Minister of Music and Liturgy; Sacred Heart Parish (West Des Moines, IA)

Primary Job Function:

  • The Minister of Music and Liturgy proclaims the Gospel primarily through the enhancement of the liturgy through the music.

Qualities, Competencies, Skills:

  • BA in Music required and is proficient in at least one performance area (e.g. keyboard, choral, voice)
  • Degree in Theology, Liturgy, or Scripture preferred; a willingness to engage in ongoing opportunities for professional education in this area and proficiency in liturgical principles, combined with experience, will suffice for degree.
  • Knowledgeable of and comfortable with Church music literature in all forms and styles for the assembly, choirs (adult, teen, children), vocalists, and instrumentalists.
  • Willingness to attend Diocesan- and Nationally-sponsored formation opportunities, including the annual NPM convention.
  • Commitment to continued personal growth, prayer and spiritual formation.
  • Effective Team Management skills
  • Proficient Computer Skills: Microsoft Office, Google Suite

Responsibilities and Tasks:


  • Collaborates with the Pastor, under his supervision, and with other members of the parish staff, integrating his/her own area of responsibility with the overall parish endeavor.
  • Attends and participates in all parish staff meetings, development and ongoing formation.
  • Attends and participates in all Liturgy Committee meetings.
  • Directs the parish music program, selects and plans music; if applicable, this is done in cooperation with clergy, ensemble directors, and liturgy team/committee.
  • Provides leadership in areas related to liturgical music.
    • Selects and develops participation aids for the assembly
    • Selects and maintains musical instruments, related equipment, and sound system.
    • Coordinates services and schedules of parish musicians.
    • Assures copyright permission and reports usage of copyrighted material to appropriate publishing company in a timely manner.
  • Prepares and manages the budget for the parish music program and liturgical services in collaboration with the Accounting staff or Business Manager.
  • Collaborates with other staff members, e.g. Principal, Religious Education Program Director, Youth Minister, etc., to coordinate and ensure appropriate music for all sacramental celebrations, and provides them with consultation and needed assistance.
  • Orders and maintains hymnals used for all celebrations of the Eucharist,


  • Plans and coordinates liturgical music and musicians for weekend liturgies, holy days, sacramental celebrations, and prayer services, including weddings and funerals.
  • Be a resource and provide individual help to music ministers.
  • Prepare music worship aids for parishioner use when needed.
  • Provide direction, guidance, and formation for all ensembles within the music ministry.
  • Utilize resources for professional growth in the field of liturgy and church music
  • Develop and maintain a library of music resources
  • Assist with planning funeral liturgies when needed
  • Meet with engaged couples to help plan the wedding liturgy when needed
  • Meet with the pastor on a monthly basis, or as needed, to ensure continuity in the liturgy
  • Work with Hispanic Ministry to incorporate cultural liturgical celebrations and continuity within the parish.


  • Invites, motivates, encourages, and accompanies parish ministers of music, whether volunteer or paid, e.g. cantors, choir members, instrumentalists, and accompanists.
  • Provides liturgical formation, music education, and practical preparation for liturgical celebrations for parish ministers of music and liturgy.
  • Serves as a resource consultant for parish concerns regarding music by helping to educate staff, ministers of music, and the assembly in developing their potential to understand the role of music in worship and to celebrate liturgies of musical quality.
  • Keeps abreast of current developments in liturgy and music, and directs parish music ministers to available training workshops and formation opportunities.

Pastoral Services

  • Is visibly present at weekend Masses and parish events in order to keep attuned to the living faith and concerns of the parishioners.
  • Cooperates with staff and volunteers to invite and engage all newcomers in the liturgical life of the parish community.
  • Works to foster unity among music ministers, and creates a spirit of harmony with the presider all liturgical ministers.
  • Promotes good relations both within and beyond the parish by being involved in regional, diocesan, and ecumenical networks of professional peers.

Essential Relationships:

  • Pastor – immediate supervisor
  • Parish Staff – close cooperation and communication and seek staff involvement and input when appropriate
  • Liturgy Committee
  • Diocesan Director of Worship – for support and ongoing formation opportunities

Position Specific Requirements:

  • Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities
    • Organizational Skills
    • Music skills: vocal and/or instrumental competency with keyboard as preference
    • Working knowledge of Liturgy documents and principals
    • Ability to work with and to supervise volunteers

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; stand; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to walk; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. 

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

This position requires regular evening and weekend work and therefore must manage his/her time, taking days off as appropriate, and with the approval of the pastor.

Published by FDLC

Since 1970, the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions has served the clergy and faithful of the dioceses of the United States by providing leadership, scholarship, and resources to aid in the authentic implementation and celebration of the liturgy.