Thursday, April 27, 2017

St Mary’s Schola Issues Recording of Christmas Dawn Mass Lux Fulgebit

The Schola Cantorum of St Mary’s Church in Norwalk, Connecticut, and the St Cecilia Society announce the release of the CD Lux Fulgebit, a recording of the Christmas Mass at Dawn, featuring the premiere recording of the 16th century English composer William Rasar’s Mass Christe Jesu. The Schola is under the direction of St Mary’s organist and choir master David Hughes. 

Taking its title from the first words of the Introit of the Mass at Dawn, the CD includes motets by William Byrd, Alfonso Ferrabosco, and Walter Lambe. The entire CD presents a Mass “in context,” including all the Gregorian propers, as well as the Scripture lessons, Preface, Collect and Post-Communion.

“Not only is this the first recording made by the St Mary’s Schola Cantorum, to our knowledge it is the only William Rasar composition ever recorded. If not for the manuscript of his Mass, this gifted composer might have been lost to history. In addition, the Propers for the Mass at Dawn of Christmas Day are beautiful but not frequently recorded, and we believe they deserve a wider audience.

“Pre-Reformation English composers are widely recognized as having produced extraordinary music,” said Charles Weaver, associate director of music at St Mary’s  and a Schola musician. “The Tallis Scholars and other ensembles, for example, have popularized music from English composers such as John Taverner and Robert Fairfax. We believe Rasar’s Mass deserves to be ranked among pieces by the great composers of this period.”
The Schola: Front row -- Elizabeth Baber Weaver and Judith Malafronte.
Back Row -- Terrence Fay, Charles Weaver, David Hughes and Richard Dobbins.
The cover art of Lux Fulgetbit.
Lux Fulgebit captures the musical splendor of the traditionally-oriented liturgical life at St Mary’s, recognized as a leading parish in renewing the worship of the Church. The Schola Cantorum is the heart of a multi-faceted sacred music program at the parish, that includes a children’s choir, adult volunteer choir and Spanish-speaking ensemble. All are geared toward enhancing the many Masses at the church, done in English, Latin and Spanish, and all at the High Altar, facing East.

St Mary’s pastor, the Rev. Richard G. Cipolla, believes the recording will not only be appreciated by those who are music lovers, but help open up the traditional form of the Roman Rite to those who might not be familiar.

“One of the most important ways of restoring beauty to the Mass is through the use of music. The music of the Mass must be sacred music, not merely religious music, because the Mass is the icon of the worship of God in heaven. At St Mary’s, we offer Mass adorned with music written specifically for it by some of the greatest composers in history. Lux Fulgebit will help more people experience the beauty of Rasar’s music and the ancient and venerable Tridentine Rite.”

The St Mary’s Schola Cantorum is a professional ensemble of five talented musicians, proficient in singing the most complex polyphony in the canon of Western sacred music: soprano Elizabeth Baber Weaver, mezzo-soprano Judith Malafronte, countertenor Terrence Fay, tenor Richard Dobbins and bass Charles Weaver. The St Cecilia Society is the support organization tasked with funding the program, and is under the chairmanship of Thomas B. Heckel.

The release of Lux Fulgebit was celebrated Sunday, April 23, with a reception at the church. It can be purchased by logging onto the church’s website,, and through and iTunes. The package includes a complete text of the Mass in English and Latin.
For further information, contact the church at

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