Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Now, don't get the wrong idea here, folks. I'm not seeking nor anticipating an early death (I'm only 41). I've even quit smoking to prove it. I am, however, getting my music lined up now, so that when the time does come, my wife or one of my kids will deliver the instructions.

Anyways, I want the rubrics followed - Chant, Latin, Pride of Place, all that good stuff. (If I had my way, I'd ask for the 1962 Missal to be employed here)

Introit: Requiem aeternam (page 688 in the Gregorian Missal)
Responsorial Psalm: The Lord is Kind and Merciful (Alexander Peloquin - from his "Songs of Israel, Volume 2"; if that is unavailable, then Psalm Tone 8G is the acceptable alternative)
Alleluia: Mode VI (or during Lent: Praise and honor to you, O Lord Jesus Christ - as in Worship III, #290 - note: this is an adaptation from Kyrie XI)
Offertory: Domine Jesu Christe (page 693 in the Gregorian Missal)
- plus, if time permits: Ave Maria (Arcadelt OR Victoria)
Sanctus XVIII in Latin
Anamnesis: Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine (Jubilate Deo chants)
Amen: single (slurred last syllable - F-FG)
Lord's Prayer: chant setting in English or Latin
Agnus Dei XVIII in Latin
Communion Music: Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart)
- plus, if time permits: My Shepherd Is the Lord (Gelineau)
Final Commendation: Subvinite Sancti Dei (page 696 in the Gregorian Missal) or Saints of God (#889 in Worship II) or I Believe that My Redeemer Lives (Peloquin/except during Lent)
Recessional: In Paradisum (page 698 in the Gregorian Missal)

Music NOT acceptable (unless you want to know what it is like to have me come out of my casket and haunt the holy $&!# out of you):
On Eagle's Wings
Be Not Afraid
Here I Am, Lord
You Are Mine
How Great Thou Art
We Remember
Hail Mary/Gentle Woman
Shepherd Me, O God

LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY: None of that pop-style schlock garbage will be accepted. It does not belong at Holy Mass to begin with. If you want to listen to it, pop a CD in your deck at home or in your car. In fact, if it's in Glory and Praise, Spirit and Song, or Gather, do not use it! If it's written by Marty Haugen, David Haas, Michael Joncas, the St. Louis Jesuits, Carey Landry, Gregory Norbet, or the like, do not use it! If that is all your organist knows, get someone more competent! Also, only the organ is to be used. No piano. No guitar. Organ only. No eulogies (my boss doesn't allow them anyways). Save those for the wake, or in casual chat amongst friends and family. "What a jerk he was! He inflicted chant upon us! He wouldn't let us sing Eagle's Wings, or Beagle's Things, or whatever!"



...but Gerald Augustinus has HEARD the recordings of David Haas' music. Here's his review! Mike Gilleland at the Moratorium would LOVE the review!


Lent I at the Cathedral

Entrance: Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days / ST. FLAVIAN

Kyrie: chant, arr. Proulx

Psalm 25: Gelineau

Acclamation: chant, arr. NFB

Offertory: Forty Days and Forty Nights / AUS DER TIEFE

Offertory Anthem (9:30): Prayer -- Robert Lau

Sursum Corda: chant in English

Sanctus XVIII: chant in Latin

Mem. Acc. B: chant in English (I adapted the melody of "Jesu dulcis memoria")

Amen: single, two notes G-G-A

Lord's Prayer: chant in Latin

Agnus Dei XVIII: chant in Latin

Communion: Change Our Hearts

Anthem (9:30): Teach Me, O Lord -- Thomas Attwood

Recessional: The Glory of These Forty Days / ERHALT UNS HERR


Robert Lau is sort of a local phenom -- well-known as an organist, conductor, professor, and composer. His anthem "Prayer" is based on Psalm 25, and while far from being a masterwork, is a perennial favorite of this choir, and is actually quite nice. "Change Our Hearts", while not my favorite, is still a valid selection based on the scriptures of the day, and let's face it, there are many worse things that could be used......


I can still remember playing the Fat Tuesday Mass at Holy Name, only to follow it with the "Bring Your Most Fattening Dessert" party in the school hall afterward! My wife used to bring in her own homemade Reese's cup treats - chocolate on top of peanut butter. MMMMMMMM!

We also made sure we had a few extra Alleluias in store. Alleluia! Song of Sweetness/Gladness (Alleluia! Dulce Carmen!) being the ideal hymn to sing before having to "put the Alleluias away" for the six weeks to follow. Other hymns like All Creatures of Our God and King, and its fivefold alleluia at the end of each verse is always nice - getting all those Alleluias out while you can!

For the Gospel Antiphon, something with as many alleluias as possible - Alex Peloquin has a couple of cool settings: 1) Mass of the Bells (fourfold - rythymically adapted to Kyrie VIII), and 2) Lyric Liturgy (fivefold - rythymically adapted to Ite Missa Est I without alleluias). Richard Proulx has a fivefold alleluia as well, I think it's from his Mass of the Redeemer, but I could be wrong (My Worship II and III are at the church).

So for one more day, let's belt it out!



Monday, February 27, 2006


Fatima Church Lafayette adds itself to the list of celebrations around the world of the 250th birthday of W.A. Mozart. Visit the Fatima website to learn more details about the concerts offered throughout the year. All of the concerts will feature works of various composers, but will include at least one item by Mozart. The series starts on March 17 with my organ program:

Wir glauben all' an einen Gott, Samuel Scheidt
Adagio fuer Glasharmonika, W. A. Mozart
Fuge in g moll, W.A. Mozart (realised fragment)
Passacaglia und Thema-Fugatum, J.S. Bach
The Combat of David and Goliath, Joh. Kuhnau

The series runs through the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with choral Vespers in the church.

