Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Schola: January

At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
Jan.2, 16, 30

Kyrie XI
Alelluia
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Corde Natus (Jan. 2)
Jesu Dulcis memoria (Jan. 16)
Adoro te Devote (Jan.30)
Alma Redemptoris Mater

At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
Jan.17, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
In His Temple Now Behold Him (213)
Kyrie (857)
Gloria (858)
Responsorial Psalm:

Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations

Offertory Proper (schola)
Sanctus (859)
Mysterium Fidei and Amen

Mortem tuam anuuntiamus Domine,
et tuam resurrectionem confitemur donec venias

Agnus Dei (862)
Communion Proper (schola)
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (215)
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow (582)

At Resurrection Church (practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
Jan. 9, 23.

Kyrie XVI
Sanctus VIII
Alleuia
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Corde Natus (Jan.9)
Jesu Dulcis Memoria (Jan. 23)
Alma Redemptoris Mater


Children's schola (practice on Mondays at 1:30 at OLPH)
First Friday Mass, Feb.5
OLPH 8:15 AM (warm up starts at 7:45 AM)

Ave Maria (prelude)
Kyrie XVI
Alelluia
Veni Creator Spiritus
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Jesu Dulcis Memoria

Monday, November 23, 2009

Schola: December Calendar

Immaculate Conception At Resurrection
Dec. 8, Tuesday at 7:30 PM (warm-up at 7 PM)

Prelude: Alma Redemptoris Mater (schola)
Entrance: (English)
Kyrie XVI
Gloria (English)
RP (English)
Alleuia (English)
Offertory: Ave maris stella (schola)
Sanctus VIII
Agnus Dei IV
Communion Antiphone: (Schola)
Communion Hymn: (English)
Recessional: (English)



At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
Dec.5, 19

Kyrie XI
Alelluia
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Creator Alme Siderum (Dec. 5)
Veni,Veni Emmanuel (Dec. 19)
Alma Redemptoris Mater

At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
Dec.13, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
O Come O Come Emmanuel (36, vs 1,2,3)
Kyrie XVI
Offertory: Creator Alme Siderum (Creator of the Stars)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Communio: Anima Christi (Soul of Christ)
Creator of the Starts of Night (58)
O Come O Come Emmanuel (36, vs 4,5)


At Resurrection Church (practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
Dec.12, 26

Kyrie XVI
Sanctus VIII
Alleuia
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Creator Alme Siderum (Dec. 12)
Puer Natus in Bethlehem (Dec. 26)
Alma Redemptoris Mater


Children's schola (practice on Mondays at 1:30 at OLPH)
First Friday Mass, Dec.4
OLPH 8:15 AM (warm up starts at 7:45 AM)

Ave Maria (prelude)
Kyrie XVI
Alelluia
Creator Alme Siderum
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Anima Christi

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pontifical Requiem Mass for All Souls Day, New York City

http://www.cantemusdomino.net/2009/11/04/selected-audio-from-the-all-souls-day-pontifical-mass-in-nyc/

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When the Ordinary becomes Extraordinary

priorstf Comment; from musicasacra.com forum

Sometimes even the Ordinary becomes Extraordinary, as I experienced last night. I actively participated in the most beautiful Mass it has ever been my privilege to attend, completely by chance (well, except for that whole bit about guidance from the Holy Spirit!) because only the night before in this city I am visiting I learned of what I thought would be a concert. It's a parish of 700 families, but they had a special Mass in honor of All Souls day. What made it so exceptional?

Arriving an hour before Mass began I found more than 150 young seminarians, cassock and surplice, seated quietly, filling the front dozen or so pews on the right hand side. Then the people began to dribble in. Families, mostly, with an enormous abundance of children. They kept coming until the 1500 seats in the church were filled.

Meanwhile the instrumentalists were tuning up, surprisingly quietly, in the loft as the choir made its way into position. An altar boy, perhaps four and a half feet tall, entered to light candlesticks that towered far more than twice his height.

Precisely at 7:30 the entry procession began. Led by the Cross bearer flanked by two candle bearers, it entered at a doorway to the left of the sanctuary, wended itself to the back of the church and up the main aisle. Included in the procession were the celebrant, eight fellow priests including his deacon and subdeacon, and the newest Bishop-elect in the United States (and most likely the world) all vested in black. They were led by forty-five altar boys, the censor and boat bearer, book bearer, master of ceremonies, all of whom made their obeisance to the altar with a precision that equals any military branch of the Church Militant. Throughout the procession and arrival at the altar, the choir and orchestra intoned the Requiem of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which indeed was the music of the entire Mass.

The Mass itself was a Novus Ordo Mass, celebrated ad Orientam. It was never rushed or hurried, but followed the music which was quite evidently never accompaniment, but instead was the actual prayer of the Mass. The people were active and attentive throughout. Even the children remained docile, taken up by the awesome majesty present in the church. The time of the sermon was used as a time of teaching, a reminder that the fear of death and reluctance to accept it is a characteristic of mankind that we need not maintain as God's saved people.

Perhaps the greatest vision of the evening was the consecration. As the church bell tolled, the celebrant, facing the East, elevated the host while the eight priests and the bishop looked on. They in turn were surrounded by the altar boys, the last row of which included 6 candle bearers, who knelt immobile for the duration. It was an image of massed members of our Church all looking earnestly in the direction of God, present through the miracle of our Eucharist.

At the proper time the congregation made its way to the communion rail where we knelt to receive the Body on our tongues, presented by three priests and altar boys with patens. We then returned to our places to await the end of the Mass, our blessing and dismissal, and the exit procession. And we all stayed.

While I am not often given to crying at a Mass, this night was an exception. There was beauty, majesty, and glory in the air - right along with the incense. And there was a reminder of the fact that a Mass, be it Ordinary or Extraordinary Form, can elevate us just as Christ willed when He told His disciples to do this in His memory.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Implementing the Vatican II Reform: The Cathedral Chant School

Another Diocese in a full swing for the 'reform' of the Vatican II and 'continuing' the Church's tradition

Implementing the Vatican II Reform: The Cathedral Chant School
by Angela Manney

“There should be choirs, or Capellae, or scholae cantorum, especially in cathedrals and other major churches, in seminaries and religious houses of studies, and they should be carefully encouraged.” Musicam Sacram, 19(a)

A sea of priests in flowing white chasubles circled around the marble sanctuary of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, each taking a moment to shake the anointed hands of the newly ordained ministers of God. An ancient Gregorian chant wafted from the third-story balcony, which was packed tightly with the bodies of three choirs and a brass quintet. Surprisingly, this description befits a ceremony which is not yet relegated to the musty records of posterity. Rather, it describes the priestly ordinations of the diocese of Peoria, Illinois on May 23, 2009. That morning, two men were ordained to the eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ; and that morning the Cathedral Chant School sang for the first time to parishioners across the diocese and beyond.

The Cathedral Chant School, on the cutting edge of the liturgical reform, was founded in October 2008 due directly to the desires of our Bishop Daniel Jenky. Bishop Jenky envisions the Cathedral to be a mother in many respects, and in accord with the Vatican II document Musicam Sacram to be an exemplar of good sacred music. He requested that the Diocese of Peoria be taught about our sacred heritage of Gregorian chant. “We Catholics are suffering from liturgical amnesia,” he remarked informally to the schola. “It is as though we have whitewashed the paintings of the Sistine Chapel. You are doing a very important work.”

The Cathedral Chant School provides beautiful chant for the Cathedral's Latin Saturday Vigil Masses and other special occasions. It has a secondary purpose as well. In teaching musicians throughout the diocese how to sing Gregorian chant, it prepares those musicians to take Gregorian chant back to their own parishes and to continue the liturgical reform there. The school is currently provided to its participants at only the cost of materials, and convenes at times which strive not to conflict with the times of other parish music program schedules. The base of participants has remained consistently around the number of ten, and they come from all different musical backgrounds.

Since its inception, the school has already distinguished itself in hosting Master Class workshops by Dr. Jenny Donelson, in singing many of the Gregorian propers once a month at the Cathedral's Saturday Vigil Masses, in featuring the Te Deum and Alleluia Iuravit Dominus at our diocesan priestly ordinations, and this August in singing the Solemn First Vespers of the Assumption. In the same spirit the Cathedral has also adopted a newly published Latin Mass Hymnal designed specifically for the Novus Ordo Mass, and uses this hymnal for its Saturday Vigil Masses (please see details on this special hymnal below).

As co-founder of the Cathedral Chant School, I hope that my own personal journey will inspire others. I knew nothing about our heritage of early sacred music until my first visit to the tiny chapel of my alma mater, Thomas Aquinas College. I did not know how to sing, or to read a note of music. When I heard the unassuming melodies of Gregorian Chant and the subtle harmonies of sacred polyphony entwine their silky strains with the Liturgy, I was moved toward contemplation in a way that was new to me. Since then I have seized every opportunity to learn and sing this music.

Although I do not have a degree in music, or a previous background in directing a chant schola, I was still chosen to co-found the Cathedral Chant School. What I do have to offer is a strong background in cantoring (especially at the Cathedral), ten years of chanting experience, some semiological studies under a previous schola director, and attendance at the Sacred Music Colloquium and at an advanced Gregorian chant study week in Solesmes, France. And, of course, I bring a strong passion for what I do.

