Thursday, December 25, 2008
Holy Name of Jesus Church, Providence, RI
This morning I decided to go to the 9 AM morning Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Providence. Some might remember that I was music director there from 1999-2003 - four very happy years before being lured to another parish for a $12K raise and a year of unprecedented lies from the pastor that lured me there (including why I was fired). Talk about hindsight being 20/20. My biggest mistake EVER was leaving there!
I would have attended the 11 AM Extraordinary Form High Mass if I hadn't had family commitments this morning. Jacob Stott, the music director and organist, had told me that the schola was to do the Mozart Missa Brevis at that Mass. However, the 9 AM Ordinary Form Mass was also done very well.
In addition to the music list I offer here is some pictures I took after Mass. Please pardon the quality of some of these, as, with the exception of the first picture, I took these pictures with my cell phone (which, mind you, was OFF during Mass). I further invite Shawn Tribe and his team at The New Liturgical Movement, as well as the Musica Sacra people to use these pictures at their leisure. I say this because I do remember some pictures in previous posts at NLM (I'd say at least, if not almost, a year ago).
Holy Name is a very beautiful church, completed just around 1900 in a similar style to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
The six candle setting was used only at the Extraordinary Form Mass when I was there. Now it's used for the Ordinary Form Mass as well.
The Latin inscription on the high altar towards the top (hard to see in this picture, sorry) reads PASCHA NOSTRUM IMMOLATUS EST CHRISTUS. This is translated Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed.
This is the gallery pipe case - one of two organ cases in the main church. This is a 1911 Hook and Hastings organ of 18 ranks, with maybe a couple of borrowed stops, but most of the ranks are independent. Until the mid 1960's, this organ, originally a tracker (mechanical action) was the ONLY organ case in the church.
In the mid 1960's, there was a fire at Holy Name that did some damage inside, but, thankfully, the church was not destroyed. At that time, William J. Laws, Jr. (aka "Butcher Bill" to a number of organists and organ builders) changed the gallery organ action from mechanical to electropneumatic, added the above case in the chancel (accessible by a door located about a third of the way up the bell tower), a nine-rank unit organ. He also built a console (using Austin parts - his father had an agreement with the Austin Organ Company) that controls both organs.
Both Sunday Masses (the 9 AM Ordinary Form and the 11 AM Extraordinary Form) are in the Main Church. All of the Christmas Masses were also in the Main Church. The 9 AM Mass was Jacob at the organ and no cantor. The cantor also sang the vigil Mass, and was due in for the 11 AM Mass. Here is the music list for the Mass I attended, celebrated by Father Joe Santos (current pastor), and concelebrated by Father Jude Onochukwu (chaplain for the African Mass community who has an excellent sense of chant - he came to Holy Name about a year before I left there).
O come, all ye faithful...Adeste, Fideles
Psalm was recited (which surprised me, as I ALWAYS saw to it that it was sung, even if I had to sing from the console)
The Mode VI Alleluia was intoned by Father Santos.
The dialog before the Gospel was intoned by Rev. Mr. Alfred Marcello, a parishioner of Holy Name who will be ordained a priest in June. His First Mass will be at Holy Name. It is my opinion that Deacon Al will make a great priest (not to mention he chants very well).
Hark! the herald angels sing...Mendelssohn
People's Mass (Sanctus and Agnus)...Vermulst
Christ Has Died and Amen...Danish
God rest you merry, gentlemen...English
Joy to the world...Antioch
These next two pictures come from the Lady Chapel, which is adjacent to the Main Church, connected by a short corridor. The 4 PM Saturday Mass is celebrated here (with music), as well as most funeral Masses, some weddings, Marian devotions, and Stations of the Cross.
Sanctuary of the Lady Chapel. Note Mary behind the High Altar.
This is the six-rank Hook and Hastings tracker organ in the gallery of the Lady Chapel. Built in the mid 1880's, this organ is still played regularly.
One of the things I pride myself in was that, in 2000, I was able to talk then-pastor Father Kevin Fisette (of VERY happy memory - I also did the Extraordinary Form Mass with him at St. Leo's for a year, remember) into losing the OCP Muzak Issue and getting Worship III. For the one year that we had the OCP Muzak Issue, I used to create hymnal supplements, which the sexton would place in the back of said Muzak Issues (at my request, and Fr. Fisette's support).
One other thing unique about Holy Name, compared to any other parish I worked for as music director, is that the organist who replaced me kept things going as I had them, and in some cases improved on them. Any other parish that I worked for (or in the case of my last two - got sacked from) would hire people to undo whatever I had going.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I'll be doing my next CVA episode just after the New Year. I've just been busier than a one-legged monkey in a buttkicking contest - 60 hours a week, Christmas shopping, and trying my hand at writing some stand-up comic monologues.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
RSCT to Jeffrey Tucker.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Story from The Telegraph / RSCT to Argent (who gets a million points for proper use of the phrase "Idiots on Parade") / Snarky remarks mine.
Enduring favourites such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen are being altered by clergy to make them more "modern and inclusive".
But churchgoers say there is no need to change the popular carols and complain that the result is a "festive car crash" if not everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
It comes just a day after a Church of England vicar banned his congregation from singing O Little Town of Bethlehem because he believed its words do not reflect the suffering endured by modern residents of Jesus's birthplace.
