Dear Friends in Christ,
The Fifth Principle of Evangelical Catholicism states that: “The sacred liturgy, through which the seven Sacraments are celebrated and the Hours of praise are prayed, makes present to us the saving mysteries of the Lord Jesus. The liturgy must therefore be celebrated in such a way that the truth of the Gospel, the beauty of sacred music, the dignity of ritual form, the solemnity of divine worship, and the fellowship of the baptized assembled to pray are kept together in organic unity.”
For this reason, we take the greatest possible care with every detail in the planning and celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours, and this is reflected in the preparation of our booklets, the selection of sacred music, the training of our liturgical ministers, the care we give to our beautiful building and the furnishings of the sanctuary, and the loving devotion which we seek to engender in all who join us at St. Mary’s to pray. One dimension of this approach to the sacred liturgy is the principle of progressive solemnity, which means, for example, that a weekday Mass on Tuesday doesn’t look or sound like Mass in the Night on Christmas Eve. And that same principle is also applied to each of the five Sunday Masses we celebrate.
At 5 pm on Saturday, we celebrate the anticipated Mass of Sunday with a Sung Mass, and music is provided by the organ and either a cantor or a schola cantorum of men, women or mixed voices.
At 7.30 am on Sunday, we celebrate a Low Mass with no music at all except for the Gospel Acclamation which must either be sung or omitted. This Mass without music provides a quiet experience of prayer in the early morning, not least for those who do not want to sing or listen to singing.
At 9 am on Sunday, we celebrate a Sung Mass with music provided by the organ and Youth Choir. Although these musicians are young, they sing challenging music from the full repertory of the Church’s great treasury of sacred music, and the church is filled with young families.
At 11 am on Sunday, we celebrate a Solemn Mass with music provided by the organ and the Adult Choir. This Mass always includes the use of incense, and the program of sacred music has been rightly praised as one of the finest in any parish anywhere.
Finally at 1 pm on Sunday, we celebrate Mass in Spanish, with music provided by the Coro Hispano from the lively tradition of the Church in Central and South America. All parishioners are invited to experience this beautiful way of praying, and our bilingual missalette can help you follow the liturgy.