The church choir at St. Olaf sings every first, third, and (when applicable) fifth Sundays in the month. As one of the cantors within the group, I usually know well in advance when I will be leading the congregation; in fact, I will undertake that role tomorrow. As I took a good look at this current month, I realized something. It was exactly 22 years ago tonight, at the Vigil Mass of All Souls Day, that I began my vocation in music ministry.
I was a parishioner at Immaculate Conception Church in Sioux City, Iowa. While the church had a standing choir (I chose not to be a member), during the fall an announcement was made in the parish bulletin asking for people who would like to become song leaders. Their function was to rehearse the Responsorial Psalm and other Mass Parts before the start of the liturgy and assist the congregation in "finding their voice" in singing during Mass. Names and availability were gathered; the beginning of November was chosen to provide a good lead time prior to the coming Advent/Christmas Season. Before Mass began, the Director of Music and Liturgy introduced this new ministry. By the grace of God, I was the very first person to stand at the ambo and carry out my duties.
The goal, then and now, is to personify the adage of St. Augustine, "He who sings prays twice." I can only hope my actions in whatever capacity have been fruitful.
St. Gregory the Great, pray for me.
St. Cecilia, pray for me.
All you heavenly choirs of angels, pray for me.
May I truly give glory to God when I sing.