Akwesasne, Franklin County
Mohawk Language & Traditional Hymn Singers
From the loft high above the back of the sanctuary in the old stone church in St. Regis village, every Sunday morning the voices of a small group of singers fill the air with the uplifting sounds of traditional Catholic hymns. Instead of English lyrics more common to North Country ears, the words are in Mohawk and the voices are full of energy and spirit. The Mohawk Choir has led the church congregation in singing for Masses and other church celebrations at the church for many years. A recent church history proclaims: “Our church always had a choir which sang…in Mohawk. At one time, all churches were required to sing the parts of the Mass in Latin. At that time, we had permission to sing in our own language.” They also perform for wakes, funerals, and weddings. Led in the past by elders, the choir now includes about 10 or 12 singers of various ages. The choir is dedicated to keeping the language alive in the church with their music.