Where Prayerful Hands Serve With Love

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Music Ministry


The music program at Sacred Heart Catholic Church seeks to glorify God and aid in the sanctification of the lay faithful through the enrichment of the Liturgy with sacred music.  We are always looking for volunteer cantors and choir members for the following Masses:

5:00 Saturday Vigil: This Mass has a dedicated group of musicians that help lead the congregation in the singing of the Mass parts and hymns. Cantors at all Masses sing the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation. 

9:00 Sunday Mass: This Mass has a dedicated choir that helps lead the congregation in the singing of the Mass parts and hymns, and additionally performs meditative choral anthems during the Liturgy. The choral season runs from the week after Labor Day to Corpus Christi Sunday. Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:30.

11:00 Sunday Mass: This Mass has a dedicated group of musicians that help lead the congregation in the singing of the Mass parts and hymns.

If you are interested in joining any of these groups, please contact our Music Director, Ian Simon, at [email protected], or call the front office. 


Through its union with the very texts of the Mass, Sacred Music forms an "integral part of the solemn liturgy" and serves to glorify God and aid in the sanctification of the faithful.  The Church affirms that her musical tradition is a "treasure of inestimable value" that must be "preserved and fostered with great care"  (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).  Pope Saint Pius X, in his 1903 document on Sacred Music, Tra Le Sollecitudini, states that three qualities characterize Sacred Music: it must be holy, have goodness of form, and be universal.  Sacred Music therefore is not made acceptable based solely on whether it is new or old music.  We accept and sing all music, both contemporary and older, that exhibits the qualities of Sacred Music.  At Sacred Heart, we therefore take to heart the teachings of Mother Church on Sacred Music, and try to implement as much as possible her teachings.

Gregorian Chant: The core of Sacred Music as affirmed by the Church is Gregorian Chant, which is "specially suited to the Roman Liturgy," and should be given "pride of place" in the Mass (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy). Chant is the music of the Roman Catholic Church that has developed with the liturgy and has been consecrated and set aside specifically for Liturgical use. In order to preserve this form of music in the Mass, as called for by Vatican II, at every Mass we as a congregation chant the ordinaries of the Mass together.

Hymns: At Sacred Heart we believe that Hymnody should be singable by all, even children. Therefore we carefully select appropriate hymns that can be sung easily by all members of our congregation. Additionally, we carefully select only those hymns that have solid Catholic theology and are unassociated in style with the pop music of our day.

Pipe Organ: Vatican II affirms that the organ is "to be held in high esteem" as the "traditional instrument" of the Latin rite. We therefore use the pipe organ at every Mass, as it adds a "wonderful splendor" to the Liturgy and is specially suited to it, being especially associated with what is sacred.

Proper Prayers: In addition to Gregorian Chant and hymns, the Church has a multitude of forgotten prayers that are prescribed for each individual Mass, which are called the Proper Prayers. For example the Entrance Antiphon, the Offertory Antiphon, and the Communion Antiphon are all considered Proper Prayers. These are set to music in the Roman Gradual, approved by Vatican II in 1974, and in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, it is desirable that these antiphons be sung at their appropriate times. As such, we are slowly working to re-introduce these to the Liturgy, starting currently with the Communion Antiphon. 


Documents and Guidelines for the Liturgy:

Sacrosanctum Concilium (vatican.va)

Tra Le Sollecitudini Instruction on Sacred Music (adoremus.org)

Diocesan Liturgical Commission (arlingtondiocese.org)

General Instruction of the Roman Missal (vatican.va)