Choristers' Challenge

Sing like a Catholic. Sing the Mass.

God Loves Friday

God Loves Friday

God Loves Friday

God Loves Friday

Catholic Composers – March Madness – WEEK ONE


Here are four composers who represent the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Vote for which composer you prefer from each time period. The composer receiving the most votes will move on to the next round. Below are youtube examples for your enjoyment.


Guillaume de Machaut  1300 – 1377

Hildegard von Bingen 1098 – 1179

Thomas Tallis 1505 – 1585

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 1525 – 1594 (video is from Saint Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha!)

Get on the BUS

SING for the Rite of Election at Saint Cecilia Cathedral

with Archbishop George Lucas

and hundreds of people who will become Catholic at Easter

Sunday, March 5

10:30 am Departure from Saint Mary’s Church parking lot

6 pm Return to Norfolk

Cost: $15 for chartered bus (bring your own sack lunch)

Children must turn in this parent permission form:


God Loves Friday


In an attempt to end pre-Lent with a BANG, here is a fun song for the 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time, February 26th. We will Bury the Alleluia on this Sunday, as we don’t say Alleluia during Lent. Ash Wednesday is on March 1st.

JOIN US as we sing as many HALLELUJAHS as we can before Lent!

Spotlight on a New Mass Setting for Sacred Heart Parish

One of the most exciting opportunities arising from the publication of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal is that of developing a new repertoire of Mass settings.

We have learned the following thus far:

    Heritage Mass by Owen Alstott

    Mass in Honor of Saint Cecilia by David Hurd

    Mass of a Joyful Heart by Steve Angrisano

    Community Mass by Richard Proulx

    Missa pro editione Tertia by Christopher Mueller

    Roman Missal Mass

    Jubilate Deo Mass

    Mass of Communion by Matt Maher

    German Mass by Franz Schubert (Richard Proulx)

    Missa Simplex by Michael O’Connor and Richard Proulx

    Mass of Saint Ann by Ed Bolduc

    The Psallite Mass: At the Table of the Lord

        by The Collegeville Composers Group


This Lent, we are going to sing Mass of the Angels by Richard J. Clark.

I like this setting because it sounds overwhelmingly Catholic. Drawing from the original Latin Mass “Missa de Angelis,” this English setting contains lush harmonies for the choir, and a melody that sings itself, it is so easy. To this day, “Missa de Angelis” remains the most well known Mass setting worldwide. Many of the papal liturgies in Rome and elsewhere utilize parts of the “Missa de Angelis.” It is a setting that transcends cuture and time, allowing all Catholics to sing their faith as one. I pray that “Mass of the Angels” will plant a seed in our parish youth that flowers into a deep love of their Catholic faith, and of the beauty that God lavishes upon us.

youtube video Kyrie

youtube video Lenten Gospel Acclamation

youtube video Sanctus

youtube vide Agnus Dei


Music Ministry through AGAPE

A artistic – Beauty is the first priority, Make Beautiful Music

G genuine – The music selections should be helpful to your unique congregation

A authentic – Be true to your Church history, reproduce the essential features of your denomination’s music, know your congregation’s listening history (what music do they know, what music styles are they familiar with)

P purposeful – Wed the Music to the Rite: timing, feeling/emotion, i.e. film scoring, cover ambient noise

E evangelizing – spread the Gospel through music


The above is my paraphrasing of a presentation given by Dr. Peter Latona in Omaha in January, 2017.  He used the AGAPE acrostic as a way to illustrate the main considerations for developing a music ministry for worship.

In addition, Dr. Latona provided instruction on how to develop improvisation skills. Improvisation plays a large role in what I do at Mass, so I especially enjoyed the techniques that he proposed.

  1. base improvs on repertoire styles – collect excerpts from myriad composers in a notebook (Dupre, Tournemire, Langlais, Copland, etc), and then choose a style to imitate – have an improv plan
  2. add harmonic color: add one accidental at a time in order
  3. Improvise on the music at Mass – motets, psalms
  4. Don’t overuse the Pedal or the Celeste – improvise without the pedal, vary what stops you use
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