The Papal Choir
The papal choir is based at the Vatican and plays a very major role during Church Masses and celebrations. The choir, which is said to have been established during the papacy of Pope Gregory the Great, is composed of great singers who are carefully selected by its choirmaster. Although there are many claims saying that the papal choir was started during the reign of Pope Gregory the Great there is some historical evidence which ascertain that this choir was already in existence during the papacy of Pope Sergius I in the 8th century. In any case, the papal choir is one of the oldest religious choirs in the world. But despite its old age, it is still outstanding in terms of performance and recognition.
The papal choir is not just like any choir in any church; it is a special type of choir and it is unique in many ways. The Papal choir is managed by the Vatican and its role combines music, faith and creativity. The choir consists of singers and instrument players. Currently, the composition of the papal choir is twenty adult singers and thirty volunteer boys. The adults are normally responsible for singing tenor and bass voices while the boys sing soprano and contralto voices.
The leaders of the papal choir are always professional musicians of gospel music. Originally, before the full establishment of the papal choir, the choirmaster was normally a bishop who knew how to lead the faithful to sing various hymns. Currently, the leader of the papal choir is mostly a composer and he is responsible for composing songs and leading the choir at the time of singing. It is this choir that leads in singing during the papal masses; at the Vatican and when the pope attends a mass out of the Vatican City, within Rome.
Despite performing mostly in the Vatican City, the papal choir has also been involved in international tours where it gets invited to perform during different celebrations of the Roman Catholic Church. The Papal choir is loved by many people as it is very elating to listen to its performance. The sweet voices of singers, the harmonizing, the singers’ movements and the words of their songs, are all amazing. Many people who have had an opportunity of listening to the papal choir perform praise it highly.
The papal choir has undergone several changes from the early days when it was formed. Some people challenged the professional standards of music of the papal choir and the way that the songs were composed. Boys were not allowed in the choir until the papacy of Pope Pius X when he ordered that boys be included in the papal choir. This changed the sound of the Papal choir. The way in which the songs are composed has also changed and now the papal choir is well established with less restrictions on how it organizes itself.