Sacred Music Program
The Cathedral Sacred Music Department promotes the use of the authentic forms of Catholic music (primarily Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, and organ repertoire/improvisations) along with congregational hymnody within the context of the Roman Rite. Each week the choir, cantors, and organists of the Cathedral seek to bring about excellence in Catholic music and to exemplify the rubrics and instructions given to us by Holy Mother Church.
The Cathedral Music Program offers music in several different forms each week:
Low Mass with Organ Music
At the 7:00am Sunday Mass there is no singing, but the organ accompanies the ritual of the Mass. The earliest Mass at the Cathedral on Sundays has a long-standing tradition of not being sung, however the beauty of organ improvisations and repertoire adds to the beauty of Mass on the Lord’s Day.
Sung Mass with a Cantor
At the 6:30pm Tuesday Mass, weekday Feasts with a Gloria, and other Masses when an organist is not available, a cantor will lead the singing of the Entrance Chant, Kyrie, Gloria (if applicable), Psalm, Alleluia, Offertory Antiphon, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Communion Antiphon, and Marian Antiphon after Mass. These chants are sung without accompaniment using the primary instrument of Catholic worship: the human voice.
Sung Mass with a Cantor and Organ
At the 4:30pm Saturday (anticipated) Mass, on weekday Solemnities, and at various other times – a Cathedral Cantor is joined by an organist to add solemnity and beauty to the celebration of Holy Mass. At Sung Masses with a Cantor and Organ the music is similar to the description above, but with a prelude, postlude, improvisations, and usually at least one hymn. The use of the organ at these Masses shows the importance of these Solemnities and uses instrumental music to raise our minds and hearts to Almighty God.
Sung Mass with the Cathedral Choir of Phoenix
The 9:00am Televised Mass is sung by the Cathedral Choir of Phoenix from September until Corpus Christi. The Cathedral Choir sings the chants described in #2, has the organ music described in #3, and adds two hymns and (usually) two motets. The Cathedral Choir also often sings polyphonic settings of the Ordinary, a part of the treasury of sacred music that the Second Vatican Council has asked us to preserve.
Solemn Mass with the Cathedral Schola
The 11:00am Solemn Mass is sung by the Cathedral Schola from September until Corpus Christi. The Cathedral Schola Mass is similar to the Cathedral Choir Mass (#5), but with more Gregorian propers (the intrinsic music of the Roman Rite taken from the Graduale Romanum) sung by the schola, and fewer hymns. The 11:00am Solemn Mass offers more time for the congregation to meditate upon the Word of God as the Schola Cantorum sings these (mostly Biblical) texts to their authentic, ancient melodies.
Sung Mass with the Cathedral Youth Schola
The 5:00pm Mass on Sundays is sung by the Cathedral Youth Schola. This group of young people (and those who are young at heart) sing Gregorian chant, hymnody, and occasionally polyphony and choral pieces. The vocal requirements for the Youth Schola are less advanced than the Cathedral Choir, but an audition is still necessary. This group also occasionally sings quality modern sacred music.
For questions or further information on sacred music at the Cathedral, contact Director of Sacred Music Matthew J. Meloche at 602-242-1300 ext. 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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