Category Archives: Music Ministry

The Gift of Music

We are blessed to sing at many different churches around the San Antonio area. Occassionally, we are able to record some of what we do. We want to share some of those moments with you. Click below to listen in.

Get all our latest uploads here.

Please pray for us as we continue to bring music to those around us.

Advertisements

About Jessica

Jessica RendonJessica Rendon began to hear God calling her to music ministry when she was 15 years old. After she began singing with her parish choir, the gift of music became very precious to her spirit. She is blessed to serve God in Music Ministry with her husband, Steven.

After attending New Mexico Junior College and Eastern New Mexico University, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Music with a minor in History. She has acquired Catechist Level 1 Certification, and teaches CCD at St. Matthew Catholic Church.

Jessica has traveled to perform in New York, Colorado, New Mexico, Vienna, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria. Her vocal repertoire includes Classical, Sacred, Opera, Operetta, Traditional, Contemporary, Christian, Jazz, and Soul. Jessica has had the opportunity to sing at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Tobin Center in San Antonio, and the AT&T Center for the Spur’s National Anthem with the San Antonio MasterSingers.

Jessica has been involved with Music Ministry for over ten years, and Young Adult Ministry for four years. She has coordinated and assisted with retreats, dinners, fundraisers, service projects, conferences, and network events for young adults. Working with budding musicians has led her to give private lessons to young children and adults who are interested in learning beginning piano and voice. She provides free lessons, if possible, to those who are especially interested in Catholic music ministry.

Catholic evangelization and music ministry spurred Faith Rendered into existence, and Jessica hopes to share the Catholic faith to all those she encounters through music and ministry. Have a question or comment for Jessica? Click her to send her a message.

Join our Music Team

Collaborating with other talented musicians to bring glory to God is one of the greatest joys of what we do.

One of the first ways that we began ministering to Catholic musicians is when we felt called to have a day retreat specifically for musicians. This day retreat consisted of ways to connect with each other in fellowship, give tips on sight reading and other helpful information, spiritual inspiration, and challenges to continue the journey.

This day retreat most importantly included one on one time for voice and instrumental coaching. Just as disciples of Christ, we need to seek spiritual direction; we must also seek guidance as musicians. Most legendary musicians had people that they trusted to share ideas with and receive feedback in regards to music selection and technique.

As musicians, we have experienced the benefits of working with great instrumental and vocal coaches and teachers. We hope to share what we have learned with those that may not have this opportunity. We pray that we can help increase quality music within the Catholic Church that directs people towards uniting their mind and body with Christ. Over the years, we have provided instruments at no cost to dozens of young or old people who express an interest and show their dedication to Catholic music ministry.

Music is inspiring if it is done well and for the right reasons, especially in the Catholic Church. We graciously praise God for calling us to be music ministers and allowing us to help others do the same. We pray for all musicians who seek to serve God and invite you to follow us as we do all that we can to share knowledge and inspiration to Catholic musicians.

Are you a musician who wants to join us and our mission in sharing our talents with others. We invite you to contact us to schedule an audition session. Let us pray for one another as we continue this calling and always strive to be better first as disciples of Christ and then as musicians. May God be with you at all times and we ask Our Lady of Grace to place her mantle of protection around you on your journey.

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.

 

A Consecrated Ministry

 

We have given our music ministry to Our Lady of Grace. She continues to provide us with the grace that is needed to continue saying “yes” to Our Lord. Only she knows all of the faith that it takes to confidently trust in the Lord. Only she has carried our Savior within her womb, and will forever be tied to Him in such a special way.

Even though she may not have understood all that God was asking of her, she said “yes” and proclaimed the greatness of the Lord. May Our Lady of Grace continue to place her mantle of protection around this ministry and all those that are impacted by it.

Here is a Marian prayer by St. John Paul II.

Mother of the Redeemer, with great joy we call you blessed. In order to carry out His plan of salvation, God the Father chose you before the creation of the world. You believed in His love and obeyed His word. The Son of God desired you for His Mother when He became man to save the human race. You received Him with ready obedience and undivided heart. The Holy Spirit loved you as His mystical spouse and filled you with singular gifts. You allowed yourself to be led by His hidden powerful action. On the eve of the third Christian Millennium, we entrust to you the Church which acknowledges you and invokes you as Mother. To you, Mother of human family and of the nations, we confidently entrust the whole humanity, with its hopes and fears. Do no let it lack the light of true wisdom. Guide its steps in the ways of peace. Enable all to meet Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Sustain us, O Virgin Mary, on our journey of faith and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation. O clement, O loving, O sweet Mother of God and our Mother, Mary!

 

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.