A life-long Catholic, I'm currently "the liturgy-group-member-who-coordiates the music" (how's that for a mouthful!) for a small parish in Ireland, where I've lived for the last five-or-so years.
I play a wind instrument (not good for accompanying congregational singing, but adds a nice lift sometimes) - mainly in Irish traditional styles, and not very well at that.
And I sing soprano in secular choir: our last work was Mozart's Credo Mass, I love singing this sort of work as music - but spiritually it does nothing for me.
Maybe I'm just a child of the 60s, but in my book church-music belongs to the whole people of God, not just the choir. Every who has a larynx can sing, and we need 'em all to add their voices to make worship whole. And the very act of singing together unites us in a way that no other activity can.
Why this blog?And in the last couple of years, I've learned to use Blogger for a range of things. So it made sense to combine the two, this time in a more personal way. I had to think hard about whether to make this blog anonymous or not - in the end I decided not to. Will be interesting to see if I come to regret that.
Why "Pastoral" - isn't that about sheep?It really saddens me to see so many professional church musicians and church-music bloggers focus on musical excellence and liturgical norms, at the expense of developing spirituality and serving their congregations as they are today. Especially when there are so many fine musicians out there who can and do balance complex pastoral, musical and liturgical factors every time they play in a church.
So I'm deliberately focussing on how to provide church music in a compassionate, pastoral way, within the context of a liturgical church.