December 16, 2020

Sister Servants Sing Cathedral Vespers and Prelude Music

Last month, Father Bryan Jerabek, Rector, and Mr. Bruce Ludwick, Jr., Director of Music and Organist, at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Birmingham, invited our community to lead the Cathedral’s sung Vespers for Sunday, December 6th.  We had the joy of practicing for this special occasion over the past few weeks.  Our choir, directed by Sister Benedicta Marie, not only prepared Solemn Vespers, but also provided much of the prelude music beforehand.  We shared a few favorite choral and solo pieces that we use for special liturgies throughout the year and two organ pieces played by Sister Margaret Mary.

We were grateful to be so warmly welcomed by the Cathedral Parish and to be joined together as a diocesan family with all those who were able to attend with social distancing.  Music is a cherished part of our community life – both liturgical and non-liturgical music that lifts our hearts to praise God.  When the whole Cathedral joined together in singing the opening hymn, “Lo He Comes”, it was breathtaking!  The congregation joined us in chanting Vespers, including the Magnificat in alternating plainchant and polyphony verses. What a joy to chant the Psalms in such a resonant space, where the echo of voices resounded and seemed like angels were answering!

The event was a blessed experience for us, and we hope the recordings below contribute to your Advent preparations for Christmas!


The following is a 15 second clip of the Sisters warming up with “O Sacrum Convivium” by Roberto Remondi.  To hear the full song recorded during the Prelude, visit our Soundcloud page.

Although not part of our usual liturgical repertoire, we thought the following soaring piece by Mozart would be a perfect addition to our prelude music for this occasion.


Sister Margaret Mary played Baroque composer Dietrich Buxtehude’s “Preludium in D,” which was a special treat for her on the Cathedral pipe organ!


The whole congregation joined us in the opening hymn of Vespers, “Lo He Comes”.


The Sisters sang the “Alma Redemptoris Mater” Chant to conclude the Vespers Liturgy.


The following is a short clip from the the Third Psalm of Vespers.  You will notice the special psalm tone we used to highlight the Alleluias.