On July 8, “Sing to the Lord,” a statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the role of music in the liturgy, will be available for purchase in the form of a book. According to the USCCB Publishing director, Paul Henderson, the new book “has long been anticipated by American Catholic musicians.”
In a press release from the USCCB, Henderson noted that the new book will assist parishes in better understanding the role of music in divine worship. Although the statement has been on the USCCB site since November 2007, “the book’s availability will make it easier for music leaders to apply the bishops’ norms and principles to their ministry.”
Not only will “Sing to the Lord” offer “criteria for selecting a performance repertoire for various occasions,” but it will also describe “how participants are to engage music in liturgical celebrations according to the norms established by the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy. The instruction defines the singing role assigned to bishops, priests, deacons, the choir and the congregation.”
The statement also encourages “the cultivation and use of Gregorian chant due to its unifying role, especially when liturgical celebrations use Latin.”
Executive director of the USCCB Office of Divine Worship, Monsignor Anthony Sherman, emphasized the value of the new book. “This is a useful tool for musicians in particular because it really demonstrates music’s role in unifying a diverse assembly of Catholics into one body gathered for worship.”
“Sing to the Lord” can be purchased online at http://www.usccbpublishing.org.