“The liturgy is inherently linked to beauty: it is veritatis splendor. . . . Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation.”
- Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (35)
The Congregation plays a vital role in the musical celebration of the liturgy at St. Dennis Church. The splendour of a High Mass is heightened by the committed, diligent singing of the faithful. It is our hope that the music at St. Dennis enables you to pray more perfectly, and that it inspires you to quiet reverence, and also to the resounding, glorious Praise of God.
“If beauty is a compelling need in the liturgy, then we must choose the most beautiful music possible.”
The Mass is the perfect prayer, and we should endeavour to sing it together as a community.
Here are some ways you can assist at Mass with your singing voice:
- Responses (et cum spirito tuo, etc)
- The Ordinary
- Kyrie Eleison
- Gloria in Excelsis Deo
- Sanctus & Benedictus
- Agnus Dei
- Hymns (which are posted on the hymn boards)
Historically, the singers have been split into two choirs. At St Dennis, the Choir in the loft sings the Choir 1 part, and we encourage the Congregation to sing the alternating Choir 2 part. To aid in this, you will notice the organ volume increases when the congregation is to sing.
The singing of a High Mass necessitates a postural modification from the Low Mass due to the length of time required to sing. Oftentimes, at a High Mass, the Priest will sit down before the singing is complete. This is proper, as he has a different role than that of the faithful. As it is always proper to stand whilst singing, it is recommended for the congregation to remain standing (whether they are singing or not) until the communal singing of the Ordinary is complete.