Just as in the case of Moses, God chooses as instruments people who least expect it. Slow of speech and slow of tongue, Moses was called by God to free His people from the shackles and miseries of the land of Egypt. Through the grace of God, Moses succeeded in his task, and freed God's people to worship their Maker in a more befitting way. Today we musicians are called as Moses was called. The People of God need to be freed for contemplation of the heart of God, and our ancient musical heritage is uniquely capable of leading us toward this encounter with the divine.

For updates on the Cathedral Chant School, please visit our Facebook fan page, or email sseckler@cdop.org to be added to our email list.

A binder which provides an overview of the development, structure, and curriculum of the Cathedral Chant School is now available. Included are a copy of the Latin Mass Hymnal, our starter folder, and 100 highly organized pages of proposals, fliers, schedules, class handouts, and lesson plans. If you are interested in a copy, please send a $30 check payable to Angela Manney, Office of Sacred Music, 613 NE Jefferson, Peoria, IL 61603.

The Latin Mass Hymnal: A Concise Guide to the Novus Ordo Mass for Catholic Parishes is now available for use. This hymnal was developed by volunteers dedicated to providing a low cost, educational tool for parishes that are re-introducing Latin and Gregorian chant. The current version has several features that aid and encourage congregational participation including (a) side by side Latin and English translations for the Order of the Mass, (b) chant in modified standard notation for all responses and ordinaries, (c) 35 chants in both Gregorian and standard notation along with guides to Gregorian chant notation and Latin pronunciation, and (e) literal translations directly below music text. A compact disc with recordings by a cantor is also available for parishioners interested in learning at home. Approximate cost is $3.00 per copy. Contact Candy Bartoldus (cbartold@gmu.edu) or Fr. Paul Dudzinski (540-675-3432).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Schola: November Calendar

At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
Nov. 7, 21

Kyrie XI
Alelluia
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Gustate et Videte
Salve Regina


At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
Nov.8, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
Praise to the Lord (203)
Gloria VIII
RP. Priase the Lord, My Soul!
Offertory Proper (schola)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Communion Proper (schola)
Beautiful Savior (206)
Now Thanks We all Our God (204)


At Resurrection Church (practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
Nov.14, 28

Kyrie XVI
Sanctus VIII
Alleuia
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Gustate et Videte
Salve Regina


Children's schola (practice on Mondays at 1:30 at OLPH)
First Friday Mass, Nov.6
OLPH 8:15 AM (warm up starts at 7:45 AM)

Ave Maria (prelude)
Kyrie XVI
Alelluia
Ubi Caritas
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Anima Christi
Ecclesia Semper Reformanda (The Church is Always in Need of Renewal)

A Pastoral Letter on the Future of the Church in the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa
To the Priests, Deacons, Consecrated persons and all the Lay Faithfulof the Diocese of Sioux City

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Greetings of peace and joy to you and all your families. By God’s providence we are privileged to live in northwest Iowa and practice our faith in the Diocese of Sioux City. I am honored to serve you as your Bishop.

EXCERPT:
The primary purpose of all liturgy, and especially of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is the worship of God. We sometimes forget this. We go to Mass to worship God, simply because He deserves to be worshiped, and we, his creatures, ought to worship him. Too often we forget that God is transcendent and ineffable, incomprehensibly greater than we can imagine. He is infinite truth and goodness shining forth in radiant beauty. He has created us, keeps us in existence, and redeems us from our sins. In short, He is worthy of our worship. He comes to us at Mass as a Father through His Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. He makes Himself tangibly present to us in the assembly, the ordained ministers, and the proclaimed Word of God. He is also present most especially and immediately in the Eucharist, which has a perfect and infinite value before His eyes. He graciously comes to us, not only to be with us, but also to raise us up to Heaven, to the Heavenly liturgy, where we worship in union with all the angels and saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the eternal offering of Jesus Christ to the Father on our behalf. Thus we enter the heavenly sanctuary while still on earth, and worship God in the full manner that He laid out for us!
When we worship God in this way, He sanctifies us, that is, He makes us holy. This is the second purpose of the Liturgy. We are made holy by Jesus when we participate in His divine Sonship, becoming adopted sons and daughters of the Father. We are changed, transformed from the inside out. This comes about through hearing and acting on His Word and by being strengthened and steadily sanctified by a worthy reception of Holy Communion. This in turn leads to a true communion of saints within the local and universal Church. Too often, the purposes of our participation in the liturgy, worship and sanctification, are passed over in a misplaced attempt to “create community,” rather than to receive it as a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s activity within us.
Since, in the Church’s liturgy, we meet God in a unique way, how we worship – the external rites, gestures, vessels, music, indeed, the building itself – should reflect the grandeur of the Heavenly liturgy. Liturgy is mystical; it is our mysterious encounter with the transcendent God, who comes to sanctify us through the sacrifice of Christ made present in the Eucharist and received in Holy Communion. It should radiate Heavenly truth and goodness. This radiance, the splendor of truth, is called beauty. Our liturgy should radiate true beauty, reflecting the beauty of God Himself and what He does for us in Christ Jesus. It should lift up our soul—first through our intellect and will, but also through our senses and emotions—to adore God as we share already in Heaven’s eternal worship. In this vale of tears, the liturgy should be a lodestar, a transcending place of wonder and comfort in the midst of our day-to-day lives, a place of light and high beauty beyond the reach of worldly shadows.13 So many people only connect with the Church, and sometimes with prayer and God, through Sunday Mass. Should we not offer an experience of beauty and transcendence, compellingly different from our day-to-day lives? Should not every facet of our offering be proportionate to the divine reality?
Many small details can make liturgy either beautiful or banal. In recent decades, in place of beauty and “noble simplicity,”14 our main principle for discerning and choosing the “little things” has tended toward utility, ease, and even cheapness. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, before his election as Bishop of Rome, wrote the following about Church music, that is easily applicable to all parts of the liturgy:
A Church which only makes use of “utility” music has fallen for what is, in fact, useless. She [the Church] too becomes ineffectual. For her mission is a far higher one. As the Old Testament speaks of the Temple, the Church is to be the place of “glory,” and as such, too, the place where mankind’s cry of distress is brought to the ear of God. The Church must not settle down with what is merely comfortable and serviceable at the parish level; she must arouse the voice of the cosmos, and by glorifying the Creator, elicit the glory of the cosmos itself, making it also glorious, beautiful, habitable and beloved…. The Church is to transform, improve, “humanize” the world - but how can she do that if at the same time she turns her back on beauty, which is so closely allied to love? For together beauty and love form the true consolation in this world, bringing it as near as possible to the world of the resurrection.15
Pope John Paul the Great, addressing some bishops of the United States on October 9, 1998, recognized the same urgent spiritual needs:To look back over what has been done in the field of liturgical renewal in the years since the Council is, first, to see many reasons for giving heartfelt thanks and praise to the Most Holy Trinity for the marvelous awareness which has developed among the faithful of their role and responsibility in this priestly work of Christ and his Church. It is also to realize that not all changes have always and everywhere been accompanied by the necessary explanation and catechesis; as a result, in some cases there has been a misunderstanding of the very nature of the liturgy, leading to abuses, polarization, and sometimes even grave scandal. ... The challenge now is to move beyond whatever misunderstandings there have been . . . by entering more deeply into the contemplative dimension of worship, which includes the sense of awe, reverence and adoration which are fundamental attitudes in our relationship with God.16
It is imperative that we recover this wonder, awe, reverence and love for the liturgy and the Eucharist. To do this, we must feel and think with the whole Church in “reforming the reform” of the Second Vatican Council. We must accept and implement the current stream of magisterial liturgical documents coming from the Holy See: Liturgiam Authenticam (2001), the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal, and its new General Instruction on the Roman Missal (2002), Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (2002), Ecclesia de Eucharistia (2003), Spiritus et Sponsa (2003), Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004), Sacramentum Caritatis (2007), and Summorum Pontificum (2007).
It seems that all is not well with the Liturgy, and the Church is trying to help us. The pendulum swings, the hermeneutic of discontinuity, and the divisions within our Church have been seen and felt in the Liturgy more than anywhere.
The Church’s Magisterium, not our private opinions, is our authoritative guide in this ressourcement. The liturgy belongs to the entire Church, and in a special way to the faithful – not to a particular Diocese or parish, and certainly not to individual priests. I exhort everyone, especially our priests, to keep up with the Church. I expect them to read, study, and understand the above documents and their inner logic and place within the ongoing reform of the Church. It is vitally important that we offer resplendent worship to God alone, with understanding and excellence, obedient to the Church. My own liturgies at the Cathedral, though imperfect, are also meant to be exemplary for the whole Diocese. It is a grave error and a form of clericalism, whether by clergy or lay ministers, to change the liturgy, or even to choose ungenerously among legitimate options, to suit only our own preferences and opinions. This respect for the whole of Tradition is not simply for the sake of “rules and regulations”; this is not legalism, as some have said, but our love for Christ, so that from His Eucharist with all its preeminent beauty and sanctity, He can shine forth for all to see and love.
The Council’s goal in reforming liturgy was, of course, to facilitate the “fully active and conscious participation”17 of all the faithful. We have made great strides in this area. In the same address to bishops cited above, the Holy Father said:
Full participation certainly means that every member of the community has a part to play in the liturgy; and in this respect a great deal has been achieved in parishes and communities across your land. But full participation does not mean that everyone does everything, since this would lead to a clericalizing of the laity and a laicizing of the priesthood; and this was not what the Council had in mind. The liturgy, like the Church, is intended to be hierarchical and polyphonic, respecting the different roles assigned by Christ and allowing all the different voices to blend in one great hymn of praise.
Active participation certainly means that, in gesture, word, song and service, all the members of the community take part in an act of worship, which is anything but inert or passive. Yet active participation does not preclude the active passivity of silence, stillness and listening: indeed, it demands it. Worshippers are not passive, for instance, when listening to the readings or the homily, or following the prayers of the celebrant, and the chants and music of the liturgy. These are experiences of silence and stillness, but they are in their own way profoundly active. In a culture which neither favors nor fosters meditative quiet, the art of interior listening is learned only with difficulty. Here we see how the liturgy, though it must always be properly inculturated, must also be counter-cultural.
Conscious participation calls for the entire community to be properly instructed in the mysteries of the liturgy, lest the experience of worship degenerate into a form of ritualism. But it does not mean a constant attempt within the liturgy itself to make the implicit explicit, since this often leads to a verbosity and informality which are alien to the Roman Rite and end by trivializing the act of worship. Nor does it mean the suppression of all subconscious experience, which is vital in a liturgy which thrives on symbols that speak to the subconscious just as they speak to the conscious. The use of the vernacular has certainly opened up the treasures of the liturgy to all who take part, but this does not mean that the Latin language, and especially the chants which are so superbly adapted to the genius of the Roman Rite, should be wholly abandoned. If subconscious experience is ignored in worship, an affective and devotional vacuum is created and the liturgy can become not only too verbal but also too cerebral.18
Full, active and conscious participation: we have made great strides in this over the years. But often this has happened in a superficial, partial way resulting from a narrow and truncated interpretation of these terms. It is time to dig deeper, “to put out into the deep,”19 into a new and authentic liturgical spirituality that is both old and new, active and contemplative, historical and mystical, Roman and Iowan, familiar and challenging. All of this also applies to our “fully active and conscious participation” in liturgy outside the Holy Mass, especially in Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Marian devotions, and the Liturgy of the Hours.

