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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“Sacred music, being a complementary part of the solemn liturgy, participates in the general scope of the liturgy, which is the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful. It contributes to the decorum and the splendor of the ecclesiastical ceremonies, and since its principal office is to clothe with suitable melody the liturgical text proposed for the understanding of the faithful, its proper aim is to add greater efficacy to the text, in order that through it the faithful may be the more easily moved to devotion and better disposed for the reception of the fruits of grace belonging to the celebration of the most holy mysteries.”
— Pope Saint Pius X

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“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.