…The Archbishop has chosen to commission a new Mass for Life, specifically a Mass of Thanksgiving on the Feast of St. Agnes for the gift of life. Join him at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption on January 21 at 9:30 am. Many of you will be in town for the West Coast Walk for Life. The Cathedral’s livestream is here. I don’t know if the setup will be good enough for you to really hear this new Mass but his homily will certainly be broadcast and you can see it at least.

This work by composer Christopher Mueller (whom you may recall compiled our free e-book work of parish liturgies by 14 living Catholic composers) has generated media attention. In an interview with Aleteia, Archbishp Cordileone explains:

“Quite some time ago I foresaw that the Mass preceding the annual Walk for Life – which always falls on the Saturday closest to January 22 – in the year 2023 would be the perfect occasion for commissioning a new Mass of sacred music, as it would be the 50th anniversary of the tragic Roe decision (although I did not anticipate at the time that we would have something to actually celebrate, as it has now been overturned). The massive killing of the unborn for over 50 years cries out to heaven for a special Mass honoring the sacredness of all human life, from conception to natural death.

The idea came to me because we have been commissioning new Masses of sacred music through the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship with our composer in residence, Frank La Rocca. The idea is to identify major contemporary themes, and use the beauty of sacred music to highlight the issue and unite people around it. But because it is in line with the tradition of polyphony and chant, it also has a quality of timeless beauty to it – at once contemporary and classic. Because Frank was already occupied composing the “Messe des Malades honoring Our Lady of Lourdes” that will be celebrated at Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light on February 11 with the Benedict XVI Choir….

No one has heard this new Mass for Life yet but the musicians, so we are lucky enough to get a report from our own Archbishop Schola’s director Rebekah Wu who is singing in the Mass. She says its fantastic and holy:

“I have the honor of being part of a choir that will be world premiering a new Mass for Life composed by Christopher Mueller (b. 1971), and commissioned by the Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in 2022.

“As I was reviewing the music prior to our first rehearsal, I immediately knew that Mr. Mueller is likely a very faithful Catholic man. His vision of life in heaven came through in his composition, particularly in the Gloria where the name of Jesu Christe is sung reverently twelve times the first time….”

The above came in a Jan. 19 email from the Benedict XVI Institute for sacred music and divine tradition.