CommentAuthormiacoyne
CommentTime1 hour ago
edit
Thanks, Noel. Speechless. This is the most compelling and concrete explanation of all the things we are about on the 'reform of the reform' that I ever read. I am printing out and handing it out to everyone I know, including the priests I care the most and pray for.

CommentAuthorfrogman noel jones
CommentTime1 hour ago

This is the first statement that I recall seeing by a US Bishop that lays out what Benedict has been talking about.
Make sure that your Bishop gets this....here is a link to the site with the entire document:

http://www.scdiocese.org/
And the document:
http://www.scdiocese.org/files/Pastoral_Letter_updated100809.pdf

Monday, October 19, 2009

Video Clips of Chant Pilgrimage Mass

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amdm_zkpY6E&feature=player_embedded#

After the organ prelude, there's a beautiful solemn procession where the faithful witness the priests intentionally walking towards the Holy of Holies and leading our faith journey. As our fellow chanter remarked, we would have missed this solemn procession if we had to bury our heads to the hymnals, also she couldn't 'participate' in the Mass more deeply if she had to sing all the songs in the Mass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J4oCDAnbSc&feature=player_embedded

A robust singing of the congregation singing their parts of Ordinaries.

These can be also veiwed from musicasacra.com in the front page.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Reflection on the Pilgrimage at the National Shrine in DC

Fall Pilgrimage: Church Music Association of America
Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
September 26, 2009

Following the Extraordinary Form of the Mass celebrated today, a lay reflection is offered to preserve as much of this day’s holy blessing as permitted, so that it might be touched anew, when necessary, as nourishment on our devotion path. After witnessing and living the soul-shaking majesty of the Roman Rite, there is inspiration to take best-possible care of the precious gift given through this pilgrimage of prayer, so that it might not be lost, nor to forget to give out the love we have just been generously given. At the same time, with trepidation is this done, mindful not to mar in any way, even unintentionally, what belongs only to that sacred hour and holy place.

Dear Lord, help us to remember and wisely use all the nourishment you have given us:

The Mass offered was the Common of The Feasts of The Blessed Virgin Mary, whose brief gospel (Luke 11: 27-28), was concluded by our Lord’s words “Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Starting from the Epistle (Ecclesiastes 24: 14-16) Father Franklin McAfee’s homily spoke entirely about the beauty of the liturgy. The Epistle enclosed these words: “From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before Him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of Saints”.

These immediately recognizable words came, eternally true, yet rarely heard: the Liturgy itself is Beautiful. By the implications, Fr. McAfee reminded us, God is, among His many perfect attributes, beauty. God is indeed beautiful! Praise Him who showers His people gifts of beauty!

In our time, the offering of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, a Mass sung completely in Latin, has become rarer occurrence, but one that was more regular in the past. Fr McAfee explained how its beauty has been present in liturgical celebration all along, throughout catholic history, and is not some reality disappeared. It is alive. We are in the very midst of it this day. The renaissance bud sprung by the words of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI now shows color! The homily proclaimed: the proof is all around us, become generously silent and still, listen observe watch open receive, God is with us, God grants life-sustaining splendors in His holy place.

In this place, coming as pilgrims from as far away as Oregon, Florida, Minnesota, with hours and years of preparation, and prayers and hopes for our Church and all intentions, where to begin to enumerate all the beauty in which the gathered became immersed. Just being at the National Shrine by itself was a touchstone of wonder and awe, glimpsing its monumentality. But down in its Crypt Church, surrounded by floor and walls and ceiling feet-thick of rock and polished stone, more immovable and weighty than can be grasped, was God’s sign, of His mighty hand and powerful protection. Being in a sacred place whose reverb took our human offering and turned it into angelic substance. What was more transfixing than solemn procession of priest and deacon, displaying patience; careful measured strides fitting to His presence and greatness? And adoring incense making mystic offering and homage in the beauty of silent rising smoke?

What could be more beautiful than hundreds of voices singing as one voice, the Gregorian Mass IX settings, with such affection and reverence? What beauty could exceed the artistic excellence of the schola and the chamber choir, summoning the labors of servants Palestrina and Byrd and anonymous monks from centuries ago? Who takes His children’s very supplications, and turns them into a blessing that returns immediately, filling us with healing raptures?

What is more beautiful? What is most beautiful? Fr. McAfee revealed ultimately: Christ alone.

Christ the center, the all, the everything. The Christ who, through years of devotion his people give Him as they are called to, has given Himself, given His merciful repair of our minds bodies and souls, and has prepared and called those to receive with open person the divine Beauty gift of this day. Who alone has made it possible for his brothers and sisters, to be overwhelmed in quiet ecstasy, in the presence of all that enveloped us - our day’s pilgrim yearning fulfilled? Christ! who perfects everything He touches. Christ in the perfect silent heart of this Eucharist, caressed ardently in attendant Gregorian love, Him that does not ever stop giving, because His nature is love and He is Love itself.

The Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass in this blessed temple, is a sign of poetic grandeur to which nothing in this world is close. It is a grandeur that is transcendent and yet intimate. The mystery of the Latin language’s radically concise syntax, is it not also a sign of the sublime? What person could want more than all these savors of heaven? But does not God the Only Poet humble us completely by showing the immensity of all of this, and yet remind His children: we little ones are still on earth!

With first the Blessed Sacrament, Fr McAfee’s panoramic homily on holy beauty was enjoined as a dove, and its wings all of the Liturgy, stretching from Introit and to Recessional, a whole - chanted prayer and silence, praising God, blessing God, thanking God, through the hands of our Mother. And the Holy Spirit, pressing firmly into the midst and speaking without words: make good, you who receive this reappearing, renewing gift of Beauty, who is Christ.

The Hand of God feeds us, heals us, filling us to overflowing with Himself, with Beauty of many orders, a mountain of beauty! deep in our city yet! but upon whose summit stands Jesus. Receiving His bestowal of beauty is but the meal, the beginning of the day. It is food for journey, food for service, beauty meant to be poured out again in new ways upon others not yet so blessed. “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”
Amen

S. Taylor

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

October Schola Calendar


White Mass at the Basilica
Celebrant: Most Rev. Edwin F. O'Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore
Sunday Oct.18 at 2 PM (warm-up starts at 1:15 at the choir loft)

Prelude: Ave Maria (children)
Introit (by R. Rice)
Processional Hymn: By All Your Saints Still Striving (with the 2nd verse on St. Luke)
Kyrie XVI
Gloria (by John Lee)
RP; Lord, let your mercy be on us
Alleluia
Offertory: Ubi Caritas (Schola)
Sanctus XVIII
Agnus Dei XVIII
Communijon Proper: Qui manducat (Adult schola)
Communion Hymn: Humbly We Adore You
Recessional: There's Wideness and Organ Voluntary


At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
Oct. 3, 17, 31

Kyrie XI
Alleluia
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Pange lingua
Salve Regina


At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
Oct. 18, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
All Praise and Glad Thanksgiving (723)
Gloria VIII
Offertory Proper (schola)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Communion Proper (schola)
Be Thou my Vision (388)
Salve Regina (702)


Resurrection Church (practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
Oct. 10, 24

Kyrie XVI
Sanctus VIII
Alleluia
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Pange lingua
Salve Regina


Children's schola (practice on Mondays at 1:30 at OLPH)
First Friday Mass, Oct. 2
OLPH 8:15 AM (warm up starts at 7:45 AM)

Ave Maria (prelude)
Kyrie XVI
Alleluia
Ubi caritas et amor (offertory)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Adoro te dovote (communion, vs. 1, 2,5, 7 )

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Discussion on Music for Funeral Mass; CMAA Forum

"Thank you for the quick response - I was wondering about that since they sang it at the end of Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy's funeral mass on Saturday ( I was watching it on CNN). When I heard it, I was extremely frustrated because during a funeral mass for my baby girl several years ago, the priest wouldn't allow the song, "Jesus Loves Me" to be included in her funeral mass because it apparently wasn't a "Catholic-approved-song." To this day, I still don't understand why that song couldn't be included. If you ask me, "Jesus Loves Me" is much more applicable to the Christian faith than "America the Beautiful." If you have any insight on this (or know of a website I could go to for more information), I'd appreciate it!"

