July 15, 2024

For the past 10 years, the adult choir at Risen Savior Parish in Brandon has been performing cantatas during the seasons of Lent and Advent. These twice yearly cantatas have been a fruitful way for the choir to minister not just to their parish, but also to others in the community.

Participation in the cantatas is not limited to members of the Risen Savior choir but is open to everyone. Members of other parishes and even other Christian traditions, as well as non-Christian individuals, join them as they put in time practicing and performing each season. Director Shiloh Oorlog says that inviting others to join is part of the way they minister to others.


“We present the cantata each year hoping those who hear us are brought deeper into the liturgical season,” Shiloh said. “But I also know that each of the singers sees participation as a way to grow in their faith.”

Several of the 40 singers in this year’s cantata have participated in every cantata Risen Savior has presented. Soprano Pat Kohnen has seen her faith grow with her participation.

“The cantata gives me a different way to pray, to feel more deeply my relationship with God,” Pat said. “The friendships I have made in the choir keep me coming back, and I enjoy being able to praise God by singing together with my friends. The cantata is a way I can share my faith with others.”

Bass singer Jerry Zins echoes those thoughts, adding, “I love singing with the group, and it helps me prepare for the season, as well as helping others prepare.”


Participation in the cantata is not limited to singers. Each year, several musicians add their talents, and a special treat is Mariah Matthies signing for several of the songs. Listening to the words being sung and seeing them interpreted in sign at the same time adds special meaning to those songs.

Each year, the choir performs the cantata anywhere from three to five times. In addition to the annual performance at Risen Savior, this Easter, performances will be held at St. Rose of Lima Parish (Garretson), Bethany Meadows Assisted Living and Prince of Peace Retirement Community. In past years, they’ve also sung at St. Nicholas Parish in Tea and St. Michael Parish in Sioux Falls, as well as at the prison. This year, to celebrate their 10th year, the group chartered a bus t

o sing at the South Dakota State Capitol.

The cantata has earned great support in the Brandon parish; many parishioners even attend multiple performances. Following the Risen Savior performance, attendees enjoy a potluck and social time, which is well attended.
This year’s cantata celebrates the Resurrection and will take place after Easter on Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Garretson and Sunday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m. at Risen Savior Parish in Brandon, with a potluck to follow.