An essential part of a fulfilling community worship experience, its importance cannot be understated. Whether raised in praise, thanksgiving or lamentation, the ability of song to stir our soul and buoy our spirit is ageless and eternal.
In spiritual life formation and liturgy, music can be a tool not simply to engage the listener but to move an entire community to participation through “beauty expressive of prayer”, while preserving the “solemn character of the celebration”.  This tension is important to consider because not all songs are appropriate to the occasion or the solemnity of the moment no matter how beautiful or inspiring.
One age group or ministry that is making significant strides with in doing this well is the area of youth ministry. Incorporating visuals with songs, and quite often using live music, youth ministry is recognizing the importance of music as a means for evangelization and enrichment. Given the array of contemporary Christian artists, quite a few of them even specifically Catholic; there is no shortage of music styles, or diversity of gifts. While it might surprise you, in Christian music today there is not only room for outstanding gospel and praise artists, but blues, pop, metal, and rap as well.
Having said this, I would love your help with my latest project! Within the format of the retreat setting, and sacramental preparation, I am interested in amassing an ongoing list of artists and songs to deeper engage the whole believer to participation. Then, with these songs, parishes could use them in coordination with guided sacramental programs and retreats, even garnering the assistance of local musicians if possible.
The following are an initial top 15 for Reconciliation, in no particular order, with some more obviously applying to different age groups. Please comment, or inbox me through FB or Twitter if you have suggestions for this list.
- Lord, I need You-Matt Maher
- Breaking You- Audrey Assad
- Forgiveness-Matthew West
- Come to Me-Jamie Grace
- Redeemed-Big Daddy Weave
- Turn Around-Matt Maher
- Infinite Grace-Sarah Hart
- Be Forgiven- Jackie François-Angel
- Empty and Beautiful-Matt Maher
- In the Silence-Sarah Kroger
- Suitcases-Dara McClean
- Find You on My Knees-Kari Jobe
- Your love is like a River-Third Day
- Like a Bridge over Troubled Water-Audrey Assad
- I Need You Now-Plumb
 Rudolph Steiner
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1157