Singing is Praying Twice!

Hello friends!  I'm sorry for the slight delay in the release of this post.

I hope you are having a great summer so far!  This last week my sister and I started our summer trips with the Sacred Music Symposium hosted by Corpus Christi Watershed and the Los Angeles FSSP in Alhambra, CA.  We have been blessed to attend since it's start 2 years ago.  This conference is filled from beginning to end with helpful information for choir directors, members, composers, and conductors alike!

Before your arrival, you were given a repertoire list of music to learn for the Solemn High Mass at the end of the week.  It's hard work to learn over 14 pieces of polyphony and chant, but it is well worth the effort.  Once the conference began, the week was non stop!  I am so happy that we were able to begin each day attending a Low Mass and receiving our Eucharistic Jesus!  Then, the rest of the day was filled with conference talks, learning workshops, and music rehearsals.  Some of my favorite courses were in counterpoint, multi-track recordings, and how to sing Solemn Vespers.  The speakers included Mr. Jeffery Ostrowski, Mr. Kevin Allen, Fr. Dominic Popplewell, and others.  Each day had plenty of time to rehearse all our pieces both as a group and in male/female sections.  It was so cool to hear everything come together especially at the first group rehearsal.  We were lead by magnificent conductors and mentors, Mr. Allen and Dr. Horst Buchholz.  Each evening we sang Solemn Vespers.  They were very beautiful but my favorite part was the hymn at the end.  Even though the conference maxed out at 75 participants, it was really a very personal and small group.  One was able to easily ask the speakers and conductors questions who were, in turn, able to give helpful advice and answers.  Even when we weren't in rehearsal or a talk, you could easily access the faculty with a question and they were so great.  Because of the small atmosphere, you also got to know the other members pretty well.

It is so great to surround yourself with like-minded friends and peers.  Every year at the Sacred Music Symposium, I have met teens and young adults from around the country and the world who are wonderful, faithful Catholics.  These conferences wouldn't be the same without this special comradery.  We got to talk about all sorts of things from Latin, to Theology, to the Mass, to school, to vocations, and even goats! 😄

As Catholics, Sacred Music should be part of our lives.  It's important because it is our Faith and our History.  This music, which teaches us the truths of our Faith, has been used and passed down for centuries.  Polyphonic hymns and Gregorian Chants are what raised the souls of our forefathers and the Saints to contemplate God in the Mass.  It is important then, that every Catholic be exposed to and learn about these beautiful traditions.  This being said, I would highly recommend you go and view some of these beautiful traditions of our Church at the links below!

The first night of Vespers when we sang the hymn "Iste Confessor" at the end.

This video below is the full Solemn High Mass from Friday night!!

I will be forever grateful to Mr. Ostrowski, Mr. Allen, Dr. Buchhoz, Fr. Popplewell, and all the organizers of the Sacred Music Symposium for the knowledge, experience, and help they have given me.  Thank you also to Fr. James and Fr. Ken Fryar, all the FSSP Seminarians, and the altar boys.  

In closing, if you enjoy singing, Catholic music and chant, conducting, or composing music, I highly suggest you attend next year's Sacred Music Symposium!!  You will have an experience never to be forgotten!!!

In cordibus Jesu et Mariae,

Sarah H.


  1. Oh my gosh - this sounds like a super fun experience! (Pity I'm all the way across the country....)

    Oh wow - Fr. James Fryar used to be chaplain for my home FSSP community years ago. Didn't know he was out in CA now!


    1. Thank you, it was!! If you're able to make the trip, I highly suggest it. People from all over the country attend.

      That is so neat!! He is a great priest and my family is so blessed to know him just a little when we visit the FSSPLA. :)


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