Responses in
http://musicasacra.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=2345&page=1#Item_11

Monday, August 17, 2009

September Schola Calendar

At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
Sept. 5, 19

Kyrie XI
Alelluia
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Anima Christi
Salve Regina


At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
Sept.20, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
Come. Now Almighty King (721)
Gloria VIII
RP. The Lord uphold my life
Offertory Proper (schola)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Communion Proper (schola)
O Lord, I'm Not Worthy (513)
Salve Regina (702)


At Resurrection Church (practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
Spet. 12

Kyrie XVI
Sanctus VIII
Alleuia
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Anima Christi
Salve Regina


Children's schola (practice on Mondays at 1:30 at OLPH)
First Friday Mass, Sept. 4
OLPH 8:15 AM (warm up starts at 7:45 AM)

Ave Maria (prelude)
Kyrie XVI
Alelluia
Veni Creator Spiritus (offertory, vs 1, 4, 6, 7)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Adoro te dovote (communion, vs. 1, 2,5, 7 )

Monday, August 10, 2009

Music at St. Peter's: The Transformation


Music at St. Peter's: The Transformation by Jeffrey Tucker

It was my pleasure to enjoy a long chat with Fr. Pierre Paul, director of music at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He has held this position since 2008, having been director at the North American College. After leaving that position, he came back to home in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, only to be called back to head the music program at St. Peter's under the guidance of Benedict XVI.
Since then, he has embarked on a spectacular program that amounts to the musical application of the principle of the hermeneutic of continuity. What was holy then is holy now. He has infused the entire program at the Vatican with a new love of excellence and idealism by embracing the program legislated by the Second Vatican Council, taking seriously the call for Gregorian chant to assume the primary role in liturgy.
This has meant, in the first instance, and above all else, using Gregorian ordinary settings for all Masses. For ordinary time, he is using Mass XI or Obis Factor. For Advent and Lent he is using Mass XVII (Kyrie Salve), switching out the Kyrie for respective seasons.
For Easter, he chooses Mass I (Lux et Origo), along with Mass IV (Cunctipotens Genior Deus) for the Feast of the Apostles. He also uses Credo I, III, and IV, and, periodically, the whole of Mass IX (Cum Jubilo). He is trying minimize the use of Mass of the Angels, though it is still programmed for large international Masses since this is the one that most people know. These are all huge advances, and he is thrilled to hear that people are singing with gusto! Actually, people are singing as never before. He is careful to print large booklets for every Mass with translations. He is dedicated to making sure that he does not use modern notation in the booklets. He believes in neumes, the notation of the Church, because he regards them as easier to sing than modern notes and because they convey the sense that the music of the Church is different from other forms of music
The biggest advances have been made in the area of propers, which had long been displaced by hymns that are extraneous to the Mass. The Introit of the day is sung at every Mass as the celebrant approaches the altar, following a hymn or organ solo. The communion chant is always sung with Psalms from Richard Rice's editions posted at MusicaSacra.com.
This is a major step and a restoration of a very early practice for Papal Masses. The offertory antiphon is also sung periodically and increasingly so as more and more singers can handle the material. For the Psalm, St. Peters is alternating the use the of the Gradual Psalm from the Graduale Romanum and the simpler Psalms from the Graduale Simplex.
Just now, the choirs are moving into the polyphonic repertoire of the Italian masters such as Palestrina and Victoria, and will be increasingly exploring polyphonic propers along with new compositions.
Other major changes made by Fr. Paul include instituting rehearsals on Wednesday nights. Yes, you read that right. The choir didn't used to rehearse. Now they do. What's more, he invites Dom Saulnier from Solesmes, now living in Rome and teaching at the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music, to teach weekly chant training seminars. This is a complete switch from the past. The new closeness between Solesmes and St. Peters will intensify later this year when Solesmes releases an in-print version of the first volume of the Antiphonale for the Liturgy of the Hours, which will then be used in published form for Vespers at the Vatican.
Fr. Paul has instituted new standards for visiting choirs. As he says, "it cannot be just any choir. It must be a liturgical choir." This means the he listens to recordings of their work before any guest choir sings at St. Peters. They must clear the repertoire in advance. And whatever they sing must fit in with the musical structure as it is developing at St. Peters. So if there is a motet to sing, it can only be sung following the propers of the Mass.
This change has made a huge difference in not only advancing the music in the Vatican but in encouraging the right trends in all parts of the world. It is an honor to sing at St. Peter's and Fr. Paul's work to raise the standards are having an effect.
Several aspects of this extended talk surprised me. One was how much time Fr. Paul spends doing programs. He is constantly online download material, scanning material, and dragging and dropping graphics and worrying about things like image resolution and spacing. He has nowhere near the level of help one might expect. In other words, his job is pretty much like that of every parish musician.
Another surprise to me is how he, in an entirely humble way, seems not entirely sure about the influence of what he is doing at St. Peter's and what the long-term implications are. But of course the truth is that what happens here serves as a model for parishes and cathedrals around the world. The trends at the Vatican eventually come to pervade the whole Church, and this is where his long-term influence is going to be felt most profoundly. Essentially, what he is doing is progressing toward a unity of the present with the past heritage of Catholic music, preserving while re-invigorating, and innovating toward the restoration of an ideal.
For his wonderful work in this area, all Catholics the world over are very much in debt to Fr. Paul!
There are surely bumps along with the way and some opposition to deal with, though Fr. Paul doesn't speak about these aspects. For his part, what inspires him is that it is a well-known fact that the Pope himself is thrilled with the great progress he is making and can't be happier about the direction of change. He works every harder toward the goal, hardly ever going to sleep before midnight and then rising at the crack of dawn to work some more.
The singers are excited by the new emphasis on excellence above all else, and are willing to work harder than ever. They are coming to rehearsal ready to sing and happy for the privilege of doing what they are doing. The same is true of the cantors, who are given new responsibilities and are held to higher standards.
The glorious thing that is happening here comes down to this: the program is giving back to Catholic their native music and freeing up the universal musical voice of the faith. This amounts to a major step toward the unity of the faith all over the world. Nothing could be more essential in a secular culture defined by its aesthetic fracturing. We need this major step to help us pray together and come together in one faith. He is not only a humble visionary but a man of great courage with an eye to the future of sacred music.

From New Liturgical Movement

Posted Monday, August 10, 2009


Friday, August 7, 2009

What did our Holy Father say?; from Pope Benedict XVI on Sacred Music

Active Participation
Wherever an exaggerated concept of "community" predominates, a concept which is (as we have already seen) completely unrealistic precisely in a highly mobile society such as ours, there only the priest and the congregation can be acknowledged as legitimate executors or performers of liturgical song. Today, practically everyone can see through the primitive activism and the insipid pedagogic rationalism of such a position which is why it is now asserted so seldom. The fact that the schola and the choir can also contribute to the whole picture, is scarcely denied any more, even among those who erroneously interpret the council's phrase about "active participation" as meaning external activism. ("In the Presence of the Angels..." Adoremus Bulletin, Vol. 2, Nos. 6-8, Oct-Dec. 1996).

Silence
We are realizing more and more clearly that silence is part of the liturgy. We respond, by singing and praying, to the God who addresses us, but the greater mystery, surpassing all words, summons us to silence. It must, of course, be a silence with content, not just the absence of speech and action. We should expect the liturgy to give us a positive stillness that will restore us. Such stillness will not be just a pause, in which a thousand thoughts and desires assault us, but a time of recollection, giving us an inward peace, allowing us to draw breath and rediscover the one thing necessary, which we have forgotten. That is why silence cannot be simply “made”, organized as if it were one activity among many. It is no accident that on all sides people are seeking techniques of meditation, a spirituality for emptying the mind. One of man’s deepest needs is making its presence felt, a need that is manifestly not being met in our present form of the liturgy. For silence to be fruitful, as we have already said, it must not be just a pause in the action of the liturgy. No, it must be an integral part of the liturgical event. [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 209]


Popular and Rock Music
On the one hand, there is pop music, which is certainly no longer supported by the people in the ancient sense (populus). It is aimed at the phenomenon of the masses, is industrially produced, and ultimately has to be described as a cult of the banal. “Rock”, on the other hand, is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe. The music of the Holy Spirit’s sober ine­briation seems to have little chance when self has become a prison, the mind is a shackle, and breaking out from both appears as a true promise of redemption that can be tasted at least for a few moments. [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p 148]

