Select choral music by liturgical year

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“Those who sing pray twice.” (attributed to Augustine). The sequence of church festivals in the yearly cycle gives structure to the church year, divided up by Advent, Christmas, Lent/ Passiontide, Easter, and Trinity. The texts chosen for each service in the liturgical calendar are stipulated in the lectionary or pericope order. J. S. Bach set the texts for the Sundays in the church year with great artistry in five annual cycles of cantatas. In Catholic church music, unison singing (led by the music director in services), and motet-style settings of the Introitus, Graduale, Offertorium and Communio play a special part.