Director of Music – Who will it be?

St. Stanislaus Parish is looking to hire a Music Director. I would be interested in the job myself except they want someone who will be full time and also direct the band at the youth Mass. Neither of those things suits me so the job is for someone else. I am curious about who we will get. Will it be a traditionalist who thinks that nothing suitable has been written since the death of Palestrina? Or perhaps a modernist who believes that all the music for Mass should be as current as the songs on the radio? More likely than either of these, the person will fall somewhere in between. But where?

I have a friend that would make an excellent candidate except for the fact that he is living and pursing a lifestyle that is totally incompatible with serving in a leadership capacity in the Church. There are some in the parish that would overlook my friend’s public and well-known indiscretions because he is talented. This guy is my friend but if he gets the job, I will have to stop doing music and may have to leave the parish. I will not help him to mock what the Church believes, professes, and teaches.

What I want is a musician who believes, as I do, that good liturgical music from all eras should be represented. From compositions by Bach, to hymns of the 1800s, to the music that was used in the 50s, to Glory and Praise selections, the music of Haugen, Haas, Farrell, Hurd, on through the music that is being written today. The Church gives us three judgments with regard to the music that is selected:

  1. It must be good music. We musicians will disagree when it comes to this but a director is, by the nature of his position, in charge.
  2. It must be liturgical. This is the biggest problem I have with so much of the music that is done at LIFE TEEN Masses. Also why I won’t do Marian hymns on most Sundays of the year.
  3. It must be pastoral. In other words, is it right for these people at this time? This third point seems to be what youth Mass types hang their hats on. But we cannot ignore any of the three judgments. If a song only meets two of them, it should not be used.

Well, I look forward to working with whoever is selected. Or at least making the attempt.


  • Suzanne says:

    What is meant by the term liturgical in this context?

  • Seaners says:

    Meaning, does the music fit the service at that moment/on that day. Three examples:

      • Most Sundays of the year, we sing the Gloria. There is a specific, approved text for this. A beautiful piece of music, beloved by the congregation, but with different text would be musically and pastorally appropriate, but not liturgically.
      • During the communion part of Mass, the guidelines the church gives are that the song should be seasonal in nature or be about bread/wine or the communal nature of the moment. It is not about Eucharistic adoration.
      • During the period of four weeks prior to Christmas, the Church is in the season of Advent. Christmas season begins on Dec. 24 at sundown. It would be liturgically inappropriate to sing Christmas songs during the season of Advent.
  • Temira says:

    Well written article.

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