Sacred vs. Performance
Whether it is Bach or Mozart that we hear in church, we have a sense in either case of what Gloria Dei, the glory of God, means. The mystery of infinite beauty is there and enables us to ex­perience the presence of God more truly and vividly than in many sermons. But there are already signs of danger to come. Subjective experience and passion are still held in check by the order of the musical universe, reflecting as it does the order of the divine creation itself. But there is already the threat of invasion by the virtuoso mentality, the vanity of technique, which is no longer the servant of the whole but wants to push itself to the fore. During the nineteenth century, the century of self-emancipating subjectivity, this led in many places to the obscuring of the sacred by the operatic. The dangers that had forced the Council of Trent to intervene were back again. In similar fashion, Pope Pius X tried to remove the operatic element from the liturgy and declared Gregorian chant and the great polyphony of the age of the Catholic Reformation (of which Palestrina was the outstanding representative) to be the standard for liturgical music. A clear distinction was made between liturgical music and religious music in general, just as visual art in the liturgy has to conform to different standards from those employed in religious art in general. Art in the liturgy has a very specific responsibility, and precisely as such does it serve as a wellspring of culture, which in the final analysis owes its existence to cult. [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), pp. 148]
Not every kind of music can have a place in Christian worship. It has its standards, and that standard is the Lo­gos. If we want to know whom we are dealing with, the Holy Spirit or the unholy spirit, we have to remember that it is the Holy Spirit who moves us to say, “Jesus is Lord” (~Cor 12:3). The Holy Spirit leads us to the Logos, and he leads us to a music that serves the Logos as a sign of the sursum corda, the lifting up of the human heart. Does it integrate man by drawing him to what is above, or does it cause his disintegration into formless intoxication or mere sensuality? That is the criterion for a music in harmony with logos, a form of that logike latreia (reasonable, logos-worthy worship)… [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 151]

Latin in Liturgy
I would be in favor of a new openness toward the use of Latin. Latin in the Mass has come meanwhile to look to us like a fall from grace. So that, in any case, communication is ruled out that is very necessary in areas of mixed culture... Let's think of tourist centers, where it would be lovely for people to recognize each other in something they have in common. So we ought to keep such things alive and present. If even in the great liturgical celebrations in Rome, no one can sing the Kyrie or the Sanctus any more, no one knows what Gloria means, then a cultural loss has become a loss of what we share in common. To that extent I should say that the Liturgy of the Word should always be in the mother tongue, but there ought nonetheless to be a basic stock of Latin elements that would bind us together. [God and the World, SF, CA: Ignatius, 2002, pp. 417-18]

A letter to a priest

Pope Benedict to Catholics: Kneel For Communion:
http://newsblaze.com/story/20090801065749zzzz.nb/topstory.html

Dear Father,
I'm sure you already know about this, but I found this is well writen. I hope many Catholics are informed about this, as much as we were informed about Archbishops' suggestion of emerency 'on-hand Communion' happened a few month ago. I understand the nature of the urgency in our diocese required all the pastor to inform the message of the Archbishop, but I also feel that the urgency of restoring sacredness and the Pope's message to the Catholics should also be sent to local Catholics. Ultimately the faithful will make their decision since it's not mandated, but I would think we all should be informed about it. Surprisingly average Catholics don't hear much about the Church and what our Pope does, lack of interest or lack of encouragement?
I know you always try to teach us the right thing. I hope this is also an addtion to your endeavor.
(I pray that our church will bring out kneeler for communion. That would definitely encourage people to follow the Pope's wish.)

God Bless,
Mia

(This is good also)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeiE-lznSYE&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efacebook%2Ecom%2Fhome%2Ephp&feature=player_embedded

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pope's message to Catholics: Kneel and tongue only

"Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord" - 1 Corinthians 11:27,28

Pope Benedict to Catholics: Kneel and Receive on the Tongue Only

Pope Benedict XVI does not want the faithful receiving Communion in their hand nor does he want them standing to receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. According to Vatican liturgist, Monsignor Guido Marini, the pope is trying to set the stage for the whole church as to the proper norm for receiving Communion for which reason communicants at his papal Masses are now asked to kneel and receive on the tongue.
The Holy Father's reasoning is simple: "We Christians kneel before the Blessed Sacrament because, therein, we know and believe to be the presence of the One True God." (May 22, 2008)
According to the pope the entire Church should kneel in adoration before God in the Eucharist. "Kneeling in adoration before the Eucharist is the most valid and radical remedy against the idolatries of yesterday and today" (May 22, 2008)
The pope's action is in accord with the Church's 2000 year tradition and is being done in order to foster a renewed love and respect for the Eucharist which presently is being mocked and treated with contempt. The various trends and innovations of our time (guitar liturgy, altar girls, lay ministers, Communion in the hand) have worked together to destroy our regard for the Eucharist, thus advancing the spiritual death of the church. After all, the Eucharist is the very life and heartbeat of the Mystical Body around which the entire Church must revolve.
Kneeling also coincides with the Church's centuries old ordinance that only the consecrated hands of a priest touch the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. "To priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist." (Council of Trent) This teaching is beautifully expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica: "Because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament."
It is for reason that Pope Paul VI in his May 1969 pastoral letter to the world's bishops reaffirmed the Church's teaching on the reception of Communion, stating that: "This method on the tongue must be retained." (Memoriale Domini) This came in response to the bishops of Holland who started Communion in the hand in defiance of the centuries old decree from the Council of Rouen (650 A.D.) where this practice was condemned as sacrilegious. "Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layperson, but only in their mouths." To date this prohibition has never been overturned legally. Today Communion in the hand is carried on illegally and has become a major tool of the enemy to destory the Faith throughout the world. For this practice serves no other purpose than to warp our conception of Jesus Christ and nourish a contempt for the sacred mysteries. It's no wonder St. Basil referred to Communion in the hand as "a grave fault." That is to say, Communion in the hand is not tied with Catholic tradition. This practice was first introduced to the Church by the heretical Arians of the 4th century as a means of expressing their belief that Christ was not divine. Unfortunately, it has served to express the same in our time and has been at the very heart of the present heresy and desecration that is rampant throughout the universal Church. If we have 'abuse' problems today it is because we're abusing the Sacrament - it's backfiring on us!
Thanks to Communion in the hand, members of satanic cults are now given easy access to come into the Church and take the Host so that they bring it back to their covens where it is abused and brutalized in the ritualistic Black Mass to Satan. They crush the Host under their shoes as a mockery to the living God, and we assist it with our casual practice? Amongst themselves the satanists declare that Communion in the hand is the greatest thing that ever happened to them, and we do nothing to stop it?
Hence, the Holy Father is doing his part to try to purge the Church of abuse and we as members of Christ are called upon to assist him. For your encouragement we include the following quotation from Cardinal Llovera, the new prefect for the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments speaking to Life Site News on July 22, 2009: "It is the mission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments to work to promote Pope Benedict's emphasis on the traditional practices of liturgy, such as reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling."
Also worth considering is the recent decree from Cardinal Caffarra, the Archbishop of Bologna Italy, forbidding the practice of Communion in the hand: "Many cases of profanation of the Eucharist have occurred, profiting by the possibility to receive the consecrated Bread on one’s palm of the hand... Considering the frequency in which cases of irreverent behavior in the act of receiving the Eucharist have been reported, we dispose that starting from today in the Metropolitan Church of St. Peter, in the Basilica of St. Petronius and in the Shrine of the Holy Virgin of St. Luke in Bologna the faithful are to receive the consecrated Bread only from the hands of the Minister directly on the tongue." (from his decree on the reception of the Eucharist, issued April 27, 2009)
Technically all bishops and clergy are bound to follow the Holy Father's directive on this issue, but in the meantime the faithful are not obliged to wait for the approval of their bishop in order to kneel for God. The directives of the Holy Father are not subject to the veto or scrutiny of the bishops and therefore all pastors and laity have a right and duty to put these directives into practice for the edification of their communities.
Our Lady's Workers of Southern California"

David Martin
jmj4today@att.net

"In the name of Jesus every knee should bend" - Philippians 2:10

From Newsblaze


Comment on this story, by email mailto:comment@newsblaze.com?Subject=Comment:20090801065749zzzz.nb&body=Comment%20on%20story%20http://newsblaze.com/story/20090801065749zzzz.nb/topstory.html

Monday, August 3, 2009

Unity in our Liturgy

I think so much emphasis on “multiculuralism,” can lead to more diversity than unity and even become a distraction in our worshipping God as one community of faith. When we can worship together in our liturgy as one family of God in unity, we can also respect different ethnic groups and cultures on a personal level and see them as brothers and sisters in one family.
True liturgical music fosters the sense of sacredness of the Holy Eucharist, and any music that fosters our attitude of casualness towards the Holy Eucharis is not in the right direction of ministering the faithful and deepen our Catholic faith. True liturgical music is not about pleasing people and their taste of individuals. It is about God and pleasing Him, and when we sing the Church’s music with humility and giving up individuals’ taste, God will be most pleased, and we will receive more grace.
Aren’t humility and sacrifice what our Christ showed us in His love? If we insist on what we like and don’t like in our worship, how can we go out and show true Christ’s love?
I’d like to add the followings, not just because “the Church says so period”, but because the respect for the Church and the Pope and following their instruction is basis of my Catholic faith, and also as one who experiences the beauty of sacred liturgy through sacred music.

