February 12, 2014
Welcome to The Litmus Paper, our new blog! Litmus Productions has been creating resources for liturgy and religious education since 1993. That means we’re celebrating our 21st birthday this year! We are often asked where the name 'Litmus' came from. It’s quite simple really, we just condensed LITurgical MUSic. It all started when Michael Mangan was a music teacher in Catholic primary schools in Brisbane, Australia. He would find himself looking for songs to help the children he was teaching celebrate life in God’s family.
However, he would often find songs which the kids loved to sing but with lyrics that weren’t quite right. Or the lyrics would be spot on but the music didn’t appeal to the students. Consequently, he started writing singable songs that were theologically sound and liturgically correct. And so Litmus Productions was born with our very first cassette (remember those?), Children of the Light.
Lots of Australian teachers must have been experiencing the same problems with children’s music because Children of the Light was very warmly received with the initial run selling out very quickly. People found then (and still do) that you can trust Michael’s songs to fulfil the vital role of music in liturgy and the children love to sing them! You might say, that his songs pass the litmus test on both fronts.
We know that it is not always easy to choose suitable music for liturgy. It can be even harder if you actually want the assembly to sing! Michael has earned the reputation of being the go-to composer when looking for music, especially for children, that does both. Our aim with this blog is to make it simple for you to find and use music in liturgy, prayer, religious education and school assemblies. In The Litmus Paper you will find song suggestions for major feasts, seasons and school events.
And not only songs! We will offer hints and tips on preparing your own creative liturgies. We’ll also share complete liturgies for you to print off and use or to adapt so that you can give them your own special flavour. You’ll be confident that the prayers, songs and suggestions are in keeping with liturgical guidelines. A stress-free experience for you that will save you time! In fact, we are working on a liturgy for Ash Wednesday and it will be available next week.
At the heart and soul of Litmus Productions are Michael and his wife, Anne Frawley-Mangan. Anne’s passion and area of expertise is drama in liturgy and religious education. Her Master’s thesis, Drama and Religious Education: A Match Made in Heaven, explored using drama in sacramental preparation. Anne’s scripture dramas are a great way to bring scripture alive with children. She believes that you can never have too much drama in your life and we’ll be sharing her work as well.
We would love to hear from you! Email us
if you have questions, comments or feedback. Perhaps you need a song or a scripture drama. We’d love to help you find just the right one! You may have general questions about preparing liturgies. We’d love to help with that, too.
To keep up to date with our blog posts, Litmus Productions on Facebook
. We’ll let you know when each new post goes online. Michael Mangan and Anne Frawley-Mangan are looking forward to getting to know more about you and your needs. So that together we can set hearts on fire with the love of Jesus!