Music in Lent at Fatima Church, Lafayette

For the first Sunday of Lent, I usually write a blurb for the parish bulletin which explains to the faithful the various minor changes to the liturgy during this holy season. Here is the brief article:

Faithful Mass-goers will observe a number of traditional modifications to the daily and Sunday liturgies during Lent which reflect the penitential nature of the season. No altar flowers are present during the season, with the exception of the fourth Sunday, Laetare, which offers a slight respite from the rigors of fast, abstinence, penitence, and alms-giving. Also, there are neither organ preludes nor postludes played, or any other instrumental music offered at Holy Mass during the season. Instruments are used solely for the introduction to and accompaniment of singing. In Lent, the faithful will notice during the distribution our practice of singing several communion hymns. The canticle of the angels, the Gloria in Excelsis, common to the Mass after the Kyrie at other times, is omitted throughout Lent. Also, the Alleluia is absent from all hymns and chants, and especially before the versicle preceding the reading of the Holy Gospel. In place of the Alleluia and versicle at the Gospel Procession of Solemn High Mass, the prescribed Lenten Tract is intoned. The Tracts are lengthy scriptural texts appointed by Holy Mother Church especially for use at this point in the Mass on each of the Lenten Sundays. At other Masses and at daily Mass, a simple Lenten acclamation is used. At Solemn High Mass, the ordinary will be the Kyrie Eleison from Missa XVII in conjunction with the chants of the Iubilate Deo. In Holy Week, it is the tradition of the Church that no musical instruments whatsoever be used to accompany singing. We will continue to observe this worthy and pious tradition. For complete listing of the Tracts in Latin with English translation, please visit the Sacred Music page of the parish website: www.fatimalafayette.org.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


A few days ago, I posted Assignment Christus Vincit. The assignment: Top Ten Least Popular Organ Stops. Here is the end result that is in the Christus Vincit Podcast (Podcast #18 - The Christus Vincit White List, Part 2). Comic lines added by yours truly.

Top 10 Least Popular Organ Stops:
10. Quintadena (also known as the Quintaton - meaning the stop weigns five tons)
9. Cornet (not to be confused with Coronet, Coronet Toilet Paper, or the Dodge Coronet 440)
8. Voix Humaine (aka the Vox Humana, or Human Voice - which is OK until that human voice sounds like the Fat Lady. After all, it ain't over till the Fat Lady sings)
7. Tremelo (not to be confused with "Tremble" or "Tremor" - do not use the tremelo if you are in California)
6. Conn Trumpet (the trumpet stop exclusive not only to Conn organs, but early Allen and Hammond instruments as well - it's loud, it's raunchy, is it even a trumpet?)
5. Copula (This is the stop that is so loud someone calls the cops)
4. Cromorne (truthfully, this is nothing that a good Oboe or Cornopean can't replace. Besides - the German version of this is Krummhorn - not to be confused with a kinda "krummy" sounding horn)
3. Schanrkdoppelposaune (this is a 32' pedal stop that sends left-wing cafeteria Catholics packing)
2. Banjo (This was on a Lowrey organ installed in the church I grew up with as a teenager, can you believe?)
1. Anything activated by a drawbar with numbers from 1-8

Special thanks to our contributors:
Christus Vincit's own Jason and Nick, Lyn F. from the RPInet boards, our good friend Chris S., Charles from Land of Hope and Glory, and Matthew from The Dusty Choir Loft.



March 1, 2006
Ash Wednesday - 7 PM

Introit: IN BABILONE - There's a wideness in God's mercy (Music Issue, #423)
Responsorial Psalm: Peloquin - Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned (from Songs of Israel, Volume 1)
Gospel Acclamation: Tone 2 - Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory.
Distribution of Ashes: Mode I - Parce, Domine (Missalette, #117)
Offertory: Mode V - Attende, Domine (Missalette, #97)
Sanctus: Mass XVIII (Latin)
Anamnesis: Jubilate Deo chant - Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine
Amen: single Amen (slurred last syllable)
Lord's Prayer: Sacramentary chant - English
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII (Latin)
Communion: Gelineau - Blessed are they (Psalm 1)
Recessional: ST. FLAVIAN - Lord, who throughout these forty days (Missalette, #98)

March 5, 2006
I Lent - 4:30 (Sat.) / 7:30, 9, 10:30 (Sun.)

Introit: ST. ANNE - O God, our help in ages past (Music Issue, #457)
Penitential Rite: parrot the celebrant
Responsorial Psalm: Carroll/Gelineau - Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant
Gospel Acclamation: Tone 2 - Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory.
Offertory: ST. AGNES - Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless (Music Issue, #352)
Liturgy of the Eucharist Ordinary: same as Ash Wednesday
Communion: Mode V - Attende, Domine (Missalette, #97)
Recessional: ST. FLAVIAN - Lord, who throughout these forty days (Missalette, #98)

Lord, who throughout these forty days - While this hymn is merely functional in terms of Ash Wednesday (kicking off the season of Lent), the Gospel reading for the First Sunday is Jesus' trek to the desert for forty days and forty nights, fasting and praying.
Shepherd of Souls, refresh and bless - Gospel acclamation for Sunday uses the verse Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. The hymn reflects that in its second verse.
The Gloria is omitted on all Sundays of Lent. The Alleluia is replaced by the Gospel Acclamation Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory. No alleluias in any hymn texts either, for that matter. We will be chanting the Gospel Acclamation, Latin Sanctus, Anamnesis, Amen, English Lord's Prayer, and Latin Agnus Dei a capella throughout Lent and Holy Week, except for the Fourth Sunday (Laetare Sunday). On the Fourth Sunday, the chants (same settings) will be accompanied (except the Amen and Lord's Prayer).


Saturday, February 25, 2006


Friday, March 10, 2006
6:30 PM Stations and Benediction, followed by a talk on Liturgical Music by Helen Hull Hitchcock, editor of the Adoremus Bulletin, and founder of Women for Faith and Family.

Last year Mrs. Hitchcock gave the people of Holy Ghost a wonderful talk called Liturgy - What's with All the Changes? (link is to my blog post from 3/30/05) With all the escalating hype on music (between the Holy See, the USCCB, and much of Catholic blogdom), especially as of late, this will be a must-hear!

If you're in the southern New England area on March 10, come on down to Holy Ghost Church. You'll be glad you did!

