April 14, 2005

Choir from Houston debated performing at cardinal's Mass

Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle

A Houston choir that sang for Monday's mourning Mass in St. Peter's Basilica first debated whether to participate after learning the celebrant would be Cardinal Bernard Law.

"It was a tremendously moving ceremony for the choir no matter who the celebrant was," St. Anne Catholic Community choir director Jim Ross said after the Mass. "The church is bigger than any one person, saint or sinner."

As part of a long-planned trip, the St. Anne choir had been scheduled to sing the Vigil Mass on Saturday at St. Peter's, but Vatican officials canceled that after the death of Pope John Paul II. They agreed to let the ensemble sing Monday.

The news that the former cardinal of the Boston Archdiocese would be the celebrant prompted intense concern among choir members, Ross said Monday by phone from Rome.

But after discussions Saturday evening and Sunday morning, choir members reached a consensus decision to accept the unique opportunity.

"We are on a pilgrimage to witness through our music. We felt privileged to be part of ... church history," Ross said of their decision.

Posted by kshaw at April 14, 2005 07:33 AM