A New Song

The Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 6, 2018

Sing to the LORD a new song!   -Psalm 98

This week, we feature our children's choir program, Cantate Choral Academy. CCA offers choral music education for children and youth and is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music. The international RSCM "Voice for Life" curriculum sets milestones for choristers which are recognized with colored ribbons and medallions at each level. Several of our choristers will receive these awards today, marking significant achievement over the course of a year or more of study.

The mission of the Academy is formation for lifelong praise of God through sacred choral music in the Anglican tradition.  We seek to equip singers for this mission through music education of the highest quality and engagement of mind, body, and spirit in sacred choral offerings.

We offer two ensembles for children’s voices:
  • Laudate Choir – a preparatory choir for grades 1-3
  • Cantate Choir - an advanced choir for grades 4-8

The ensembles combine to sing for worship and community events. Last Sunday, we sang as a guest choir at St. Mark's on-the-Campus Episcopal Church in Lincoln, and we presented a Christmas concert at the Durham Museum in December.

The practice of utilizing children on the treble line in choirs is a hallmark of Anglican choral repertoire. For centuries, English choirs consisted of men and boys. Although this practice developed in a historical era when women were excluded from singing in church, it did acknowledge a significant truth: children can sing sophisticated music with a high level of artistry. Choirs of men and boys (and men and girls) continue to exist in a number of churches and cathedrals. This is often a result of both historical precedent and a desire to perform English choral repertoire in a manner closest to the original sound. 

In most Episcopal churches in the United States, adult men and women sing together in choirs. Children's choirs - boys and girls - may sing alone or with the adults, and this is our practice at Trinity Cathedral. 

In the Episcopal Church, the choir's primary function is to lead the congregation in worship. Choirs prepare all of the hymns and service music for the day and, through strong vocal leadership, enable greater congregational participation. They serve as teachers, introducing new music for the liturgy. They also offer anthems - "choir only" musical settings of sacred texts - to enhance the liturgy through beautiful music by the greatest composers of every age. All of the music in liturgy is offered to the glory of God - "Soli Deo Gloria" as Johann Sebastian Bach noted at the end of every manuscript.

Our young choristers are called to this same high mission and ministry. You will notice that they have prepared and are singing the hymns and service music as well as several anthems. (Our entrance hymn, "At the Lamb's high feast we sing," is one of their favorites!) Each week at rehearsal, the choristers sing Evening Prayer, complete with canticles, psalms, and chanted prayers. In the Episcopal Church, we say that "praying shapes believing." By actually doing liturgy, our children are formed as Christian disciples in profound ways. They understand that our gifts and talents come from God, and they can offer these talents to God's glory in worship.

Today's psalm encourages us to "sing to the LORD a new song." Let us give thanks for these young singers who embody the new song in our midst.

Music for the Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 6, 2018

Hymns: 174, 848*, 193 (stanza 5), 200, 210
Service Music: S-278, S-128, 877*
Alleluia! Sing Alleluia   -Johann Sebastian Bach (1600-1750)
(listen to a recording here: Alleluia! Sing Alleluia)
Jubilate Deo   -Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
To the Glory of Our King   -Robert Leaf (1936-2005)
Organ Music:
Trumpet Voluntary   -John Stanley
Ellacombe   -setting by Frank Stoldt

*from Wonder, Love, and Praise, an authorized supplement to The Hymnal 1982


  1. Loved hearing the choir this morning. They are fantastic. A wonderful addition to the service. Congratulations to all!


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