Why do we Sing the Mass?
Excerpted from Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship:
God has bestowed upon his people the gift of song. God dwells within each human person, in the place where music takes its source. Indeed, God, the giver of song, is present whenever his people sing his praises.
A cry from deep within our being, music is a way for God to lead us to the realm of higher things. Music is therefore a sign of God’s love for us and of our love for him. Thus, it is no wonder that singing together in church expresses so well the sacramental presence of God to his people.
Obedient to Christ and to the Church, we gather in liturgical assembly, week after week. As our predecessors did, we find ourselves “singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in [our] hearts to God.” This common, sung expression of faith within liturgical celebrations strengthens our faith when it grows weak and draws us into the divinely inspired voice of the Church at prayer. Faith grows when it is well expressed in celebration. Good celebrations can foster and nourish faith. Poor celebrations may weaken it. Good music “make[s] the liturgical prayers of the Christian community more alive and fervent so that everyone can praise and beseech the Triune God more powerfully, more intently and more effectively."
Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, guidelines approved by the bishops of the United States in 2007, recalls this vast, rich musical tradition as it provides basic guidelines for understanding the role and ministry of music in the liturgy. Standing on the foundational work of the Council fathers, Sing to the Lord echoes the call to full, active, and conscious participation in the Liturgy through its sung elements. For anyone interested, the full document can be read here: