CCD... a source of singers.
  • I propose that CCD classes are often a waste of time. Students taught by professionals all day then going to religion classes taught by volunteers?

    So I suggest that students that want to opt out from CCD be tutored by volunteers from the choir, test out of the classes and be part of the choir instead.

    Anyone with me or will I be starting a war? Parents already get their kids out of Confirmation class by sending them to RCIA instead....
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Actually, at my last parish the CCD director was a chorister and occasionally would have the children come up to the loft to watch the "action". We never got it together, but we had even discussed having me deliver occasional lectures to the CCD as to the nature of church music and teach them the chants of the Mass.

    So I would go farther than Noel and say you are neglecting the duty to raise children in the Catholic faith if they do not know how to sing the Mass.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    I don't know about CCD, but I am going with some choir members to the RCIA class next Sunday. We will have a sing-a-long, discuss church music, and if we pick up a new choir member or two, so much the better.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    The best compliment I ever received was from the parent of a student in the school choir I used to direct. He reported asking his daughter how the new school year was going, and she told him enthusiastically that social studies was fun, gym was fun, and music was really fun. But she missed the teacher from last year, "because then choir was fun and we LEARNED stuff too. You should ask Father, maybe Miss S. could be our religion teacher? We don't learn ANYTHING there."
    I have noticed that children who were in my choir are the only ones who know how to behave at Benediction, or to comport themselves as servers, so perhaps they did learn something.

    Parents already get their kids out by sending them to RCIA instead....

    I had no idea about this.
    I think the idea has merit and if I weren't, unbeknownst to my parish, a lame duck, I might suggest something similar. (Of course, the DRE, who is very much of a "let's add some superfluous activity or fabricated ritual to Mass to get children and their parents and grandparents to come," hates me with a white hot heat, so I would be turned down, but that would only make it more fun to make the offer to him ;oP...)

    Save the Liturgy, Save the World
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Being personally involved in RCIA, I'm very reluctant to conclude that being in a choir will teach you the content that's supposed to be in CCD. RCIA *is* intended to deliver what's in CCD, as is RCIC.

    You learn a lot of great things in a good choir, and you can learn a whole lot of things about the Mass. But that's not the whole of the Catholic faith.

    Can you get good choir members by connecting up with CCD, RCIC or RCIA? Absolutely - go for it! But it's not a replacement.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I've been lucky to be in parishes with really conscientious CCD directors. Kids learn, take tests, etc. I'd say that choir is an indispensable part of religious ed (not nearly often enough acknowledged), but no substitute for one of the excellent curricula out there, here and there.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Not only the CCD, but you SHOULD be going to EVERY parish group to make the case for sacred music. I recall an Adoremus article about a priest in the 40's who introduced chant (because, contrary to certain conservative fantasies, chant and good music were HARDLY widespread in the US before Vatican 2!!!!) at his parish, and one of the pointers he gave is to go to the various groups and make sure they know how to sing the Mass. We should all find time to do this. Go to the parish council and teach them a new ordinary or a new hymn. Teach the catechists. Teach the children. Heck, teach the men's group, and deny them beer until they promise not to stare into space and let the women take care of the singing at Mass! The music is the property of ALL of the parish, and we need to start convincing parishioners to own it.
  • Don't forget the homeschooling families! Children and parents!
  • I am in receipt of an email outlining the education of CCD and the rather heavy requirements for home-schooling of religion in our parish and am now aware that the CCD class of an hour pales in comparison to what those who opt out of it must do, so attempting to have a fast-track CCD class for those who want to sing is well be out of the possibility here.

    And Gavin's notes above are great. Add the KOC to the list.
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    As new-er Confirmation Coordinator, at a "stagnant OCP parish", with many ideas from this forum on how to implement the "reform of the reform" . . .

    First step is choir for the Confirmation Ceremony.
    Which will evolve into a schola to sing at Masses that no one attends BUT SHOULD (like today's Immaculate Conception).
    The schola, led by a competent leader, supported by our CF program, starts with the ordinary.
    Works its way up to the propers.


    CCD and singing need not be exclusive of each other, but rather, we are attempting to use the singing to teach our teenagers the importance of the Holy Mass and especially of the Eucharist (at Adoration).

    For too many of our kids, learning the Creed, is an accomplishment; they come with almost nothing. =(
    Using music, especially sacred music, MUST BE another tool in every catechist's repertoire of strategies.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Frogman - Have you considered creating a schola specifically for the homeschooled kids? My experience is that the families there are anxious to get their kids involved in social interactions with other kids. Many also tend to be on the conservative side and would love to be involved in a program that includes music, liturgy, Latin, etc. (You could probably write a pretty fine CCD program itself based on Church music!)

    Atop all that, no priest is going to refuse to let a children's choir sing in Church and it might be an end around that introduces other folks to Chant!
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I started a schola for home schooling children this year. I have 25 kids. We sing once a month, first Friday Mass. I insist 9 fold Kyrie and explained why to the children and the people at the pews when we first started to sing. I emphasize that we pray when we sing. So they fold two hands together when they sing and we bow when we sing our Lord's name. Amazingly, boys are very serious in this schola.(Usually it's been hard for me to have boys sing.) And my children know that Latin is a very special language for our Church. When my little 6 year old memorized Ave Maria and Sanctus, I almost cried. (well, little stickers also help to motivate them to memorize.) They are beautiful and their singing is heavenly. We will be singing this Sunday at the the Little Sisters of the Poor Residents' Mass.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    Homeschooling families are a wonderful feed for children's choirs, scholas, etc. But there is one thing not mentioned here that I have seen happen time and time again. As homeschooling families grow, as the children get involved in more things and new little ones come along to take up even more of Mom's (yes, usually Mom's) time, it gets harder and harder for the kids to come to rehearsal regularly, or really "invest" in the choir. The attrition rate is substantial. There are just so many things competing for these kids' and these families' time.

    So you're probably best off if you have a large group to begin with. And it is important that the kids sing in Mass, at least once a month, but without any hoopla. In other words, I wouldn't make a big deal out of the fact that the kids are singing so everyone should come to that Mass, etc. They should just blend right in - it shows the rest of the congregation how serious the whole endeavor is, and is not just another dog and pony show for grandparents.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Mia, that sounds wonderful. I am praying for you and your community.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thank you Pes. And Arlene, you are right about not making a big fuss about the children's singing. Our childrens' schola just sing from the side front pews and blend with others (our parish has choir chairs right on the altar,
    which is so distracting, especailly it's very hard for children.)
    We read entracne and communion antiphones together.

    We also rehearse during day time , 1:30 to 2:30. (many activities are after school hours) I tried to find the best time, very crucial, so it doesn't confilct with other activities as much. Also this also made our pastor feel better, (I had to get a permission to use the musicroom) this way the schola doens't really conflict or compete with our parish children's choir (which I directed until this June. I resigned from it, mostly because I felt I had to teach songs that I didn't feel right.) I said to parents from the very beginning, I will be teaching Latin chants, not contemporary pop style Christian music.
    Also, carpooling seems to help parents bringing the children to rehearsal.