This past Saturday, March 3rd, we were overjoyed to welcome the Most Pure Heart of Mary Schola Cantorum from Topeka, Kansas to our church, under the direction of Dr. Lucas Tappan and assisted by Mr. Charlie Wulke. The Schola is truly astonishing in their dedication: practicing four days a week at 7am, they have achieved a true cathedral choir sound that reminded me of my visit to the boy choirs in London and Oxford. The Schola joined the Sacred Heart Children’s Choir for a lovely Mass that included the following selections:
Introit Antiphon, Lumen Christi Missal – Adam Bartlett
Kyrie from Mass IX, cum iubilo, plainchant
Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation, Lumen Christi Missal
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, traditional
Sanctus from Mass IX, cumb iubilo, plainchant
Memorial Acclamation, Agnus Dei, Mass in Honor of St. John of the Cross, yours truly
Agnus Dei, Josef Rheinberger, Missa Puerorum, Op. 62
God So Loved the World, John Stainer, Crucifixion
The choirs at Sacred Heart are now eagerly preparing for the Triduum!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Whew! Christmas is over, and it seems like Lent is just around the corner. These are joyous times for me as a music director: it is joyous indeed to be in the thick of the liturgical year.
This Lent I have decided to unveil a new setting of the Mass Ordinary that I wrote for this parish a year ago (see my “compositions” page for PDFs of the music). We will be singing it for the season of Lent, without the Gloria, of course, which makes the task of teaching and learning it much more doable, instead of doing it all at once. Please join me (ALL are invited!) and the adult choir and cantors at 1pm on Saturday, January 27th for a workshop on congregational singing: I will present and teach this Mass setting to all who wish to attend. I hope and pray that you will find it enjoyable and meaningful to sing. It is one of the chief joys of my life as a musician to be able to share my compositions with my brothers and sisters in Christ and to be able to sing them together for the worship of the Almighty.
I have named this Mass setting Mass in Honor of Saint John of the Cross, which has a personal story behind it. I wrote this Mass setting while I was going through RCIA. During the period of my conversion to the Catholic faith (which took about seven years), I went through a period of spiritual darkness and depression, during which I discovered the poetry of Saint John of the Cross. His poetry speaks powerfully of the spiritual gloom and trials he experienced. His poetry was instrumental in drawing me to the Church. During RCIA, I learned that his feast day is on my birthday: December the 14th! This made my connection to him even stronger, and I dedicated the music to his memory. The music of this Mass setting is a response to my spiritual darkness in the context of converting to the faith and learning about the life of a true saint. I pray that the music I have written will assist the liturgy at our parish in a way that will reach the hearts of many, enriching them in the worship of the One who surrendered His Life to the darkness…and the darkness has not overcome it!
- This past Sunday morning the adult choir and children’s choir joined together to sing for Mass at 9:30am. Their hard work and service is much appreciated and well-received by the Sacred Heart community. Also, this past month saw the first Requiem Children’s Choir Mass at Sacred Heart for the funeral liturgy of Ignacio Tabares. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders of Sacred Heart School greatly blessed the Tabares family with the grace of their voices and their respect for the sacred nature of the occasion.
- The adult choir is doing well, and is looking for new members! Our rehearsals are on Thursday evenings at 7pm in the church choir loft. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the choir, please have them contact me at 620.794.5232. Please consider contributing your time to this important ministry that blesses our church community each week.
- There are other ways to get involved musically at Sacred Heart. Please join us for our rehearsal on Saturday, November 18th at Noon in the church choir loft to rehearse music for the special Advent Choir Mass on Saturday, December 2nd with the ESU Chamber Choir! Please put this date on your calendars: you won’t want to miss this special Mass.
- All the children of Sacred Heart School are working very hard on their music for the annual school Advent program. Please come on Wednesday, December 13th at 6pm to hear their angelic voices in a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.
- Also, be aware that the Adult and Children’s choirs are always open to receiving singers who wish to sing for special occasions like Christmas Eve and Holy Week.
May God continue to bless our parish.
In nomine Domini,