5.02.2016

An Action-Packed Week at Sacred Heart

Four, count'em, FOUR events happening this week at Sacred Heart!
Tuesday: Marian Devotions
Thursday: Ascension
Friday: First Friday
Weekend: VII Easter

Devotions to Mary
All Tuesdays in May (May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31) at 7 PM

The format listed here is for all five Tuesdays.

Entrance hymn: Immaculate Mary, "Lourdes Hymn"
Exposition hymn: O Salutaris Hostia, Anthony Werner
Rosary and Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loreto) are recited
Benediction hymn: Tantum Ergo, Oreste Ravanello
Return of the Blessed Sacrament to the Repository:
- May 3 and 10: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
- May 17, 24,and 31: Adoremus in Aeternum, Mode V
Recessional hymn: Hail, holy Queen enthroned above, "Salve Regina Caelitum"

Ascension of the Lord
Thursday (yes, THURSDAY!), May 5, at 9 AM and 7 PM 

Entrance hymn: Hail the day that sees him rise, "Llanfair"
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 47: R./ God mounts his throne to shouts of joy, a blare of trumpets for the Lord, Robert Kreutz (response) and Joseph Gelineau (versicles)
Alleluia: BMP, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Crown him with many crowns, "Diademata"
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: Christus Vincit, BMP (.pdf)
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Go, make of all disciples, "Ellacombe"

First Friday (Sacred Heart Community Mass)
Friday, May 6, at 6 PM

Entrance hymn: Hail the day that sees him rise, "Llanfair"
Psalm 47: R./ God is King of all the earth, Tone 8
Alleluia: BMP, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Alleluia! sing to Jesus, "Hyfrydol"
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: Christus Vincit, BMP (.pdf)
Recessional hymn: A hymn of glory let us sing, "Lasst uns Erfreuen"

The Seventh Sunday of Easter
Saturday, May 7, at 5 PM; Sunday, May 8, at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM

Entrance hymn:
- 7:30 only: Hail, holy Queen enthroned above, "Salve Regina Caelitum"
- all others: A hymn of glory let us sing, "Lasst uns Erfreuen"
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 97: R./ The Lord is King, the Most High over all the earth, Richard Proulx (response) and Joseph Gelineau (versicles)
Alleluia: BMP, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Hail the day that sees him rise, "Llanfair"
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: Ave Maria, Mode I (7:30 only), Lorenzo Perosi (all others)
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Come, Holy Ghost, Louis Lambillotte

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

"Psalm 151" for Ascension and VII Easter C
(May 5 and 8, 2016)

I'm presenting two planners in this post: one for Ascension, and one for VII Easter (Year C).  Of course, many dioceses celebrate Ascension on the Sunday after the actual Ascension.  Those places can disregard the VII Easter list, as that's when Ascension falls for them.  Here in the Northeast, we're lucky enough to benefit from both Ascension Thursday (a Holy Day of Obligation) AND VII Easter.

The Ascension of the Lord
May 5 in some spots, May 8 in others.

INTROIT
Psalm 47: Just as you have seen him ascend

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 47: God mounts his throne
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

ALLELUIA
Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae" (Easter Season)
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

OFFERTORY
Psalm 47: This Jesus who was taken up

COMMUNION
Psalm 68: Sing to the Lord

Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 8 in those spots lucky enough to celebrate Ascension on Thursday

INTROIT
Psalm 27: Hearken, O Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 97: The Lord is King

ALLELUIA
Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae" (Easter Season)
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

OFFERTORY
Psalm 47: This Jesus who was taken up

COMMUNION
Psalm 122: Father, I now come to you

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

4.28.2016

Catholic or Pentecostal?

I stumbled onto this ad via a couple of Boston area organist friends from Facebook a while back.  I've been meaning to post on it.