Another clergyman has rewritten the Twelve Days of Christmas to include Aids victims, drug addicts and hoodies.
Tell him to save it for the next support group meeting. He'll need all the support he can get after that!
Steve Goddard, co-editor of the Christian website Ship of Fools, which is running a competition to find the worst example of a rewritten carol, said: "It's a festive car crash.
"Half the congregation sing familiar words from memory, while the rest stumble over revised alternatives. Our readers are telling us straight – for some new versions there should be no room at the inn."
Among the "theologically-modified, politically-corrected" carols encountered by visitors to the website are Hark the Herald Angels Sing in which the line "Glory to the newborn King" has been replaced by "Glory to the Christ child, bring".
WTF? Christ is no longer a King? He sure as hell isn't a queen, nor a jack for that matter. So that leaves the King.
The well-known refrain of O Come All Ye Faithful – "O come let us adore Him" – has also been changed in one church to "O come in adoration", both changes apparently made for fear the original was sexist.
"[One reader] wrote in asking if the original line was considered too gender-specific," Mr Goddard said. "But as he rightly pointed out, Jesus wasn't hermaphrodite, neither was he a girl."
But yet, certain clergy want to castrate him, and probably wish to be castrated themselves.
Churchgoers at one carol service will not be allowed to sing the words "all in white" during Once in Royal David's City in case they appear racist, while another cleric has removed the word "virgin" from God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.
Click here for another alteration of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen that was made last year, exclusively for Christus Vincit ANYWHERE (so yes, the alteration was, and still is, merely a joke). It was intended for a segment called Don't Do This at Church!
Real men don't bastardize Christmas carols, except for comic purposes that is!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'll probably come up with more thoughts while running my route at work. In the meantime, if you can think of anything that might happen in such a case, feel free to utilize the combox.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Second Sunday of Advent - December 7, 2008
On Jordan's bank the baptist's cry..."Winchester New"
Lord, let us see your kindness...Alstott
Alleluia...Proulx/Mode I ("Missa Emmanuel")
There is a longing...Quigley
Sanctus, Memorial, Amen, Agnus...Haugen ("Massive Cremation")
- (In the words of my late priest friend, Fr. Henri Morin, "Heyyyy whatareyagonna do?")
- (This tune, which Bernadette Farrell wrote for this, and for her Magnificat setting, is her absolute best. Actually really good. Almost reminds me of a David Evans tune called "Charterhouse".)
- O come, O come, Emmanuel (verses 3 and 4)..."Veni, Veni, Emmanuel"
Saturday, December 6, 2008
What I saw was nothing short of EXCELLENT!
I have the printed program for the 4:00 Vigil Mass for II Advent right in front of me:
Introit: Populus Sion (in Latin, with parallel English translation)
Kyrie from Missa Emmanuel
Psalm: Lord, let us see your kindness (from Worship III)
Alleluia wasn't listed here (I wish I was a fly on the wall - I'm sure it wasn't Celtic!)
Offertory: Deus tu convertens (again, in Latin with parallel English)
Sanctus, Memorial, Amen, and Agnus from Jubilate Deo
Communion: Jerusalem, surge (Latin, with parallel English)
- Hymn: Veni, veni, Emmanuel (with Latin refrain given for the congregation)
Recessional: Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates..."Truro"
The front page of the bulletin also includes the entrance hymn listed as "When the King shall come again" ("Gaudeamus Pariter").
The hymnal in the pew is Worship III. Though I'm not a fan of the bastardized texts, I still have to say that overall, this is the best hymnal currently in print published by one of the "big three" publishers. What went wrong in GIA's mindset after that is beyond me.
This is an EXCELLENT music program happening in a beautiful church. This COULD be your parish, with the right support!
Christus Vincit tips its hat to St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Beverly, Massachusetts!
Until said decree from the ICEL, the folks at Musica Sacra had some really good settings of the new translation of Holy Mass posted on their web page. As a result of said decree, the .pdf's AND .mp3's of said music have both been removed (a la the 403 "forbidden" error message, as opposed to the 404 "file not found error message).
So, of course, we now have to wait for settings by Marty Haugen a la Massive Cremation (or if you're in the UK, that's Paul Inwood a la Alleluia Chee-Chee, pictured at left), the to get first dibs on the Mass before any settings true to the Church's teachings can surface.
Jeffrey Tucker and Damian Thompson have excellent takes on this matter.
I'll let Jeffrey's post do the talking here. I wouldn't know where to start, but he makes excellent points.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Here's how the presidential limo evolved over the last few decades...
Harry Truman in the Lincoln made for Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower in a 1953 El Dorado
1950 Lincoln with the first bubble top - Eisenhower's idea
1961 Lincoln Continental X100 - John F. Kennedy was shot in this limo.
1972 Lincoln that made it through Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan
1983 Caddy - Ronald Reagan
1989 Lincoln - George H.W. Bush
1993 Caddy - Wild Bill Clinton
2001 Caddy DTS - George Dubya Bush
Recently upgraded for 2009 - the Obama-mobile!
RSCT to Gina, a friend of my wife Ann.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I was quite disappointed, as this church I attended this morning, St. Matthew's (now "Holy Spirit" as the result of a three-parish merge), had a long history of excellence in music - that is until one certain pastor screwed things up around 1990.
