LUX FULGEBIT: The St. Mary’s Schola Cantorum’s Debut CD

Official press release (April 17, 2017)
CD Launch program
CD liner notes

The St. Cecilia Society of St. Mary's Norwalk is proud to announce the professional recording debut of our own Schola Cantorum!

Lux Fulgebit, featuring the world premiere recording of William Rasar's Mass Christe Jesu, was launched on Low Sunday, April 23, 2017, at a festive reception in St. Mary's Parish Hall.

CDs are available for purchase:
Directly from St. Mary's Church, either
In person at the St. Mary's Bookstore
Or via direct order from the St. Mary's website
By ordering directly from us, you ensure that 100% of proceeds go to support sacred music at St. Mary’s.

Other buying options (including digital downloads): (coming soon)
iTunes (coming soon)

What music is included on the CD?
What is the “Mass at Dawn”?
What is the Mass Christe Jesu?
Who is William Rasar?
Is it possible to hear an excerpt of the CD?

What music is included on the CD?

The CD is the “soundtrack” of a sung Mass as it is done at St. Mary’s Norwalk on Sundays and feast days. Everything musical that takes place in the Mass is included, from the bells to the organ, the chant, and the choral polyphony. The readings and chants all come from the Mass at Dawn of Christmas Day, and the polyphony featured is the Mass Christe Jesu by William Rasar, with motets by William Byrd, Alfonso Ferrabosco, and Walter Lambe.

What is the “Mass at Dawn”?
The Mass at Dawn is the second Mass of Christmas Day. Most feasts in the Roman rite have one proper set of readings and chants, but Christmas, almost uniquely, has three sets: one to be sung at midnight, one at dawn, and one for masses during the day. The Masses for Midnight and during the day have been recorded numerous times before, while the Mass at Dawn is less commonly heard.

What is the Mass Christe Jesu?
The Mass Christe Jesu is a sixteenth-century English setting of the Mass Ordinary for five voices, which is found complete in the Forrest-Heyther partbooks (Bodleian Library) and incomplete in the Peterhouse partbooks (Cambridge University Library). It is the only extant composition of William Rasar, and is of very high musical quality. The model of the Mass is unknown or lost, and there are a couple of other features of the Mass that are unusual for the period: the entire text of the Gloria and Credo are set, and the Mass is entirely in duple meter.

Who is William Rasar?
William Rasar is an obscure composer who was active in the early sixteenth century. The only dates known with certainty about him are his tenure as a boy chorister at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, from 1499 to at least 1504, from which his birth year can be estimated as 1491, and his time as a clerk at King’s College, Cambridge, 1510–c. 1515. His only known surviving composition is the Mass Christe Jesu, which survives in two sets of partbooks.

For more about the reconstruction of the Rasar Mass, view the CD Launch program or the CD liner notes.

Is it possible to hear an excerpt of the CD?
Yes. Both the Credo and the Agnus Dei from the Rasar Mass can now be heard on YouTube!

Credo (William Rasar, Mass Christe Jesu):

Agnus Dei (William Rasar, Mass Christe Jesu):


Order the CD

CD Release Party

Sunday, April 23, 2017
St. Mary's Parish Hall

Lux Fulgebit was launched with an enthusiastic outpouring of support from the St. Mary's community at a festive reception hosted by Director of Music David Hughes and featuring a performance by the Schola Cantorum.

View the CD Launch program