Sacred Liturgy & Music

“Christ … always associates the Church with Himself in this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. … The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. … From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way.” 

—Second Vatican Council Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, 7-8, 10


The celebration of the Mass and the other sacred liturgies is the center of our parish life.  These celebrations are supported by the liturgical ministries and services listed below. For more information, a list and description of our choirs, or to volunteer, please call or email Erin Bullock, Director of Sacred Liturgy and Music, at 703.527.5500 or ebullock@stcharleschurch.org.

Liturgical Ministries

  • Musicians - Instrumentalists, Choir Members, and Cantors serve Masses weekly. Younger parishioners are invited to join our children's choir which sings at Mass once a month!

  • Lectors

  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion - Serve at Mass itself or take Holy Communion to the sick and home bound. Interested volunteers must attend a diocesan training, held each fall and spring.

  • Altar Servers - youth especially are encouraged to aid the priests during Mass.

    • Altar Serving Training will be held every 4th Saturday of the month from 10am to 12pm.

  • Ushers

  • Sacristans - Clean and organize the church and sacristy areas during the week, giving special attention to the sacred vessels and linens.

  • Sacred Art & Furnishings - Prune church flowers during the week, sew banners, and care for sacred art. Extra hands are always needed at Christmas and Easter times for more extensive church decorating.

For current volunteers and new volunteers who have completed training, you can log into our Ministry Scheduling Software here to view your current assignments and update your availability to serve. 

Music

St. Cecilia Children’s Chorus (9:00am Mass)
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 5:45pm
A fun and educational group who learn about music and God by praising Him through song! Open to children in Grades 2-6. Older children/youth may serve as choir helpers. No musical experience necessary.

St. Charles Schola (10:30am Mass)
Rehearsals: Sundays, 9:30am
Gregorian chant, polyphony, and harmonized hymnody. Open to adults (18+). Previous musical experience and audition required.

St. Charles Chorus (6:00pm Mass)
Rehearsals: Sundays, 4:30 - 5:45pm
Classical and contemporary music standards of sacred music. Open to adults and middle/high school youth. No musical experience necessary.

Cantors
Cantors use their vocal gifts to lead congregational singing at various Sunday Masses and Holy Day liturgies. Audition required.

Instrumentalists
Organists, pianists, string instrumentalists, and wind instrumentalists are also invited to share their gifts at various Sunday Masses and Holy Day liturgies.