Singing as an Expression of Faith

It’s fascinating to note just how integral music and singing are to the world of spectator sports. Whether it is baseball, football, hockey, or basketball, sports fans (especially at the collegiate level) often support their teams by singing and chanting. As long as music and singing are present, there’s hope for your team. When the singing stops, you know your team is in trouble. And that’s when the grumbling begins. “Why’d they leave him in […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Psalms – We Can Talk to God Under ANY Circumstances!

Tonight’s session will focus on the Psalms and how they represent prayers for every occasion and emotion. I enjoy this session because it gives me the opportunity to incorporate contemporary music into the session. This year, for the first time, I am also having the young people bring in songs that they have selected (although with last week’s snow day, I wonder how many will remember!). Anyway, here’s the plan: Session 18 – The Psalms […]

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, […]

Savoring the Liturgy

Savoring seems to be a lost art in our fast-food culture. We usually associate the word savor with food or drink. We savor a delicious bite of food or a sip of good wine. To savor literally means to “give oneself to the enjoyment of.” It means to be mindful of that which you are eating and drinking – to unite body and mind in the present moment of tasting. I believe that we are […]

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 […]

“If I Were a Church Hymn”

This is an activity that I like to do with older participants (especially adults) who have a little more knowledge of the Church’s repertoire of hymns. I call it “If I Were a Church Hymn” and it basically invites participants to think of which Church hymn they would choose as either: their theme song the hymn that best captures the state of their spiritual life at this moment their all time favorite hymn The activity […]

Webinar Follow-up: Questions About Using Contemporary Music

During the Webinars on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, I received MANY questions about using contemporary music in a catechetical setting as a way to engage a young audience. Allow me to address some thoughts about that here (and as always, I invite you to weigh in as well). For young people, contemporary music is a huge part of their life. It speaks to them in a way that no other medium can. I often use […]

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