Around Easter 2007, the Director of Music and the Music Committee of the Archdiocese Glasgow posted a questionnaire to all parish music contacts in order to gather evidence on the state of music in the liturgy throughout the city and feed these findings back to the Archdiocesan Office. By the end of July, 35 parishes had responded and it is these responses that inform this report. On the whole, these are encouraging, showing a healthy musical life in our parishes. That is not to say that there is not scope for further improvement, but these parish musicians are eager to ask for additional help and support in their task.
The attached summary report provides details of the 35 responses in the following areas: Musicians supporting parish Masses Parish resources Details of music sung at Mass Details of other parish celebrations Workshop requests
Almost all parishes in this survey have musicians available for Sunday Masses, either in the form of an organist or an instrumental ensemble, with many parishes having both. Only two parishes have no musicians to support their singing although they do have an electronic alternative in Cynthia. The majority of parishes (25 out of 35) have at least one cantor although less than half have a regular choir (15 out of 35). Yet judging from the responses on musical items regularly sung at Mass, parishes without a cantor and/ or choir are not falling behind. 24 parishes (some of whom are without a cantor) are able to sing the Psalm for at least one Mass every Sunday, while 34 sing the Gospel Acclamation. The least-sung item of the Ordinary is the Gloria: it would be worthwhile investigating the settings currently available in order to assess which are most suited to congregational learning and singing.
There is also a good return for Funeral Masses with 24 parishes able to sing the Psalm at all funerals and 30 regularly singing the Gospel Acclamation: this compares with 17 out of 34 returns singing the Psalm and 30 the Gospel Acclamation in the 2002 questionnaire. Only two parishes are not in a position to sing the Final Commendation at any of their funeral Masses: this compares with 4 in the 2002 questionnaire. The 2007 questionnaire asked parishes to provide information on the pieces of plainchant in their repertoire. 13 parishes indicated that they know some items of the Mass Ordinary, although this tends to be confined to a setting of the Kyrie, while 23 regularly use traditional chants for Benediction.
The final part of the questionnaire asked parish musicians how the Music Committee could assist them as they continue to develop their musical liturgy. The options were (a) a coaching CD/ workshop for priest(s); (b) a CD starter pack for parish musicians, and; (c) a workshop in their parish. Parishes known to have proficient musicians in place declined these options at this stage. However, 4 parishes are interested in all three options, another 5 have requested a starter CD and a workshop/ parish visit, 6 parish musicians would like CDs for themselves and their priests, 6 require only the CD for priests, and there is one request for the CD for parish musicians.