“Among all other instruments which are suitable for divine worship, the organ is ‘accorded pride of place’(1) because of its capacity to sustain the singing of a large gathered assembly, due to both its size and its ability to give ‘resonance to the fullness of human sentiments, from joy to sadness, from praise to lamentation.’” (2)
“In addition to its ability to lead and sustain congregational singing, the sound of the pipe organ is most suited for solo playing of sacred music in the Liturgy at appropriate moments. Pipe organs also play an important evangelical role in the Church’s outreach to the wider community in sacred concerts, music series, and other musical and cultural programs.”(3)
At St. Augustine, we are blessed with magnificent pipe organ in the balcony of the church. The organ was originally built in 1896 by the Henry Pilcher’s Sons Company of Louisville, Kentucky. The original organ was hand pumped and had mechanical, tracker action. In 1939, the Henry Pilcher’s Sons Company came back to St. Augustine to modernize and enlarge the instrument.
Between 1968 and 1972, the instrument was once again enlarged and altered by the H.W. Muller & Sons Organ Company from Toledo, Ohio. Pipes were added and exchanged in an attempt to ‘lighten’ the sound with more brilliant and edgy sounds. Though the mechanics that control the instrument where not changed with the rebuild, a new console was built and installed in the balcony.
Today, the organ has two manuals and pedals, with 37 ranks of pipes and 2,287 pipes.
- GIRM. No. 393.
- Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. No. 87.
- Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. No. 88.