With the insurgence of youth ministries in the Catholic Church with the youth events begun with Pope John Paul II, there has been a growing awareness of the need for contemporary music resources with a Catholic perspective. In the role of liturgical ministry in a youth and young adult setting, it is challenging to find music that is not only attractive to the young Catholics but also music that is sound in the teachings of Catholicism.
Over the past several years, OCP (Oregon Catholic Press) has made attempts to address this growing need with Spirit and Song I and II and some other smaller books that are focused with the young people in mind. As one who actually works with elementary and teenaged persons in the liturgical setting, I can appreciate the newest product in this market being promoted by OCP.
This new perspective, I believe, is the best answer to the Catholic contemporary scene. Entitled Choose Christ 2009 the introductory package states "There’s an explosion of top-quality contemporary music in the Church today. Thanks to Choose Christ 2009, the work of choosing the best titles has been done for you….." As I scanned through the titles in the "Assembly Book" provided I was very pleased to see not only the older standards such as "I Will Choose Christ", "Go Make a Difference" but also the newer favorites that my particular teens are asking for such as "Mighty to Save" and "Marvelous Light." I was also happy to see the incorporation of some of the popular songs from the contemporary Christian artists that are very popular with the Catholic congregations such as "Blessed Be Your Name" by Matt Redman and "Breathe" by Marie Barnett.
As it is presented, the accompaniment books and CD libraries are available for purchase and each year (as is done with the Music Issues and Breaking Bread) annual music supplements with CD’s of the newly added songs will be available. The Assembly Book includes 115 songs and is affordable in a $2.00 per book paperback that can be used easily along with the Music Issue or Breaking Bread for a total, affordable package that parishes could incorporate easily into their weekly Masses.
I believe OCP has it right with this new offering in Catholic contemporary music resources. In an effort to follow the teachings of our Catholic church, it is nice to have this type of support in song choices that meet those needs in Choose Christ 2009.
Visit their website at ocp.org.
Reviewed by Sally Bolderson
About the Author
Susan Bailey is the author of River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times (Ave Maria Press), and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message (ACTA Publications), part of their Literary Portals to Prayer series. Along with her blogs Be as One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion, Susan writes for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press.