Music

Solemn Mass with the Schola Cantorum: At the heart of the Parish’s liturgical and musical life, the Solemn Mass is the richest expression of the Church’s Holy Sacrifice. As such, it is celebrated with full ceremonial on Sundays (at 12:00 noon at St. Vincent Ferrer), on major feast days, and to mark important occasions in the community. The Schola Cantorum, the Parish’s professional choir, sings for every Solemn Mass. Schola Cantorum is the official term used by the Catholic Church to denote a liturgical choir and literally means ‘school of singing’.

The Schola chants the Latin Propers (the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons and the Alleluia) according to the Dominican Graduale, the chant book particular to the Order of Preachers. Offertory and Communion motets follow the respective Antiphons, and on feast days a choral Mass Ordinary is offered. This broad range of repertoire surveys the very best in our treasured Catholic musical patrimony.

Additional prayers sung by the congregation at a Solemn Mass include the Credo, a Post-Communion Hymn, and a seasonally-changing Marian Antiphon after the dismissal. The celebrant’s orations and other responsory prayers (e.g. Preface dialogue) are also chanted.

Sung Mass: Four Masses with cantor are offered in the Parish each weekend: at 6:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday at St. Vincent Ferrer and at 10:00 am and 5:00 pm (a cappella) on Sunday at St. Catherine of Siena. At each of these, the major Propers (the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons) are chanted by the cantor in English. A congregational Mass Ordinary is sung, as well as a Post-Communion Hymn. The 10:00 am Mass at St. Catherine of Siena additionally includes an Offertory Hymn.

Low Mass: The 9:30 am Low Mass on Sundays at St. Vincent Ferrer includes hymns at the Offertory and Communion, offering yet one more musical option in our weekend schedule.

Parish Vespers: Congregational Vespers is sung on Sundays at 5:30 pm in the choir stalls at St. Vincent Ferrer. This Office of Evening Prayer includes a hymn, a series of psalms, a Scripture reading, a responsory, and the Magnificat – the Canticle of Mary. During term, an instructional chant class precedes the liturgy at 5:00 pm, also in the stalls.

Concert Series: Our newly-established Concert Series features our own Schola and internationally-acclaimed visiting artists.

St. Cecilia Guild: Join the group of patrons – both parishioners and visitors – through whose generosity our music program is financially sustained. Please consider becoming a friend of music by making a contribution to support our proud tradition of offering excellent music to the glory of God!

Music Brochure: The Parish publishes a yearly booklet that includes additional information about the concert series, the St. Cecilia Guild, and a complete list of choral repertoire sung by the Schola Cantorum. Please take a copy found in either church. For more information about the Music Program, contact James D. Wetzel, Director of Music and Organist, at jwetzel@svsc.info.