Music

During this time our Music Director, James Wetzel, has been creating an archival record of recordings of liturgies at St. Vincent Ferrer.  These live recordings have not been equalized or treated in any way.  That the quality is still high in spite of all of these qualifications is a testament to the skill of the singers we are blessed to have.

You can find some of James’ favorite recordings onto a Soundcloud account, continuously being updated.  All welcome to listen to and ‘follow’ the channel: https://soundcloud.com/jamesdwetzel.  We hope that until public Mass resumes and the Schola is able to offer live music again, these tracks will buoy your spirits and serve as a reminder of the beauty of liturgical art and music for which our Parish is known.

Parish Music Program

The Music List, 2019-2020 contains a list of this season’s concerts and repertoire for all choral services as well as information about the St. Cecilia Guild, our Friends of Music program. Archived Music Lists from years past are available here.

A Worship Leaflet that provides the congregational music, translations, voluntaries, and biographical information about the composers is printed for the Parish’s sung liturgies.

Solemn Mass with the Schola Cantorum
The Solemn Mass is at the heart of the Parish’s liturgical and musical life and is the richest expression of the Church’s Holy Sacrifice.  As such, it is celebrated with full ceremonial on Sundays (at 12 Noon at St. Vincent Ferrer), on major feast days, and to mark important occasions in the community.  The Schola Cantorum, the Parish’s professional choir, sings for every Solemn Mass.  Schola Cantorum is the official term used by the Catholic Church to denote a liturgical choir and literally means ‘school of singing’.

The Schola chants the Latin Propers (the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons and the Alleluia) according to the Dominican Graduale, the chant book particular to the Order of Preachers.  Offertory and Communion motets follow their respective Antiphons, and in privileged seasons a choral Mass Ordinary is offered.  This broad range of repertoire surveys the very best in our treasured Catholic musical patrimony.  The celebrant’s orations, Credo, Preface, Pater noster, a Post-Communion Hymn, and a seasonally-changing Marian Antiphon after the dismissal are also sung at the Solemn Mass.

Sung Mass
Four Sung Masses with cantor are offered in the Parish each weekend: at 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday at St. Vincent Ferrer and at 10 AM and 5 PM (a cappella) on Sunday at St. Catherine of Siena.  At each of these, the major Propers (the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons) are chanted by the cantor in English.  A congregational Mass Ordinary is sung, as well as a Post-Communion Hymn.  The 10 AM Mass at St. Catherine of Siena additionally includes an Offertory Hymn.

Additionally, the 9:30 AM Low Mass on Sundays at St. Vincent Ferrer includes hymns at the Offertory and Communion, providing yet one more musical option in our weekend schedule.

Parish Vespers
Congregational Vespers is sung on Sundays at 5:30 PM in the choir stalls at St. Vincent Ferrer.   This Office of Evening Prayer includes a hymn, a selection of psalms, a Scripture reading, a responsory, and the Magnificat – the Canticle of Mary. Occasionally, an instructional chant class precedes the liturgy at 5 PM, also in the stalls.

Organs in the Parish
St. Vincent Ferrer has an 86-rank pipe organ that was built in two phases by the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio; the 18-rank chancel organ (Opus 2145) was installed in 1998 and the 68-rank gallery organ (Opus 2224) in 2002.  The instrument is played by a 4-manual console in the chancel.  St. Catherine of Siena has a 3-manual, 58-rank Walker digital organ from 2015.  For more information, please visit New York Organ Project.

St. Cecilia Guild
Join the group of patrons – both parishioners and visitors – through whose generosity our music program is financially sustained.  Please consider becoming a friend of music by making a contribution to support our proud tradition of offering excellent music to the glory of God!

Please consider a donation at one of the following levels:

  •  Member (to $99)
  •  Sponsor ($100 to $249)
  •  Benefactor ($250 to $499)
  •  Patron ($500 to $999)
  •  Angel ($1,000 to $2,499)
  •  Archangel ($2,500 or more)


Please send your donation to:

The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer
attn. James D. Wetzel
869 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York  10065

All donations are tax-deductible.  Checks make payable to ‘Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena’ with the memo ‘Friends of Music’.  Please include your name, address, telephone number, and email address with the check.

For more information, contact:
James D. Wetzel, Director of Music and Organist,
at jwetzel@svsc.info or (212) 744-2080.