of joy, wonder, and hope! As the lights in the church go down, we turn the music up and praise God for all that He has done and continues to do through love and mercy for each one of us.

Restore Praise & Worship Night happens every month at St. Matthew Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. Check Upcoming Events on the homepage for other opportunities to hear from us! May God bless you this Advent Season.

Can you hear me now?

Technology: a blessing or a curse?!

In everyday life, we cherish our gadgets. Those gadgets are also useful in our ministry. In this category, we will share helpful information on all forms of technology. From use of your cell phone to more complicated topics, such as troubleshooting PA systems and optimizing acoustics.

Proper knowledge and use of available sound equipment can make the difference between a good choir and a great sounding choir. How is the available equipment that you have helping or hurting your ministry? What are some improvements that you wish you could make using technology?

Did you know that proper mic placement is important in more ways than one? Do you know if you have a digital or analog mixing board? Did you know your phone can turn your pages for you as you play?

We will cover these topics and many more! Subscribe to our blog to receive this information in your email, and let us know if you have any specific issues that you would like us to address about music technology.

 

Directing the Body of Christ

Often times, a director has the most difficult position of the choir. Besides the regular planning and preparation for Sunday liturgy, unseen obstacles will surface. In the past 15 years, no two Masses have ever been the same for us.

This page will discuss how to address those obstacles, while maintaining the proper direction of the ministry. But first, share your experience in music ministry with us. How has your direction been challenged in Catholic music ministry?

Religious vs. Musicians

There are times when musicians and religious do not see eye to eye. We can recount a handful of times when we arrived at a parish to provide music for a wedding, and the available parish staff were less than hospitable and even disrespectful at times. Thank goodness those times did not influence the Mass, and all went well for the special day. Thank goodness we have been fortunate to work with many more clergy members who are very supportive, respectful, and communicate well.

This category of blog posts will give some insight to musicians on how to best work with clergy of the Catholic Church. We will also provide information to clergy on ways that they can better communicate to musicians the requirements and suggestions for Catholic music ministry.

The most important aspect to keep in mind in relation to each other is that we are all in service to God. None of us are in this line of service for the riches on this Earth. We must respect one another’s role and be wise to only be of service to the Body of Christ, the people. We are here to help children of God encounter Christ. We all must be the hands and feet of Jesus, and do better every day to work joyfully together.

We will soon post the 5 Tips every priest wants Catholic musicians to know. Follow our blog to get these tips and other great information in relation to Catholic music ministry.

Mass is starting..drink up!

Ever feel like your throat feels extra dry right before it is time to sing? Many vocalists do not know how much time it takes for water to actually hydrate your vocal folds. People in general do not even know how to tell when their body is letting them know that dehydration is near.

Water of Life

Some say it takes 20 minutes for water to reach your vocal chords, while others say your body actually takes almost 24 hours to really hydrate. Then, you also have to incorporate how much caffeine you have had within the day and the amount of sweating from physical activities. In reality, the most important organs, such as the heart, gets first dibs on the water that you drink, so the vocal chords have to wait their turn.

Regardless if it takes 20 minutes or 20 hours, you can not simply drink water right before you sing or as you sing, and it actually help you sing easier. Also, it does not matter if you are a part of a choir or a soloist; it is still just as important for you to hydrate your instrument.

Make Time

Drink small amounts of water frequently throughout the day for the best chance to keep your voice ready for any singing or speaking engagements. Keep in mind that room temperature drinks are best to allow the muscles needed to sing to function at their highest level.

Now, tell us what your singing tips and tricks are for healthy singing! One of my favorites is to drink warm (not hot) honey chamomile tea throughout the day. Be sure to check back often for more insight on what it takes to be a vocalist in the Catholic Church.

 

Little too ambitious

 

Now, we all know those vocalists who hear a very spiritual song and think that they can sing it like the original artist. Furthermore, they decide that it would be fantastic to sing it during the Mass for all parishioners to enjoy. Although this may be true in rare cases, I will be the first to admit that in most cases that is not the case. Here is what the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council has to say to those musicians.

