Worshippers at the 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, Mass at Fort Wayne’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will be treated to a particularly special farewell to “alleluia” before Lent begins the following Wednesday.
At the invitation of Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, 40 students who comprise the Notre Dame Celebration Choir and the Notre Dame Handbell Choir at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart will travel to Fort Wayne to lead the music during the vigil Mass.
Karen Kirner of Campus Ministry at Notre Dame formed both ensembles in 1997 and directed them until the fall of 2016, when Patrick Kronner came from Indiana University, Bloomington, to direct the Celebration Choir. At that time Kirner became director of the folk choir; she still directs the Handbell Choir as well and will be the organist for the Mass.
The Celebration Choir has toured with the Handbell Choir, which sings in the wider community, including at Westville Prison, with youth and at unity prayer services. They also lead the music at a Mass held in DeBartolo Performing Arts Center half an hour after the end of each home football game. In the Handbell Choir, 15 students play two handbells each, ranging over a total of five octaves. These enthusiastic musicians usually participate during all four years as undergrads.
Notre Dame Campus Ministry is blessed with other choirs, including the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir, the Women’s Liturgical Choir and the Schola, who perform polyphonic “high church” music. All the choirs combine for special occasions like Junior Parents Weekend and Advent Lessons and Carols.
Although the choirs sing high-quality works in various musical styles, Kirner emphasized that they will not present a performance when they visit the cathedral, but will lead the congregation in worship. Selections will include John Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” Steve Warner’s “Lead, Kindly Light,” Karen Kirner’s medley of familiar communion hymns and “Our Darkness Is Never Darkness” from the Taize community.
Bishop Rhoades will celebrate the vigil Mass, and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish is graciously providing a meal for the students afterward.
All visitors are encouraged to travel to downtown Fort Wayne to observe “Alleluia Sunday” with these acclaimed musical groups. Parking is free and available in several parking lots adjacent to the cathedral, as well as on the street, at no charge. The cathedral is located at 1122 S. Clinton Street, Fort Wayne.
The best news. Delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe to our mailing list today.