NPM and Hymn Society

Great week for music: National Association of Pastoral Musicians is meeting in Louisville – I’m at it presenting on chant in Latin and English – and Hymn Society in the United States and Canada is meeting in Colorado Springs. Pray Tell  is covering both.

NPM convention will bring together some 3,000 people – exact number coming. I guess there’s some change or other coming in the liturgy that has everyone wanting to know more.

NPM was founded in 1976 by Fr. Virgil Funk. It has 7,584 members – up from last year, but down from 8,459 five years ago. Youth membership is up compared to five years ago – 63 to 78, and so is retired/senior, even more so – 144 to 322.

Already several NPMers have come up to me to ask if I’m Anthony Ruff, and then said, “Thank you.” Hmm, what’s that about? Anything to do with some change or other in the liturgy?

My prediction: the mood at NPM this year will be positive and joyful, even though most of this group probably don’t exactly support the coming change. These are people who will make the best of it and give their all to serve the Church and work for sung liturgy. I expect to be inspired and encouraged at NPM. The text for the canticle of morning prayer today (Week 4, Isaiah 42) gives a good sign: Cantate Domino canticum novum… Exsultent desertum et civitates… Iubilent habitatores Petræ.”

Seems like everyone on the plane ride here and everyone at the airport was heading to NPM. This is a first: At luggage claim I walked away with someone else’s luggage, exactly identical to mine. Fortunately, the composer of “Mass of Plenty” noticed, came running after me as I boarded my airport shuttle, and we made the switch. Rob, you missed your chance to have in your luggage everything you need for the Office in Latin chant.


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