By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Music should add to the worship experience of Mass, not take away from it. That’s according to Kenneth Glover, servant music leader at St. Mary Parish in Fairfield.
It’s this concept that inspired Glover to put his voice and musical knowledge to the test at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians Convention in Houston this summer en route to earning Basic Cantor Certification.
It isn’t a requirement for parish cantors in the Diocese of Davenport, but he believed the certification process could help his ministry.
“One-third of the Mass is music,” he said. “Doing music correctly is what we want in worship.”
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) certification requires applicants to choose a Mass setting and cantor the Kyrie and Lamb of God. Applicants must also cantor two psalms and test their voice by repeating three tones in tune three consecutive times. A written test finishes the testing; to pass, applicants must receive a 70 percent from the judicator.
Glover took his test at the convention, though it can also be done by sending in a video. NPM representatives can also travel to a diocese if a group wants to test for certification.
After the test, applicants receive comments from the judicators so they can learn what they are doing well and what they can improve upon. Although Glover has been singing and playing musical instruments for about 40 years, he still had to practice, he said.
Next year’s NPM convention will be in Ohio. He hopes that other cantors in the Diocese of Davenport will go to www.npm.org and learn more about the program.
“Jammin’ for Jesus is my favorite thing,” he said.
Become a cantor
Patti McTaggart, a member of the diocesan liturgy committee, said persons who wish to be become cantors in their parish can talk to their music coordinator or pastor. A valuable resource is Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.