11. It should be borne in mind that the true solemnity of liturgical worship depends less on a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremonial than on its worthy and religious celebration, which takes into account the integrity of the liturgical celebration itself, and the performance of each of its parts according to their own particular nature. To have a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremonial is at times desirable when there are the resources available to carry them out properly; on the other hand it would be contrary to the true solemnity of the liturgy if this were to lead to a part of the action being omitted, changed, or improperly performed. (Musicam Sacram)

Did you get all that? To simplify, it means acknowledge what your God-given talents are and put the Liturgy of the Mass before your own ambitions. The Mass is the highest form of worship in the Catholic Church, and we must be wise to always keep that in mind. Remember that in parts of the world, the Mass is celebrated without musicians and sound equipment, and still hearts are changed and the Holy Spirit is always present. As musicians we can get caught up in wanting to do more, but sometimes it is a simple “Seek Ye First” that will make a person tear up. Our job is to maintain the “true solemnity of liturgical worship” as stated above, and simply encourage parishioners to open their senses to hear God’s call for their life.

It also states above to “carry them out properly” relating to a more ornate form of singing. This will definitely be a blog post in the near future!

Now, I want to ask you a question. As a parishioner, how has a musician that has been over ambitious affected your time at Mass? As a musician, have you ever realized that you were attempting to do more than your talents would allow or had to address someone who was in that situation? Tell us about your experiences.

Stop! Catholic Musicians read this!

Many Catholic musicians have either not heard of Musicam Sacram or have not taken the time to read the document. It is such a resource for Catholic musicians, and yet many have not utilized these instructions written by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Before you schedule a rehearsal, take a few moments to read through this document! A music ministry will not grow if it does not have a solid foundation.

Musicam Sacram, Instruction on Music in the Liturgy, March 5, 1967

The titles of this document include:

I. Some General Norms
II. The Singing of the Divine Office
III. Sacred Music In The Celebration Of The Sacraments And Sacramentals, In Special Functions Of The Liturgical Year, In Celebrations Of The Word Of God, And In Popular Devotions
IV. The Language To Be Used In Sung Liturgical Celebrations, And On Preserving The Heritage Of Sacred Music
V. Preparing Melodies For Vernacular Texts
VI. Sacred Instrumental Music
VII. The Commissions Set Up For The Promotion Of Sacred Music
The full text can be found here at the Vatican Site.

How it all began..

429042_348390501846798_293917538_n (2)About 14 years ago, it was time for Steven and I to begin college in a small town in New Mexico. We did not know each other, but that would soon change when we both began performing with the music department(I was originally going to be a media technology major, but changed to a music degree). Shortly after that, Steven asked me to sing a duet with him, which turned out to be from a Disney movie that we both cherished. Beauty & the Beast 🙂 “Tale as old as time” was the song that Steven asked me to sing with him simply because it was one of his favorites. We did not end up singing that song, though, and yet we have not stopped singing together since that time.

Join me for Mass?

Steven asked me to sing at his parish after I told him that I was Catholic. I was still living with my parents in my hometown about thirty minutes from there, and it was nice to visit a new parish. At the time, I was not really interested in making Mass a priority, and did not realize until many years later how much of a blessing it was for him to invite me to sing with him.

Coming and Going

After that, we joined forces to continue music ministry together. We dated. He moved. He came back. I moved. I came back. He moved again. Over a period of 4 years, we remained best friends through it all. And when we were in the same location, we always made music together. Around 2009, we decided to go back to college, and I began a degree in History seeking to be a teacher. For the second time, I strongly felt called to change to a music degree. You would think I would have learned the first time hahaha…

The Texas Hill Country Awaits

When I decided to move to San Antonio, we decided to get married! After 8 years, we realized we were simply at home with one another. After getting married and settled in San Antonio, many unexpected things happened. We can talk more about that on another post.

Missionaries in Music

Now, we have been married almost 5 years, and are so grateful that we get to make music and glorify God together. We are excited to share our music ministry with more people, help people grow in their music skills, and understand what it means to be a music ministry leader in the Catholic Church today. Join us on our journey, and stay tuned for our upcoming album! Leave us a message and introduce yourself. We will be uploading more Youtube videos to our Faith Rendered channel, and adding blog posts weekly.

Striving to serve God by serving others, Steven & Jessica Rendon

Arise, be strong, and do it. -Ezra 10:4

Steven and Jessica Rendon – 2 Musicians who love God & each other.