Pictured above: Steve Raml, Director of Music & Liturgy
By Leo Wozniak
Hold any of us to the task of explaining what the word “liturgy” really means and we would most likely fall back on talking about the Scriptures, especially those being used in that Sunday’s mass.
But perhaps there is a more descriptive way of defining the word.
“Personally, I consider ‘liturgy’ to include all of the public prayer of the Church,” according to Steve Raml, the parish’s Director of Liturgy and Music.
Drawing on the Greek definition of the word, Steve says liturgy can translate into the phrase, “public work.”
For instance, he says, when we participate in the Eucharist, or in the Mass, or at one of the sacraments, such as a baptism, “we are doing the public work by praying together.”
He notes that while the readings at Sunday mass are on a three-year cycle, “they can be new to us each time because we ourselves are different each year.”
Asked how he helps parishioners become more aware of the readings each week, he says he likes to incorporate the meanings of the readings into the weekly bulletin as well as offer a brief introduction prior to each mass.
He also suggests to parishioners that on the way to mass that day they, “think about what is going on in your life. There are things to be thankful for, so you can offer your thanks to God during the mass.”
“And as far as our personal hardships, bring them as well and mentally place them before God on the altar.”
He adds it’s important to let go of the things that distract us. “Silence your phone. Leave the worry about the Monday meeting behind you. Open yourself to the fellow parishioners that surround you.”
Steve is also responsible for the music in our parish, and that is a subject that especially excites and inspires him.
“I can’t imagine life without music,” he says. “Music touches us so deeply, because it helps express all the emotion we feel as we go through our days.”
He has played music since grade school, performing in choirs as well as jazz bands.
He is joined in his love for music by his wife, Teri, a flute player, who “have been making music together for more than 35 years.”
Regarding the parish’s music ministries, Steve explains that “they are a bit different, as they require some musical ability and a commitment to weekly rehearsals.”
He says that interested parishioners can set up a meeting with him with the idea of discussing where to best use each person’s musical gifts.
Steve’s background has served him very well for his current position. His very early years were spent as a seminarian. However, after realizing that the priesthood was not his vocation, he moved into the world of communication. For 25 years his working life had him reporting the news, sometimes as a news anchor for various stations throughout the country.
Fourteen years ago, he and Teri found themselves in Arizona where he worked first for the diocese and finally moving to St. Thomas More in his present position.
You can get in touch with Steve after one of the Sunday masses or contact him by email@example.com. Steve Raml; another gift that keeps St. Thomas More growing in faith and acting in love.September 28, 2017