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Dear Partners in Ministry,

You know far better than I do that we're missing a lot of former familiar faces in the choir these days and, even though we're so grateful for those of you who've joined up since I've arrived, we're keenly aware of those empty seats each week. It's also clear why so many of us are missing, given all the turmoil that COVID and leadership changes have put this ministry through for more than two years; there are several folks who just aren't ready to re-engage in the act of communal singing, especially with a constantly mutating virus still creating havoc. Frankly, there was more than enough hurt and disappointment to go around in the past year too, which turned off a heartbreaking number of our members. Since my first day here, I've been staring into the faces of these challenges, hearing your stories of what we had and who we've lost, having conversations with former members and hearing their concerns, and remaining so grateful for all of you who are actively ministering now. We've all known that the process of rebuilding our ministry— and, indeed, our parish— would be slow, tenuous, and demanding, and you've been doing a remarkable job throughout. But we're not ready to call this rebuilding complete by any stretch, and a new "season" of ministry seems like an ideal time to focus on reuniting and growing this little family of ours.

"Recruiting" is a rather loaded word in ministry, especially as it relates to who does the recruiting. It is literally part of my job description to recruit new members, and I will be working hard in the next few months to welcome new members and veterans to join us. But the most important lesson I've ever heard about recruiting is that I'm not the best person at it, no matter how hard I try. You are.

Years ago, I sat in on a presentation by Bob Batastini (the arranger of our concert opener, "Gaudete") on this topic. His wisdom still resonates with me on this. Basically, as your duly hired Director of Music, I am Authority. I hope I'm a benevolent authority, but there's an inherent stigma about being recruited by Authority. I'd guess that you didn't join St. Noel because the bishop or pastor told you to; you likely joined because the people of the parish sincerely welcomed you. I would imagine your membership in Music Ministry is no different. Someone next to you made you aware that you were welcome, important, needed, and cherished. Maybe, you approached someone already in ministry and asked them what it was like to be involved. And, yes, some of you talked to the Music Director, which convinced you to give the ministry (and the parish) a shot.

What I'm saying is that the primary spokesperson for our Ministry family is each one of you. Your stories, your experience, and your personal welcome are what will rebuild this program. I imagine that you know of at least one person who has not returned to our ministry, or who would be an excellent addition. I invite you to take some time in the next week and make that personal connection. Please let them know that we miss them, we need them, and we hope to make music with them again. This means everyone: vocalists, instrumentalists, virtuosos, non-readers, young and young at heart, generations of families, singles, and everyone in between. Now is a great time to return, with our preparations for Advent, the Gaudete concert, and Christmas just getting off the ground! Let them know that we have plenty of room at the table, and we're a better community with them among us. Maybe they'll answer yes, maybe no, maybe "maybe;" but the effort is worth it no matter what the outcome.

I will happily work alongside you to welcome our friends back, and will provide all the support you'll need; all I ask is that you reach out and offer this welcome as a peer and a friend. You're very good at this, as I can attest to from the way you've welcomed me, and those who've joined us since I arrived. You're a wonderful community of ministers and people, and I can't think of anyone better to represent this ministry than you.


Be sure to check your folder for new music!

  • We'll warm up with the handout I gave you earlier this month.
  • Music for Aug 28, focusing on "In Your Dwelling Place" (take a look at verse 5 if you can before tomorrow) and our Psalm.
  • Mass of St. Mary Magdelene: reviewing/harmonizing the Alleluia, learning the Holy.
  • You'll receive two more Gaudete concert pieces: "Gaudete" and "Take Comfort, My People." We begin working on these pieces next Thursday!
  • Turn in "Gather Us In," "O God, You Search Me," "I Received the Living God"



Glory to God: MI 884 · [score] · Mass of Creation (Haugen)

Children’s Dismissal (Sundays): WA · [score] · The Word of God (Ward)

Gospel Acclamation:
AUG 28: MI 946 · JS 264 · Celtic Alleluia (O’Carroll/C. Walker)
SEP 4: MI 936 · 1.003 · Mass of St. Mary Magdelene (Hart)

Prayer of the Faithful: spoken response

Eucharistic Acclamations: 

Lamb of God: MI 952 · JS 789 · Lamb of God (Kendzia)

AUGUST 28 · Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gathering Song: MI 664 · JS 532 · Loving and Forgiving (Soper)

Responsorial Psalm: MI 818 · JS 115 · Ps 145: I Will Praise Your Name (Soper)

Preparation of the Gifts: WA · 3.060 · In Your Dwelling Place (Ward) (click the blue PREVIEW button for audio and score demos)

Communion: MI 343 · JS 789 · Taste and See (Kendzia)

Sending Forth: MI 563 · JS 593 · Lift Up Your Hearts (O’Connor)

SEPTEMBER 4 · Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Note: We begin “Ordinary Time III” this Sunday.

Gathering Song: MI 385 · 3.026 · The Summons (Bell, arr. Fisher) No recording for this one yet.

Responsorial Psalm: MI 794 · JS 67 · Ps 90: In Every Age (Smith) Verse lyrics are altered in this recording; we'll use what we have.

NEW! Gospel Acclamation: MI 936 · 1.003 · Mass of St. Mary Magdelene: Alleluia (Hart)

Preparation of the Gifts: MI 499 · JS 732 · Only This I Want (Schutte)

Communion: MI 354 · JS 788 · Bread of Life (Farrell)

Sending Forth: MI 407 · JS 647 · Lord of All Hopefulness (SLANE/Struther)

SEPTEMBER 11 · Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gathering Song: MI 563 · JS 593 · Lift Up Your Hearts (O’Connor) Original lyrics here; we'll use revised text in JS.

Responsorial Psalm: WA · handout · Psalm 51: I Will Rise (Ward) No recording yet, hopefully by next week.

Preparation of the Gifts: MI 664 · JS 532 · Loving and Forgiving (Soper)

NEW! Holy: MI 938 · 1.003 · Mass of St. Mary Magdelene (Hart)

Communion: MI 302 · JS 766 · Gather the People (Schutte)

Sending Forth: MI 446 · JS 680 · Amazing Grace (NEW BRITAIN)


Ordinary Time II (June 12–Aug 28, 2022)

Ordinary Time III (Sep 4–Nov 24, 2022)


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