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October 6th, 2007 - Boys' Choir begin residence at Bradford Church
Boys' Choir begin residence at Bradford Church

Unfortunately, due to misunderstandings, many choirs in Catholic churches simply disappeared in the years after the Second Vatican Council. So, what did the Sacred Constitution on the Liturgy (SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM ) actually say about choirs and the treasury of sacred music?

112. 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.

114. The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care. Choirs must be diligently promoted, especially in cathedral churches; but bishops and other pastors of souls must be at pains to ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightly theirs.

No where in these excepts from does it call for choirs to be abandoned! What it does call for is a balance in the role played by the choir in worship, alongside the part played by the congregation.

In the Liturgy, many people have roles. Hence we think of the lector whose job is to read from the scriptures, the Deacon who proclaims the Gospel, the Altar Servers who assist in the Sanctuary, the Priest who presides over the celebration, the Congregation who sing and speak responses and prayers. All of these have tasks 'proper' to their role - it is indeed the same for the choir. They have the joint endeavour to both lead the congregation in singing, as well as to offer music for the glory of God in their name.

Here in the Diocese of Leeds, we take seriously the call of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council to 'diligently promote' choirs and to preserve the 'treasury of sacred music.' Mass and Vespers are sung 5 days a week in our Cathedral church by our Boys' and Girls' choirs (click here for the music list.)

From time to time, our Cathedral choirs sing in Parishes throughout the Diocese, as also have our Bradford Boys' and Girls' Choirs. From this Sunday, a new and innovative arrangement will be taking place in a Bradford Parish: the Bradford Boys' Choir will become choir in residence at St. Josephs Church, Bradford.

The Boys' choir will sing once a month in St. Josephs Church, complementing the fine congregational singing that is led by cantor and organ each week. It is hoped in the future that other churches throughout the Diocese will be able to benefit from arrangements: indeed, plans are already afoot for the creation of a liturgical boys' choir in Huddersfield .


More Events »

Cathedral Lunchtime Concerts

To join the choirs and for all other
enquiries please contact:

Music Administrator
Leeds Cathedral
Great George Street
Leeds LS2 8BE

Tel: 0113 244 8634
Email: click here