Advent Recitals and Vespers
- As is our tradition during the Season of Advent, the Cathedral will celebrate Sung Second Vespers on each Sunday evening at 5:15PM.
- These Vespers services are prayed in English, but with traditional forms, according to the Liturgy of the Hours. They last from 30-45 minutes, and center upon a hymn, psalmody, reading, homily, and canticles.
- Ordinarily, they are led by a cantor, but this year, we also welcome the musical contributions of the following groups:
- December 6: The Sister Servants of the Eternal Word, who will present Vespers much as they do daily at Casa Maria. Don’t miss the sisters’ beautiful chanting, with a sprinkling of polyphony as well!
- December 13: Staff Singers of Cathedral Choir, who have been so faithful singing the entire Gregorian proper and much polyphony every Sunday 11AM Mass during the pandemic. They will sing Cristobal de Morales’ Magnificat Octavi Toni.
- Each Sunday, Vespers is preceded by a forty-minute recital. This year’s presenters are:
- November 30: Mark Hayes, Cathedral Assistant Organist. Works by Bach, Ashdown, and Vierne.
- December 6: The Sister Servants (directed by Sr. Benedicta Marie, SsEW) will present selections of their choral repertoire, as well as organ solos by Sr. Margaret Mary, SsEW.
- December 13: The Staff Singers of Cathedral Choir will present a solo and choral prelude of favorites from throughout the liturgical year.
- December 20: Bruce Ludwick, Jr., Cathedral DIrector of Music and Organist. Works by Bach, Peeters, and more!
- Vespers orders of worship will be posted in-line with Sunday Mass orders on the Orders of Worship page.
- Please feel welcome to join us for any (and all!) of these offices as a way of sanctifying the year and preparing your heart for the coming of Jesus Christ.
Liturgical Music week-to-week during COVID-19
- For the most current information on liturgical and sacramental schedules, check the Cathedral frontpage.
- Due to scientific research that indicates group singing in particular seems to allow transmission of the COVID-19 virus, congregational singing has been temporarily suspended out of an abundance of caution.
- The 5:00pm (anticipated) and 8:30am Sunday Masses have organ voluntaries at the entrance, offertory, communion, and sortie. The Sunday 8:30AM Mass is livestreamed on the Cathedral’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/stpaulsbhm).
- The 11:00am Mass is sung by the staff singers of Cathedral Choir (who are few in number, and therefore can be socially distanced in the loft) on behalf of the assembly. This allows us a unique opportunity to plumb the depths of the “treasury of sacred music” recommended so heartily by the Second Vatican Council and every pontiff since Pope St. Pius X.
- The Ordinary of the Mass is sung to one of the Masses from the Gregorian Kyriale or to a polyphonic setting. Should you wish to follow along, the CMAA and Solesmes Abbey have graciously made the Gregorian Missal available free for download here.
- The Proper of the Mass is usually sung according to the Graduale Romanum, but occasionally polyphonic settings are represented as well (Byrd, Handl, and Willan, to name recent examples).
- Motets and anthems are sung as needed, especially during Holy Communion.
- The Orders of Worship and Music Lists subpage is kept current so that you may see what we are preparing for upcoming weeks!
Livestreamed Masses Archived
- The Solemn Vespers and Mass of Installation of our new ordinary, The Most Reverend Steven J. Raica, were recorded and televised by EWTN. You may view these at the links above. Don’t miss the welcome page assembled by the Diocese. Welcome to Birmingham, Your Excellency!
- If you are interested in viewing livestreamed Masses from Holy Week, they are available on the Diocesan Discipleship & Mission YouTube channel or at the links for each day below.
In the “Sacred Music” section you can learn about the following sub-topics (also accessible through the menus). In addition, please check out the sacred music information on the diocesan Office of Sacred Liturgy website.