At the 11:15 service on September 29, the Parish choir will lead a Choral Eucharist with Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s Missa Aeterna Christi Munera.
Missa Aeterna Christi Munera was composed by the 16th-century Italian master Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594). After brief service at the cathedral of his hometown, Palestrina was called to St. Peter’s in Rome, where he was soon appointed director of the papal choir. The rest of his life was spent in Rome, composing hundreds of masses and motets that have come to be considered perfect models of sacred music.
The musical portions of the Eucharist (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) will be sung by the choir. While these are customarily sung by the entire congregation at St. James’s, in many churches, and throughout the majority of Christian history, these portions of the liturgy have been sung by the choir alone. Musicians over the centuries have composed thousands of exquisite settings of the service. We will sing Missa Aeterna Christi Munera by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Palestrina served as Maestro di Cappella at St. Peter’s, Rome, where St. James’s Choir sang mass on June 30, 2013.