Other liturgy-related talks will be happening during Lent as well. Holy Ghost's own Laurie Biszko will be giving a talk on Active Participation. Father Jay Finelli (the iPadre) will be giving three talks - What is Liturgy?, and The Mass - Parts 1 and 2.

There's going to be some great liturgical education going on (or as my older daughter used to say jokingly, "ed-u-ma-ca-tion").



First of all, a big congratulations to all winners of the Catholic Blog Awards.

Now, here's an award for the Christus Vincit Team:

Under what category (in 2007, that is) has yet to be decided!

Musical Heritage at Risk?

This just arrived in my mailbox courtesy of NPM, of all people.....

Martin Baker, Master of Music at London's Westminster Cathedral, argues that the musical heritage of the Catholic Church is in danger of being lost. Baker also contends that the practice of musical liturgy at Westminster Cathedral provides a model that deserves support from church leaders. Read his article, A Musical Heritage at Risk, that was recently published in the British Jesuit journal, The Tablet.

The Choir of Westminster Cathedral.


This story from the Miami Herald. Hat tip to Carl Olsen at Ignatius Insight Scoop.

It's the story of the "National Catholic Church" and other "independent catholics" who reject the teachings of Holy Mother Church (the Vatican). Father Joseph Fessio, who is provost of Ave Maria University in Naples, FL, says that "groups that reject the authority of Rome are 'by definition' no longer Catholic."

''To be a Catholic is to accept the authority of the bishops in union with the pope to determine what we believe,'' said Fessio, a former theology student of Cardinal Joesph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. 'To say, `I want to be a Catholic but I don't want to accept all the teachings the church declares as part of myself' is like saying, 'Well, I want to be an employee of Ford Motor Company but I don't want to follow any of their rules.' '' (quote from story)

Why, there is even Traditional Catholic, Old Catholic, United Catholic (not to be confused with United Methodist) and Ecumenical Catholic. But, they're not really Catholic.

More from the story:
"Roman Catholic Church officials say calling such churches Catholic can be misleading, however.

''Our concern is that Roman Catholics aren't confused by the use of the word Catholic,'' said Mary Ross Agosta, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Miami. 'At times, we have received phone calls from people who say, `I went to the Catholic church in my neighborhood and it wasn't a Roman Catholic church.' ''

The Archdiocese of Miami issues periodic disclaimers in its diocesan newspaper warning against Catholic churches that are not under the authority of the Vatican. Other U.S. dioceses take similar measures."

The Diocese of Providence also has taken similar measures when news got big of a St. Patrick's "Catholic" Church in nearby Cranston, stating that attending "Mass" at St. Patrick's Church in Cranston does NOT fulfill one's Sunday obligations as a Roman Catholic.

I'll let you read the rest of the story. (I know, spoken like Paul Harvey. LOL)



Update to previous post:

The organ in that post isn't a Hammond after all. Apparently it's been a while since the Hammond site was updated.

Here is the real builder - Content Organs. The three-manual model shown in the last post is a D6800. The MIDI expander in the last post: also a Content. You see, according to a couple of posts I read on the Yahoo group Organchat, Content and Hammond parted company about a year ago.

Man, just when I thought Hammond was really building REAL church organs! Back to the drawbar board for them I guess.


Friday, February 24, 2006


I'm surprised that the Ignatius Press website doesn't list it. I'm not surprised that this isn't the translation used for our Lectionary readings and Psalms. It's the Ignatius Catholic Bible - RSV Second Catholic Edition.

Hat tip to Rox, who submitted this comment (snippet below) to this article at the Closed Cafeteria. (Hat tip to Gerald for writing the article also, which triggered off the ICB-RSV2CE).

"Ignatius has, in addition to the RSV, just come out with a Rome-approved RSV Second Catholic Edition (Edition was revised according to Liturgicam Authenticam)."

If that parenthesized sentence holds true, then perhaps the USCCB should give some thought to including use of this translation (as our Lectionary) in the Missal re-translation process.



If this Hammond sounds as good as it looks below (by looking at this console, first of all, can you even BELIEVE this is a Hammond???)...

then they just might have come a long way!

This is their latest classic product line. Even their two-manual CS-235 doesn't look all bad. The link to that (and all the other "classic" models) is in the sidebar of the product page. And check out those specs. Can you believe??? REAL stops! REAL STOPS, I say!!! And they're even using traditional organ terms, like swell, great, choir, manual, ranks (can you believe that one?), pistons (instead of the contemporary term presets).

There's even this CSE-220 - pipe voice expander (below), which can be hooked up to any of the more not-so-churchy models (like the E-200 that's in my former church, or the B3).

This gives a new meaning to SHOCK AND AWE. Let's just hope the sound is just as good. Can it compete with Allen, Rodgers, Johannus, and Ahlborn-Galanti? Or even Phoenix or Marshall & Ogletree Legacy Organ? Too bad they don't have a "listening room" page (Allen has one of those, as does Legacy).

This is a giant leap for Hammond. My suggestion to the Hammond people: offer to take in the older Hammonds (E200's, B3's, etc.) as trade-ins toward the purchase of one of the new "classic" models they're offering today.

BTW, check out the intro page. Looks and sounds like a blast from the 60's and 70's.



This CNN article - courtesy of Charles at the Land of Hope and Glory.

Now - ya think Rhode Island would want to follow suit here? Yeah, Rhode Island, a state whose population is over 60% Catholic. Even better, let's just send a wake up call to ALL 49 remaining states!



The Curt Jester reports from the Vatican that the Holy See has released a new edition of Linux - Red Hat Vatican Edition!

Available at your nearest religious goods store AND your nearby OfficeMax!

This is the stuff that got Jeff four awards - Most Humorous, Most Creative, Most Bizarre Blog, and Most Bizarre Blog Post! Congrats Jeff!


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cheat Sheet....errrr....New Link Added

To aid you in Assignment Christus Vincit, I have added a link to The Encyclopedia of Organ Stops. Great fun. Information on everything from Aeoline to Zink, everything in between, and some really obscure stuff as well.

(Sorry, Brian and Jason, there's no 32' Schnarkdoppelposaune....)


Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Greetings readers!
I'm looking for ideas for the Top 10 LEAST POPULAR Organ Stops. This top 10 list would be included in this Sunday's Christus Vincit Podcast (episode #18, forthcoming). The ten best ideas would be included, and those who posted them would get mention as well (and, if you have a blog, I'll even mention your blog on the show).

Deadline is noon (Eastern Standard Time) on Sunday February 26, 2006. Please use the comments link to submit your ideas.

Thanks much.




This in from The New Liturgical Movement.

A couple of quotes from the Holy Father:
"My predecessors”, the Pope said, speaking to them in Latin, “rightly encouraged the study of [this] great language in order to achieve a better understanding of the sound doctrine contained in the ecclesiastical and humanistic disciplines.”
“In the same way,” the Holy Father added, “we encourage the continuation of this activity, so that as many people as possible may perceive the importance of this treasure and attain it."


Ash Wednesday at the Cathedral

Entrance: Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days / ST. FLAVIAN

Kyrie: Chant (adapted from Kyrie IX)

Psalm 51: Michel Guimont

Gospel Acclamation: Chant (adapted from Kyrie IX)

Distribution of Ashes:
Parce Domine
Call to Remembrance -- Richard Farrant (Available HERE from the CPDL)
Create in Me a Clean Heart -- J. A. Freylinghausen

Offertory Hymn: Forty Days and Forty Nights / AUS DER TIEFE (HEINLEIN)

Offertory Anthem (7pm): Lacrimosa (from REQUIEM) -- W. A. Mozart (Available HERE from the CPDL)

Sursum Corda chanted in English

Sanctus XVIII chanted in Latin (Jubilate Deo)

Mem.Acc. "Dying you destroyed..." chanted in English (melody adapted from Jesu Dulcis Memoria)

Amen: simple chant

Introduction, Lord's Prayer, Embolism, Doxology: chanted in Latin

Agnus Dei XVIII chanted in Latin (Jubilate Deo)

Communion: Attende Domine

Communion Anthem (7pm): O bone Iesu -- Marc'Antonio Ingegneri (erroneously attr. to Palestrina. Available HERE from the CPDL)

Recessional: The Glory of These Forty Days / ERHALT, UNS HERR


Yes, folks! It's never really been promoted till now, but there is a feed that you can subscribe to for this blog. No, it's not the same feed I use for the podcast. The feed URL, for those interested in subscribing, is http://feeds.feedburner.com/christusvincit. Or, you can simply click on that little black box in the sidebar with the number inside it (today it's a zero).


Jason has been in the scriptorium

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything for Christus Vincit. Among other things, I have been exploring the inner recesses of the Liber Usualis as well as the current chant books in search of interesting items. You see, the parish choir at Fatima Church is currently learning to read chant notation and has already mastered the Missa XVII for use in the Lenten season. They learned the neumes very quickly. I first had them sing the Missa VIII from chant notation, since they were already extremely familiar with it, most of the singers able to sing that ordinary by heart. Some weeks later, I distributed to them a hand-out I had prepared which explained basic chant tonality and the names of the various neumes. Of course, I had to print the first verse of the famous Ut Queant Laxis of Paul the Deacon (8th century), from which the note names were drawn (do, re, mi, etc.). This particular chant sent me on a quest for answers: why is the text of this chant so different from the other chants, by and large? Why does this text present such a difficult read? I found the answers in closer study of the text, as well as by conducting some good old fashioned research. I noticed that the closing doxology of the Ut Queant in the Liber Usualis does not conform to the style of the previous verses. And what explains the strange syntax and lofty vocabulary: why use "queant" when most any Latin author would probably have just used "possint". Paul the Deacon you see, was a member of the literary circle, so to speak, of Charlemagne (Alcuin of York was another member, referred to in the court not as Alcuin, but as "Flaccus", after the Roman poet Horace), and this text, the Ut Queant, is a prime example of the literature (yes, I say literature, not chant) of the Carolingian Renaissance. That said, I removed the text from the chant and wrote it out to find that what I had before me was not the typical poetry of a Scripture-based chant text, but a neatly and very cleverly composed set of classical Sapphic strophes. Paul the Deacon had used a classical poetry model for his Hymn (Ode) to John the Baptist. The meter is determined by the value of the long and short syllables according to vowel placement in relation to the consonants in each line. Contemporary verse, on the other hand, as we all learned in school, is scanned according to the natural stress in each word. Classical poetry presents a poetic formula/matrix into which the words are forced. Modern poetry presents words which by nature create a poetic pattern. This explains the word choice: queant scans correctly according to the number of long's and short's required for the Sapphic Strophe. The final doxology scans correctly, but just doesn't have the same flair as the rest of the work. I surmise it was added later, when the text was set to music. The entire text of the poem consists of some 13 verses in all. Looking through the Cantus Selecti, I turned up another bit of the complete poem entitled "O nimis felix" with another doxology of a different style like the one attached to Ut queant. In the Antiphonale Monasticum, yet another section of the poem is to be found in the guise of "Antra". Intrigued by the work, I searched for a translation into English. Finding none, I explored the text even further, and prepared my own translation of the text. When I figure out how to do it, I will record the original Ut Queant in Latin recited in Sapphic Strophes. The chant melody, you see, disregards the original scansion and treats it like a prose text, so the originally intended stresses are lost. Read aloud in Sapphic strophes, we come upon a long-forgotten polished gem of Catholic poetry. The classical references to Olympus and to the garlanded sacrificial victim are not by chance. Remember, Paul the Deacon is preserving the classical artistic ideal in contemporary verse. His listeners would have understood the references, and moreover, they make even clearer the nature of the matrydom of the Baptist, desert eremite. Here's my translation:

Paulus Diaconus (ca. 725-799)
Hymn in honor of St. John the Baptist, “Ut queant laxis resonare fibris”
Translated: Jason A. Pennington, 2006

So that The wonders of your deeds
resound the very fiber of your servants
Purify the guilt of polluted lips,
O, Saint John!

A messenger from high Olympus,
Informed your father of your birth;
Revealed your name and, in time’s course,
The life-revealers’ sequence.

Doubtful of the heavenly promise,
One destroyed the mean of eager tongue;
But you restored by birth the voice
Struck dumb.

Within the unseen cradle of the womb,
You sensed the King within His chamber,
Hence, each mother swelled concealed
By the merits of a son.

You sought out tender desert caves
In year-long flight of pressing mobs,
Lest only by a meager fasting
You might mark your life.

The camel offered you its hairy garment;
For your loins a ram’s wool belt;
Liquid honey offered drink, and as food,
Its sweetness shared with locusts.

Other prophets sang with hearts
Foretelling future sunshine;
But you point out the one,
To take upon himself our fault.

Within the vast entirety of Earth
Was never born one holier than John,
Worthy to wet in sacred springs that Man
Who cleansed the world of scandal.

O you too fortunate and of heavenly merit
Not knowing disgrace of snowy modesty,
Most powerful martyr, desert eremite,
Greatest of sages!

Some with garlands thrice ten crowned,
Others doubly wreathed in greater increments;
Garlanded in triple heaps one-hundred-fold with profit
are you, holy one.

Now strong with fertile merits,
Repel our breast’s obdurate stone,
Make plane the rugged journey, and straight
The crooked path.

So that the just Creator and Redeemer when He comes,
Vulgarity expunged from undefiled minds,
Might duly deem it worthy
To set His sacred steps.

Inhabitants of heaven praise You, God,
Simple, and yet equally triune.
Hear our humble plea for mercy:
Spare the redeemed!


So, how do you like the facelift I gave the blog? The podcast site got a similar facelift, using white and yellow.

Also, Nick added a new link on the sidebar - the Choral Public Domain Library. Very useful in getting sheet music that is no longer copyrighted, free! I got Stainer's God So Loved the World from there.


UPDATE 2/22/06: Try this one - the white, with Ordinary Time Green sidebar (I'll make it purple on Ash Wednesday LOL). -BMP

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

OT 8 at the Cathedral

Prelude: Prelude in E-flat -- Alexandre Guilmant

Entrance: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven / LAUDA ANIMA (desc., C. S. Lang)

Gloria: Carroll T. Andrews (Peter Jones at 9:30)

Ps. 103: Michel Guimont

Alleluia: Janco in D

Offertory Hymn: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee / HYMN TO JOY

Offertory Anthem: Jubilate Deo in F -- John Ireland (Available here from the CPDL)

Sanctus: Vermulst Peoples Mass

Acclamation: Englert in C

Amen: Danish

Agnus Dei: Proulx in F

Communion: At That First Eucharist / UNDE ET MEMORES

Recessional: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty / LOBE DEN HERREN

Postlude: Poco vivace (Kleine Praeludien und Intermezzi) -- Hermann Schroeder

Monday, February 20, 2006


This in from Pontifications.

First of all, this is one popular article, obviously (109 comments as I write this, and Alvin Kimmel only wrote it YESTERDAY). But so true in many circuits. Them cantors (song leaders) like to fly now don't they? They look even more winged in vestments. They want YOU IN THE PEW to sing, but they still want themselves to sing louder - even louder than the choir, who are probably singing their hearts out!

Mr. Kimmel even quotes the famous "Mr. Caruso" chapter in Thomas Day's Why Catholics Can't Sing, a book I STILL think should be required reading in the seminaries, and for those laity studying liturgy or church music.

"Bring back the cantor and put her into the choir. Restore her to her proper role. Catholic liturgy would improve a hundred-fold over night!", concludes Mr. Kimmel.

Kudos for a great article.


Sunday, February 19, 2006


Yes, the last Sunday before Lent! So, our Offertory has some Alleluias in it. It's the last time we'll be able to do that until the Easter Vigil.

Saturday 4:30 / Sunday 7:30, 9, and 10:30

All numbers are in the Music Issue.
Introit: EIN' FESTE BERG - A mighty fortress is our God (#442, using the Luther/Hedge verses)
Penitential Rite: parrot the Celebrant
Gloria: Peloquin - Mass of the Bells (last time we can do that till Holy Thursday)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm Tone 8G - The Lord is kind and merciful
Alleluia: Chant, Mode VI
Offertory: LAUDA ANIMA - Praise, my soul, the King of heaven (#565)
Sanctus, Mysterium, and Amen: all from Jubilate Deo (in Latin, except for Amen, which is Hebrew)
Lord's Prayer: chant in English
Agnus Dei: Jubilate Deo (in Latin)
Communion: Deiss - Grant to us, O Lord, a heart renewed
Recessional: ASH GROVE - Let all things now living (#544)

My choice of the Introit hymn is inspired by the Introit found in the Gregorian Missal, whose verse roughly translates I love you, O my Lord, my strength, my fortress, my rock, my Liberator.
Other choices were based on suggestions in the NPM Planning Pages, and the CanticaNOVA Planning Pages.
Beginning Wednesday, March 1 (Ash Wednesday), the Ordinary of the Mass will be chanted a capella, with the exception of March 26 (IV Lent, or Laetare Sunday). This practice will continue through Holy Week.

+In Christ,

Saturday, February 18, 2006

NEW TOP TEN - Cathedral Style

Top Ten Least Popular Features in Today's Cathedral Churches!

In light of some of the ugliest new cathedrals being built,

and there are blogs a-plenty on some, here they are:

#10 - They're round or oval-shaped buildings, often with this funky looking thing that passes for a tower planted in the middle. (Yeah, I worked for one of them, wasn't a cathedral, but someone I know once called it "Our Lady of the Big Top")
#9 - Stadium style seating
#8 - Full stage behind the altar
#7 - Mural behind altar, supposed to look like angels, but one has arms stretched out to look like a Vegas dance act.
#6 - Cathedra is a barstool (Cathedra, btw, is the "bishop's chair")

#5 - Pipe Organ Case looks like the one at the Disney Concert Hall

(LOL - Hey, at least it's a pipe organ!)

