Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

CMAA’s Sacred Music Colloquium is making gorgeous sacred music in Chicago

J-P Mauro - published on 06/29/18

Catholic musicians from all over the world gather to study sacred music.

The 28th annual Sacred Music Colloquium, hosted by the Church Music Association of America, has returned in Chicago for the first time in a decade. The event has drawn a crowd of more than 200 Catholic musicians for a week of study, prayer, and making beautiful music in celebration of the glory of God.

The occasion also marks the 55th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s document on the sacred liturgy. Sacrosanctum concilium specifies that chant should have “principem locum,” or first place, among all other music at Mass. While sacred music encompasses any song written for church services, these days the term is most commonly used to refers to Mass settings composed for choral groups.

The St. Michael Hymnal Facebook page shared a video of the Colloquium singers performing “Salve Regina” after evening prayer and they sound really good:

The Sacred Music Colloquium regularly draws attendees from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Australia. This year, however, they were also joined by participants from Hong Kong, Nigeria, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic. The 2018 Colloquium featured Mass in Spanish, with newly composed proper chants in Spanish, and motets by the composers Morales (Spain) and Capillas (Mexico).

The event also offered Masses, in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite, with settings from Palestrina and Victoria; motets of Richafort, Tallis, and Bruckner; as well as newly composed Mass settings by some participants. All attendees can sing in 2 different choirs, one for chant and the other for polyphonic works.

Fr. Robert Pasley, Chaplain of the CMAA, spoke about the importance of the event:

I’ve been coming to the Colloquium since 1990, the very first one. It has been absolutely essential to my formation as a priest to learn what the Church expects of us in sacred music. I have received formation in sacred music at the Colloquium that I never received in the seminary. Coming every year is something like a retreat. Not only do we sing beautiful sacred music, but I am deeply edified, as a priest, to see the devotion of Colloquium participants deepened and strengthened. For the many young priests and seminarians who have come, the Colloquium opens their minds and their hearts to the great sacred music tradition of the Faith, and will help them as they prepare for the priesthood and to help God’s people. Laypeople should come to the Colloquium because it’s one of the only places that I know of where they can actually learn what the Church wants in music for Mass. Once they experience it, they’re overwhelmed by the beauty. They leave here on fire for the Faith, and, really, isn’t this what evangelization is all about?
CatholicCatholic MusicHistorySacred Music
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.