Tag Archives: Catholic

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.

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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.

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