Singing Grace Before Meals

March 27, 2017 Joe Paprocki 2

As I continue my quest to encourage Catholics to sing more when we gather for faith formation and various other activities in our parishes, I would like to suggest a simple melody for singing Grace before mealtime. Rather than create a new melody, I suggest we use the melody from the traditional “Agnus Dei” and use the words of our traditional Grace Before Meals prayer: Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are […]

St. Cecilia, Patron Saint of Musicians, Pray for Us

November 21, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

Tomorrow, November 22, we celebrate the feast day of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. I’ve made no secret on this blog about my insistence that music and singing must be a part of our catechetical ministry. I also believe that we have a largely untapped embarrassment of riches right under our noses in the form of young people who are adept at playing various instruments such as cello, flute, classical guitar, or piano. These […]

Another Go-To Hymn for My Playlist

September 12, 2016 Joe Paprocki 1

Not that long ago, I posted about my newly formed playlist of what I call “Go-To Hymns”—songs that are easy to sing along with and can be used easily for prayer services when a pastoral musician or song leader is not present and if you are not comfortable leading song. It occurred to me recently that another piece of music that should be a part of every Catholic playlist is a Litany of Saints. Talk […]

I Created My Playlist of “Go-To” Hymns!

June 13, 2016 Joe Paprocki 10

Not long ago, I posted about creating a playlist of “go-to-hymns” that you can rely on to invite people to sing at any and every parish gathering so that we can more truly and consistently express the joy that is ours in the Risen Christ. Since then, I have been presenting at a number of gatherings (workshops and seminars) around the country where people have made a point of singing joyful hymns and refrains as […]

Changing It Up with a Craft

May 3, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

It was the week when all the students in Texas had to take standardized tests. Even on a good day, my third-grade faith formation class is a squirmy bunch. After being at elementary school all day, doing nothing but taking standardized tests, I knew they would be extra squirmy. I needed to do something different to keep their attention this time. I wasn’t going to follow my regular class plan, so I needed a hands-on […]

When the Craft Is a Challenge

November 17, 2015 Lisa Jones 4

Crafts are an important part of any elementary faith formation program, and there are a multitude of great crafts that are perfect for our faith formation programs. After spending just a few minutes on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ll feel overwhelmed by the number of options. How do we select which crafts to use for our lessons? Sometimes, as a catechist in a parish, we might not even have a choice—the craft activity might be chosen […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 2: Song and Praise

July 2, 2015 Joyce Donahue 0

This is the second article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Catechists can encourage children and youth to participate in the Mass by helping them become comfortable with singing and sung prayer and praise. Age-appropriate music should be a regular element in every catechetical session. Most textbook series come with a grade-level CD or music recommendations of common hymns we sing at Mass. That’s a place to start. Certainly, […]

What Would Be Your Parish’s “Go-To” Songs to Sing?

May 29, 2015 Joe Paprocki 3

I posted recently about two issues that have made a connection for me: Singing as an Expression of Faith and my Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola. While on the pilgrimage at our stop in Avila, I encountered a group of pilgrims in the town square joyfully singing hymns and clapping their hands, a scene I have encountered before from groups of different ethnicities. On the next bus ride, I lamented to my […]

Arts and Faith

June 23, 2014 Joe Paprocki 2

Tips on using art in summer ministry. A contest hosted by the Archdiocese of New Orleans that showcases emerging young artists. An artist who’s painting the first portrait of Pope Francis. These are a few of the stories Loyola Press includes in its second annual series, Arts and Faith. Arts and Faith is a collection of stories about Catholics around the globe who demonstrate the creative ways art expresses and deepens their relationship with God. […]

Using YouTube Videos to Lead Song

June 3, 2014 Joe Paprocki 1

One of the techniques that I’ve used with young people to lead them in song, either in a catechetical setting or at a liturgy, is to project a YouTube video with the music and lyrics provided. This works especially well because young people are very visual and are more comfortable with this than with a hymnal or song sheet. Likewise, it is very effective when you don’t have a music minister present to lead song […]

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