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Australian Catholic University Choir (ACU)

Liturgical music in the Catholic tradition has been preserved for centuries but Australian Catholic University theologian Clare Johnson says the Church should do more to draw young musicians in.

Professor Johnson, a Professor of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology at ACU, and Director of the ACU Centre for Liturgy, said young people often felt alienated from the Church, but the centuries-old musical treasures could draw them back in.

“I think that music is crucial in terms of helping young people stick with Church,” Professor Johnson said.

“We should work to get our young musicians hooked in, by making them welcome and letting them find their place in the Church. Music is a great way to do this.

“Young musicians should be properly trained and valued so that they can realise their place and their worth among the Church community.”

Professor Johnson is calling on the next generation of liturgical musicians to receive training in parishes and faith communities. 

Next month, she will lead a professional learning seminar on liturgical music, which is open to musicians, liturgists, clergy, teachers, pastoral associates, and parishioners. 

Focusing on the official documents on music from the Second Vatican Council and onward, the face-to-face learning opportunity will explore the forms and functions of liturgy, including why certain styles like death metal and princess pop are inappropriate in Mass, the importance of Latin in liturgical music, and how to judge and select appropriate music to incorporate within the sacred liturgy.

Professor Johnson said the seminar would be an opportunity for liturgical musicians of all experience levels to learn about how their gifts can enhance the Church’s liturgies, especially parish communities.

Details: ACU Centre for Liturgy website


Sustaining the value of liturgical music into the next generation  (ACU)