Faith in Song

Theresa UlmerSoprano

When I first encountered Robert's music, I was delighted to be immersed in and exposed to the great riches of the Faith in song. In the almost two decades since then, I have sung his hymns and Psalm settings in parishes and on retreats, as a solo cantor and with choirs, for weddings, ordinations, baptisms and funerals. I have sent copies to relatives and friends involved in parish music across the world.

By using classic melodies and in his own compositions, Robert's hymns stand out for their intuitive singability and their eminent suitability for congregational singing. His setting of the responsorial Psalms for Sunday Mass using the traditional Gregorian Psalm tones is an especial gift to parish musicians. They are a simple, accessible way to reintegrate this great treasure of our liturgical heritage into parish liturgy.

The purpose of liturgical music is the glory to God and sanctification of the faithful (Sacrosanctum Concilium 112). In drawing on the riches of the musical heritage of the Church and her treasury of liturgical and theological texts, Robert's compositions are an answer to the call of the second Vatican council for modern compositions that serve this threefold aim, "add delight to prayer, foster unity of minds, [and confer] greater solemnity upon the sacred rites" (SC 112).

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