Music has always played an important role in liturgy. Most of the Our Sunday Masses. Often times, traditional and sometimes modern music accompanies and enriches the liturgy, keeps us in a meditative mood, and helps us pray and praise God.
The music program at St. Uriel's reflects the traditional liturgy of Anglican worship. Within this framework, the Music Ministry plays a vital role in enhancing our Christian worship and in underscoring the tenets and teachings of our Christian faith.
At the Sunday Masses, the music sung spans the history of the Anglican church music which plays such a vital and vibrant part of Christianity.
Saint Augustine recounts in his autobiography, Confessions, an experience he had during the singing of the Mass: “How I wept, deeply moved by your hymns, songs, and the voices that echoed through your Church! What emotion I experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears, distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face — tears that did me good”. St. Augustines entire being was penetrated and transformed through music.
St. Uriel's, which was founded in 1903, was established from it's very beginning as an Anglo-Catholic parish. The very founders of St. Uriel's understand the central purpose of the sung Mass. That is why today, we continue to sing the Mass on Sunday.
At Sung Mass, the Church teaches that in the music and song of the liturgy, that what takes place is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful. The Mass itself is a song. For the vast majority of the past 2,000 years, the various parts of the Mass have been sung by priests and lay faithful. The musical tradition of the Church forms a necessary or integral part of solemn liturgy”. The Mass is most itself when it is sung.
Sung liturgical prayer more effectively reveals the mystery of the Liturgy as well as more easily accomplishes its heavenly purposes. In this way, sung liturgy is a revelation of Christ as well as a vehicle for profound participation in His saving work.
A local pastor was fond of bragging, "You won't hear any contemporary music in our church! We remain true to the old hymns!" The problem is, those old hymns were "contemporary" when they were first written. In addition to the beautiful liturgical music used within the Church, there is a growing desire for contemporary church music.
With our very traditional liturgies during the weekdays and on Sundays, St. Uriel's also celebrates once a month, a Saturday Vigil Mass. The Mass is celebrated at 5:00pm on the second Saturday of the month [October - June]. Why would a traditional Anglo-Catholic parish ever consider offering a contemporary Mass?
Someone once said, "I love the traditional music and hymnody of the Church. Their theological offerings strengthens me and teached the faithful. And, the contemporary songs are to me, 'love letters to Jesus.'" This is why St. Uriel's offers a contemporary liturgy in such a traditionally centered parish.
Contemporary church music, along with traditional church music, is such a powerful tool that can be used to evangelize, lift our spirits and draw people closer to God and His Church.
With all of the negative media and music that people, especially our youth, are bombarded with on a daily basis, it is nice to know that there are alternatives out there that can be used to entertain, but best of all, to draw us closer to God and His Church.
Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart) - King's College, Cambridge
The Kings College Choir owes its existence to King Henry VI to sing daily services in his magnificent chapel. This remains the Choir's role and is an important part of the lives of its 16 choristers, 14 choral scholars and two organ scholars, who study a variety of subjects in the College.