Music Ministry


Members of our Liturgical Music Program consist of Organists / Accompanists, Cantors, and Choir.

Music Ministry at St Helena follows the guidelines set forth by the US Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) regarding the role of music in Liturgy for both weekly Masses and Funeral Masses:


Hymns at Weekly Masses


A weekly Mass includes music that is chosen to coincide with and enhance the weekly Readings, and consists of:


v  A Gathering Hymn

Ø  (The Kyrie Eleison may be sung during a special season)

Ø  (The Gloria may be sung during a special Mass)

v  A Responsorial Psalm

v  A Gospel Acclamation

v  A Hymn during Presentation of Offertory Gifts 

v  Acclamations during Preparation of the Eucharist

v  A Communion Hymn; and / or 

Ø  A Meditation Hymn following Communion

v  A Sending Forth Hymn



Regarding the selection of Hymns appropriate to a Roman Catholic Mass; the following guidelines from Chapter II (The Structure of the Mass, Its Elements, and Its Parts) of the GIRM are used: 


Paragraph 41 (under the Importance of Singing):

“All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other types of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded; provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.”

Additionally, the GIRM includes the following guideline which can be found in

Part 3 (THE INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF THE MASS), Sec. C (The Liturgy of the Eucharist):

Paragraph 87: In the dioceses of the United States of America there are four options for the Communion chant: (1) the antiphon from The Roman Missal or the Psalm from the Roman Gradual as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm of the Simple Gradual; (3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) a suitable liturgical song chosen in accordance with no. 86 (“Its purpose is to express the communicants’ union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices, to show joy of heart, and to highlight more clearly the “communitarian” nature of the procession to receive Communion.”). This is sung either by the choir alone or by the choir or cantor with the people.