Music ministry is an important part of Parish life at St. Mary's. The Second Vatican Council teaches:
“The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, §112).
At St. Mary, we strive to follow all the directives on sacred music given to us by Holy Mother Church, and where these lack we look to Her Sacred Tradition for guidance. Below, you will find a list of the various music ministries at St. Mary's.
If you are interested in joining any of these groups,
please Contact the Parish Office 301-739-0390.
The foundation of sacred music in any Parish, aside from the priest and the faithful singing their parts, should be the Parish choir. The main choral ensemble at St. Mary's is the St. Cecilia choir and is a mixed choir (men and women), open to anyone highschool-aged or older. Most of the repertoire is drawn from the Church’s rich patrimony of sacred polyphony, as well as modern compositions in the sacred style.
The choir sings the proper antiphons (Entrance and Communion) for each Sunday, a harmonized Responsorial Psalm, as well as sacred motets at Offertory and/or Communion for the 11:30am Mass every week, from the Sunday after Labor Day until Corpus Christi Sunday.
Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings from 7:15-8:30pm in the John Bosco room in the Parish Center.
Sunday warm-up starts at 10:45am.
The Second Vatican Council also teaches that, “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services” (SC §116), and that “steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them” (SC §54). To this end, we have formed a men’s schola and women’s schola (from the Latin schola cantorum, meaning “school for singers”) to sing primarily Gregorian chant at Ordinary Form Masses.
The Men’s and Women’s Scholas sing for the 7:30am Sunday Mass from the beginning of September through the end of May, alternating every other week.
Sunday warm-up starts at 7:00am in the John Bosco room in the Parish Center.
The cantor is traditionally a member of the choir who leads both choir and congregation by intoning and by singing more difficult solo repertoire. Cantors should be able to read music and sing confidently by themselves. Although cantoring is far from performance, cantors should be able to lead the congregation in singing, as well. Cantors meet with the director once during the week that they sing, as well as half an hour before Mass.
Our folk group is called SMILE. Saint Mary Integrated Lyrical Ensemble
Teresa Maloney-Smith has been volunteering her time, leadership, and musical talent for many years as the coordinator of the folk group at St. Mary's. The folk group consists of guitars and other instruments (flute, violin, etc.) as well as singers. They practice on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm and play for the 9:30 am Sunday Mass.
Practice is in the Music room at St Mary School,
Contact: Teresa Maloney-Smith 301-992-5814