Those fretting about how Philadelphia will accommodate huge crowds when Pope Francis visits are now hearing some soothing sounds.

Choir practices have begun for the Sept. 27 papal Mass.

More than 250 singers from throughout the Philadelphia Archdiocese took part in the first session Monday night at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

Choir director David Kimock says the singers know they are not putting on a show but engaging in the highest form of prayer.

The papal choir will sing in several different languages. Rehearsals will take place every week until the big day.

Francis will visit Washington and New York before coming to Philadelphia, where he'll take part in an international gathering of Catholic families and celebrate Mass on a wide scenic boulevard.