Unfortunately, this is a real ad from the website of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Obviously, this is a "collaborative" of two Catholic parishes ("Collaboratives" seem to be big in the Boston archdiocese these days).  But seriously?  A "worship team"?  Are the powers to be at this "collaborative" seeking for said "collaborative" to remain Catholic, or are they turning Pentecostal on us?  (Nothing against the Pentecostals as people, but they have their way of worship, we Catholics have ours, which is totally different.)

"...working together to reinvigorate our Church and faith community by reaching out to those who have become disconnected from the Church..."

Really?  So you have to resort to a "worship team" and so-called "praise and worship music" to reconnect the disconnected?  Sounds so much like a Pentecostal church I used to make deliveries to in my FedEx Ground days.  For awhile, the Pentecostal church in question described themselves as "A church for those who don't do church!"

It's been proven time and time again that you don't need sacro-pop, worship rock, or hootenanny music to bring the kids into the Church.  Living proof: St. Paul's (Cambridge), St. Adelaide's (Peabody), and St. Brendan's (Bellingham) (all three from the same archdiocese, mind you).  We can even include St. Clement's Eucharistic Shrine (in the city of Boston, right near Berklee and Boston Conservatory). Same goes for trying to bring back those who have strayed.  You don't need Pentecostal styles of worship in Catholic liturgy to find the lost.  You just need to teach them how to "do Church" according to the Church.  This includes how to worship, and how to actually practice the Faith.

Let me close this by directing you to this article by Jason Pennington (which later was published in CanticaNOVA's website), reminding the powers that be that "pastoral" isn't giving people what they want, but giving them what they need.  The article is a decade old now, but still stands true today!

We're always saying that if a Catholic college or university wants to maintain a Catholic identity, it should actually act Catholic.  If a parish or "collaborative" wishes to identify as Catholic, they should act Catholic, not Pentecostal.

Save the liturgy, save the world!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP


Post-scriptum: No, I am not looking to make a move.  My feet remain firmly planted at Sacred Heart!

4.27.2016

Mother Mary Alexis Donnelly

I don't often "share a memory" that Facebook encourages me to share, but I posted a link to this article on Facebook about four years ago.  This article has me connected in two parishes, believe it or not!

One of the many good pieces I inherited at Sacred Heart from my predecessor (Dave Sylvester) is a setting of the hymn Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All, written by Mother Mary Alexis Donnelly, RSM.  Her name did not appear on the music.  The music was ascribed simply to "Sister of Mercy".  It has a nice little melody, easy enough harmony.  It was noble simplicity at its best.  I thought nothing of the connection I'm about to describe until I found the aforementioned article.

It turns out that Mother Alexis was born in Ireland, and later came to Providence, RI.  She entered the convent there, became Sister Mary Alexis, then Mother Mary Alexis.  While in Providence, she wrote some hymns and even compiled a couple of hymnals, including the Holy Face Hymnal (link is to a list of midi files; a full pdf of the hymnal here).

One of my former parishes as organist/music director was Holy Name of Jesus in Providence.  One of my predecessors there, the late great Jon Carew (the first organist I ever met at that church) recorded 18 of Mother Alexis' hymns with the Dorian Concert Choir while at Holy Name.

At the time I originally posted the article on Facebook, I had neglected this blog for a good couple of years, posting here only minimally (mea culpa).  After all, Facebook was the "big thing" now.  But posting here, I realized, 1) gives me the freedom to write posts in longer lengths than one would normally write on Facebook, 2) not all of my readers that I can probably count on one hand use Facebook, and 3) I can still post the link to my posts here on my Facebook page.

Here's the link again.  On the left column, Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All is the sixth title down.  Bon appetit!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Something We've Been Trying to Say for Decades...

...is reiterated in this excellent article by Roseanne Sullivan.  I will let you read for yourself what she has to say, but I'll enter some snarky-ish thoughts of my own.

This "four hymn sandwich" (or as the kids say these days, the "four hymn sammich") is often not just any old "four hymn sandwich", but one of very particular ingredients.  It has, however, evolved a bit in the past few decades.

