As we return to public celebrations of the Mass, one big change you will notice is the absence of most sung music, especially singing by the assembly. Diocese of Madison guidelines specifically mention singing by the assembly as something we are NOT to do. Even choirs are not allowed, although individual cantors are still permitted. This is a real loss for everyone, and especially for all of us who love to sing together and whose hearts thrill with the harmonies of our choral groups. Music has always been an important part of worship at St. Thomas Aquinas, and we mourn our inability to return to it as it was for the foreseeable future. Greg Buchberger has spent hours over the last few weeks in webinars and reading to understand the hazards that singing creates now when the novel coronavirus is circulating in the community, sometimes without people even knowing they have been infected and could be spreading it to others. His article in this weekend’s bulletin summarizes the reasons behind the prohibition and reminds us that this is not the first time in our history as a people of faith when singing has been difficult. We are limited now, but not forever! Someday–hopefully before too long–we will learn how to handle this virus and our voices will ring out again in praise, prayer, and worship.
If you want more information about what musicians, medical professionals, and acoustical engineers understand about the impact of singing on virus spread, the following article is a good expansion of the points Greg makes in his article.