About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark has served since 1989 as Music Director and Organist at Saint Cecilia Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. For the Archdiocese of Boston, he directed the Office of Divine Worship Saint Cecilia Schola. His compositions have been performed on four continents.
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"Nothing should be allowed that is unworthy of divine worship, nothing that is obviously profane or unfit to express the inner, sacred power of prayer. Nothing odd or unusual is allowable, since such things, far from fostering devotion in the praying community, rather shock and upset it and impede the proper and rightful cultivation of a devotion faithful to tradition."
— Pope Paul VI • 10/13/1966

“Choral music is not one of life’s frills.”
published 24 April 2015 by Richard J. Clark

OMPOSER JOHN RUTTER, in this extraordinary video, speaks from the heart the importance of choral music for humanity, and hence for our souls:

“Choral music is not one of life’s frills. It’s something that goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of community and our souls. You express when you sing, your soul in song.”

This is also why choral singing magnifies prayer many times over. As “choral music is not one of life’s frills,” neither is prayerful and beautiful sacred music a “frill” for the mass. It is an absolute necessity. The mass is a sung prayer; we express our praise of God from the depths of our hearts through sacred melody.

Would that our church and school budgets reflect this profound importance, our praise of God would be greater, our churches fuller, and our relationship with the Lord and each other deeper. (Interestingly, it is a wise investment that more than pays itself back.)

As Rutter also states:

“…a church or a school without a choir is like a body without a soul.”

ONE SUCH ORGANIZATION that was founded in response to budget cuts in the Boston Public Schools is the Boston City Singers. While not a choir of sacred music, this organization of numerous choirs ranging in age from four to eighteen, is an enlightened example of music education given heightened priority in the community. They have filled a great void and the community has responded with expanded programming and funding for the BCS.

As many understand, the musical education of our children isn’t just about music—it’s about personal development and broadening skills and experiences for life! Likewise, sacred music heightens our greatest prayer that is the mass and prepares us for the Sacred Banquet in heaven.

So, do we view our sacred music program as a “frill” or a necessity?

This Sunday is “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Here is a live recording from mass of the Boston City Singers in my SSA setting of “The Lord Is My Shepherd” available for digital download at RJC Cecilia Music.