The present organist himself is rather good. However, he's had to bite many bullets. It's amazing he's lasted 17 years with the nutcases he's had for pastors. Until December 1988, pastors at St. Matthew's have supported excellent music, and the use of the 70-rank organ built mainly by Casavant Freres. Unfortunately, the last really supportive pastor died of heart failure on December 1988 at the young age of 55. The hymnal in the pews until 1990 was Worship II.
The replacement pastor ceased use of the four-manual gallery console (he had it disconnected completely) and purchased a refurbished three-manual console to play the gallery pipes.
Four pastors later, things aren't really any better. This morning's Mass was played entirely on the piano. Why one would want to resort to a piano during a penitential season is beyond me. It only leads to that "liberal agenda" that wants to take the "holy" out of "holy Mass". And just for proof, here's the music list:
Alstott...Lord, make us turn to you and Alleluia
- (Both of these are really good settings, but would have been served better on the organ. The Alleluia, written in a chant style, perhaps a cappella.)
Ridge...In the day of the Lord
- (Way too syncopated. Not only the anticipated ties, but the switching in time signatures from 4/4 to 6/8 back to 4/4 in just three bars. Obviously, no one sang!)
Proulx...Sanctus, Christ has died, Amen, and Agnus from Missa Emmanuel
- (Richard Proulx has written many good Mass settings. However, this is not one of them. It's simply overkill on Veni Emmanuel, and the Agnus tropes are not those prescribed by the Church. Lyn wrote a post on this matter on her Organ-ic Chemist blog and on Facebook. I commented on Facebook.)
Crouch...Soon and Very Soon
Not ONE solid core Advent hymn to kick off the season. And even OCP prints them in their worship aids.
Sorry Peter. Had to.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Still a nice sound, nice improv on the tune KINGSFOLD (as in "I heard the voice of Jesus say"), and well-executed by the organist in the video.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This is, yes, an actual product by Wee Believers. All the things a young boy needs to practice the priesthood (Roman Missal or GIRM not included, sadly).
The Curt Jester rightfully points out, however:
Though what about dissident little girls who want to be priestesses? Surely someone can come up with with a women's priest kit which would include poncho, stunningly ugly stole, chalice made out of earthenware, home made hosts made out of material surely to crumble, and a subscription to the National Catholic Reporter.
Let's not forget the cruise ship so that the "ordination" be held on water.
Coming soon: Wee Dissenters' Poncho Lady Kit!
Our 2200th post!
While more and more radio stations will be playing all that trash that passes for "holiday favorites" (er, "Christmas muzak"), and those Thanksgiving Day parade floats seem to focus more on Christmas themes these days than Thanksgiving, I'll be singing (in my head, since I don't have a parish to play in) "Now Thank We All Our God", "We Gather Together", "For the Beauty of the Earth", "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come", and "For the Fruits of this Creation" - hymns more appropriate for the day.
Also, I have the pleasure of enjoying a four-day weekend after working 10-12 hour days for ten days straight (well, Saturday was probably about eight hours). Tomorrow, I'll be sitting back and relaxing, while praying for all those poor souls that are working in the retail sector, while laughing at those who are actually shopping in the Black Friday rush.
Finally, while on a Thanksgiving theme today, my wife's been playing the latest in goofy commercials for Oven Ready Turkey. These are actually hilarious.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Courtesy of Paul Nichols
Gospel reading for 1 Lent cites the above words spoken by none other than Satan, to none other than Jesus, who was fasting in the desert. Jesus didn't fall for it. Let's not either.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia, the first Red Sox player to win the American League Most Valuable Player award since 1995, and the first second baseman to win it since 1959! Well deserved!
Congratulations also to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals for winning the National League MVP for the second time!
Very appropriate for this economy, eh?
On another economic note - my wife pointed me to this article from WJAR-TV (Providence) Channel 10's website where a lady was threatened with a lien over a bill for - get this - a PENNY!
The Associated Press
Published: November 18, 2008
ATTLEBORO, Mass.—A 74-year-old blind Attleboro woman was shocked when she got a letter from the city saying a lien would be placed on her home unless she pays an overdue water bill.
The amount? 1 cent.
Eileen Wilbur told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro the letter sent her blood pressure soaring, and pointed out that the stamp to send the letter cost 42 cents.
City Collector Debora Marcoccio said the letter was among 2,000 sent out. She said a computer automatically prints letters for accounts with an overdue balance, and they were not reviewed by staff before being mailed.
The letter warned of a lien and a $48 penalty if the bill is not paid by Dec. 10.
Marcoccio insists the bill be paid.
Wilbur’s daughter, Rose Brederson, called the situation “ridiculous.”
There is a follow-up to this story! After hearing about Wilbur’s story, a local man went to city hall and paid Eileen Wilbur’s bill.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
A few other Christmas rants and raves:
By the way, how will I be thanking my customers while in a Schwan's uniform as Christmas nears?
Thank you very much, and have a wonderful Christmas.
If the customer replies with "but I'm Jewish"...
Then have a wonderful Hanukkah.
If the customer replies with "but I'm an atheist"...
Then have a wonderful day anyways.
