Parish News & Information

Parish News & Information

Message from our Music Director

The Music We Sing

Someone recently asked me, “What’s your process when you compose a piece of music?” My answer was this: I first think about what I want to communicate to the listener, and then decide how I’m going to go about doing that. It’s really that simple. The process I use when composing is not much different than the process I use when choosing the music that will be sung on Sunday. The only thing that’s different is that I already know what I want to communicate to the parish. First and foremost, I want the music to directly relate to, and emphasize the scripture readings. Other considerations may include the liturgical season or a particular theme being emphasized in the parish. One final consideration relates to the style of a particular hymn or song. Whether or not the average person sitting in the pew knows it, musical style is a hot-button issue for many people. Everyone has their own taste and preference when it comes to musical style. I’m no different. There are radio stations I won’t listen to, and others that are presets on my console. Some parishioners prefer a more contemporary style of music, while others prefer traditional hymnody. Some prefer the piano, and others, the organ. Therefore, when choosing the music for a given Mass, I try to strike a balance between traditional and contemporary styles of music. 

Nevertheless, from time to time, I have received requests from “both sides of the aisle.” While one is requesting a more contemporary style of worship, another is simultaneously requesting more organ and traditional music. So, what does one do? I could make a fundamental change to the music we sing and lean more heavily on contemporary music. But that would alienate those who prefer a more traditional Mass. Conversely, I could lean more heavily on the organ and traditional hymnody, but you guessed it, that would leave out those that prefer a more contemporary style of worship. This is exactly why I strongly believe in offering a broad range of musical styles. By doing so, I’m not necessarily trying to please everyone, but I’m recognizing the broad range of preferences, tastes, and needs that exist in our parish. I once told a parishioner that on any given Sunday, there is likely to be one song or hymn that I dislike. When asked why I would choose a song I don’t like, I said, “Because at least one person in the pews loves that song.”

Ed Eicker, Director of Music

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Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068


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Phone: (847) 825-7605

Mass Schedule

UC = Upper Church

HFC = Holy Family Chapel

Monday - Friday

6:25 am (UC)

8:30 am (UC)

Saturday

8:30 am (UC) - weekday Mass

4:30 pm (UC and HFC) - vigil

Sunday

7:30 am (UC)

9:00 am (UC)

10:30 am (UC and HFC)

12:00 pm (UC)