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Music for Pope Francis

compiled by Gary D. Penkala

The material for this article was gleaned from various online source and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. Corrections from those involved would be appreciated.

Pope Francis At past Papal Masses in the United States, the music has been a mixture of good and surprisingly unusual (read that as a euphemism for "bad" if you wish). From what I can see of the music for Masses at the three cities of Pope Francis' visit, there's quite a bit of very good music, although I'm sure in the unposted details of Prelude and Communion selections there are some clinkers. Here's what I found online:

== Washington DC ==

Mass on the East Portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine

Music Director: Thomas Stehle
Choral Groups: Archdiocesan Choir, Cathoic University of America Chamber Choir, National Shrine Choir, Gospel Choir, Intercultural Choir
Instrumental Groups: CUA Orchestra, Washington Symphonic Brass, Electronic Organ [Rodgers]


  • Italian Symphony No.4, first movement (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Este momento en punto (Rev. Pablo Sosa - Methodist minister) – tango
  • Symphony No.5, fourth movement (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  • All Creatures of Our God and King (arr. Julian Wachner)
  • Peace Prayer of Saint Francis (Peter Latona)


  • Introit: How beautiful upon the mountains Is 52:7 (Leo Nestor)
  • Entrance: Laudate Dominum (Christopher Walker)
  • Canonization: Veni Creator Spiritus (Gregorian chant)
  • Litany of the Saints: sung in Latin (Gregorian chant)
  • Placement of the Relics: Aqui estoy, Senor Psalm 40 (Lorenzo Florian)
  • Gloria: Chant Mass VIII [Missa de angelis] alternating with setting from Messa a 4 by Giovanni Paolo Cima (1570-1622) (arr. Latona)
  • Responsorial Psalm: Cuenten las maravillas [Psalm 96] Spanish/English (Tony Alonso)
  • Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia [chant mode VI] (arr. Paul French)
  • Universal Prayer: Tri-lingual response (Michael Hay)
  • Offertory Motets: Albricias mortales, que viene la aurora (Manuel de Sumaya)
    We Offer Praise (Rodney Bryant)
  • Sanctus: unidentified setting, Latin refrain, three verses (English, Spanish, French)
  • Mystery of Faith: unidentified Spanish setting, "Anunciamos tu muerte"
  • Agnus Dei: from Chant Mass XVIII (arr. by Norman Gouin)
  • Communion Antiphon/Motet: I Am the Living Bread (Leo Nestor)
  • Communion Hymn: Pescador de Hombres (Gabarain)
  • Recessional Hymn: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (arr. Paul French)

== New York NY ==

Mass at Madison Square Garden

Music Director: Dr. Jennifer Pascual
Choral Groups: Archdiocesan Festival Chorale, Saint Patrick Cathedral Choir, Cantor, Soloist
Instrumental Groups: Orchestra, Electronic Organ [Allen]

Pre-Mass Concert

  • D Train
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Harry Connick, Jr.
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Kelli O'Hara
  • Martin Sheen
  • Michael McElroy and the Broadway Inspirational Voices
  • Norm Lewis
  • Rob Mathes
  • Rosanna Scotto
  • Saint Charles Borromeo Church / Chapel of the Resurrection


Simple weekday Mass; no Gloria, no Credo

  • Tu es Petrus (Charles-Marie Widor, arr. David Cherwein)
  • Greater Love Hath No Man (John Ireland)
  • A Prayer of Saint Patrick (Paul M. French)
  • Communion Antiphon: sung by Schola of Saint Joseph Seminary (Dunwoodie)
  • plus three other choral selections
  • Alleluia, Sing to Jesus (arr. Robert Hobby - Trinity English Lutheran Church Music Director, Fort Wayne IN)
  • Communion: Pescador de Hombres (Gabarain)
  • plus ten other congregational songs

== Philadelphia PA ==

Mass on Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Music Director: David Kimock
Choral Groups: Archdiocesan Choir [250], Cathedral Choir [30], Children's Choir [60], Hispanic Choir, Vietnamese Choir, Gospel Choir
Instrumental Groups: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Electronic Organ [Rodgers]

Pre-Mass Concert

  • Joybells of Melmark
  • Firehill Worship
  • Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters
  • Margaret Keys
  • Divine Hand Ensemble
  • Melanie R. Hill
  • Martin Doman – Christ Music
  • The Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale
  • Anthony Kearns


  • Hallelujah from Christ on the Mount of Olives (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  • Symphony No.3, third movement (Johannes Brahms)
  • Da nobis pacem (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Symphony No.9 [From the New World], second movement (Antonin Dvorak)
  • Look Up and Count the Stars (Peter Latona)
  • Ecce sacerdos magnus (Edward Elgar)
  • Sanctus from Requiem (Maurice Duruflé)
  • Symphony No.7, fourth movement (Ludwig van Beethoven)
  • A Gift of Love (Oanh Song Lam)
  • I Was Glad (Charles H.H. Parry)


  • Entrance: The Spirit of the Lord [Isaiah 61] (Philip W.J. Stopford)
  • Responsorial Psalm: Exultate, Justi (J. Michael Joncas)
  • Gospel Acclamation: Festival Alleluia (James Chepponis)
  • Universal Prayer: Tri-lingual response (Michael Hay)
  • Offertory Hymn: Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom (Normand Gouin)
  • Amen: from from Mass of the Resurrection (Randall DeBruyn)
  • Communion Hymns: Gift of Finest Wheat (Robert Kreutz, arr. Peter Latona)
    I Received the Living God (Don Clément Jacob)
  • Communion Motets: Ave verum corpus (W.A. Mozart)
    Sheep May Safely Graze (J.S. Bach)
  • Recessional Hymn: To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King (James Chepponis)


  • Finale from Symphony No.3 ["Organ"] (Camille Saint-Saëns)
  • Tollite hostias from Christmas Oratorio (Camille Saint-Saëns)
  • O Clap Your Hands (John Rutter)

Article written 17 September 2015

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