Parish Book of Motets

Sacred Music


Sacred Music is the official journal of the Church Music Association of America, and the oldest continuously published journal of music in North America. It is the essential resource for every Church musician, professional or amateur, who is interested in the restoration of the sacred in Catholic liturgical life.

Sacred Music is a continuation of Caecilia (archives here), published by the Society of St. Caecilia since 1874, and The Catholic Choirmaster, published by the Society of St. Gregory of America since 1915. It is published quarterly by CMAA.

You can receive Sacred Music by becoming a member of the CMAA. Who should join? Everyone interested in the cause of beautiful liturgy, including composers, organists, choir directors, cantors, and enthusiastic amateurs.

The Sacred Music Journal is an essential component for your parish music program.

“The greatest need of liturgy today is the restoration

of the sense of the sacred.”


Dr. William Mahrt, CMAA President and Editor of Sacred Music

Sacred Music contains the best analysis on topics important to Catholic musicians:

  • The method and theory of chant, with commentary on its theological and musical significance
  • The history and meaning of classics in the polyphonic repertoire
  • Important Church documents on music
  • Articles on starting scholas, and on dealing with the trials, tribulations, and triumphs in parish life
  • Commentary on the current state of music in parishes
  • Seasonal suggestions for music in liturgy
  • What the masters of sacred music from all times can teach us today
  • Reviews of new books, music, and recordings
  • News and events in the sacred music community

Equip your parish with The Sacred Music Journal


The CMAA is pleased to offer the following full issues for download. If you have any of the missing issues of Caecilia or The Catholic Choirmaster dating as far back as the 19th century, please contact us.

Editorial: Patronage (William Mahrt)
Article: The Vespers Hymns of St. Gregory the Great: Liturgical Use of the Book of Genesis (Sr. Maria Kiely, OSB)
Article: Joseph Bonnet, Animateur of Gregorian Chant Congresses (Susan Treacy)
Article: Musica Divina: The Musician Nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara in Oporto (1760-1830) (Rosana Marreco Brescia)
Article: Duquesne Student and Alumni Trip to Paris and Brittany: May 13-24, 2019 (Ann Labounsky)
Review: The Music of James MacMillan by Phillip A. Cooke (Conner David McCain)
Commentary: Now What? The Uncharted Waters of Covid Times (Mary Jane Ballou)
Repertory: Josquin’s Per illud ave (Aaron Jamess)
Last Word: Choirs and Covid-19 (Kurt Poterack)

Volume 147.1
(Spring 2020)

Editorial: Learning Music (William Mahrt)
Article: Why the Liturgy Should Be Sung (William Mahrt)
Article: The Golden Years of an American Catholic Institution: an Annotated Chronicle of the Pius X School of Liturgical Music from 1946 to its Transformation as the Music Department of Manhattanville College 1969–1970: (Part II of III: 1953–1965) (Francis Brancaleone)
Commentary: Watching Your Words: Kindness and Honesty (Mary Ann Ballou)
Repertory: Weerbeke’s Anima Christi (Aaron James)
Last Word: The Debt of Worship (Kurt Poterack)

Editorial: Present and Past (William Mahrt)
Article: Composing for the Liturgy: Basic Requirements (Fr. Jude Toochukwu Orakwe)
Article: Integrativity and Disintegrativity as Musical Qualities in Ratzinger’s Thought (Justin Pizzo)
Article: Laus in Ecclesia, a New Gregorian Chant Course (Dom Mark Bachmann, OSB)
Commentary: Improving the Music? Part Two: Music Director, Choir and Congregation (Mary Ann Ballou)
Repertory: Giaches de Wert’s Motets on the Sunday Epistles and Gospels (Aaron James)
Last Word: Those Wacky Non-Musicians (Kurt Poterack)
CMAA Announcements
Editorial: Eucharist (William Mahrt)
Article: “In the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy” (CCC 1125): Reflections on Authority in Liturgy Today (Dom Alcuin Reid, OSB)
Article: Gregorian Chant: A Modulation of Silence through Humility (Theodore Krasnicki)
Commentary: Improving the Music? Part One: Music Director and Pastor (Mary Ann Ballou)
Repertory: Jacobus Gallus (Jacob Handl): Ecce quomodo oritur justus (William Mahrt)
Documents: Address of the Holy Father Francis to the Scholæ Cantorum of the Italian Saint Cecilia Association, Saturday, September 26, 2019
News: The Mass of the Americas (William Mahrt)
Last Word: Pope Francis on Sacred Music (Kurt Poterack)
Editorial: Musica humana (William Mahrt)
Article: The Number Seven as Signifier of Symbolism in the Sacred Music of the Renaissance (Willem Elders)
Article: Musica Sanans: Individual and Communal Reintegration in Augustine’s Expositions of the Psalms (Fr. Samuel Bellafiore)
Repertory: Frank La Rocca’s The Mass for the Americas: Two Composers Discuss a Major New Sacred Work (Mark Nowakowski)
Commentary: Incense (William Mahrt)
Last Word: An Organ Comes Home (Kurt Poterack)

Volume 146.1
(Spring 2019)


Editorial: Reason and Affect (William Mahrt)
Article: Im Nigeria, singen alle lateinisch? A Critical Review of the Retention of Spoken and Chanted Liturgical Latin in the Nigerian Local Church (Fr. Jude Orakwe)
Article: The Golden Years of an American Catholic Institution: an Annotated Chronicle of the Pius X School of Liturgical Music from 1946 to its Transformation as the Music Department of Manhattanville College 1969–1970: (Part I of III: 1946–1952) (Francis Brancaleone)
Article: First Night, New Choir (Mary Jane Ballou)
Repertory: Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and the Catholic Tradition (Markus Rathey)
Review: Vicente Ripollés Pérez (1867–1943), Música en torno al Motu Proprio para la Catedral de Sevilla, Volume 1: Misas, by Miguel López-Fernández (Valeska Cabrera)
Last Word: The Pipe Organ as a Church Instrument (Kurt Poterack)