The National Directory for Catechesis (paragraph 37) states that liturgical music “serves a distinct catechetical purpose.”
Our textbooks and other catechetical resources provide songs to teach or reinforce lesson. We sing songs to build community and have fun. We can even all a lot of this “catechetical music.” None of it is liturgical music. We should not replace any of these good catechetical songs with liturgical music, but likewise, we should not use catechetical songs in place of liturgical music!
When catechists and liturgist converge to select music for a liturgical celebration, everyone must focus on the goal of worship. We must select hymns and musical settings that will empower the assembly to raise their hearts and voices to God, and inspire the assembly to go forth to love and serve the Lord.
In our classrooms, even with our youngest students, and certainly with anyone in middle school and older, before choosing a child-focused song, or a song never sung at the parish, look to hymns that are part of our parish worship. The words of hymns are often Scripture-based or refer to Christian virtues and Catholic doctrines that are part of our lessons. When we use hymns to support what we teach, we are connecting our students to parish worship.
– From Liturgy and Catholic Identity, by Peg Bowman
Excerpted from Liturgy and Catholic Identity: A Practical Guide for Catechists, by Peg Bowman. Copyright 2017. Published by Twenty-Third Publications (twentythirdpublications.com). Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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