This past Sunday, as we were running through all of the songs before our 6:00 pm Mass, our drummer asked a really important question before we started rehearsing a particular song. He asked,
“Where will this be in the Mass?”
Now I’ve actually gotten quite used to hearing that question from the folks I play with. They’ve developed a great sense of how we approach different songs at Liturgy. But, I gotta say, I’m still so glad when I hear that question from a member of the rhythm section! It speaks volumes to me. It tells me that he knew it mattered.
And it does matter. It’s all about the flow of the liturgy and how the music fits into it. Take the song All Creatures of Our God and King. If we were playing that as the Gathering/Entrance Song, we would probably all start together…drums, bass, guitars, piano…to give it a nice, full introduction, calling attention to everyone that we are beginning. (right before that, everyone is asked to turn and greet those around them) The same approach would be used at the end of Mass.
However, if we were playing and singing that song for Communion, we would start much more softly with just piano. The other instruments would slowly enter, one by one, until we were full and strong. That’s a quiet moment…right before the distribution of Communion. We need to be sensitive to that moment in the liturgy before we start making noise.
Same song; completely different approach. It matters!