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

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?

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

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

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 […]

Using Arts & Faith: Holy Week with Young Adults

Following are suggestions for using videos from Arts & Faith: Holy Week with the young adults of your parish. Invite your group to deepen their experience of Holy Week through reflection and discussion of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion Since I’m a chronic planner, living in the present moment is always hard for me. I like to think through all the possibilities and then take the next […]

Music Touches the Heart – Especially of Young People

Last night, music took center stage in my session as we we explored the Psalms! We focused especially on the myriad of feelings that are expressed in the Psalms and used contemporary music to capture some of those same feelings. Our emphasis was on the notion that we can talk to God under ANY circumstances and in ANY mood. Since last week was a snow day, not all of the kids remembered to bring in […]

Using Arts & Faith: Christmas with Young Adults

This is a guest post by Pamela Tremblay. Christ’s Birth as an Invitation to Enter the Messiness The reflection states that Christ, “enters messily into the imperfection of our lives.” It then ends with the challenging question of “How will she bring his light to the world?” Young adults are a generation filled with passion and desire to change the world. They want to be people of greatness and are at a time in their […]

Contemporary Versions of Traditional Hymns

When it comes to playing music in class, I am always torn between my desire for children to hear and learn hymns they will hear in church and songs that have more “pop” to them: a more contemporary sound. I like some Christian rock, but I feel that if I rely only on that, the kids are not being catechized for the liturgy, which is an important part of our role. With that in mind, […]

Building Your Library of Sacred Hymns

From time to time, you may notice that I mention playing a recording of a Church hymn. Over the years, I have built my own little library of CDs (now, of course, we can do so on our iPods, etc.) of sacred hymns to use both for my own enjoyment/inspiration and for use in catechetical settings. Recently, I just added a couple of CDs of traditional Catholic hymns to balance out my collection which is […]

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