Westminster Abbey Choir at St. Peter's

Westminster Abbey Choir joined with the Sistine Chapel Choir at the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul to provide music for the Mass and Imposition of the Pallium on Metropolitan Archbishops at the Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2012.

The combined choirs sing "Tu es Petrus" by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina at the entry procession:

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During Holy Communion the Abbey choir sings "Ave verum corpus" by William Byrd:

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Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

14 thoughts on “Westminster Abbey Choir at St. Peter's”

    1. But not to the Ordinariate, of course. They would be the wrong sort of conversions entirely. We don't want any of them.

        1. Dear Sir Knight and Chris,

          Please tell me that you replied to the wrong post and missed the implied sarcasm.

          I was responding to a post by someone who seldom misses the opportunity to inform us that the Ordinariate is pointless, meaningless, irrelevant, divisive and pretentious. Lest there be any doubt, I personally believe that the Ordinariate is an outpouring of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, and think that it will bear fruit in many ways both manifest and hidden. Oh, and I've not been an Anglican (of any variety) for over 30 years. :)

          1. The Ordinariates appear to inspire greater expectations than they are capable of fulfilling. The majority of lay members are, with few exceptions, elderly and have a finite expectation of life. Some of the younger clergy are pining for incardination into Catholic dioceses because they are enervated by internal wrangling. As for the seed sown in the minds of some of these young Westminster choristers, by the time they grow up it will be the vision of the Catholic Church that will have been seen to have inspired them, not a factious remnant that often has little appeal to prospective converts. As one newly-received convert observed to me recently, what is the point of an Ordinariate? He spoke as a former life-long Anglican.

            1. As I've written on Fr. Stephen Smuts' blog, the Ordinariates are one of the great sign of movement and vitality in the Church! The Holy Spirit has not abandoned us, and the fact that these groups of men and women want unity with Rome, but at the same time Rome doesn't want to rob anyone of their local, cultural identity and that is a sign that Christian Unity is NOT a pipe dream reserved for some futuristic science fiction novel!

              When you turn religion into politics, you do nothing more than commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

              THE SITUATION IS NOT A POLITICAL POWER GRAB! The time for Christian Unity is NOW! GOD DEMANDS IT! The opposite of Christian unity, division, can only be at the service of Satan, for the Deceiver appeals to the ego and self-worship of individuals who would rather separate themselves from God.

              The Ordinariates are a first step to achieving a real unity among Christians, and the Church will not be stopped, like a mother who will gather up a resisting, tantrum-throwing child sprawled on the floor at the local grocer.

      1. I am sorry that you feel this way about the Holy Father's wisdom in helping to heal the division between Catholic Anglicans and your own denomination – no matter, I will pray for your conversion to the Catholic Faith and what it trully represents.

  1. Continuing fruits of the seeds planted by the Holy Father during the visit made to England! We live in exciting times, thanks be to God!

  2. The wretched singing of the Sistine Chapel Choir has been a perennially painful aspect of watching the Pope's televised Christmas Eve Mass. Clearly Pope Benedict has suffered long enough and wants to show them how it's done. Any spiritual benefit to the participants will be icing on the cake.

  3. This is proof that even with the troubles facing the Anglican Communion, our Anglican brothers and sisters occupy still that special place in the heart of the Roman Church as the Vatican II fathers foresaw.

  4. The Holy Father’s gesture is also magnanimous on a musicological level. Nineteenth-century German intellectuals referred to England as _Das Land ohne Musik_ (the country w/o music). This rebuke encouraged British musicians to focus on the already nascent Anglican choral renaissance of the latter half of the 19th century (a renaissance greatly influenced by the Oxford Movement). British composers regarded the heritage of English cathedral music (ECM) as one of Britain’s signal contributions to 19th- and 20th-century music. ECM therefore attracted the talents of Britain’s finest composers: Elgar, Parry, Stanford, Britten, Howells, Leighton, Harvey, MacMillan, etc, as well as some lesser-known composers who nonetheless wrote choral gems for the repertoire. So it is splendid that a German intellectual (who is also the pope) invites a choir from the English cathedral heritage to sing in a basilica that should (ideally) set the standard for liturgical music around the world. The quiet, faithful perseverance of the English cathedral heritage across the centuries, even in spite of the Interregnum, even across the parlous 18th century, and even when dismissed by sophisticates has certainly borne fruit in the fine repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries (including the revival of the Tudor masters). At the risk of seeming sententious, this example of faithfulness and perseverance might be an encouragement to us small Anglican Use and Ordinariate communities.

  5. Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral choirs both sing Byrd sublimely. I am waiting for the happy day when I can add The Ordinariate Cathedral Choir to that list!!

  6. I had the privilege to be present at this mass. The music was very good, and as an aspirant for the priesthood in the ordinariate of OLSC I found it very encouraging. It was a wonderful example of what the church universal is all about.

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