St. Andrew Cantors
St Andrew Church is blessed to have many talented and committed singers who serve as cantors! Cantors at St Andrew are encouraged to see themselves as true ministers of service to the community gathered at prayer.
Our cantors are the link between the inspired texts of music and our congregation's response. Cantors seek in every way to engage the community. The way they approach the place from which they minister, the way they gesture to invite people to participate, and the way they authentically pray the music-- all of these actions make our community feel comfortable, welcome, and ready to be a part of the "full, conscious, active participation" of the faithful at mass.
St Andrew cantors are given the song titles and psalm selections, in advance of each weekend's liturgies, so that they can fully prepare the texts and accurately sing the musical lines. Cantors are also sent a link to the weekend readings so that they can immerse themselves in the Sunday scriptures, thereby understanding the wisdom of the psalm and song selections. The goal is to have a thorough knowledge of the music, so that the cantor is not glued to the music, but is rather, communicating with the people. Cantors are leaders of prayer, not readers of prayer.
In a deep sense, cantors are feeding people, and-- as one would want with any meal that is a nourishing experience-- their cheerfulness, their comfort with the music, their ease with leadership, their welcome to the assembly, their vulnerability, and their strength-- in short, their full humanity, must be a part of what they offer the people who come to be fed.
Theirs is a task of great responsibility, not to be taken lightly. The best food in the world can be unpalatable if presented nervously, arrogantly, inauthentically, with uncertainty, impersonally, or without genuine love. The challenge of a cantor is to make sure that the nourishment of music and scripture are so powerfully available in Liturgy that they truly reach the hearts and souls that come to be fed each Sunday.
St Andrew cantors typically serve 1-2 times per month at various masses. The Diocese of Norwich offers cantor enrichment sessions every year or two.
Anyone who has a love of the liturgy, and has had some training in singing, who would be interested in being a part of this ministry should contact the Parish office: (860) 537-2355