November 17, 2010

Traditional Latin Children's Choir

My friend Kay wrote a lovely article about the children's choir that my friend Michele and I started this year. It appeared in our local Catholic paper this week. I'd like to share it here. 6 of the children in the choir are mine :)
It all began with the death of a dear friend, complemented by their immense love and adoration of Jesus Christ, especially through the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). Inspired by their belief that the rich musical tradition contained within the Church's repository of Sacred music, so much of it languishing in obscurity, should be transmitted to the younger generations, the St. Norbert's TLM Children's Choir was born.
Michele, Julie and 16 children, ages 7 to 15, will be presenting their first Sung High Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, December 8 at St. Norbert’s Church in Roxbury. A light dinner reception will follow.
Michele shares, "Our St. Norbert's Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) Choir lost one of its members, William, to cancer in July. Per his wishes, a Traditional Requiem High Mass was celebrated on July 29, 2010 by Rev. John Blewett, a priest from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest. Deeply moved by both the experience of William's humble acceptance of sickness and death, and by the majesty of the Requiem Mass, I experienced an interior urging to start a children's choir.”
“I was right on board as soon as Michele mentioned the idea of forming a children's choir”, said Julie. “We first met at St. Michael's back in 1991 and having a mutual love for beautiful music, started a chant schola, which dissipated with the death of Fr. Kunz. With the Motu Proprio and re-introduction of the Traditional Latin Mass in the Madison Diocese, we were once again reunited through the Latin Mass Choir at St. Norbert's. I think that children should learn truly beautiful music that is so often forgotten in the Church today. Since the first purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to adore God in the most perfect way, the music chosen should serve to enhance the Mass and uplift the soul to God.”
Michele agreed, “It is my own personal sense that the children of our times have a special role to play in the restoration of beauty. My hope for them is that their hearts and spirits continue to sing the praises of their God and their Catholic faith throughout periods of joy, privation, or persecution. Music has the ability to momentarily transport us from this mortal plane of existence, allowing us to experience our connection to the Celestial Realm and Those who eagerly await us there.”
Julie mentioned that St. Cecilia and St. Augustine are their patrons. St. Augustine, who deemed himself to be exceptionally sensitive to music, understood its power to stimulate the emotions, as evidenced in his Confessions: “The tears flowed from me when I heard your hymns and canticles, for the sweet singing of your Church moved me deeply. The music surged in my ears, truth seeped into my heart and my feelings of devotion overflowed, so that the tears streamed down. But they were tears of gladness.”
The children are singing Gregorian Chant Mass IX - Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Salve Mater Misericordiae and Credo IV. The hymns include Omni Die Dic Mariae and O Purest of Creatures as well as polyphonic pieces sung in two parts: Ecce Panis Angelorum, Alma Redemptoris and O Esca Viatorum.
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We are currently also working on some Christmas Hymns, they will sing during the prelude to Midnight Mass. Each month we sing special hymns dedicated to the month, for example this month we are singing special hymns in honor of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Our next sung High Mass will be for the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19th at one of our other cluster parishes that says the TLM on Saturday mornings. After Christmas we will begin to work on that.
If you are local are interested in joining us... email me.


  1. There are few more profitable things the children can do -- in every way. For the good of their souls, for the edification of the parish, and especially for the glory of God--- and it's just plain old fun. :)

    Our children have been singing in the trad choir for many years and it's become an important part of their identity, this skill and pleasure. Wherever they go and meet other Catholics, they have an immediate bond in music. (their greatest pleasure is to visit convents and seminaries where they sing with the Sisters and Seminarians!) Bravo for your new choir, and prayers for many blessings on its members!

  2. Chris sings with our boys' choir and the same lady running that also started a girls' choir (Julia, Emily). this is all in addition to the mixed (older teen/young adult) choir that had already existed. the same lady also teaches music in the school this yr! :)