AN IRISH choir is celebrating the prestigious honour of being asked to sing High Mass in front of Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
The St Colman's Cathedral Choir from Cobh, Co Cork, will sing for the Pope next Sunday to mark the 500th anniversary of the Cappella Giulia, the choir of St Peter's Basilica.
They are one of only two English-language choirs being honoured by the St Peter's assignment this year.
Choirmaster, Dominic Finn, said the 44-member musical group were astonished when they were invited to participate in the 500th anniversary ceremony – and were then told to pick whichever date suited them.
"It is a tremendous honour and really is the kind of event that every choir dreams about," he told the Irish Independent.
The St Colman's Choir will sing the Holy Chapter (High) Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica at 10.30am next Sunday.
They will then sing at the 4pm Mass and also perform for the Solemn Vespers that evening.
Their musical programme has already been selected and it will include works by John Rutter, Ronan McDonagh, Philip Stopford and Luigi Molfino.
"Everyone is really excited about the invitation and the prospect of performing for the Pope in St Peter's," Mr Finn added.