"O come let us sing unto the Lord: let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation."
Liturgical music is a vehicle of prayer. Many compositions sung in our worship are settings of texts from Holy Scripture and ancient Christian prayers and hymns. The music helps us to meditate prayerfully on these texts. It lifts us out of ourselves and moves us to contemplate the beauty of holiness. Listening to sacred music – whether composed centuries ago or in the last few years – helps us to experience our spiritual unity with the Church in all times and places.
We recognize that our musical tradition is not for everyone. Some first-time visitors are drawn to it right away; others never get used to it; still others require time to begin “getting it.” If you find the music at S. Stephen’s unfamiliar or challenging, we encourage you to persevere in the confidence that the time and effort invested will eventually yield rich blessings.
The Schola Cantorum with Organist & Choirmaster, James Busby., in the Lady Chapel.
First-time visitors to S. Stephen’s often remark on the quality and beauty of our music. Our professional choir, the Schola Cantorum, sings at the 10 a.m. Mass on most Sundays from September until May (with three months off in the summer), as well as at services for principal holy days and special occasions throughout the year.
Our music is offered not as entertainment but as worship. The instrumental and choral offerings in our services generally represent what is known as the Western Catholic tradition of liturgical music: from medieval plainchant and Renaissance polyphony to contemporary compositions – some of which are actually commissioned for their first performance at S. Stephen’s.