Workshop topics



Primary focus = post-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgy, but much experience also in ecumenical situations, especially concerning the worship music of the Taizé and Iona communities..

The following is only a small sample listing of what Paul Inwood can provide for you. Feel free to ask about anything that does not appear below.

1. General and seasonal

Liturgy basics

Information and inspiration for all liturgies, including Eucharist, with focus on rites, symbols and ministries. Covers basic notions of what liturgy actually is, and what this means for the way we worship.

Liturgy planning/preparation

Basics and priorities in ritual and music. Can include different areas, ranging from help on constructing special liturgies from a blank sheet of paper to selecting music for Sunday Mass. Underlying fundamental principles and the creative use of the imagination are brought together.

Making the most of the Mass / The Mass under the Microscope

An in-depth look at the Mass, establishing priorities, with equal emphasis on ritual, music and ministries.

Music for the Church Year

A broad overview, or concentration on specific seasons, as required. See also the next three topics.

Ritual and music for Holy Week / Easter Triduum

Bringing new life to the climax of the Church Year.

Planning for Advent

Find out what the Sunday Lectionary for this season is really asking us to do - it may be different from what you thought!

Music for RCIA / weddings / funerals / reconciliation services...

Music can help bring alive these rites. Examine the liturgical, musical and pastoral problems, and discover some solutions as well as taking a look at future developments.

The music minister as a leader of prayer

Music ministry is not about simply being a technician - there is a whole other dimension.

Psalms and Antiphons

Bringing new life to the oldest traditional form of the Church. This workshop opens up new vistas in repertoire and is guaranteed to be enjoyable!

Linking liturgy and life

Liturgy should not take place in a vacuum. Take a look at some areas where everyday life and liturgy can intersect, and some music that can help this to come about.


2. Worship with children

Celebrating with children - the real issues

More than just having good music or a Children's Liturgy of the Word, our underlying attitudes also need to change. This session explores some of the basic principles that are essential to forming us as the People of God, whatever our age.

New approaches to ritual music with children

An exploration of how celebrating with children demands not just good music but good music that fits the rites.

What pastoral liturgists wish every DRE knew

DREs find themselves making liturgical decisions far more often than liturgists find themselves making catechetical decisions, and misunderstandings can arise. This session aims to build bridges between those trained to work in the two fields of religious education and worship.

Involving children in liturgical ministry

Ministry is something open to all. How can we best utilize the talents of our children in genuine ministry rather than token involvement?


See also below, section 5 (Practical), under Children


3. Parts of the Mass that need urgent attention

Gathering rites - crucial for our future

Gathering rites are the "make or break" of our Eucharists in the future. Find out why this is so and what gathering rites really are, along with plenty of concrete examples of how they can work in different parish situations.

“The Word of the Lord”- but did we really hear it?

The Liturgy of the Word is fraught with problems, obvious and not-so-obvious. We need to put this part of the rite under a microscope and examine our presuppositions. Learn about the choreography of this part of the rite, the dynamics of the rite, and the elements that often make it less effective than it could be. For practical formation, see under Lectors below.

The Communion Rite at Mass - unified ritual moment or assortment of individual events?

How we treat the Communion Rite can radically transform our communities. This workshop provides a fresh look at all the elements involved in this rite. See also under Lay Ministers of Communion below.


4. Deeper reflection

Spirituality (and other essentials) for liturgical ministers

Do liturgical ministry and personal prayer seem mutually exclusive? Throw away your pre-conditioning and open your heart!

True liturgical ministry

Explore what this concept really means - it's far more than just the nuts-and-bolts of roles in liturgy. This session is for all liturgical ministers, not just musicians, and also for members of the assembly. It will change your life.

Learning to be full human - in church?!

Our celebrations can only come alive when we let go and allow God to act in our midst. Moving away from entertainment or boredom to genuine participation is essential. Liturgy can be fun as well as prayerful.

Music as catechist

Music is not just the conveying of doctrine, concepts or texts in a book. There is a whole other world waiting to be explored. This session also includes a basic theology of music in liturgy.


Paul Inwood offers times of spiritual refreshment to ministers of music as well as other liturgical ministers.


5. Practical

Cantor training

Many American cantors do not seem to be able to get their assemblies to respond. Find out why the European model is so much more successful, and how it can help you. Paul Inwood has been responsible for training more cantors in England during the past 35 years than all other clinicians combined.

In addition to workshops, Paul Inwood also offers the following practical sessions:

Choir festivals

Paul has the gift of being able to get large bodies of people singing well and enjoyably together in a very short space of time. Singing under a very experienced choral conductor can be a real joy.


Ranging from music for worship to organ recitals, from stunning improvisations to a kind of liturgical stand-up comedy routine, concerts can be arranged to suit your needs - inspiration, scriptural reflection, humor can all play a part, and specific themes can be followed.

For something rather unusual but delightfully different, Paul teams up with wonderful Altanta-based Gospel pianist Val Parker. Together they give two-piano concerts in which all the music is totally improvised by both players simultaneously, each at their own instrument, based on your favorite hymns and songs.

Music of Taizé

The style of worship of this world-famous ecumenical community, and how to use its music to aid prayer. Paul Inwood has conducted hundreds of Taizé workshops in the past 30 years, and is a former English national music fieldworker on behalf of the Taizé community. He was the first person to bring the late Brother Robert to England to introduce the music of Taizé to the British Isles.


Practical help with accompanying and solo playing.


Practical help and constructive criticism.


As well as over 45 years’ experience as a liturgical musician, Paul has worked extensively with children on both sides of the Atlantic, in school and in parish, for over 25 years. They love working with him! Preferred age-range is 7-10 years. Paul is also very happy to work with parents, teachers and clergy. He has a current CRB advanced disclosure.


Some useful background, something on “liturgical choreography”, and lots of practical help.

Lay Ministers of Communion

A session including the underlying theology as well as a lot of help with practical considerations.


A range of topics can be addressed, ranging from presiding skills to the musical role of the deacon. See also under Children a few lines above.


To organize a workshop, you can e-mail Paul Inwood direct or, in the US, you can make use of OCP's, GIA's or Liturgical Press's workshop co-ordinator if this is more convenient.

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