"An authentic renewal of sacred music can only happen in the wake of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony" Pope Benedict XVI, 2006
"The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given first place in liturgical services." (Section 116, the Second Vatican Council, in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
"Steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them." (Section 54, the Second Vatican Council, in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)

Why Latin in our Liturgy

(This is posted as a comment to the publisher who had concern on "multiculturalism."
As an immigrant who is not a Latino and Afro-American, I feel that the emphasis on those two ethinic gruops (the publisher specified songs of those groups) make other groups excluded and resembles the superficial political agenda. The importance of the Latin in the Litrugy is stated in Sing to the Lord in length, especialy in # 61, 62, #63 ... To the greatest extent possible and applicable, singers and choir directors are encouraged to deepen their faniliarity with the Latin language.
I help my children learn Latin for the reason stated above, and there are no Catholic schools around here teaches Latin (maybe some high schools as an elective., while most of those schools only focus on learning Spanish instead. (My boy who learned Latin first for 3 years is now learning Spanish in high school, and he is learning it much faster than others.)
The emphasis on Latin is especially true in gatherings of multicultural groups, because it foster the sense of unity as a community of the faith, than emphasizing the diversity. Learning different languages and cultures are important in our society, but in worshipping God the sense of unity should be fostered, then our appreciation of different cultures will be more genuine in our lives, becuase we believe we are one family in GOd.
#12. Participation in the Sacred Liturgy must be "internal, in the sense that by it the faithful join their mind to what they pronounce of hear, and cooperate with heavenly grace. Even when listening to the various prayers and readings of the Liturgy or to the singing of the choir, the assembly continues to participate actively as they "unite themselves interiorly to what the cultural and spiritual milieu of their communities, in order to build up the Church in unity and peace."
One more item, maybe the publisher can help is #20. Seminaries and other programs of priestly formation should train priests to sing with confidence and to chant those parts of the Mass assigned to them. It is very clear that the Church desires Sung Mass with priest chanting and conggoreagation sing responses and Ordinaries (with the goal of singing in Latin #61, #74) and singing Propers. I believe that is important part of "commitment to the Church's vision of liturgical music." I believe reflecting muticulturalism is not the end itself, but a step toward fostering the true unity and active participation of the faithful with active interior participation lest those efforts don't end up becoming a mere "lip-worship."
Here is what the saint of the day teaches us...
“The Eucharist is the life of the people. The Eucharist gives them a center of life. All can come together without the barriers of race or language in order to celebrate the feast days of the Church. It gives them a law of life, that of charity, of which it is the source; thus it forges between them a common bond, a Christian kinship” (Peter Julian Eymard).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Schola: August Calendar

At St. Mary's, Alexandria, VA
August 15, 10 AM (practice at 9:15)
Assumption, Traditional High Mass

(all the responses)
Kyrie VIII
Gloria VIII
Credo III
Offertory Hymn: Salve Mater (after the proper)
Sanctus VIII
Agnus Dei VIII
Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart (after the communio)
Hail Holy Queen


At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
August 29

Kyrie XI
Alelluia
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Anima Christi
Salve Regina


At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
August 16, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
All People that on Earth Do Dwell (313, vs 1,2,3)
Gloria VIII
Salve Regina (offertory, 702)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Communio (schola-communion proper)
O Lord, I am not Worthy (513)
O God, Our Help in Ages Past (448, vs.1,2,5)

At Resurrection Church (practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
August 8, 22

Kyrie XVI
Sanctus VIII
Alleuia
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Anima Christi
Salve Regina

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Living the Liturgy "People Look East"

Another beautiful writng by Fr. Rob Johansen,

One of my favorite Advent hymns is the old French carol “People, Look East”. It has always seemed to me to exemplify the joyful expectation of the Advent season. While I’m not sure what, if any, expert consensus there may be on the matter, I’ve always thought of it as a late Advent hymn – one to sing in the week or two before Christmas, and maybe even on Christmas eve. The hymn urges us to get ready: Love, in the Christ child, is on the way! He’s almost here, as the last verse tells us:

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ, who brings new life to earth.
Set ev’ry peak and valley humming
With the word, “The Lord is coming.”
People look East, and sing today:
Love, the Lord is on the way!

Christ is the light of the world, as Simeon prophesied in the temple (Luke 2:32), and as John wrote in his Gospel (John 1:4-5). He illuminates the souls of those who belong to him. So the Church, from the earliest times, has seen the light of the sun, particularly at dawn, as a symbol and image of Christ. Zechariah refers to the coming Messiah as the “daybreak from on high” (Luke 2:78). At the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus describes Himself as the “bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). The early Church, reflecting on this symbolism, attached great importance to worshipping Christ at dawn, especially on the first day of the week, which was also the day of resurrection. The early Church attached great importance to facing towards the dawning light in its prayer as well. Early churches were built so that, when the assembly gathered for prayer, they faced the East. When Mass was celebrated, priest and people faced not each other, but together faced the altar, toward the East. St. Clement of Alexandria (150 – 216 AD) explained:
... And since the dawn is an image of the day of birth, and from that point the light which has shone forth at first from the darkness increases... In correspondence with the manner of the sun’s rising, prayers are made looking towards the sunrise in the east. (Stromata Book IV, ch. 7)Even when, as the Church grew, it was no longer possible to build every church so as to have the altar facing eastward, the custom remained of having priest and people together face the altar during the Eucharistic liturgy, facing the Daystar who came to be with His people on that altar. This posture of priest and people facing the altar is known as ad orientem, which is the Latin for “toward the East”. Most Catholics who are aware of this posture would probably associate it with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, that is, the Mass as it was celebrated before the liturgical reforms of the 1970’s. Indeed, one of the liturgical changes most associated with Vatican II is that of turning the priest around so that he faced the people. Many Catholics would probably imagine that this change was mandated by Vatican II, and that the former posture of ad orientem had been abolished. But this impression, widespread though it is, is incorrect. In point of fact, no document of Vatican II and nothing in the rubrics of the modern Roman Rite either requires the priest to celebrate Mass facing the people or abolishes celebrating Mass ad orientem. Our Holy Father Pope Benedict, while he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote of the desirability of returning to the ancient practice of ad orientem celebration, expressing himself very strongly:
...A common turning to the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential...What matters is looking together at the Lord. (Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 81)As Pope, Benedict has gone so far as to publicly celebrate Mass using the ancient ad orientem posture. And many priests and parishes, all over the United States and indeed, the world, are beginning to take up the Pope’s lead in restoring this tradition. At my own parish we have begun using it from time to time, and several other parishes in the Kalamazoo diocese have adopted ad orientem, some even doing so entirely. What this ancient posture underscores is the essential message of the liturgies of Advent: We are all to be turned toward the Lord, waiting for His coming. For some two millennia the people of Israel waited for the coming of the Messiah. He has come, but we still have the experience of waiting expectantly for Him, every time we celebrate the Eucharist. And if we are turned towards Him, if we are oriented in the direction of His coming, then we can have blessing which was given to the shepherds on the night of His birth – the glimmer of a faint purple light in the East, growing to the ray of light from the Daystar. A light shining not from the sky, but from an infant, who is Himself the Light of the World. People, look East! Love, the Lord is on the way!

http://thrownback.blogspot.com/

Cultivating Love for Beauty in the Liturgy

I found a wonderful blog by
Fr. Rob Johansen
Dorr, Michigan, United States
(Parish Priest, Writer, and Lover of Good Books, Good Music, Good Wine and Good Cigars.)

God bless him and all his work.


It's not exactly "news" anymore, but last month I took a group of students (7th & 8th graders, as well as some altar servers) to St. John Cantius Catholic Church in Chicago for their celebration of High Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the Ascension of the Lord. We arrived at the church in the afternoon of Ascension Thursday, where we were given a tour by one of the canons of St. John Cantius, followed by dinner at a local restaurant, and then back to the church for Mass. I believe it is very important that the priest work to instill and cultivate in our young people an understanding and appreciation for the beauty of the Sacred, whether it be in art, music, or architecture. To that end, I have periodically tried to introduce the children at our parish school to different aspects of sacred art and sacred music: for example, I have brought an iconographer to the school to give presentations on sacred art and iconography, and guest musicians to introduce the students to different instruments and kinds of sacred music. This is "on top of" the program in liturgical music that I introduced to the school two years ago, which has produced results like this:School Children Singing the "Regina Coeli"But this trip to St. John Cantius is a step to giving the kids exposure to the Sacred beyond their own parish and school. Also, this was, for most of the school children, their first experience of Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I have been gradually introducing the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant over the last 3 years, so these things would not be alien to the children, but to experience these things in the usus antiquior was new for most of them. And what an experience it was! We arrived and entered the church just as the brothers were beginning Vespers. The children were quite impressed by the church itself, as well anyone should be:
(all photos may be viewed full-size by clicking on them)I enjoyed watching the kids crane their necks around trying to take it all in. Most of the kids have never been to a church as large, impressive, and chock-full of art as St. John Cantius. After Vespers, Br. Joshua, one of the Canons of St. John Cantius, gave us a tour of the church.
Br. Joshua Explaining Various Aspects of the SanctuaryAmong the artistic beauties of the church is the Wit Stwosz Altarpiece replica. Done in carved wood, gold, and other precious materials, it is a one-quarter size replica of a famous altarpiece in Poland. The tour was quite complete, even including a trip up to both lofts. Like many great Polish churches built in this period, St. John Cantius has a double loft - one for choir, one for the great organ. the kids were impressed both by the organ and by the view from the loft:As I mentioned above, after the tour we went out for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant nearby, and then returned to the church for Mass. I gave the kids a brief introduction to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass before we left the school in the morning, and Br. Joshua gave some "preview" information as well. The kids were already familiar with the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, from our usage at St. Stanislaus, and I prepared for them a little handout with the propers so that they could follow those as well. The Mass was glorious! The choir sang Tomas Luis de Victoria's Missa Ascendens Christum in Altum, as well as an impressive modern work, Colin Mawby's O Rex Gloriae, during the Offertory. The kids were entranced by the singing - that was one of the things that came up repeatedly in the days after the trip. I had told the children beforehand that it wasn't so important to try to follow along in the Mass exactly, so much as to "take in" the whole experience and unite themselves in prayer to the priest offering the Sacrifice during the Canon. On the bus ride home, they readily confessed that they lost track of things during the Canon. A number of them wanted to know why the Canon was silent in the Extraordinary Form, which I explained. But none of them seemed unduly bothered by the fact that they lost their place here and there. I think the experience put them on such "sensory overload" that they were borne along by the whole sacred movement.
The Whole Crew after MassSo, the kids had an experience they will remember, and some were intrigued enough to say that they wanted to go to an Extraordinary Form Mass again. (Yea!) A taste of sacred beauty does indeed inspire the thirst for more!

