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If you ask most pastors right now how they would rate the state of their parishes based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, most of them undoubtedly would respond with Levels 1 or 2. Out of necessity, we are having to focus primarily on the most basic needs of our parishioners and communities: their health and safety.
The next three levels, which illustrate our human need for community and belonging, esteem, and self-fulfillment often can seem far from reach. How could we even think about them when the Sunday obligation remains lifted, new health and safety regulations are coming out almost weekly, and as rumors of another shutdown loom around us?
And yet, it’s exactly these higher needs that the liturgy has the power to fulfill for each and every one of us.
At Source & Summit, we have been talking with hundreds of pastors and parish staff members since the beginning of the pandemic and we know that you are struggling. We have heard your stories about the strangest Holy Week and Easter of your lives, and we know that you don’t want to experience a repeat this Advent and Christmas, which soon will be upon us.
This is why we have put together a special Covid-19 Parish Music Support Program for Advent and Christmas, which can help you elevate the liturgy in your parish during these solemn seasons in simple and flexible ways, at little to no cost.
Here are three ways that we may be able to help:
The Advent & Christmas Support Program is a unique offering, and we are virtually giving it away as a response to the real challenges parishes are facing right now. Throughout the entire Advent and Christmas Seasons you will have full access to the new Source & Summit music and liturgy platform that will give you access to a number of simple chant settings of the Mass antiphons for each liturgy, Responsorial Psalms and Alleluias, and a library of license free hymns that can be sung by a single cantor. This model—as simple as it is—gets to the heart of what musical liturgy is in the Church’s mind. And it’s easy, beautiful, and easy to manage with the help of our platform. Additionally, you can take advantage of multi-format delivery options that allow you to share music along with the Lectionary Readings with your parishioners in the pews and at home, helping them pray the liturgy simply, safely, and easily.
To help you implement the program and add beauty and splendor to the Masses of Advent and Christmas, we are offering weekly training webinars for your cantors and musicians to help them learn the chants that the Church gives us to sing in these seasons. Many parishes want to introduce the antiphons of the Mass but don’t know where to begin. These weekly sessions will initiate your cantors and volunteers into the spirit of the sung liturgy and help them contribute to it beautifully and confidently.
With missals and hymnals taken out of the pews, and with parishioners staying connected to the prayer of the Church from home, resourcing the faithful with participation aids can be a challenge. The Source & Summit platform can help you deliver these resources in different ways to all of your parishioners, no matter where they are. Export graphics files with a single click to make booklets, or share a mobile-optimized digital missal for parishioners to use either in the pews and at home by sharing a custom link. Whatever your situation, Source & Summit makes the process easy and gives you the tools to help your parishioners participate more fully in the liturgies of Advent and Christmas, no matter the restrictions we might face.
What will the months ahead look like? No one knows. But we can be certain that there are real and concrete ways to help our parishioners enter more deeply into the mystery and beauty of the liturgical seasons that lie before us. Even more, this season of suffering and trial could be the seed of tremendous renewal for our parishes and for the Church. As we allow ourselves to be purged and purified of the familiar comforts and securities we have known, the Lord may be mysteriously laying a foundation for the faith of future generations.
Come what may, please count on Source & Summit as a support and a partner. You can register your cantors and music volunteers in the Advent & Christmas Music Support Program here, and, as always, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.