Ricky Manalo is one of those composers who are trying to combine their musical skills with their developing spirituality. He represents this generation of musicians who take very seriously their ministry as musicians in a manner that goes way beyond fulfilling their artistic needs as creative artists. He reports that he tries to set into musical form the essence of why we worship. He seeks to serve the liturgy.
Presently, he is in the novitiate for the Paulists in New Jersey. While in the nation's capital, he was able to attend lectures at Catholic University of America exposing him to some of the leading lights of American liturgical leadership, such as Sister Mary Collins and Father Gerry Austin. While he was studying at Washington Theological Seminary he was influenced by their dean, Father Andrew Ciferni. With these giants shaping his background, he has developed a deep understanding of the necessity of the liturgist understanding the musician and the musician understanding the liturgist.
The first fruits of his labors are five pieces published by GIA. His communion processional, "Life-Giving Bread" (G-3911), is a good example of his craft. He describes the intent of the text: "The words capture our experience before, during, and after the communion rite. It is also a song about healing."
The sensitivity he demonstrates is a welcome one in the church music world. Too often, the composer manipulates the liturgical form to satisfy musical demands. Ricky Manalo already has demonstrated his respect for the integrity of the liturgy and has written music to accommodate that integrity.
The Liturgical Keyboardist
Becoming a good liturgical keyboardist requires an understanding of the difference between "music for the sake of music" and "music for the sake of ritual." Many liturgical keyboardists can easily fall into the former category without ever having been instructed on the theological and ritual foundations of liturgical music. The session begins with a short theological perspective on the role of the liturgical keyboardist. After going through the shape and flow of the Mass, participants proceed to survey practical techniques required during specific moments of the Mass. Three types of accompaniments will be demonstrated (assembly, cantor, and choir), as well as specific principles concerning instrumental solos. Opportunities will be offered for volunteers to come forward and experiment with these techniques. Liturgical keyboardists will come out of these sessions with a fuller understanding and appreciation of their role within the worshiping community.
Retrieving the Threefold Judgment
The primary focus of this workshop is the full celebration of the Sunday Eucharist. We begin with a history of official legislation on church music, leading to the formation of the threefold judgment found in the document Music in Catholic Worship. Next, we examine MCW's understanding of the three judgments involved in the one threefold judgment (the musical judgment, the liturgical judgment, and the pastoral judgment) and ask ourselves how this understanding is being retrieved today. Finally, we devote the last part of this workshop to looking at convergence models that help unify the many components involved in the evaluation of a liturgical song and/or a musical event during a liturgy.
What Are They Saying about Liturgical Inculturation?
A basic introduction to the principles of liturgical inculturation. Inculturation has become a "buzzword" in the liturgical praxis of the Church's worshiping experience. The challenge of liturgical inculturation is ultimately grounded in the community's understanding of ecclesiology: How do we understand ourselves to be "Church" and how can this understanding lead us towards appropriate cultural expressions in our liturgies? Beginning with Vatican II, we will work through key documents and arrive at a working definition of liturgical inculturation. Along the journey we will inevitably discover the many challenges liturgical inculturation presents in our Church today. Practical guidelines will be suggested and liturgical models will be offered, leaving room for an open discussion among the participants about their own experiences, practices, and insights.
Preparing the Triduum
The Triduum celebration is at the heart of the liturgical year. How a community comes to celebrate these three days becomes a model of liturgical praxis for the entire year. The first part of this workshop introduces basic principles of liturgical preparation: i.e., liturgical preparation versus "planning the liturgy," the structural and theological components of the three days, the various forms of ritual music, and the place of liturgical inculturation. Next, we examine key ritual moments during the Triduum and how the selection of liturgical music can better enhance the text and action during these moments. Finally, musical selections are demonstrated throughout the workshop with opportunities for interaction among the participants.
What We Do Each Sunday
The focus of this talk is to present a basic theology of Eucharist: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Before any other catechesis on liturgy can take place, a worshiping community's understanding of the Mass is crucial. This presentation is divided into two parts. The first part is a "broad-stroke history" of the Eucharistic celebration from the time of the early Church to the time of Vatican II. The second part focuses on the reforms of Vatican II and postconciliar issues. Issues that are dealt with include active participation, the role of mystery in our celebrations, and liturgical inculturation.
Encountering the Holy through Music
As liturgical musicians we are called to not only minister to the worshiping community but to our souls as well. In our passion to develop our musical and liturgical skills, we often overlook the spiritual component of what it means to serve God through the gift of music. In the first part, we discover the power, beauty, and language of music and how music is a means of communication between God and human beings. The second part examines the spirituality of ministry in general and how it is only through our service to others that we come to understand our personal and communal relationship with God. Finally, we explore different musical prayer forms that help nourish our ongoing spiritual formation. Originally formatted for a weekend retreat, this presentation can be tailored down to a day of recollection or a three-hour evening of reflection.