Kudos to Jo-Ann Fabrics for the huge banners (at their store's entrance) that say Let's Make Christmas Together! (albeit a bit early, but at least they're not afraid to say CHRISTMAS!)
I'm already boycotting three radio stations that are normally favorites of mine until Christmas is over: WWBB-FM (101.5 in Providence, aka "B-101"), WROR-FM (105.7 in Boston), and WODS-FM (103.3 in Boston, aka "Oldies 103.3"). These three have been playing non-stop "holiday favorites" (you know, that crap that passes for Christmas music these days) since freakin' All Saints Day. Again - I love Christmas, but when it's Christmas! If I want to listen to that crap non-stop, I'll go to a freakin' mall!
Finally, is it me or is the Salvation Army sending their bell ringers out a bit too early. Earlier this evening as my wife and I were exiting the nearby Shaw's supermarket, there was a bell ringer out there already doing her thing. Now I always throw in a buck or two here and there when I see them, especially as it gets closer to Christmas. Today I did rest this bell ringer assured that I will start throwing money in once it gets closer to Christmas. Thankfully she got her holidays straight and wished my wife and me a happy Thanksgiving (I know - our Canadian readers celebrated their Thanksgiving over a month ago, on our Columbus Day).
Oh, and here's the YouTube version of the Tossmas video. Big kudos to Stuart Shepherd!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
On the blogs:
Promo For Christus Vincit: The Blog
Woohoo: A blog Promo– and it was easy to find too– Brian posted it to the sidebar of the blog– a very good idea for bloggers and podcasters.
If you’re a Catholic Blogger who would like to have an audio promo for your blog I’m willing to act as a matchmaker between Catholic bloggers and podcasters who would be willing do do a short audio promo for blogs. Or if you are a Catholic blogger with audio equipment, you could do one yourself and send it to me–
PS: Welcome, Sean, to the CV Definitve Blogroll!
Strong language alert!
To me, pro-choice is:
- being able to choose what kind of car you're going to drive
- being able to choose where you want to go to church and worship Almighty God
- being able to choose where you want to live and work
- being able to choose where you want to send your kids to school
- being able to choose whether or not you want to by your frozen foods from a supermarket or off one of our Schwan's trucks (had to get that one in)
Supporting abortion rights is NOT pro-choice. What choice did the baby have? Someone screws up by getting laid at the wrong time and covers up the "consequence" by killing an innocent child? That's not pro-choice. That's pro-bullshit!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
(Extraordinary Form Low Mass)
St. Leo the Great Church, Pawtucket, RI - November 16, 2008
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that this will be the last extraordinary form Mass at St. Leo's. The attendance has been extremely poor as of late, and the parish is losing its collective shirt over it. The collection at last month's extraordinary form Mass was just barely enough cover my paycheck (after I got paid, there was TWO DOLLARS left!).
How does this affect my working relationship with Fr. Fisette? It doesn't. In my 27 years as an organist in various parishes, I consider Fr. Fisette the best priest I've ever worked with (and one of very few around here that I trust). He's always been supportive of my work, my decisions, and any time I work with him, I am most comfortable. He's an excellent pastor, an excellent homilist, and an excellent employer (remember - I also worked with him at Holy Name). Those feelings have not changed, as, unlike my last two dismissals, this one is NOT a reflection on me or my work as a parish musician. Besides, at least I got advance warning this time, as did the parish via the bulletin.
Anyhoo, here is the final music list...
The kingdom of God..."Laudate Dominum"
Ave Verum Corpus...Mozart
Pange Lingua Gloriosi...Mode III
To Jesus Christ, our sov'reign King...Ich Glaub an Gott
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Here's the skinny by the American Papist.
As the American Papist rightfully states, it doesn't take a black U.S. President to determine such a "trend". As much as I really like Pope Benedict XVI, I would have no problem with seeing Cardinal Arinze as Pope either.
The big difference between Cardinal Arinze and President-elect (cringe!) Osama Obama is that the Cardinal knows where it's at.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I'm still working on CVA #149. I should have it done within the next couple of days. This is what happens when you're on 60-hour work weeks.
Anyhoo, the contest I've been announcing had a deadline of November 1. I will extend it to November 10. For details, please listen to CVA #148 or CVA #147. The winner will be announced on CVA #150.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
St. William Church, Warwick, RI
This is the weekend that my good friend Reuel Gifford was supposed to begin his new position as music director at St. William's, reuniting with a really good pastor he had worked with in a previous parish (until that pastor was reassigned to St. William's). However, the poor guy's been sick as a dog for the last couple of days. He landed up calling me Friday night to cover a funeral yesterday for him - he didn't sound too good at all. Some may remember that Reuel was my accompanist for a couple of choral concerts I conducted while I was music director at Holy Ghost. So, please pray for his recovery so that he may finally start work soon, and decent music will be restored at St. William's.
The organist who filled in at the 10:30 Mass this morning was awful - holding down chords with the left hand and the melody with the right, using the same stops throughout the entire Mass (using only the one expression pedal - the organ's an old Allen - for dynamics). Reuel had picked out the music, and with the exception of Communion, the substitute played what Reuel had picked, albeit terribly.
The pew books are Today's Missal and the Music Issue.
