For Immediate Release – June 3, 2021
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) is the membership organization for all Catholic pastoral musicians serving in any liturgical capacity. NPM is ready and eager to help those who serve in ministry through this time of rebuilding and renewal.
“One cannot find anything more religious and more joyful in sacred celebrations than a whole congregation expressing its faith and devotion in song. Therefore, the active participation of the whole people, which is shown in singing, is to be carefully promoted.” (Musicam Sacram 16)
Week after week, year after year, pastoral musicians have endlessly poured out our gift of song to stir the dwelling of God in every heart. Fourteen months ago, this age-old cycle was disrupted by a worldwide pandemic. The COVID-19 virus attacked the very core of music ministry: fostering full and active communal participation in the liturgy (see Sacrosanctum Concilium 14).
As the pandemic loosens its grip on society, church ministers and musicians find themselves faced with two challenges: logistics and renewal. The logistics of our ministry have been ravished and a great deal of time and effort will be needed to rebuild what has been lost. But we have to ask ourselves what this end product should look like. Jennifer Kluge, NPM Executive Director, knows this firsthand. She writes, “I joined NPM in January 2021 as the world was hopeful for widespread vaccines and for a communal renaissance. I understand the many challenges ahead of pastoral musicians and I’m humbled every day that our Association plays such an important role in our Church.”
NPM is focused on this stage of renewal by sharing programming about the post-COVID Church, and by writing on this timely topic. As COVID-19 has radically halted many pastoral musicians’ musical growth with their communities, NPM will offer an interactive workshop with Teresa Cobarrubia Yoder on June 7 for all National Convention registrants. Ms. Yoder will address how our next season in our ministry can feel daunting, draining, and unknown, after fourteen months with little to no choral singing, minimal congregational singing and decreased numbers of those attending liturgies in-person.
Jeremy Helmes, Chair of NPM’s Board of Directors, remarked: “Music is a constitutive element of the Church’s worship and our post-Covid future will require excellent leadership in sacred music for parishes throughout the U.S. NPM is eager to serve our members and all pastoral musicians as we together sing God’s praise each and every Sunday.”
The NPM 2021 National Convention (taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana, July 27-30) will feature dialogue and educational opportunities to re-build and re-envision ministry in a post-COVID world. Some of these opportunities will include digital workshops on post-COVID church ministry, as well as in-person workshops on the new technological needs of the Church.
NPM’s leadership is available for further interviews, articles, and discussions. Together, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we pray that God will indeed “renew the face of the earth” (Psalm 104).
Amanda Bruce, Interactive Media Director
Source: National Association of Pastoral Musicians
Related links: www.npm.org