Conductor Aaron Brown leads the Liturgical Choir during a dress rehearsal for the St. Thomas Christmas Concert December 6, 2015 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

Liturgical Choir to Sing for Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica

The University of St. Thomas Liturgical Choir has been invited to sing for the Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Dec. 25, 2016, with Pope Francis presiding.

The Sistine Chapel Choir is the principle choir for all papal liturgies, and Liturgical Choir will sing next to the Sistine Chapel Choir as the coro guida, the choir guiding the congregational singing at the Mass. The Liturgical Choir was selected to participate in the Midnight Mass after submitting recordings to the Vatican. The Midnight Mass will take place during a 10-day pilgrimage to Rome, Vatican City, Florence and Assisi.

Since the choir’s founding in 1977, it has traveled extensively, touring in the United States and abroad. The choir has sung for the Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in 1987, 1997 and 2007 under the direction of founder and longtime director Robert Strusinski.

Aaron Brown '05 is the current director. “I’m ecstatic that Liturgical Choir has this incredible opportunity,” Brown said. “It will be an honor to share our music in Italy and to celebrate Christmas in the Eternal City with Pope Francis.”