Music at St. Paul’s Harvard Square is distinguished by the service of perhaps the most acclaimed Catholic choir of boys and men in the United States. Trained at St. Paul’s Choir School, the boys sing at seven liturgies each week. The mission of the choir is to serve the liturgy and encourage enthusiastic congregational participation by singing compositions from the great treasury of Catholic music, accompanied by expert organ playing. The choir sings proper Gregorian Chants each week, a tradition at St. Paul’s since the consecration of the Church in 1923.
Congregational devotion is fostered differently at weekend liturgies as follows: The 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass is spoken without music. The 9:30 a.m. Mass offers the largest amount of congregational music, led by a dedicated and enthusiastic Parish choir of men and women. The 11:00 a.m. High Mass is adorned with beautiful polyphonic settings of the Ordinary and of Sacred texts, fostering active participation through the uniting of heart and mind in prayer with the choir. At the Harvard students’ 5:00 p.m. Mass, a more contemporary musical offering is prepared and executed by the students themselves. Our weekday 12:10 p.m. Masses incorporate great music for boys’ voices, as well as a rich selection of Hymnody.
St. Paul’s Church is also a highly regarded venue for concerts of choral music. In addition to our own concerts throughout the year, we have welcomed a number of top international choirs to sing in concert at St. Paul’s. In recent years we have hosted the Tallis Scholars, the Vienna Boy Choir, Stile Antico and the Handel and Haydn Society.