Sacred Music

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Sacred Heart is home to three choirs, which serve to elevate our liturgy and help dispose the faithful to God’s graces. 

Women’s Schola Cantorum

The women’s schola is looking to expand its ranks! The women’s schola is dedicated to singing Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony for the 12:30 Mass. The schola is in session September-June. There are two ways to participate in this ensemble:

  • Apprentice Member: Open to ladies age 12 and up. No prior chanting/musical experience is required. Apprentice members are required to come to only Sunday rehearsals (12 noon). They will be given a more experienced singer to act as their mentor, and will sing only the ordinary (the Kyrie, Credo, Sanctus, etc.) of the Mass. Apprentice members will be given practice in the skills of reading chant notation, Latin pronunciation, good vocal technique, basic rhythm and phrasing, and timeliness. Formal instruction in the reading of chant notation is available upon request. A very informal audition/interview is required.
  • Schola Member: Open to ladies age 16 and up. Basic chant reading/Latin pronunciation is required. Schola members are required to come to weekly practices on Wednesdays from 6-7 pm, and to sing about three Sundays a month. They are expected to practice at home when necessary. Schola members will practice particularly the skills of sight-reading chant notation, the use of solfege, and good vocal technique, as well as continuing to grow in their understanding of rhythm, phrasing, and the liturgy. A very informal audition/interview is required.

For more information, email Cecilia Black at cblack@sacredheartgr.org, or just pull her aside after Mass!


Men’s Schola Cantorum

Come chant like the monks! The Men’s Schola Cantorum is dedicated to singing Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony for the 12:30 Mass. The schola is in session September-June and is open to any men in the parish 16 or older. Chant notation, technique, solfege, and repertoire will be taught at rehearsal on Tuesday evenings from 7-8:15 in the choir room. Men who have never read chant are encouraged to attend, as they won’t be expected to sing everything with the ensemble; they will be phased in with time. Previous vocal experience is required. For more information, contact the Director of Sacred Music, Jonathan Bading, at musicdirector@sacredheartgr.org or come up to the loft after Mass.


Parish Choir

The Parish choir performs repertoire from the Medieval Era to the Renaissance, Gregorian chant, and classical hymnody at the 10:30 Mass. This volunteer ensemble meets on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30 PM to rehearse repertoire, develop vocal technique, and practice sight singing. Rehearsal will be followed by a social time of wine and cheese. Adult members of the parish or experienced high schoolers are welcome to join. Previous vocal experience is required. For more information, please contact the Director of Sacred Music, Jonathan Bading, at musicdirector@sacredheartgr.org or come up to the loft after Mass.


Whoever sings, prays twice!

Our music activities at Sacred Heart Parish invite Catholics to unite in joyfully embracing the Church’s teaching that liturgical music must be oriented toward “the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful.”

What the Church Teaches

The Vatican II ‘Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,’ (Sacrosanctum Conciliam, 1963), teaches that music joined to the texts of the sacred rites is “a necessary and integral part of the solemn liturgy.” The ‘Instruction on Music and Liturgy’ (Musicam Sacram, 1967) implementing the council’s teachings reiterated  that sacred music, “being created for the celebration of divine worship, is endowed with a certain holy sincerity of form.” In this intimate link with the “source and summit of the Christian life,” it transcends both merely religious music and all other creative art forms.

The Church has also articulated a definite ideal for the nature of sacred music. The Second Vatican Council decreed that “the Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.” In 2003 Saint John Paul II echoed his twentieth-century predecessors, especially Saint Pius X, when he instructed the Church that “the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.” Pope Benedict XVI in his pontificate taught that “an authentic updating of sacred music can take place only in the lineage of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony.” Vatican II also singled out polyphony (sacred choral music growing directly out of Gregorian chant) and the organ as other key elements of Catholic sacred music.

What We Do

Music at Sacred Heart Parish aims to lift hearts and minds in prayer and voices in offering to God by fostering a love for the Church’s matchless patrimony of sacred song, which Vatican II called “a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than any other art.” Through the study and practice of Catholic sacred music, we hope to foster musical excellence—especially singing—among the assembly and singers of all ages in our parish choir. Just as our Gregorian chant scholas provide Latin-texted chant for the weekly Traditional Latin Mass, our cantors and choirs provide English-language settings of the Proper of the Mass (Entrance, Psalm, Alleluia, Offertory, and Communion Antiphon) while leading the assembly in settings of the Ordinary of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei), sung responses, and classical hymnody.

We put particular emphasis on nurturing in our children a love of the Church’s own special music and skills in singing it well as an offering to Our Lord. Choirs for young choristers teach the basics of music reading, proper vocal technique, and understanding the ancient and timeless words of the sacred liturgy.