Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir is a non-audition community of adult singers anchored by four professional section leaders. We lead vibrant congregational song and enhance worship with inspired music of all styles and eras. We welcome singers of all levels of training and experience, incorporating musical and vocal training into our rehearsals.

Rehearsals are Thursdays from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the Choir Room.

Want to get involved? Have questions?

Contact Susan DeSelms

Upcoming Chancel Choir Events

June 1, 2017 - 7:00pm (Chancel Choir Rehearsal)
June 4, 2017 - 10:00am (Chancel Choir Rehearsal)
June 8, 2017 - 7:00pm (Chancel Choir Rehearsal)
June 11, 2017 - 10:00am (Chancel Choir Rehearsal)
June 15, 2017 - 7:00pm (Chancel Choir Rehearsal)

Latest Chancel Choir News

Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter 2017
Posted: Mar 21 2017 - 3:43pm

Join us for Palm Sunday, April 9, as we enjoy our children leading the Palm Processional celebrating the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem.  The Chancel Choir will sing movement II of the Requiem by Johannes Brahms: "For all flesh is grass . . . the grass withereth . . . but the word of the Lord endureth forever."

 Each year, all are encouraged to take time for Holy Week by worshiping together on Maundy Thursday, April 13, and Good Friday, April 14. These worship services are an important part of our Easter story. They are darker, for sure, and rich with meaning about what it means to walk through death into resurrection. The darkness of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are in the world around us all the time. We, however, practice a Resurrection faith. We are willing to shine the Christ-light in the dark. Sometimes we need to meditate on the darkness to understand how and why we need to shine the light. 

On Thursday, join us at 6:30 in the Chapel to experience foot or hand washing, remembering how Jesus showed his love for his closest friends the night before He died.  Worship begins at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary. The worship will include the Chancel Choir singing movement 3 of the Requiem by Johannes Brahms: "God, make me consider my frailty . . . man passeth away like a shadow . . . what do I wait for? My hope is in Thee." 

Good Friday's worship (7:00pm) reminds us of the crucifixion, taking us through the moments of betrayal, denial, torture, mocking and dying on the cross.  We hear the seven last words of Jesus, and meditate upon them with a thoughtful retelling, contemplative music, and silence.  Again, we will pair contemporary images of current events with Jesus' last words.  Gradually, we extinguish the lights in the sanctuary and walk together into the night. During the Good Friday worship service, the Chancel Choir will sing the Reequiem 5th movement: I will comfort you, as one whom his own mother comforteth . . . labor and sorrow were mine, but at the last I have found comfort."

On Easter Sunday, April 16, we will once again gather in the light of Easter to grandly celebrate the resurrection.  The nursery for children up through age 5 will open at 9:00am. Beginning at 9:00am we welcome all to come join us for a Drop-In Pot-Luck Easter Breakfast in our Parlor. At 10:40am will be the musical prelude in the Sanctuary, featuring the 6th movement of the Requiem by Johannes Brahms, ending with the penultimate words, "Death, O where is thy sting?" and "Grave, where is thy triumph?" and the final fugue: "Worthy art Thou to be praised."

These words will lead us into the festival Easter worship when we will thrill to familiar and rousing songs and hymns of resurrection and praise. Hallelujahs and alleluias (meaning "praise God") will abound both in our congregational hymns and in our choral offerings. The trombone quartet and organ will inspire our hymns of resurrection.  The Chancel Choir will sing movement 4 of the Requiem, "How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place."

Invite your friends. Invite your family. Come and join us on this wonderful day of worship. As on all Sundays, all are welcome. Come for some resurrection, for a reminder that death doesn’t have the last word, and that love and hope live beyond the tomb.


Annual Collaboration with Temple Shir Tikva
Posted: Mar 15 2017 - 5:57pm

Each year the Chancel Choir at United Parish in Brookline collaborates with the choir of Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland. This year, we met on Friday, March 3 at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland and on Sunday, March 5 at United Parish.

Over the past five years, this collaboration has celebrated our shared musical traditions singing arrangements of hassidic songs, spirituals, Jewish niggun, and various settings of the Psalms, including Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms.

Both choirs and congregations have grown to look forward to this collaboration with great joy and excitement as we've developed lasting friendships, learned new music, and worshiped in new and different ways. This year's collaboration featured music in the folk, gospel, and 19th century classical traditions, presenting Movement 4 of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Woodie Guthrie and the Klezmatics' version of "Holy Ground," and Paul Halley’s broadway-gospel arrangement of "Hold to God’s Unchanging' Hand," featuring our own, beloved broadway-gospel vocalist, Merle Perkins.

On Friday, March 3, our congregations celebrated Shabbat together at Temple Shir Tikva @ 6:15pm. Two days later, our congregations united at the United Parish in Brookline for 11 a.m. worship.

After worship, attendees enjoyed a chili lunch together and then worked together on a Rise Against Hunger service project, during which participants created 10,000 nutrient rich meal packages for food-insecure people in developing countries. Our congregations worked together to raise $3,000 and enlisted more than 60 volunteers to complete this inspiring and incredibly effective service project.


A Song for Syria - November 12 @ 8pm
Posted: Nov 3 2016 - 10:57am

On Saturday, November 12, at 8pm, the United Parish in Brookline is hosting A Song for Syria, a concert benefiting Doctors Without Borders for their vital work with Syrian civilians.

This concert brings together the talents of an unbelievable roster of established musicians giving their time to support this cause, including: Blue Heron, Boston Camerata, Consort of Hope, DooZhen Choir, Lorelei Ensemble and members of the United Parish Chancel Choir.

Please help us get the word out by inviting your friends and by joining us for what's sure to be an incredible evening of music, supporting a very important cause.

In lieu of admission, we invite donations, 100% of which will support the work of Doctors without Borders in Syria.