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AAMEN Day of Reflection Presents Nationally Known Liturgist

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On Saturday, November 19, 2011, the Diocesan Office of Worship and the Office of African Ancestry Ministry and Evangelization presented a Day of Reflection featuring Mr. Rawn Harbor. Mr. Harbor is one of the preeminent African American Catholic liturgists and musicians in the U.S. today. A gifted pianist and composer, he is also a much sought-after workshop facilitator, speaker and liturgist. Currently director of liturgy at St. Columba Catholic Church in Oakland, California, Mr. Harbor has taught and served as coordinator of liturgy for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans.

Approximately 70 catechists and music ministers from 13 parishes in the Diocese attended the day-long presentation, as Mr. Harbor taught and demonstrated the implementation of Gospel Music in the new Roman Missal. He addressed the changes in music and wording and advised the music ministers on approved liturgical music resources. The Church has a tradition of liturgical chant, Mr. Harbor said, referring to Gregorian chant. But black music also has a chant tradition, he explained, which can be heard in many traditional spirituals, and can be incorporated into the Mass.

Fr. Marcos Leon, Vicar for AAMEN, learned about Mr. Harbor and his work during graduate studies at Xavier University. Fr. Leon said that those in attendance were extremely appreciative that the Diocese had brought someone of Mr. Harbor’s stature to this gathering. “This is the best attendance we have had for a day of reflection,” he said.

Above: Mr. Rawn Harbor during presentation at AAMEN Day of Reflection held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Goldsboro.

Above and below: Catechists and music ministers from 13 parishes taking part in day-long event on the implementation of Gospel Music in the revised Roman Missal.