LASST UNS ERFREUEN...Ye watchers and ye holy ones
Alstott...The Lord is my shepherd and Alleluia (the 3/4 setting in C)
- (however, the cantor chanted the verse to Tone 8G, in G. C would have been a better key. Also, she announced the Psalm, which was really not necessary.)
Toolan...I am the bread of life
Schubert, adapted by Proulx...Sanctus, Christ has died, and Amen from Deutsche Messe.
Olawski...Agnus Dei (blech!)
Lowry...Shall we gather at the river
- (double blech! especially with the staccato chords - one for each quarter note. Reuel did NOT pick this, rest assured! If anything, once he finally starts work there, that kind of nonsense will cease!)
GOTT VATER! SEI GEPRIESEN...All praise and glad thanksgiving
The cantor, of course, announced "gathering", "preparation of the gifts", and "sending forth". At Communion she simply announced "let us sing...". Another dang extraordinary minister of Holy Communion attempted to put Jesus in my hands again. One thing went over good - Fr. Salmani, the pastor, gave an EXCELLENT homily. He really says Mass with class.
Dedication of St. John Lateran - November 9, 2008
9:30 and 11:00 AM - St. Peter Church, Warwick, RI
Next Sunday, I'm covering for two Masses at St. Peter's in Warwick. All decent selections (I didn't pick'em) except for the closing hymn. The organ is another Allen, probably from the mid 1970's. (One should note that a 30-year-old electronic organ is fairly old, while a 30-year-old pipe organ is still fairly new, especially with proper maintainance.)
The pew book is We Celebrate.
AURELIA...The Church's one foundation
Joncas...Let us go rejoicing
- (Though the seasonal Psalm for the "Last Weeks of Ordinary Time", part of this Psalm is also a translation of the Gradual of the day as found in the Gregorian Missal and Graduale Romanum.)
- (I'm cantoring from the organ console, so the verse will be sung to Psalm Tone 6F)
ST. CATHERINE...Faith of our fathers, living still
Vermulst...Sanctus from People's Mass
Danish...Christ has died and Amen
Olawski...Agnus Dei (blech!)
BICENTENNIAL...You satisfy the hungry heart
Schutte...City of God
- (triple blech! especially on a feast where we commemorate the dedication of the Pope's Cathedral in Rome! Christ is made the sure foundation or even A mighty fortress is our God would have been much more appropriate.)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I have a setting of my own for free use at Chabanel. Feel free to print and use next Sunday if you wish.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI
EIN' FESTE BERG...A mighty fortress is our God
- They used the text written by the wife of Robert Schuller (of Hour of Power fame)
Alstott...I love you, Lord, my strength and Alleluia
PICARDY...Christians, let us love one another
Proulx...Sanctus, Christ has died, and Amen from A Community Mass
Isele...Agnus Dei from Holy Cross Mass
Peloquin...Faith, hope, and love from Lyric Liturgy
- My eyes lit up like a pinball machine when I heard this! I was in my glory!
AZMON...The Spirit sends us forth to serve
Friday, October 24, 2008
In my experiences, the only parish with a liturgy committee that I've worked with that didn't butt into musical affairs was Holy Name. There was one representative from each department - myself for traditional music, a rep for the Extraordinary Form Mass (outside of music), a rep for the gospel choir (we never clashed, by the way - the gospel choir had their one Mass and I basically let them do their thing and they left me alone), a rep for decor, one for servers, lectors, you get the picture, and of course, the pastor. We more or less "reported" what we did and/or what we're doing in each department every other month. I had absolutely no problem with getting Worship - Third Edition into the pews there in 2000 (and the Music Issue out of the pews). Those hymnals are still in the pews at Holy Name today.
Unfortunately, this kind of liturgy committee was the exception.
Jeffrey Tucker has a whole skinny on your typical liturgy committee, the kind of committee a true organist/music director would find as the biggest mistake in parish liturgical life. The biggest nightmare committees are the ones that want to pick your hymns (I use that term very loosely in many of the pieces they choose), beg you to try some Haugen d'Hass (and I don't mean ice cream), or even want to pick your hymnals (someone just happened to get their hands on a Gather book and wanted to show it off to the committee - "Oh, look, MaryJo, ain't this cute? All Are Welcome! Doesn't that sound just like our mission statement?").
One could easily flash a copy of the Gregorian Missal. Now, THERE's a book with much more permanance than any hardbound hymnal from Adoremus to Worship to Gather Apprehensive. Why's that? It's the official chants of the Church, the music that the Church WANTS us to sing. It's singing the Mass, as opposed to just singing at Mass.
Better still, the hell with the liturgy committee! Go right to the pastor (hopefully he's supportive of good liturgy and not just "well, let's go ask the liturgy committee" - they typically won't make the right decision, even if they did know rubrics). After all, a really good priest will be your liturgy committee.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Earlier I had mentioned the "Youth Day" debacle that the UK bishops are passing for Mass as posted by our good friend Damian Thompson.
Also, consider this earlier mentioning of mine that youngsters get it when it comes to liturgy.
Now put the two together, and you got this nice revolt that young Catholics have started against the "Youth Day" Mass. (another RSCT to Damian!) Here are some comments already posted:
Down the phone, Martina, 25, makes gagging noises and wails: "They call that a liturgy? It's the chocolate that gets me. What is that about? Can't we just pray after Communion?"