In the late 1950's/early 1960's, some hymnals were producing a new category (I have a New Saint Basil Hymnal kicking around to prove it), called "Hymns for Low Mass".  In the 1960's/1970's, there were still categories "Entrance Hymns", "Offertory Hymns", "Communion Hymns", and "Recessional Hymns".  And the hymns were more or less "functional".  They didn't do much in praising God.  Well, some.  But they seemed to sing more about what the priest is doing, or what the people in the pews are doing at that given moment. 

Let me give you an example of what I mean here...

Entrance hymns:
* Enter, O People of God (People's Mass Book)
* With Joyful Hearts We Enter (Celebrating the Eucharist)
* We Gather Together (the Omer Westendorf text in particular; People's Mass Book)
* God's Holy Mountain We Ascend (People's Mass Book)
- - The last two also appear in Seasonal Missalette, formerly Monthly Missalette.

Offertory hymns:
* All That I Am (People's Mass Book)
* Lord, Accept the Gifts We Offer (Celebrating the Eucharist)
* What You Gave Us for Our Taking (Monthly/Seasonal Missalette)
* All that We Have (Glory and Praise)

Communion hymns:
Just about anything with a Eucharistic theme (some with decent music, some with less-than-decent music).  That took on an evolution of its own, which I'll describe shortly.
Recessional hymns:
* Go Forth among the People (Monthly/Seasonal Missalette)
* God's Blessing Sends Us Forth (People's Mass Book)
* Go, Make of All Disciples (Worship II and III)
* Go (Lead Me, Guide Me)
* Sent Forth by God's Blessing (People's Mass Book)

You get the picture.  Oftentimes, hymns of actual praise (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, Now Thank We All Our God, Holy God, we Praise Thy Name, et al.) got placed in the Entrance and Recessional hymns category.  And at times, Eucharistic hymns got placed at the Offertory (especially if the choir sang a motet or anthem at Communion).

Now you hardly ever hear the words "Entrance hymn" anymore.  They liturgical liberals (the loony left) use a "Gathering song".  And that's what it seems to talk about - gathering!  Not to mention the music is of a much lesser quality than the four "Entrance hymns" I mentioned above.  Prime examples of the so-called "Gathering song" are...
* Gather Us In (which has not one mention or invoking of God or Jesus in it)
* All Are Welcome
* Here I Am to Worship
* Table of Plenty (also used at Communion, but often as a "gathering" - Come to the feast of heaven and earth! Come to the table of plenty! - Blech!)
* What Is this Place (The tune is actually decent, but the text is downright hideous!)

In mainstream parishes, it seems that the offertory hymn (now misnamed the "presentation song" or "preparation of the gifts song") has to be something "mellow".  I call BS!

Same with Communion.  In fact, mainstream Communion "hymns" (mere "songs" is more like it for these ditties) have really taken a turn for the worse.  Not only must they be "mellow" in mainstream liturgy (that is, liturgy endorsed by mainstream publishers, the NPM - alias NaPalM, and the "Church of Nice" - credit for that moniker goes to Michael Voris of Church Militant), but it has to talk about going to Communion and being one with each other.  Never mind the sacredness of WHO we are to receive!  Just the fact that we are sharing a meal and being one with each other (sometimes with Christ).  The music for this mainstream notion must be contemporary, and possibly mellow.  This is where the musician hops off the organ bench and onto the piano bench, and the accompaniment is reminiscent of what I hear on soft rock radio stations and soap operas (and I don't mean the old soaps of the 50's and 60's which had organ music in the background).  Examples include...
* the aforementioned All Are Welcome
* the aforementioned Table of Plenty
* much of the "Communion" section (not so much the "Eucharistic Hymns" section) of any hymnal or "missal" by OCP and similar ilk.

You might find a few scriptural texts within these dreadful melodies, but they're hidden behind the "we are this, we are that, while we are one" mentality.

So, what about Propers?