#4 - Your cantor today: the local Frank Sinatra sound-alike!
#3 - Surround Sound
#2 - Projection screens above the altar for everything from song lyrics to bingo numbers


Friday, February 17, 2006


Also available in podcast form. Gerald has three episodes done - all on liturgical Latin. Check it out!


Time Marches On...

Someone on another forum asked for some information about the history of chant, and it caused me to dig out my Concise History of Western Music. Consequently, I've been sidetracked today because I haven't read up on my music history in some time. In the chapter on French and Italian music in the fourteenth century, I found a quote of one Jacques de Liege, who was railing against the ars nova, and his writings struck me as being similar to what one could hear from any number of critics of modern liturgical music.

And I quote.........

"In a certain company in which some able singers and judicious laymen were assembled, and where modern motets in the modern manner and some old ones were sung, I observed that even the laymen were better pleased with the ancient motets and the ancient manner than with the new. And even if the new manner pleased when it was a novelty, it does so no longer, but begins to displease many. So let the ancient music and the ancient manner of singing be brought back to their native land; let them come back into use; let the rational art once more flourish. It has been in exile, along with the corresponding method of singing, as if violently cast out from the fellowship of singers, but violence should not be perpetual. Wherein does this studied lasciviousness in singing so greatly please, by which, as some think, the words are lost, the harmony of consonances is diminished, the value of the notes is changed, perfection is brought low, imperfection is exalted and measure is confounded?"

(from Speculum musicae, ca. 1325, Book 7, chapter 46, trans. by James McKinnon in Strunk, Source Readings in Music History, rev. ed. (1997); qtd. in Concise History of Western Music, Hanning (1998).)

Of course, we must remember that the new music that offended our dear Jacques is the work of Philippe de Vitry, Guillaume de Machaut, and their contemporaries -- regarded today as masters of the time -- and was longing for the return of the organa, clausulae, and quadrupla of Leonin and Perotin and the like. One of the high marks of ars nova music was the new use of what is now called duple meter ("imperfect"). The older, 13th century music, if metered at all, was "perfect" -- triple meter. Other rhythmic devices that were new for the time were syncopation and the hocket (and one only needs to listen to The Art of the Ground Round by P. D. Q. Bach to see the great fun that arises out of using hockets!)

Getting back to the point, after a foray into Music History Land, it seems to me that the battles we fight every day in regard to music in the Church is nothing new. Time marches on, and who knows what the next Jacques de Liege will be protesting 700 years from now.


It's All about Me!!!!

Well, it seems that we're not the only ones who are sick of ego-centric texts in praise songs. Check out the following link to a Protestant-Evangelical sermon-writing aide site for a parody clip. Too funny.



Tuesday, February 14, 2006

OT 7 at the Cathedral

Prelude: Matins -- Healey Willan

Entrance: You Are Mine

Gloria: Carroll Andrews (Peter Jones at 9:30)

Psalm 41: Guimont

Alleluia: Janco in D

Offertory Hymn: There's a Wideness in God's Mercy / IN BABILONE

Offertory Anthem (9:30): Call to Remembrance -- Richard Farrant

Sanctus: Vermulst Peoples Mass

Acclamation: Englert in C

Amen: Danish

Agnus Dei: Proulx in F

Communion: Amazing Grace / NEW BRITAIN

Communion Anthem: Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God -- J.A. Freylinghausen

Recessional: Now Thank We All Our God / NUN DANKET

Postlude: Chorale Improvisation on "Nun Danket Alle Gott" -- Sigfrid Karg-Elert

Monday, February 13, 2006

(Cathedrals Under Construction Edition)

The Good:

Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, Houston TX (due to be finished Fall 2007).
Note: As the exterior is not yet complete, the interior is not there for me to make the call. However, the plans do call for a choir loft (YAY!). Beautiful cruciform design. Reminds me greatly of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.

The Bad:

Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland CA (due to be finished in 2008).
A cathedral? Really??? I was thinking concert hall for a moment. Kinda like Lincoln Center in New York City, or the Sydney Concert Hall in Australia.

The Ugly:
Inaugural concert at the Oakland cathedral by none other than the Minnesota Trinity.



...says our friend Gerald in his latest article at the Closed Cafeteria. My reply: keep praying the Novena for the Renewal for the Sacred Liturgy.

Or, you could visit the Curt Jester to get the new exorcism.

Or, you could read the interview given by Fr. Robert C. Pasley or any of the articles posted in Musica Sacra.

PS: Updates to this post are being given as I find them.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Now, hopefully we won't get another nasty storm. There is a good two feet of snow trespassing in my front yard. It's not very pretty out here!

Here's the music for Sunday VII (February 19, 2006):

Introit: LOBE DEN HERREN - Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Missalette, #132)
Penitential Rite: parrot the celebrant
Gloria: Peloquin - Mass of the Bells
Responsorial Psalm: Carroll/Gelineau - Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you
Alleluia: Murray
Offertory: ST. AGNES - Jesus, the very thought of you (Music Issue, #717)
Sanctus: Vermulst - People's Mass
Anamnesis: chant - Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine...
Amen: Danish
Lord's Prayer: chant, in English
Agnus Dei: Vermulst - People's Mass
Communion: Peloquin - The Lord is Kind (from "Songs of Israel, Volume 2")
Recessional: NUN DANKET - Now thank we all our God (Missalette, #133)

The recessional for this day actually is more based on the Communion in the Gregorian Missal, which translates, I will tell all your wondrous deeds... The Communion we are using comes from the second volume of the two-volume Songs of Israel collection by Alexander Peloquin. Easy four-part antiphon, gorgeous key change into the verses. Truly a beautiful piece.

+In Christ,

Saturday, February 11, 2006


From Pontifications:

Some highlights (parenthesized commentary is by yours truly):
"Putting the celebrant on the other side of the altar so he and the congregation could enjoy intimate community together was the single worst idea of the 20th century liturgical movement."
(Yeah, but now many of us know that yes, we CAN say a Novus Ordo Mass ad Orientem)

"I recommend Thomas Day’s Why Catholics Can’t Sing. Don’t let the title fool you. It’s a serious book."
(Note: I once handed the book title to a summer seminarian in 1996 and told him to tell his faculty that it should be required reading - right in front of one of the most progressive pastors to run a parish in my diocese, we're talking someone who thinks guitar is the only instrument that should be allowed in church!)