"This has got to be a joke," reads an email from 24-year-old Charlotte, who is a member of a charismatic group. "I've never seen anything as stupid as this liturgy. It makes a mockery of God and mockery of the Mass."
Another email comes from Thomas, 22, who attends a normal Sunday Mass once a week at his university chaplaincy: "I just can't believe how tasteless, insipid and vile that Mass is."Damian closes with a remark of his own:
They'll be even sadder when they realise that genuine young people are sick of having their brains washed by Tabletistas, and will simply refuse to take part. Indeed, I gather that some Catholics in their teens and 20s will make a special effort to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form on that particular Sunday. (There's no room for comedy skits in the rubrics of Fortescue, as I recall.)I wouldn't be surprised either.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
The eleven-year-old in question: my daughter Brittany. She explained the White House hierarchy this way:
If the President of the United States dies, then the Vice President takes over.
If the Vice President dies, then the Oval Office goes to the Speaker of the House (as long as that speaker isn't Pelosi, I'm good with that)
If the Speaker of the House dies, then you go to Radio Shack and buy a new one.
Here are some highlights:
A "litany of penance" that asks God's forgiveness "For over-filling our kettles" (WTF???) and "For wasting paper" (The Music Issue comes to mind - making a new yearly issue to drop two or three good hymns like Christ is made the sure foundation and add new trash from Spirit and Song)
A prayer "that the tyranny of profit be quelled"
The distribution at Mass of Fairtrade chocolates wrapped in paper carrying an exhortation to switch to energy-saving lightbulbs (Please don't tell me this is in lieu of Holy Communion!)
Persuading the priest to wear a chasuble stitched together from recycled material (Double WTF???)
This is during the Mass for the Solemnity of Christ the King. And its performance is not just permitted by the Bishops of England and Wales: it is suggested by them. These are the same bishops who would not dream of suggesting a Mass using the ancient Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church - indeed, who do everything in their power to block its celebration.
One final touch. At the offertory, bread and wine are brought to the altar to be consecrated by the priest. But Youth Sunday doesn't want to stop there. The organisers have some further suggestions for "gifts" to be presented at the altar. You can probably guess what they might be, but let me confirm your suspicions: "Energy saving lightbulbs, recycling containers, fairly traded goods..."
Pardon me while I call my friend.
Monday, October 13, 2008
23rd Sunday after Pentecost - October 19, 2008
St. Leo the Great Church, Pawtucket, RI
"In Babilone"...There's a wideness in God's mercy
Dubois...Adoramus Te, Christe
"Crucifer"...Lift high the Cross
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I get the biggest charge out of the priest who says, "Everyone of us is a minister of the Eucharist." WTF??? Last I understood, the priest is the minister of the Eucharist.
It's great to know that yes, a 21-year-old knows a liturgical abuse when he sees one.
Anytime I call certain phone numbers and I hear "For service in English, press '1', para servicio in Español, marque '2'". These are the only two options I'm usually given. What if I wanted service in Polish, or Swahili, or Latin? Those options aren't available! Dang!
we'll be holding a hymn parody contest!
Write a parody about Krakowska Kielbasa, the official deli meat of Christus Vincit ANYWHERE! You can talk it up or down, whatever you like, as long as it's funny. The catch: you must set it to a standard hymn tune (yes, a REAL hymn tune), and the words must fit (no irregularities). Send your entries to bpage69
November 1, 2008 (All Saints Day) at 11:59 PM. (one minute later is 11/2/08 - All Souls)
Two pounds of Krakowska Kielbasa from my local Polish deli (I'll even send a Schwan's ice pack to keep it cold in transit to the winner's address), plus proper credit, as well as mention of the winner's blog and/or podcast.
If you're hungry for a good Polish deli meat, start writing!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
27th Sunday of Ordinary Time
BUNESSAN...This day God gives me
- (I actually have no problem with this tune. Many may frown on it because Cat Stevens - now "Yusuf Islam" - made it popular with Morning has broken, but I like it best with David Evans' accompaniment as found in the 1975 Worship II and the 1958 Pilgrim Hymnal.)
Alstott...The vineyard of the Lord and Alleluia
WERDE MUNTER...Jesu, joy of our (should be man's) desiring
Proulx...Sanctus, Christ has died, and Amen from Community Mass
Isele...Agnus Dei from Holy Cross Mass
- (I stopped singing after the Agnus.)
Norbet...Bread that was sown
Haas...We are called
- (The credit should read "David Haas, first line ripped off from Come Sail Away by Dennis DeYoung and Styx". The melody is just awful. Even the best of organists couldn't do justice to this one - and Paul is very good at the console. Sorry, Paul. I have to say it.)
SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2007
Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to Jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for Traumatized students and teachers.
Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.
Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
Pedro fails high school English.
Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.
Awful isn't it? Sad but true.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Story from CWN / RSCT NLM:
Vatican will drop Eucharistic Prayers for Children
Washington, Oct. 3, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican plans to remove the Eucharistic Prayers for Children from the authorized prayers of the Roman Missal.
Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, the chairman of the US bishops' liturgy committee, has disclosed the Vatican plans in a letter to the American bishops. He reported that the Congregation for Divine Worship plans "to publish a separate text at a later time."
The Eucharistic Prayers for Children, like many other liturgical texts, have been criticized for failing to convey an adequate sense of the sacred in the liturgy. In recent years the Vatican has made special efforts to recover that sense of the sacred, and to curtail the proliferation of liturgical texts in order to encourage consistency in the liturgy.
"This does not change our present practice," Bishop Serratelli wrote in his September 29 letter. The change will take effect at an unspecified future date.
However, the US bishops' committee has decided to suspend work on a new translation of the existing Eucharistic Prayers for Children. In light of the coming change, Bishop Serratelli said that he was removing that item from the agenda for the November meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Personally, I would have rather seen her run for president (both presidential candidates suck - my opinion - I wrote in Stephen Colbert in the primary and I'll do it again in November if I have to) instead of vice president. This girl GETS IT!
As for the Barbie thing - every Advent (and even a couple of weeks before) when I'm hearing all those tacky hideous pieces that pass for Christmas music, I start imagining what the market would be like with "Trailer Trash Barbie", or "Street Corner Barbie", or "Homewrecker Ken".
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Sarah Palin" in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain a virus.
If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Hillary Clinton", do not open it. It might contain nude photos of Hillary Clinton.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Pictures here. RSCT to Jeffrey Tucker.
PS: Think someone in my diocese or its neighbors to the north or east will follow suit? Or perhaps NaPalM?
Sunday, September 28, 2008
St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI
ST. THOMAS...O bless the Lord, my soul
Alstott...Remember your mercies, O Lord, Alleluia, and To you, O Lord
(The third title, which was the offertory, is not one of Owen Alstott's better works. The melody sounds more like something you'd hear at a 1971 folk Mass.)
Proulx...Sanctus, Christ has died, and Amen from Community Mass
Isele...Agnus Dei from Holy Cross Mass
Farrell...Christ, be our light
(On the other hand, this piece, by Bernadette Farrell, who is also MRS. Owen Alstott, IS one of her better works - if you compare it to stuff like God has chosen me, God beyond all names and that hideous Mass of Hope.)
NUN DANKET...Now thank we all our God
PS: I have a copy of the 2009 Music Issue. I'll be reviewing it soon.
Mozart proclaimed the pipe organ the “King of Instruments.” For centuries it has been the chosen means of musical support and inspiration for the church. It is the largest of all musical instruments and can speak with a whisper or a roar. The organ alone can produce both the highest and lowest pitches perceptible by the human ear.
The St. Cecilia historic pipe organ was built in the theatre-organ style and began life accompanying silent movies or for musical entertainment at a private residence. It was built by the Kimball Piano and Organ Company which was founded in Chicago in 1857 and is well known for its organs in St. Patrick's Cathedral NYC, the Atlantic City Boardwalk Ballroom, and the Mormon Tabernacle. The Kimball company's work was famous for its dedication to quality. In the words of one organ builder "Where others used four screws, Kimball used eight. They used silver on their key contacts and high tin content in their pipework. "
Kimball most likely built this organ in the in the early twentieth century. In the 20's as "talking pictures" were developed, many theaters sold their organs to churches and funeral homes. Many of the instruments did not survive.
Employed by Kimball as a sales associate was George Stanley, whose summer home in Bristol was neighbor to another belonging to the St. Cecilia's pastor at the time, Rev. Mathias A. Hebert. Reverend Hebert was the second pastor of St. Cecilia's, but was the first pastor of the 1935 church which exists today. When the organ was acquired circa 1950 Rev. Hebert hired organ builder Raymond Whalon to install the organ and transform it from theatre to church organ. As early as the 15th century liturgical pipe organs have specific ranks (sets of different sounding pipes) which combine together to create the unique organ timbre everyone recognizes.
Raymond Whalon had a long history in the profession. He studied voicing techniques with the pipe voicer of one the greatest organ builders of all time, Aristide Cavaille-Coll of Paris, France. Cavaille-Coll was the Antonio Stradivarius of organ builders. Whalon and his wife Marthe co-founded the the Welte-Whalon organ company of Portsmouth, RI. To complete the transformation, Whalon added almost 400 new pipes in three ranks of diapason (8', 4' and 2'), a four rank mixture, a bourdon, and string pipes. This addition to the existing pipework put the total number of pipes over 1,250. The console too was in the theatre style with a Wurlitzer-like wrap-around bolster. Whalon re-built the mahogany case to a traditional console design. The keyboard layout was changed from four manuals (keyboards) to three that correspond to the pipework organization familiar to church organists.
Following the installation, masses were played by Sisters Jeanne and Rose Soline until a permanent organist could be found. Reverend Hebert and Raymond Whalon were champions of the organ and saw to the organ's tuning and upkeep. So protective of the pipe organ was Rev. Hebert that he forbade budding organist Betrand Massé from using the organ until he completed organ lessons with C. Alexander Peloquin. Bertrand Massé fulfilled the requirement and became the titular organist at St. Cecilia's where he excelled in the position for 39 years.
Bertrand Massé brought the church's music program to the height of its glory. In the years following his arrival, the choir grew to an unsurpassed size. The pipe organ was the largest in the area and together they touched parishioner's spirits while accompanying countless masses, confirmations, weddings and funerals.