Well, the Propers are given to us by the Church.  While the loony left is using the "all about us" music, the Church gives us the Propers which already set the tone of the Mass for us.  Remember, we should be singing the Mass, not just singing at Mass.  Though there is nothing wrong with adding a hymn to the Proper.  I've heard it done, and done effectively.  And the hymns that get added in this case are usually actual hymns and not "gathering ditties".  If you want a good example of how this is done, at least as an entrance processional, check out the YouTube channel of St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, NSW, Austraila.  In this case, they sing the hymn, then the Introit (the procession is often long, so it works nicely).  Other churches sing the Introit, then the hymn.  For example, St. Paul's Church in Cambridge, MA (which has an excellent choir school) has the Introit chanted from the back, followed the hymn-accompanied procession.

An extraordinary story of the Ordinary

At one time, a visiting priest informed me that he had to leave quick to fill in at another church, so he asked me, "Would you rather sing the Gloria or sing the hymn after Communion?"  I said to him, "let's sing the Gloria, as I'd much rather sing the Mass than sing at Mass."  So, we sang the Gloria, and dropped the hymn after Communion, and the visiting priest got to his next Mass on time.

I'll say it again: SING THE MASS, not just sing at Mass!

Save the liturgy, save the world!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

4.25.2016

VI Easter at Sacred Heart

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Entrance hymn: Christ the Lord is ris'n today, "Surgit in haec dies"
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 67: R./ O God, let all the nations praise you, Sam Schmitt (.pdf)
Alleluia: Owen Alstott, based on O Filii et Filiae
Offertory hymn: The strife is o'er, "Victory"
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: Daily, daily, sing to Mary / Omni die dic Mariae, "Omni die"
- The English and Latin verses will be sung in alternation as time permits.
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: A hymn of glory let us sing, "Lasst uns Erfreuen"

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

"Psalm 151" for VI Easter C (V-1-16)

INTROIT
Psalm 66: Spread the news

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 67: O God, let all the nations praise you

ALLELUIA
Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae" (Easter Season)
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

OFFERTORY
Psalm 66: O ye nations, bless the Lord

COMMUNION
Psalm 51: The Holy Spirit will teach you

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

4.17.2016

V Easter at Sacred Heart

Following is the music for this coming Sunday's liturgy, for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

Entrance hymn: This joyful Eastertide, "Vreuchten"
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 145: R./ I will praise your name for ever, my King and my God, BMP (.pdf)
Alleluia: BMP, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Christ the Lord is ris'n today, "Surgit in haec dies"
- See this post in which I tell the tale about the two texts that begin with this line, and their two tunes each!  The tune used this day is the tune from which our seasonal Mass setting Missa "Christo Risusciti" is adapted.
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: Cantate Domino canticum novum, Vincent d'Indy
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Christ is alive, "Truro"

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Liturgy Planning using "Psalm 151"
V Easter C (24 April 2016)

INTROIT
Psalm 98: Sing to the Lord a new song

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 145: I will praise your Name

ALLELUIA
Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae" (Easter Season)
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

OFFERTORY
Psalm 66: Shout with joy to God

COMMUNION
Psalm 80: I am the true vine

4.13.2016

How to Make Ordinary Look Extraordinary

Don't let the title of this post deceive you.  I don't mean "add more extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion"!  I still remember the initial nightmare of the formal installation of the first five men at the church I attended as a teenager.  They really thought they were extraordinary.  Talk about an "all about them" moment if there ever was one!  But I'll save that for another post.

I read an excellent article from The New Liturgical Movement this afternoon on how to made the Ordinary Form of the Mass (current Missal) seem as sacred as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (1962 Missal), just by sneaking in some elements that seem unique to the Extraordinary Form (but could very easily go well in the Ordinary Form).  And it's something I see periodically from time to time from different priests - not all of the elements from all of the priests in question.  Mind you, I've only familiarized myself with the Extraordinary Form in 1999, when I served four solid (but very happy) years at Holy Name in Providence.  I won't list all the elements the article lists.  I'll let you read the article to get them all (let's be fair to the author(s) of the original post).