"Organ and piano probably remain the best instruments to accompany congregational and choral singing."
(Nah, deep six the piano too. The piano often leads to much of the same music led by the guitar, and is often part of the praise band. The organ, on the other hand, is THE best instrument to ensure full support of congregational singing.)

"The solo music leader stands in the front of the church, seeking to direct the congregation in the singing of hymns and responses. Of course, he doesn’t succeed. No one appears to sing, despite all his hand-waving. He just looks silly and out of place up there."
(pretty much in line Thomas Day's depiction of "Mr. Caruso" - three words: Get the book!)

"Good liturgists do not begin the liturgy with “Hello,” “Good morning,” or “Welcome.” "
(yeah, and by all means - avoid that "Please stand and greet our celebrant" crap! Not just when the Introit hymn is "Hail holy Queen enthroned above" or "Salve Regina" either. I mean ANYTIME!)

"Here’s where to begin: Burn every polyester chasuble. Think damask."
(Nah - save them for props for the forthcoming EWTN comedy, "That 70's Mass".)

"We need churches that evoke the sacred and embody the beauty of the Holy Trinity."
(That's right - not roundhouses that evoke the muzak of the Minnesota Trinity! I worked in one of them. It wasn't pretty.)

"Repeat after me: Banality is bad. Banality is bad. Beauty, grace, and poetry are good."
(Banality is bad. Banality is bad. Beauty, grace, and poetry are good. - There, I did it.)

Read the whole thing, and scroll down to Fr. Jay Scott Newman's "Worshipping the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness". Both of these articles are excellent.

This excerpt from Fr. Newman's article:
"Say Mass as though the people were not present. This means that the priest is thinking about, speaking to, and turned towards the Most High God."
(This makes me think of the plaque in the sacristy at Holy Name, where I once worked, and the text from the plaque was once mentioned by Fr. Finelli at Holy Ghost. It said, Priest of God, say this Mass as if it were YOUR FIRST MASS, YOUR LAST MASS, YOUR ONLY MASS. Beautiful inscription!)

+In Christ,
UPDATED: 2/12/06, 11:15 PM EST


(note the words "Liturgical Song" in the above title is deliberately in quotes!)

Five parodies - "Be not afraid", "Eagle's wings", "Sing to the mountains", "City of God", and "I have loved you" - by Christopher J. Garton-Zavesky, available exclusively at the Pertinacious Papist blog.

Funny stuff!


Hypocrisy in the New York Times

The following was forwarded to me through the diocesan Secretariat for Communications, and was written by a priest who is pastor of a neighboring parish and its mission.




Please ask ALL parishioners, clergy and faithful of the diocese to boycott the NEW YORK TIMES, i.e., cancel their subscription and refuse to buy the paper, in response to their heinous decision to attack our Catholic faith. The epitome of hypocrisy, the NY Times rightfully showed prudence, respect and restraint in not printing the Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad which is extremely offensive to any Islamic believer. At the same time, in the same paper and same article, the Times reprinted an image of Chris Ofili's “Holy Virgin Mary” (Arts Section, 2-08-06) which depicts the BVM in elephant dung. This filth was on display at the Brooklyn Art Museum and a few years ago (4-21-01), I attended a protest sponsored by TFP (Tradition, Family & Property) asking that such offensive things not be displayed. A couple hundred people peacefully demonstrated against such obscenities including a picture of a Crucifix immersed in a jar of urine. The Times had no problem in defending such atrocities then and now prints a copy of the elephant dung Virgin Mary while at the same time refuses to print a cartoon offensive to Muslims.

Catholics need to get up and speak out or be guilty of the sin of omission. Complain, write letters, join protests and boycott the NY Times until they apologize. Otherwise, the attack on our faith will continue and get worse. Perhaps the Blessed Sacrament will be next? And other Christians and Jews should be wary since their religions are not off bounds, only Islam, it appears.

I implore my brother pastors, priests, deacons, and faithful to say “enough is enough.” Toleration of such sacrilege is not diplomatic, it is cowardly and irresponsible. We must peacefully but steadfastly express our outrage or suffer the consequences of becoming completely irrelevant and incredible.

Father John Trigilio, Jr., PhD, ThD
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Marysville
Saint Bernadette, Duncannon

TOP TEN LIST for 2/11/06

Inspired by this article at catholicnews.org,

10. At your not-so-musically-involved day job
9. Sitting on a bench in front of your local Haagen-Dazs
8. Sitting on any bench, while eating Haagen-Dazs
7. The Bathroom
6. In a court of law, on the defendant's chair
5. At a Roman toga party while sharing a bong with friends
4. At the checkout line in a liquor store
3. On a McDonalds bench with the giant Ronald McDonald's right arm around you.
2. In Wendy's while eating chili (sidenote: if you must write your hymn there, make sure all your fingers are intact afterwards)
1. The Burger King drive thru!

To be included in forthcoming podcast!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Article on Latin and Chant in the Liturgy

by Nicholas F. Basehore, B.Mus

(as published in the Spring '06 edition of The Cathedral Chronicle, our quarterly newsletter)

Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.

