“Music must serve and never dominate the liturgy! It’s function in a liturgical celebration is ministerial.” This is one of the many points which Tinnah dela Rosa emphasized to several dozens of parish choir members from different parishes in Saipan who attended the Liturgical Music Workshop last Monday evening at Mt. Carmel Cathedral.
Tinnah began her workshop by making a brief yet very informative orientation on what ‘Liturgy’ is then she proceeded to explain that even though all liturgical music are good, yet not all good music are liturgical. She advised the choir members that devotional or inspirational music, even if by themselves are beautiful pieces yet they may not be necessary ideal to be used in a liturgical celebration.
“Music has it’s place in a liturgy. Without music the celebration of the Mass will be dry,” explained Tinnah. “Music should assist the assembled believers to express and share the gift of faith that is within them and to nourish and strengthen their interior commitment of faith. It should heighten the text so that they speak more fully and more effectively. Music also imparts a sense of unity to the gathered assembly and sets the appropriate tone for a particular celebration.”
Why aren’t people singing?
One of the common experience we all have whenever we attend Mas is that sometimes one may felt that you are simply an expectator of a ‘performance’. No doubt, some choirs are really good at what they do but sometimes an important element of the Mass is forgotten or left out which is, “the active and full participation of the faithful”. Tinnah explained various reasons why people don’t participate in singing. “Perhaps they don’t know the song or the congregation couldn’t reach the range of the music and maybe the songs are not so easy to sing because of their rhythm,” explained Tinnah. She suggested to prepare the songs well and plan the liturgy in such a way that the choir may be able to teach the songs to the people.
Besides being a liturgist, Tinnah is also a distinguish musician, composer and cantor. At present she sings with Novo Concertante Manila, a choral group that serves at Christ the King Parish in Greenmeadows at the Diocese of Cubao. During the workshop, she let the participants hear and sing the Mass Setting which she herself composed, in accordance with the New Roman Missal.
Bishop Ryan organized this Liturgical Music workshop having in mind to form a Diocesan Committee on Liturgy in order to standardize liturgical practices throughout the diocese.