I guess the first element I experienced was at Holy Name, in Ordinary Form Masses in the main church.  A bell (I call it the "introit bell") signaled the start of the entrance procession.  That practice is the norm at my current parish, Sacred Heart, as well.

At a couple of parishes of late, including my current parish, there is the "triple ring" of the bells ("Sanctus bells", I believe they are called) at the elevations.  Now, if they were spread out like in the Extraordinary Form, that would be even cooler, I think - yeah, kneel (one ringy-dingy) - elevate (two ringy-dingy) - kneel (three ringy-dingy).

At my current parish, I inherited a nice practice in the Eucharistic Prayer, and we do this almost exclusively at Masses celebrated by the pastor.  There are a number of musical settings of the Mass where there is music for the elevations.  Traditionally, the Sanctus and Benedictus were often sung separately, especially if the music was a choral setting.  In between the two, while the priest prayed the Canon, the organ played softly, whether it be written music or improvised, but would open up once the Host was elevated, and once again when the Chalice was elevated.  Though the Sanctus and Benedictus is a single entity in the current Missal, I play the soft music (I often improvise on chant themes of the day or season), then open up with each elevation (near full organ).  The bells still ring along with the fanfares (three times).  After the Memorial Acclamation, the organ is silent until the concluding Amen.  (Incidentally, this practice is not effective with guitar or piano.  Has to be an organ.)

One tip of the article mentions always using the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).  I know some priests personally who do say the Canon exclusively, and invoking ALL of the saints listed (even the optional ones in parentheses, et al).  One of those priests also says "Through Christ Our Lord, Amen" in its specified instances (also suggested in the article).

Some priests now actually celebrate the Ordinary Form ad orientem.  Yes, you can do that, you know!  My pastor does that during Lent and Advent.  Unfortunately, our church is small, so at Christmas and Easter, the abundance of flowers takes over the ad orientem space.

Calling to mind another tip in the article, about using "The Lord be with you" --- In the traditional Mass, Dominus vobiscum is said/sung before the orations (Collect, Secret, and Post-Communion).  I once worked for a pastor (RIP) who would say "The Lord be with you" before those prayers in the Ordinary Form.

I'm usually not in the sacristy immediately after Mass (I'm doing a postlude), but I wonder how many people actually act on the suggestion of doing the prologue to John's Gospel (John 1:1-14, known in the Extraordinary Form as the "Last Gospel", which concludes all Masses on Sundays and feasts) en route to, or inside of, the sacristy after Mass.

In the "Mnemonic Principle" paragraph, that is, adding things that no longer exist in the current Missal, like commemorating saints/feasts that no longer exist on the day you're celebrating, I think so much of my own birthday, July 1, which used to be the fixed date of the feast of the Precious Blood.  In the traditional liturgical calendar (you can find this in most hand missals), in addition to the feast/saint of the day, many days also have commemorations of yet another saint/feast).  This is the concept I think of in reading that paragraph.

Another idea would be to reinstate the Dies Irae sequence at the Funeral Mass.  One could chant this during Communion, after the Lux Aeterna.  Or, if you're really brave, go ahead and add it after the Epistle reading, the proper location of said sequence.

Finally, expanding on the Funeral Mass topic, something we do as a rule at Sacred Heart is use the traditional responses to the Agnus Dei tropes unique to Masses for the Dead.  Traditionally, the Sanctus and Agnus Dei for the Requiem Mass (and even the Funeral Mass to this day) are taken from Mass XVIII (the most commonly used Mass chants in Latin, as they come from the Jubilate Deo collection of Mass chants issued by Pope Paul VI in 1974, as well as amongst the simplest chants).  But in the traditional Mass, the two instances of "miserere nobis" is replaced by "dona eis requiem", and the ending "dona nobis pacem" is replaced by "dona eis requiem sempiternam".  I inherited this practice at Sacred Heart, and continue it to this day.  Even the visiting priests I've done funerals with like this.

So many ways one can put the "Holy" back into "Holy Mass".

SAVE THE LITURGY, SAVE THE WORLD!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP