Sacred Heart is home to three choirs, which serve to elevate our liturgy and help dispose the faithful to God’s graces.
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—amongst both the faithful and chorister alike.
In Our Pews
You’ll notice that we have a book in our pews: the Parish Book of Chant, published by the Church Music Association of America. This wonderful collection of Gregorian ordinaries, hymns, and antiphons contains virtually everything the congregation could ever need to participate in a sung Mass, whether it be a Novus Ordo or Traditional Latin Mass. They also include the full texts of both Masses to help you follow along with the priest’s prayers.
Both the white and red (Latin) Mass booklets that we’ve been using for the past year have served as a placeholder for this Parish Book of Chant. The PBC and the Jean de Brebeuf Hymnal skillfully express the riches of our musical deposit of faith, encompassing a vast selection of both liturgical and devotional materials. May they greatly aid you in your assistance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.