http://thrownback.blogspot.com/

Ad Orientem (Facing East) vs. Versus Populum

"Despite all the variations in practice that have taken place far into the second millennium, one thing has remained clear for the whole of Christendom: praying toward the east is a tradition that goes back to the beginning. Moreover, it is a fundamental expression of the Christian synthesis of cosmos and history [see below], of being rooted in the once-for-all events of salvation history while going out to meet the Lord who is to come again"
(Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 75).
Ad Orientem (Facing East) vs. Versus Populum (Facing the People)
During Advent we will be celebrating Mass Ad Orientem (towards the East) or as most people wrongly say “with the priest’s back to the people. This ancient practice causes much bewilderment in modern Catholics.
The point of facing east is to emphasize the essential character of the liturgy: that of a procession out of time and into eternity in Heaven. We see and taste this procession in the course of the liturgy. The celebrant, standing in the person of Christ, leads the way, but we are all moving together, as a community and as the people of God, as part of the same procession that begins at the Introit, continues though the Offertory, and culminates with our reception of Holy Communion.
The practice offers a psychological and spiritual benefit. It permits you the worshipper to contemplate the purely sacramental character of the Mass and focus less on the personality of the celebrant. From the celebrant's point of view, it permits a more intense focus on the mystery of the sacrifice taking place rather than on the personalities of the worshippers.
Our goal at St. Bede and in the Teen CAFÉ community is not to permanently change the modern practice of Versus Populum Masses but, in the course of offering praise and worship to the Triune God, to introduce our teens to the richness of the Roman liturgical tradition and to have them ask important questions about what makes Mass different from what other Christians do when they pray.
Here are a few observations to keep in mind during Advent as we await the coming of the Lord:
1. Vatican Council II said nothing about the direction of the celebrant during Mass. It presupposed Mass ad orientem. Mass facing east was the norm from ancient times and even during and after Vatican Council II. There has never been authoritative liturgical legislation requiring any change. The Roman Missal (official liturgical book from which Mass is celebrated) not only permits it, the rubrics actually presuppose it, (e.g., the priest is told to "turn toward the people" at the Orate Fratres ("Pray, brethren . . .) 2. It has been the practice in the entire Church, East and West from time immemorial. Contrary to a prevailing misconception there is no evidence for celebration of Mass versus populum in the first nineteen centuries of the Church's history, with rare exceptions. (Cf. The Spirit of the Liturgy, by Cardinal Ratzinger, pp. 74-84.) The practice of reducing an altar to a table for a service facing the people began only in the 16th century — with Martin Luther. 3. Moving the altar closer to the nave, separating it from the reredos, and proclaiming the readings from the ambo are a welcome return to more ancient tradition and in harmony with the intent of Sacrosanctum Concilium. However, the almost universal celebration of the Mass versus populum, while permitted deprives the Mass of its traditional cosmic and eschatological symbolism.
4. Churches have traditionally been constructed facing the rising sun. Facing east we are turned in expectation toward the Lord who is to come (eschatology) and we show that we are part of an act that goes beyond the church and community where we are celebrating, to the whole world (cosmos). In churches not facing geographical east, the Cross and Tabernacle become "liturgical east". The drama of salvation history is powerfully symbolized in the renewed liturgy when it is celebrated ad orientem. The priest faces the people as he calls them to prayer. Then he turns to lead them in the common plea for mercy (Kyrie eleison). He prays on behalf of the people as he continues to face the Lord. He turns toward the people to proclaim the Word and instruct them. After receiving their gifts, he turns again to the Lord to offer the gifts to God. He then turns to the people to distribute the Risen Christ at the eucharistic banquet.
While there is some positive symbolism in Mass versus populum, there is also a very negative symbolism. "The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is closed in on itself" (Ratzinger,
p. 80). It is our hope that the celebration of these Masses ad orientem during the season of Advent will enkindle in our teens a deeper appreciation for what transpires at each and every Mass. It is our hope that this experience will do more than simply turn the priest around. We hope that it will turn all of us towards God who is “ahead and above.”

From CMAA Forum

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mass schedule for July

At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
July 18

Kyrie XI
Alelluia
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Panem de Caelo
Salve Regina


At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
July19, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
Come now Almighty King (721)
Gloria VIII
Salve Regina (offertory, 702)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Shepherd of Souls (367)
The King of Love My Shepherd Is (483, vs 1,2 and 6)


At Resurrection Church (practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
July 11, 25

Kyrie XVI
Sanctus VIII
Alleuia
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Panem de Caelo
Salve Regina

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

From Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum

The Pope stressed: "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

Comment on Colloquium XIX

Tonight I returned home after attending the 2009 Sacred Music Colloquium in Chicago. From Monday evening, June 22, through this morning, we rehearsed Gregorian chant and polyphony daily, sang at Mass, and attended workshops and lectures. Tuesday morning after Mass I thought, "If we participated in Masses like this every week, it would change our lives." It is impossible to be indifferent to such a Mass. Such a Mass is so profoundly otherworldly, so oriented to the transcendent, so powerfully prayerful that it is impossible to be lukewarm. One must choose whom one will serve.
If you haven’t been, you can’t imagine the joy of being with and singing with 250-some like-minded people—all of them talented singers, music directors, and/or instrumentalists—who know the church’s teachings on sacred music, support them fully, and will never say "Why do we have to sing all this Latin?"
These Masses were the closest thing to perfect liturgies that I’ve ever seen or heard. The rubrics were respected. The church’s wishes for liturgical music were respected...

Pope Benedict XVI Schola
http://www.b16schola.org/2009/06/28/life-changing-liturgy/

