A lovely story about a youth choir preparing for Mass in Detroit:
The classical sounds of the Latin language are to echo inside a Detroit cathedral today as children from across the region gather for a special mass featuring area Catholic youth choirs.
It's a sign of the growing interest in the Latin language among Catholics who are yearning for tradition.
About 100 children from parishes in Michigan and London, Ontario, are to practice and then perform during the mass with Archbishop Allen Vigneron at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the seat of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, greater emphasis was placed on using English in masses so singing in Latin increasingly fell out of favor, said local Catholics.
"When I was young, we only sang in Latin," recalled Cindy Stempin, music director at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Livonia.
"Latin was the universal language of the church," she added. "They are going back to their roots."
Some of her students say they like it.
"It's pretty cool to be singing in a different language," said Alexa Orosz, a sixth-grader at St. Michael school. "When you get used to it, it's not hard at all."
Stempin helped about 25 children in third grade to eighth grade get ready for today's concert, which is organized by the American Federation Pueri Cantores, a national organization that promotes religious music among youngsters.
The children are to rehearse today under the direction of Paul French, a noted composer and conductor who directs William Ferris Chorale in Chicago.
Nancy Deacon, director of music at the cathedral, remembers hearing Latin sung as an elementary school student, and then noticed the changes after the reforms.
"It went from one extreme to the other," she said. Singing in Latin is "something that had been missing for a generation or so."