Music and worship have been inextricably bound together for millennia. From the earliest days of the
Church, prayers, psalms, and hymns have been offered to the glory of God as a regular part of
corporarte worship. Music is yet another way in which we experience God’s presence in our world and
in our lives, as well as the beauty of the divine.
At Saint Ignatius music is a very important part of our corporate life. Traditional choral music is an integral part of all our Sunday and feast-day liturgies. Our professional Choir offers music at all our principal liturgies and we are now building a volunteer choir whose principal mission is to lead the music at our monthly services of Solemn Evensong. We also host a major concert series primarily featuring early and sacred music, and are home to several ensembles-in-residence.
St Cecilia window in the former choir loft.
Click here for a high resolution image of the window.
The Choir of Saint Ignatius of Antioch
The Choir, an all-professional ensemble, sings at the 11 o’clock Solemn Mass from September to June and at special services throughout the year, such as the great liturgies of Christmas, Holy Week
and Easter, All Souls Day, and the festivals of Corpus Christi and the Assumption of the Virgin. Some of our ensembles-in-residence and the Evensong Choir
provide the music for other feast days.
At each Mass the Choir usually sings a polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria in
excelsis, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei), and a motet or anthem. They also sing the traditional Gregorian chant
minor propers, brief passages from scripture that are appropriate to the particular day and season set
The large repertoire of mass settings, motets, and anthems is mainly drawn from the glories of
Medieval and Renaissance music and from the Anglican Choral tradition. The Choir has also
premiered a number of liturgical works by prominent composers and produced several recordings. In
addition, the Choir presents one or two concerts each year, sometimes with orchestra and soloists as
part of our ongoing concert series.
The Evensong Choir
The Evensong Choir is our parish musical ensemble and its primary mission is to lead the music at our monthly Solemn Evensong service. The group consists of volunteers from the parish.
Currently, the Evensong Choir’s repertoire is drawn from the traditional plainsong elements of the Prayer Book Evensong liturgy, which includes the psalms and the evening canticles (the Magnificat, with its proper antiphon, and the Nunc dimittis). We expect that, as the choir grows, this repertoire will expand to include anthems and motets and perhaps choral settings of the canticles and responses.
This choir also leads the music at the Sunday 10 A.M. Sung Mass during the Summer while the professional choir is on hiatus and offers the music of the Mass for some feast days. This past Summer, the Evensong Choir sang Hans Leo Hassler’s Missa Secunda at the Feast of the Transfiguration.
This group provides is a wonderful oportunity for members of the parish to offer their musical talents and join in our expanding music ministry here at Saint Ignatius of Antioch. If you are interested in participating, please contact
for more details.
The organ, built in 1966 by Casavant Frères and renovated in 1981, is a fine and highly successful three manual instrument. Designed in the “American Classic” style with a strong French cast, it is versatile and is situated in a space with flattering acoustics.
Tax-deductible contributions to the Saint Ignatius Music Fund, in any amount, are welcome and will be used for the music program if you make your check payable to “St. Ignatius’ Church” and indicate “Music Fund.” You may also underwrite the cost of the music on any Sunday or at a major festival by becoming a mass sponsor. A gift of $950 will cover the cost for the music on most Sundays or Holy Days, depending on the number of singers. Music sponsors may designate their gifts as memorials or in honor of some person or event. A notice of such designations will be printed in the service leaflet. To sponsor music, please
or call the Church office at (212) 580-3326.