Just Launched: Music and Liturgy with Michael McCarthy

We just launched Music and Liturgy with Michael McCarthy For Individuals and For Groups.

The line often blurs between sacred and secular music. Secular musical styles affect sacred music and vice versa. Where is the line between sacred and secular music? Take the song “John the Revelator” by Son House.

This song is known as one of the most influential blues songs in musical history , but it’s based on the African American church’s old call-and-response gospel tradition. What’s the difference between Son House singing that song in concert with people clapping and singing the response and a soloist singing the same song in church with people singing the response? Could one consider the concert a liturgical event? And is sacred music still considered liturgical when sung in a secular context?

In this course, Michael addresses these questions and many others about liturgical music and its role in contemporary Christianity. Michael examines the role and purpose of church music in the liturgy. He discusses how liturgical music crosses the gamut of styles, genres, and musical traditions. He offers insight into the process by which musical directors utilize music to enhance and reflect other aspects of the liturgy, and he also talks about church music and the liturgical seasons.

In addition to its utility in Christian formation contexts, this course could be used by musical directors, choirs, and music teams to discuss the importance of music in the liturgy. It could also be useful in any kind of focused series on Christian liturgy. For a preview of the course, please click here.

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