We are fortunate to have a committed group of singers at Immaculate Heart. Together with our Director of Music, Fraser, they provide the full chants of the Mass, polyphonic Masses and motets for the Traditional Latin Mass.
The group varies depending on the commitments of the members and so the music ranges from the well known chant settings of the Mass to those written by the great composers of Catholic music; Palestrina, Byrd, Victoria and more.
Music at the Traditional Mass is not like the hymn singing which has been adopted in the last 50 years which replaces the texts of the Mass itself. At the Traditional Mass the choir sings the very words of the Mass, the proper parts which change with each Mass (Introit, Gradual/Alleluia, Offertory and Communion) and the ordinary parts which are common to every Mass (Kyrie, Gloria,Credo, Sanctus, Benedctus and Agnus Dei). The choir echoes the prayers which the priest says quietly, set to the truly ancient chants of the church, some of which are thought to go as far back as the Synagogue at the time of Our Lord. Others can be traced back to the first centuries of the Church and to the early Roman Basilicas.
In addition to singing the Mass, the schola also sing parts of the Divine Office. The Divine Office comprises of nine services which punctuate the day and are prayed by all clergy and religious and voluntarily by many of the faithful. Perhaps the chanting of the psalms evokes the image of monks chanting the office in the monastery. At Immaculate Heart, we join the whole church in chanting Vespers and Benediction (Evening Prayer and Benediction) in the Traditional Latin form every Sunday and Compline (Night Prayer) on the last Friday of the month.
Here is a sneak peek at some of the schola rehearsing the communion motet that was chosen for the third Sunday after Epiphany this year; ‘Domine Non Sum Dignus’, words from the Gospel of the Mass and from the sacred liturgy itself, set by the Spanish priest composer Thomas Louis de Victoria (b.1548).