Story by Reagan Scott
(SNR) - Amy Flamminio, the choir director for the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, is inviting musicians to be part of a diocesan-wide choir at the Chrism Mass celebrated Monday, April 15, and the diaconate and priesthood ordination Masses Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25.
When she became choir director three years ago, Flamminio invited musicians she had met in the past to join the Cathedral choir for these important liturgies, which are the largest the church sees during the year. Flamminio has also used the special choir for other events, such as when religious orders in the diocese have women taking final vows during liturgies in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ.
Every year Flamminio has added people to her invitation list, and she hopes to see musicians from all parts of southern Nebraska. High school students and adults of all ages are invited to participate.
“I want it to be something that’s open to all people in the diocese,” Flamminio said. “We’ve seen the benefit of these special liturgies, and the Cathedral choir loves having these additional voices.”
In addition to the traditional sacred music sung at the Masses, the choir sang two choral pieces composed by Flamminio and Kevin Hanrahan of St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln at last year’s priesthood ordination Mass.
“There’s a beautiful variety to the sacred music we sing together,” Flamminio said.
The first rehearsal for the Chrism Mass will be held Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. Of the four weekly rehearsals offered before the event, singers are required to attend three. Each rehearsal will last 30 minutes to an hour.
For those choir members who are unable to come to Lincoln for the weekly rehearsals, Flamminio will provide music and recordings for the different voice parts so that distance isn’t an inhibitor for anyone who would like to participate.
Flamminio recognizes the hard work volunteers put in every week for their own parish choirs, and said she believes that participation in the Chrism and ordination Masses is a special opportunity to renew their love for what they do.
She said, “The bishop has it on his heart that the sacred music in the liturgy is so important. Because it’s something that we love, it’s a little way we get to participate in something beautiful. It reminds us why we do what we do.”
Flamminio said that past choir members enjoyed having the chance to sing harder pieces than they might perform in their own parishes, gain exposure to sacred music and build fellowship and community.
“We’re building a little fellowship among the generous volunteer musicians we have throughout the diocese,” she said.