Accompaniment is Musical Welcome

December 8th, 2017 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized

I am blessed with the ability to play piano, a gift my family gave me. My older sister taught me the basics, and eventually my parents paid for lessons. I have not become a “real” musician, for I have never had the chance to study theory or even a college course beyond the two basic ones demanded of elementary school teachers. But I have the ability to accompany. Cantors and choirs sing easily with me, for I play as people sing and not exactly as written. Because the main responsibility for singing is with the congregation, I let my hands “breathe” with the assembly. This creates unity between singing and accompanying, and thus accompaniment becomes real companioning.
Accompaniment that is easy to follow is reassuring, thus inviting participation. The feeling in the congregation becomes “I can do this,” and all can become companions to each other in the singing of hymns or ritual music. Moreover, the assembly can more easily join themselves to the action of Christ through the priest, especially in dialogues and acclamations. May all feel welcome in the song of Christ.

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