Music Ministry

Music is a very important ministry at OLC. And given the diversity of our congregation, OLC offers a great variety of musical styles at our liturgies in order to accommodate all musical preferences. These include Gregorian repertoire chanted in Latin, classic and traditional hymns sung in English (and occasionally other languages), contemporary Christian music, as well as traditional and contemporary hymns, with syncopated rhythms, sung in Spanish.

The Saturday afternoon Mass at 4:00 p.m. is the most traditional of our weekend liturgies. Typically, the Mass Ordinary is chanted in Latin. The hymns and chants are selected from the "Worship II" hymnal, supplemented with the "Celebremos" missalette. Normally, all the music is accompanied on the organ. 

The Sunday morning Mass at 9:00 a.m. is a more-contemporary blended liturgy. Except during Advent and Lent, the Mass Ordinary is sung in English, and the hymns are selected primarily from the "Breaking Bread" missalette. The repertoire represents a balance of traditional and contemporary music. Typically, half of the music is accompanied on piano and half on organ.

The two Spanish Masses at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. feature a variety of traditional and contemporary musical styles and compositions, accompanied by guitars, piano, percussion, and occasionally organ, as well as other instruments, as appropriate. The repertoire is largely drawn from "Flor y Canto," the "Celebremos" missalette, and other appropriate resources. During Advent and Lent, it is customary to chant the Mass Ordinary in Latin.

On holy days and special occasions, bilingual masses employ the greatest variety of sacred music, representing all traditions and styles. The music at weddings and funerals respect the liturgy and often reflect the wishes of the family. The music at children's liturgies consists of age-appropriate traditional and contemporary selections. The children's choir performs for all school liturgies and occasionally at other liturgies on weekends and special occasions.

The criteria for selecting music to be sung and played are threefold. All of the music is liturgical (based on the actions of the liturgy, the readings for the day, the liturgical season, and/or the specific feast being celebrated), pastoral (appropriate for the community of people assembled to worship, and artistic (considered by those responsible to be suitable and of high musical quality).

OLC is truly a bilingual community (English and Spanish), and the Masses, services, and devotions at the parish strive to respect and celebrate that reality. 'Unity amid our diversity' is among our goals. As a Roman Catholic church, we show respect for the great musical tradition of our faith, which spans 2,000 years and extends around the globe. As such, a few comments are in order. Why do we sometimes sing in Latin? In granting permission for the use of the vernacular (the mother tongue of each country), the Council Fathers of Vatican II never envisioned doing away with the use of Latin in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. This is clear from Council documents as well as the instructions issued since then. The Second Vatican Council's "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy" says: "Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin Rites." The document goes on to say that, because the use of the mother tongue "may frequently be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended." The document adds, "in Masses celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. Nevertheless, steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Mass which pertain to them." (Sacrosanctum Concilium) This pastoral teaching harmonizes with the doctrinal teaching of the Council of Trent, which stated: "If anyone says ... that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only ...: let him be anathema." Exclusive use of the vernacular in the Mass was never intended by Vatican II nor any of the popes following it.

In a multicultural parish like OLC, periodically singing and praying some parts of the Mass together in Latin draws us closer together. We sing as one using the same words, in a common language. Latin is universal, it favors no single group within our parish community. Latin is not more 'holy' than other languages; rather, it serves as a symbol of our oneness in Christ, as well as the Catholic and apostolic character of his Church. Translations of everything that is sung in Latin are found inside the missalettes in the pews.

At OLC, we are pleased to offer Masses celebrated and sung in English and Spanish, representing the heritage of our community. We are also privileged to draw from the Church's heritage of sacred music. Next to the Word of God and the Sacraments, “The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater 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) This means that the sung Mass is the ideal form of the liturgy. As Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted (of the Phoenix Diocese) once said, “The Mass is most itself when it is sung.” In accord with the wishes of Pope Benedict XVI, our goal is 'to sing the Mass, not merely to sing at Mass.'