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sing the Chant

A reader writes that he is confused. "I thought that we weregetting some place, but what do we do now?" The answer is simply:sing the chant! Not that singing it is always so simple. And notthat seeming difficulties are insurmountable. It is not only a matterof acquiring the proper books (an adequate list of which appeared inVol. 84, No. 1 of Caecilia) which, after all, we are presently boundto use. The impression that we have opined for two generationsthat the book was all we needed will not down.This may lead us to our first point. The most important thingabout singing the chant is singing. It is manifestly absurd to supposethat chant is something quite apart from the broad stream of music,and that the sound vocal procedure necessary to any other type ofsinging does not apply to it. Yet one fears this has been happeningfor too long. Why do Mr. and Mrs. average worshipper not getespecially excited about chant? Because most of its sounds bad. Thishas nothing to do with one chant book or another. Listen to theRequiem Mass from one end of the country to the other. On theface of it, it might be read from fifty different versions, but propervocalization and some musicianship would make amends for a greatdeal else.It is not an uncommon experience to behold chant educatorswho have taught their charges everything but the most basic things.These will know the horrificent names of all the neums and combinationsthereof (the picture, if your please, is more important thanthe name), they are liable to know the minutest detail of emerge andsubmerge in matters chyronomical, and probably can place an ictuseven when it isn't marked. They can, for that matter, know theintricacies of the modes, and have the Vatican Preface at their fingertips.But start singing-and the musical voice, the elementaryrhythm of the neums, and sensible phrasing of text and vocal line ismissing. If one does not have necessary knowledge of voice placementand other tonal matters, what should he do? Either stopteaching any kind of singing or seek to learn from someone who does.The Holy Fathers have been as e:xplicit about sufficiently qualifiedpersonnel as anything. Reading will help-even so small and tidya brochure as Father Finn's "Epitome of the Choral Art". Makeno mistake about it, chant, though unisonous, is part of the choralart, and not an easy part at that. So that one might conclude thisparagraph with a word of caution about professional voice teachers,who manage so often to coach great voices and ruin the rest. Oursis not so much a problem of "training" voices as of eliminating vocaldefects which God did not usually give us.Next in order, and not to be confused with singing the chant,is reading it. It is perhaps not musically unorthodox to remark thatgood singing of bad material is preferable to bad singing of goodmaterial. The contemporary penchant for reading music often ig'nores other important considerations. We are faced with the dis'tressing fact that competent readers are very often incompetentsingers and vice'versa. Having said this, one can, however, stateconfidently that the reading problem is by no means insurmountable.Here, again, without putting up straw men, one is not beyond en'countering college people with decent marks in "Chant I" or "Chant2" who cannot sol'fa a Proper. This is a totally unnecessary stateof affairs. Grade School and High School students certainly canand do read chant. It is the writer's experience that this very simplemanner of reading the chant in chant script is the best approach toreading of any kind. The diatonic scale, like the alphabet, is anadmirable crutch, even if you never get beyond the moveable "do".Grade school children, and not only the bright ones, certainly canmake chant reading part of their existence, and the sky can be thelimit for high school folk. If takes only the doing. You may callthis business of scales drudgery if you wish, but it is nothing like thedrudgery of rote teaching to the not'so'young, and this will be thepenalty for one who has not begun with scales and intervals in thefirst place: a devastating penury of repertoire.The writer has in his possession a collection of chant recordingsof grade school children of a very small rural parish in Wisconsin.They are among the finest he knows, and his own charges sing theproper the year around, with some of the better students singing thesolo parts of the Graduals. Traditions are hard to come by, especiallywhen, as any pastor will tell you, there is a constant tum'over ofmusic teachers. But the fact that they can be established, even ona school level, is indisputable. Why catholic high school studentscannot supply propers is a mystery-unless the song of the church,which ought to have primacy in any music program in the catholicschool-is given niggardly time. Mind you, once a tradition isestablished, once the younger folk hear, read and sing the Propriumde Tempore and de Sanctis year in and year out, the actual practicefor propers need not take more than 15 minutes a week!Now a word about methods and text'books. First of all, theteacher must be both the method and text book. It is less than fairto expect teachers and choirmasters to establish sound traditions ifthey have not been given a chance to drink deeply at the wells ofliturgical song throughout the liturgical year. This need not havebeen in the monastery, the convent, or the seminary. For the Popesdid not write their encyclicals and allocutions only for monks.(There persists too much the notion of transplanting strictly monas'tic elements in the parishes; and religious teachers in diocesan semin'aries have no right to use the monastic rather than the Roman booksin their classes or worship.) In the very first line of the MotuProprio, St. Pius X marks these matters as foremost among thepastoral cares of every individual parish. The teacher, then, musthave assimilated the meat, spirit and directives of the liturgicalbooks, to a point of feeling a necessity to impart them. The bestand only necessary text books are the Kyriale and the Graduale.One may add to these the Vesperale and the "Chants diversa mente".From the point of view of chant education, one might suggest theKyriale for grade school students, and the Graduale for High Schoolstudents. Through their formative years children may becomecompletely conversant with these, and carry them, let us hope, intotheir adulthood. One might use a book like P. Baldinus van Poppel'selementary course, (see Caecilia, Vol 84, No.1) but it is perhapsjust as well to get into the middle of things, using brief home'madeexercises to lead into any particular piece in the Kyriale. Sometimesreading exercises (and vocal exercises) might well be performed onthe material at hand. The results are just as effective, and time issaved.Then let us not forget the overwhelming importance of thetext. It is absolutely essential that the teacher be as resourceful inthis matter as the rest. The texts are not difficult to understand bycomparative study-Father Bouyer has said that the work of theBelgian Benedictines at Bruges (Saint Andrew's Missal) is one ofthe highest contributions to liturgical renewal-and our schools, de'signed primarily for the preservation of the faith and participationin its mysteries, ought not be remiss in teaching the rudiments of thelanguage of these mysteries, even if it finally devolves upon thereligion or chant teacher to do so. It is a fair conjecture thatif the time, energy, and enthusiasm spent on vernacular notionswere applied in the opposite direction we might be happily on ourway. "Sacred music as an integral part of the solemn liturgyshares its general purpose ... and since its principal function is toadorn with suitable melody the liturgical text proposed to the under'standing of the faithful, its proper purpose is to add greater efficacyto the text itself, so that by this means the faithful may be more easilymoved to devotion and better disposed to receive in themselves thefruits of grace proper to the celebration of the sacred mysteries."(Pope Pius X, Motu Proprio)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Traditional Mass, Chants and Latin, why I cherish them.

Someone recently asked me why I sing latin chants and go to Traditional Mass, even a couple of times a month. This inspired me to write down my thoughts here to share with others. Although I'm trying to learn latin, and study the latin words of the prayers I sing, my latin skill is still pretty minimum. So why, and how meaningful they are to me? I'll try to explain it with my not-so-perfect Enligsh.

On the way to the Traditional Mass this morning I asked my 11 year boy whether the Mass is too hard for him to follow. He said ' not really.' (I know he meant it. He is the one I can tell when things are too hard and needs help.). He added, "although I don't understand all the meanings of the prayers, I understand 'what's happening' and follow the Mass better. In other Masses (our local parish Masses) things are changed alot and do not follow the traditional Mass, so hard to follow." Of course he studied "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass' (in English). Actually he is better in following the Traditional Mass than I do, because only Mass I know was OF Mass(now called 'Mass in Ordinary form', Novus Ordo, the new Mass) until last year.

He also told me about getting excited about learning new words and new prayers in latin in children's schola. In children's chant class, we started with learning simple Ordinary parts of the Mass, Kyrie, Sanctus and Angus Dei. They of course know them very well in English, so singing them in Latin wasn't so hard (actually they think it's very cool.), and they do know the meaning. After we learned those (most of them memorized), I added chants that are easy to understand and sing, such as Ave Maria, Veni, Veni Emmanuel... I teach children not just the pronounciation, which is very important to sing beautifully (including pure vowels), we also learn the meanings of the prayers as a whole as well as word-by-word traslations. Of course, I don't expect them to remember them all. But the more they repeat, the more they will remember and understand. Isn't that how we learn prayers in English too? We learn the prayers and we recite them without knowing all the meanings ( not just the words, but the deeper meanings.) We discover the meanings, the more we pray and experience them in our lives. I don't think I know all the true meanings of "Our Father' yet even in English. But that doens't mean I should not say the prayer until I know all the meanings. God fills my humble prayers of imperfect knowledge and imperfect language with His Holiness and love.
We know that there are many reasons that the Church wants keep latin in Mass, universal, immutable to change, and non-vernacular, sacred. Latin is the consecrated language and consistently used for centries in our Church after the purification period in the early Church. The sacredness of the language lifts up the prayers and fills shortcomings our saying those Church's perfect prayers. Of course I should keep studying the prayers, but I won't wait saying those prayers in latin until I master the prayers. Our mind might not understand the words we utter in the prayers, but our spirit does.

I have a friend who is from an European country who hardly spoke English but fell in love and marry to an American who didn't spoke her language either. Without knowing each other's language, they fell in love. After more than 20 years, now they understand better and can speak the same language. When you love someone, the language is not as important. You understand the other, because you love that person. And then of course you get to learn about each other more, and learn to speak the same language. (I married to an American. My husband cannot speak Korean. I learned Enlgish. But once in a while I still wonder whether I'm speaking the same language. In another words, in order to understand each other more deeply, we also have to be in the same spirit)

After the Mass yesteday I heard a funny, but sad story from a mom who takes her children to Traditional Mass. Last summer they had to go to a different church nearby the farm the family just bought. They had singers and guitarists and all. After the awhile, her boy asked the mom when the Mass is going to start(?!) In someplaces the Mass has been changed so much by the 'taste' and 'creativity' of the people, you cannot tell that it's a Mass any more. The sacrament of Eucharist is from God, and when the people change so much, it's impossible to receive His grace fully. I have been reading Church's documents and trying to learn and appreciate OF Mass more. The Holiness and dignity seem to be lost in New Mass, especially in the music after Vatican II. The music in Mass should be chosen by people or by the Church? The Church guarded the sacrament to be holy and dignified, and Her sung prayers were kept in our liturgy so we can glorigy God and sanctify ourselves and receive His grace more fully. Our personal prayers can be kept in our personal devotions, and in public worship the Church has the authority to use Her own prayers, so we can glorify God and sanctify ourselves as a true community of God. When I sing Gregorian chants, I truly feel I'm connected with our Holy Church and all the saints, holy men and women, and all the angels and ultimately to our Lord on the altar. The casual style of music and pop and rock, even worse, style cannot give the sense of the dignity and holiness that are essential to our holy liturgy. Many people didn't understand the intention of the Church fathers of Vatican II. Things that are allowed in the documents became the norms, and even abused for last 40 years in our litugy in many parishes.

When you go to a Traditional Mass , there are translation booklets in the church. I believe most Catholics know Ordinaries (Gloria, Kyrie, Sanctus...) by hearts. And the other prayers and reponses you can follow by the translations first in the booklet, and then as the time goes by, you get to know them pretty well by heart. Also following the Propers get easier as you familiarize with latin more and more in Mass. So I don't understand why people say they get lost. You don't really have to be a mastered scholar in latin to follow the Mass.
Maybe it's not the language actually, maybe many people don't know the Mass well? The actions. The Tradtional Mass has so much deep meanings to each part and action, and I discover something new every time I go. It's like learning about God more and more. It seems to me that the idea of 'explicity' is imported into how we perceive the liturgy these days, and our 'Mystery of Faith" is replaced by "reasonging of the Faith." Of course we should try to learn and understand faith with our reason, but our "Mystery of Faith" cannot be understood only by our reason. There are so many things I learn in Traditional Mass, which I believe, can help to understand and apprecaite OF Mass better.

To me, language has been also a main tool for survival. When I came to US, I had to speak and listen. Grammar that I learned in school wasn't much help that time (helped when I wrote papers mostly though). Reading the textbooks took very long because I coudn't really guess many words just by the contexts. Some friends gave up and went back to their country, missed the comfort back there. But for me there were many things I wanted in this country and I decided to stay and learn. Hardships paid off, and I actually appreciate my cultrue more when I'm here.
I think it depends on how much you see the value of the Traditional Mass and willing to learn and sacrifice other comforts. This also takes lots of humility. If you want to learn Traditional Mass, you actually have to go there and experience it, and learn the Mass and the prayers in latin. latin is a main tool, but that's not everything about the Traditional Mass. It takes lots of sacrifice but this might be one of most joyerful experience we can ever have in our life.