With so many Catholics forced to miss Sunday Mass and relegated to watching it on televisions or online, Meggie Moyer, director of liturgy and music at St. Agnes Parish in Butler, developed an alternative means for parishioners to enhance their private worship. Utilizing YouTube, she began a video series last month after Gov. Tony Evers extended his “Safer at Home” mandate.

Meggie Moyer started a weekly series of worship music on YouTube to stay connected to parishioners at St. Agnes in Butler. (Submitted photo)

“It had been about a month since our last public Mass and I was feeling less connected with our parishioners, not having seen them for a month. I posted the first video that next Wednesday,” she said. “I wanted to minister to our parishioners in a way that drew upon my strength, which is music. Fr. Mark Brandl, our pastor, was supportive of the idea from the beginning. I settled on #WorshipMusicWednesday to give viewers some time to reflect on and sing the music before Sunday Mass.”

As a trained opera singer, Moyer is comfortable singing and speaking in front of large groups, but she was a bit nervous about posting the video as she wasn’t sure it would resonate with parishioners. However, since she had seen other church musicians successfully reaching out to their congregations, she hoped she’d have a similar outcome.

“I decided a weekly video on Wednesdays to talk about, sing and teach new music would be a good way to connect with parishioners outside of our Sunday Masses on YouTube,” she said. “The videos are shared on our Facebook page and website.”

Moyer hopes the weekly videos will help parishioners feel more connected to the staff and to realize how much the staff thinks of them. She chooses songs that connect to the Sunday readings, liturgical season, and current events; she also hopes the videos will help deepen prayer life through song.

“I hope parishioners learn and enjoy some new music to sing at home and during Mass,” she said. “So far, the response has been positive. I’ve already received a few song requests from parishioners that I’m going to try to work into the videos. St. Agnes is unique in that we are a singing congregation. It’s incredible to hear just how many people sing during Masses, which stems from a history of strong musical leadership at the parish that began long before I was on staff.”

Producing the videos has helped Moyer fill a void and provides her with a spiritual outlet to share music she would have used at Mass during Holy Week and the Easter season.

“Our music ministers were just as disappointed to be unable to celebrate Holy Week in person; so I hope it provides a prayerful, musical opportunity for them as well,” she said. “There is such a rich diverse repertoire of sacred music and one of my goals is to continue to introduce a wide variety of music to the parish. Worship Music Wednesday is one way that I can continue to introduce new music and minister to the congregation during this time.”

The videos are meant to encourage parishioners to continue praying through singing while sheltered at home. Moyer hopes that as she continues to produce the videos she can reach even more parishioners.

Moyer has served as director of liturgy and music since September. Before that, she directed a church choir in Greeley, Colorado, while earning her master’s degree in voice.

To visit or subscribe to Moyer on YouTube, visit St. Agnes Channel.