Latin Mass Society

Schola Cantorum Sancti Johannis Houghton: a new Gregorian chant initiative by the Latin Mass Society

Schola Cantorum Sancti Johannis Houghton: a new Gregorian chant initiative by the Latin Mass Society

These qualities [sc. holiness, artistic beauty, and universality] are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity.

Pius X Tra le Sollicitudine 1903

What’s it all about?

In January 2019, the Latin Mass Society establishes a new Gregorian chant initiative designed to help a new generation of chant enthusiasts be trained for singing in the Sacred Liturgy.

Working with professional singers from the consort group Cantus Magnus, the new all-male Schola Cantorum will accompany selected traditional Catholic liturgies (Mass and Divine Office) in the London area.

The Schola’s regular schedule of rehearsal and performance opportunities in Central London will make it possible for those with no previous experience of singing Gregorian Chant to learn how to do so.

Workshops will be held on Friday evenings in Central London, where tea and coffee will be served; proceedings will conclude with sung Compline according to the traditional Roman Breviary.

Opportunities to sing Mass will include the following Monday, the long-established public 6:30pm Sung Mass at Corpus Christi Maiden Lane in Covent Garden.

Repertoire will include Gregorian melodies (not excluding psalm-tone recitation of the Proper of the Mass as need arises).

Why St John Houghton?

The Essex-born Carthusian St John Houghton was the proto-martyr of the Protestant Revolt in England, being hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1535.  As Prior of the London Charterhouse, he had refused the take the Oath demanded by the Act of Supremacy.

He was beatified in 1886 and canonised in 1970.

The logo of the Schola is a double reference to the chant neume torculus and the infamous three-legged Tyburn Tree.

How do I get involved?

If you would like to get involved, please send details of your previous experience, if any, to the Latin Mass Society’s Director of Music for London, Matthew Schellhorn, at

Space, and therefore numbers, are limited, but the Schola’s directors will review applications and prospective members of the Schola for 2019 will be invited to attend the first workshop where singing tasks will be allocated according to ability.

Membership will be reviewed based on various factors including attendance.

What do I need?

There is no charge and all music will be provided.

An ability to follow direction, to maintain group ethos, and to be organised will be required.

Due respect for the spirituality of the Sacred Chant and the culture of the Church’s sacred environment will be expected.

Schedule for 2019

Rehearsals will take place at:
7:00pm to 8:30pm in the Latin Mass Society Office, 11–13 Macklin Street, WC2B
5NH, near Holborn Tube Station  (click for a map).

Masses will take place at:
6:30pm (arrive at 6:15pm; ends approximately 7:45pm) in the Church of Corpus
Christi, 1–5 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7NB, between Covent Garden and Charing Cross Tube Stations, near the Strand (click for a map).

Fri 18        Workshop
Mon 21     Mass (St Agnes)

Fri 15        Workshop
Mon 18     Mass (Feria of Septuagesima)

Fri 8          Workshop
Mon 11     Mass (Feria of Lent)

Fri 5          Workshop
Mon 8       Mass (Passion Week)

Fri 17        Workshop
Mon 20     Mass (St Bernadine of Siena)

Fri 7          Workshop
Mon 10     Mass (Whit Monday)

N.B. Further dates to be added in due course.

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