Worship and Music
Worship is at the heart of the Church, when we make the boldest claims about who God is and who we are and our prayers and praise to the one who created us, loves us, walks with us, and is waiting for us at our end.
St. Mary’s is blessed by the service of countless lay people who do everything from preparing the Church to welcoming you when you arrive; serving as acolytes and readers to singing in the choirs; administering the chalice and taking communion to those unable to leave their homes. For more information or to get involved, visit our Liturgical Ministries page.
Throughout the academic year, we worship at 8:00 a.m. (Spoken Eucharist), 9:00 a.m. (Children and Family Eucharist), and 11:00 a.m. (Choral Eucharist).
Durufle’s Messa de Requiem – Saturday, November 2, 2019 – 7:00 p.m. – St. Mary’s Parish Choir and Jonathan Dimmock, organ.
Music at St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s has a longstanding tradition of musical excellence. The music department at St. Mary’s includes our Parish Choir (comprised of professionals, choral scholars, and auditioned volunteers), Children’s Choir (grades K-3), Youth Choir (grades 4-8), and Handbell Choir. St. Mary’s is an RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) Affiliate and uses the Voice for Life curriculum in our Children’s and Youth Choirs. Our dynamic musical program draws from the Anglican choral tradition, music of the Renaissance, African-American Spirituals, and new music by local San Francisco composers. In addition to our liturgical music organizations, St. Mary’s has an established Candlelight Concert Series, founded in 1978 by Music Director Emeritus Michael Secour.
To glorify God through music; to work to develop the musical talents God gave us to the best of our abilities; to build community as we rehearse together; and to nurture the congregation by providing support in the singing of hymns and musical offerings.
St. Mary’s is an affiliate of the Royal School of Church Music, which offers a first-rate formational curriculum with singing at its foundation. We teach vocal technique in the context of group singing with special emphasis on music from our Anglican heritage; we teach children to break down social barriers and build community; we teach manners, conduct, and self-awareness with respect to the group surrounding; we teach discipline, focus, and critical thinking; and we teach singing for the pure enjoyment of music. What we offer these young children is the foundation for a life-long relationship with the Church, and indeed with God. Our Children’s and Youth Choir sing weekly for the 9:00 a.m. Eucharist throughout the scholastic year. Our Kindergarten Choir is a training ensemble, which is a wonderful introduction to participation in the worship service. They vest and process every week, singing with the Children’s Choir approximately once a month. Kindergarten Choristers rehearse Thursday afternoons from 3:45-4:15. The Children’s Choir is open to all boys and girls from grades 1-3, and the Youth Choir from grade 4 though 12. Rehearsals are Thursdays from 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Our Parish Choir sings for the 11:00 a.m. Eucharist from September to June. They occasionally collaborate with the Children’s and Youth Choirs at 9:00 a.m. Repertoire for each week involves an anthem and motet, and approximately once a month, a choral Mass setting. They lead us in Choral Evensong six times a year, and perform a Choral Requiem on the Feast of All Souls’ (recently Howells’ Requiem and Durufle’s Requiem). To schedule an audition for the Parish Choir, or to inquire about our Choral Scholarships, please contact Director of Music Eric Choate (firstname.lastname@example.org).
During the summer schedule, the ad-hoc, non-auditioned choir sings for the 10:00 a.m. service. We sing favorite chestnuts from our choral tradition. If you would like to sing, please join us on summer Sundays for a 9:00 a.m. rehearsal.
Our Handbell Choir meets once a week to rehearse during the scholastic year, and accompanies our hymns and anthems approximately once a month. Contact Music Associate Marla Perkins (email@example.com) to inquire about participation in the Handbell Choir.
Music Librarians and Assistants: Susan Barber
Section Leaders: Ellen Leslie, soprano; Jasmine Johnson, alto; Todd Bradley, tenor; Jess Perry, bass
Conducting Scholar: Julia Morris