Leading the Song

The cantor is both a singer and a leader of congregational sung prayer. By singing the responsorial psalm the cantor leads the gathered assembly in a meditation on the word of God. The psalms are poetry that move us beyond the simple hearing of the readings to participation in those readings as personal experience. The responsorial psalm is the key that unlocks the meaning of the Liturgy of the Word and the pathway by which we internalize that meaning.

At other times the cantor serves as a song leader with a unique ability to lead the gathered community to full, conscious and active participation in liturgical enactment of the Paschal Mystery. This is especially true at liturgies where there is no choir present. For this reason the cantor’s ministry requires multiple skills: the ability to sing well, to prepare music on your own, an aptitude for correct pronunciation and diction so the words can be understood, a warm and living love for scripture and liturgy, and the ability to discern when to lead the community in music-making and when not to. Sometimes the cantor’s ministry is as much psychology as music!

Get Involved 

Cantors for the 9 am mass are drawn from members of the choir. For more information or to schedule an audition contact Robert McCaffery-Lent, Pastoral Assistant for Music and Liturgy at 206-965-1649 or email rmclent@.