These words, familiar to any former altar boys, are the opening lines of the Tridentine Mass: the order of Mass celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church for the 400 years between the ecumenical councils of Trent and Vatican II. Forty years ago, Vatican II allowed the Mass and other liturgies to be translated into the vernacular languages of each country. It did not, as some suggest, outlaw the use of Latin in our modern worship. On the contrary, Vatican II promoted the continued use of Latin in worship: “Steps should be taken enabling the faithful to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass belonging to them.” [1]

During Lent, we will continue the cathedral parish’s tradition of singing major parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, as well as the Kyrie (which is actually Greek, not Latin). This practice not only responds to the call of Vatican II, it also connects us with Catholics around the world, and helps us pass the Church’s musical heritage onto the next generation of Catholics. No other form of music is better suited for the Roman liturgy than Gregorian chant[2]. We will use a collection of chants known as the Jubilate Deo, a Mass setting comprised of the simpler chants from the historical and modern chant books. The Jubilate Deo was compiled in the wake of Vatican II so that the “full, conscious, and active participation”[3] of the faithful could be achieved, and is considered the minimum repertoire of Latin chants for every Catholic parish. It was issued on April 14, 1974 as a “personal gift” from His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, to the bishops of the world and the heads of the religious orders. An online edition of Jubilate Deo can be found at www.ceciliaschola.org/notes/jubilatedeo.html.

During Lent, we are asked by the Church to restrict the use of musical instruments. The human voice is the only required musical instrument in Christian worship; the pipe organ and other instruments are permitted as embellishments. (Our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches never use musical instruments in their worship at any time.) During Lent, however, we are restricted in the use of musical instruments: musical instruments are only permitted to support the congregational singing, and may not be played as a solo.[4] Consequently, there will not be preludes, postludes, or other instrumental music throughout most of Lent. The exceptions are the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday), solemnities, and feasts.[5] The stark simplicity of music during Lent is complemented by using the Latin chants, because we sing the chants a cappella (without instrumental accompaniment), and use the only musical instrument created by God: the human voice.

May God bless you as we enter the holiest time of the Christian year.

[1] Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), #54.
[2] Ibid., #116; General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani), #41
[3] CSL, #14
[4] GIRM, #313
[5] Ibid.

OT 6 at the Cathedral

Prelude: Berceuse (from "24 Pieces en style libre") -- Louis Vierne

Entrance: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling / HYFRYDOL

Gloria: Carroll T. Andrews (Peter Jones at 9:30)

Psalm 32: Michel Guimont

Alleluia: Janco in D

Offertory Anthem (9:30): There is a Balm in Gilead -- Spiritual, arr. Robert Lau

Offertory Hymn: There's a Wideness in God's Mercy / IN BABILONE

Sanctus: Vermulst Peoples Mass

Memorial Acclamation: Englert in C

Amen: Danish

Agnus Dei: Proulx in F

Communion Hymn: Gift of Finest Wheat / BICENTENNIAL

Recessional: Let All Things Now Living / THE ASH GROVE

Postlude: Prelude and Fugue in C Major -- attr. Bach

Wednesday, February 8, 2006


Check out this article from Dr. Phil Blosser.

I'm sure this will get published very quickly. Here are some excerpts:

"'Gather Us In' has always been my personal favorite, but my newest hymn,'We are the Apples of Your Eye' really speaks from my heart, and the crazy thing is the words came to me while I was waiting in line at Burger King," Haugen said.

Now, wouldn't you wanna at least go inside, sit down, and perhaps concentrate on what you're actually writing? Oh, that's right - One of the big three will pick it up anyways. But now, watch this...

In fact, he got so into the writing process, a woman in the car behind him had to beep her horn to prompt Haugen to move to the second window and pick up his order. "I could tell she was getting impatient with me, and for a split second I wanted to give her the finger. But then the melody and lyrics of my new hymn just kind of washed over me, saying, "Marty, God loves you. God loves her. Just get your burger and give thanks."

Should have gone inside. Avoid such confrontation and temptation to do such things like flipping off the driver behind you (luckily God stopped you first).

Haugen's new hymn features all those subjects his fans have grown to love over the years: banquets, acceptance, stars, flowers and, of course, the moon. He even managed to work in a couple of lines about his new puppy, Sparky.

Hymns for the Hound - coming soon to a Catholic hymnal near you (maybe a future edition of Glory and Praise, or Gather Apprehensive). Uh, would you like fries with that?

Now, what was that line about "instant music" cheapening the liturgy?


Tuesday, February 7, 2006


This post by The Curt Jester.

OK - a recently cleared pedophile* setting Pope John Paul II's texts to music? What's wrong with this picture??? I suppose this would be added to the already existing liturgical muzak that infests many of our parishes today. Let's hope not!

*Editorial note: My own opinion - I think he got away with it. Again, only an opinion. Too bad I can't prove it. I do remember one juror, after the trial, saying "He may have molested boys, but not necessarily THAT boy" (referring to the alleged victim in the trial).


Sunday, February 5, 2006


FEBRUARY 12, 2006

All numbers refer to the Music Issue (OCP, 2006)
Introit: ST. ANNE - O God, our help in ages past (#457)
Penitential Rite: parrot Father
Gloria: Peloquin - Mass of the Bells
Responsorial Psalm: Page - I turn to you, O Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation
Alleluia: Murray
Offertory: ST. COLUMBA - O breathe on me, O breath of God (#645)
Sanctus: Vermulst - People's Mass
Anamnesis: Jubilate Deo chant - Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine...
Amen: Danish
Lord's Prayer: Sacramentary chant - in English
Agnus: Vermulst - People's Mass
Communion: BICENTENNIAL - You satisfy the hungry heart (#337)
Recessional: ST. AGNES - Jesus, the very thought of you (#717)

Communion proper in the Gregorian Missal begins "They ate and were satisfied", thus the hymn choice, You satisfy the hungry heart. The Responsorial Psalm setting is one of my own, written in 1995, written in a Gelineau style, though using the Lectionary translation throughout.

+In Christ,

Saturday, February 4, 2006


...that means that Blogger is finally up and running again. I don't know what on earth happened? Neither does our own Nick, nor Gerald from The Cafeteria Is Closed, as they've been e-mailing me asking - unfortunately for them, I was just as clueless. I still am (LOL).

Let's just hope Blogger stays up. I'll have a podcast to put up either tomorrow or Monday.

BMP (three days cigarette free after 28 years of smoking - pray I can continue)

Friday, February 3, 2006


OK - This post from the Curt Jester is well over two years old (9/1/03 to be exact). I stumbled on it today (2/3/06) and laughed my hiney off!

This folks, is how to attend Mass.