The technology of organ building was fairly advanced at the time. The console and organ use electro-pneumatic. The unit windchests use pitman stop action. As technology progressed some parts of the instrument have not changed. Better quality materials are available today, but the base materials themselves are metal, wood and leather. Every space-age substitute has been put to the test but these basic durable materials have stood the test of time. With climate conditions and low pollution, the leather used in the reservoirs and pallets of an organ can last for several generations. The leather on the St. Cecilia organ would be at least 60 years old. Dry leather, dust accumulation and the settling of the softer lead pipes are side effects of the aging process normally handled by routine maintenance.
Rev. Hebert left his post in 1967 and his stewardship of the organ had no successor. This left Whalon without an ally in the church administration. The maintenance cycle eventually came to a halt. The organ first showed serious signs of aging in the 80's. Stuck notes (ciphers) and silent pipes became a problem. The parish was growing in new ways and the care of the instrument was put on hold. In the late 1980's an organ student was allowed to enter the organ chambers for the purpose of maintenance. The student did more harm than good, leaving the organ in a barely playable state and making it clear that the upkeep was too difficult for an amateur to handle. It was shortly after this event that the choir was for the future accompanied by a small, electronic substitute organ.
Between the years 1997 and 2003 an organ fund was initiated and many parishioners contributed. The future looked promising again but was short lived. The fund was appropriated for other uses. In 2006 Bertrand Massé passed away after a 39 year tenure at the church. His loss was devastating to many, and the St. Cecilia's choir dwindled to a minimal size. Tragically, Raymond Whalon died later the same year— only months after he happily accepted an invitation to revisit the St. Cecilia organ. Interest in the pipe organ again was rekindled by several church and community individuals as a memorial to Bert Massé. A preliminary inspection of the organ by an established organist and former organ builder from Providence. The console and pipework were surveyed by Henri St. Louis and documented by a member of the Organ Historical Society. A replacement blower was found and purchased with funds given by a private donor. The original blower was located in a special room in the church hall and was able to quietly push wind up to the pipes two floors above. The original blower was discarded to enlarge the men's restroom in the church hall. The new blower can be directly connected to the ductwork in the organ chamber. Once the blower is reinstalled a more detailed assessment will be possible.
Pipe organs have a long life span of music making when cared for as evidenced by instruments in Europe dating 300-400 years old in perfect playable condition. The condition of St. Cecilia's pipe organ is far from terminal. The historic instrument has weathered neglect and a little misuse, but is intact and whole— nothing compared to the damage suffered by French and English churches bombed during World War II. Some of these organs are still play today. It is evident when visiting Europe that it places a high value on history. Works of art are cherished and the people take an active role in preserving them.
With the help and dedication of caring people, the St. Cecilia organ can once again be returned to its former glory. It is a sleeping beauty awaiting only an awakening kiss.
A PS from BMP: Here's a link to the stoplist. It doesn't include the pedal, however.
The aim of this series of adult classes will be to make the process both somewhat clearer and somewhat less individual; engaging in joint, do-it-ourselves, theology may help to enhance and deepen the place of hymns in our lives as Christians. During each of the four sessions several hymns will be looked at, primarily, as sources for theological reflection. At the same time, we shall try to remember that hymns are instruments of worship, and to that end we’ll consider the role of the tunes to which they are set – not by musical analysis but by singing through them ourselves. No musical ability is required or even expected.
At this workshop, one older gentleman was fearing that the hymn Now My Tongue the Mystery Telling, a translation of Pange Lingua Gloriosi set to the Mode III tune that most of us know, will disappear from the next hymnal revision, while a younger gentleman noted that chant and polyphony was making a resurgance. (I forgot to mention - this workshop is in an Episcopalian context).
Picture a version of Do-It-Yourself Theology in a stereotypical Catholic parish setting - if you dare! Picture your stereotypical CCD directors and teachers still hung up in the 1980's as they discuss their favorites from Gory and Puke and Gather Apprehensive. Picture that older gentleman who would love to see his favorite chant hymn retained in the next hymnal and get verbally abused by the "ladies of the '80's". Picture these same "ladies of the '80's" as they continue to ask the liturgical question, "What's in it for me?" "How can we entertain ourselves and each other?"
Speaking of those "ladies of the '80's", one CCD director I worked with in the early to mid '80's left the Catholic Church to become a minister who, along with one other woman, specializes in performing wedding ceremonies. It's amazing she didn't become a Poncho Lady (for you new people to the blogosphere, that's our trade name for a so-called "Roman Catholic Womynpryst") and try to claim she's still Catholic.
Getting back to "What's in it for me?" - What's in it for me is that my hunger has been spiritually satisfied by the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, that is, our Lord Jesus Christ. Good sung prayer (a la Worship and Adoremus), not music that is entertaining (a la Gory and Gather), enhances that.
Monday, September 22, 2008
from September 22-October 4, 2008:
NEW! Flatbread Melts! 1-2 minutes in the nuke'em-up box (that's "microwave" to most of you), fold'em up and munch!
Pictured below are our two flavors:
Ham and Turkey Melt, #653
Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt, #654
Both of these come in a six-pack (er, box of six melts) for just $7.99. But for these next two weeks, you can get two of them for $15.00, saving yourself a buck (give or take my 2¢).
Also, remember that if you order online, you get an ADDITIONAL 5% OFF!
At Schwan's, we're PREPARED TO SERVE!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Rich can vouch for me. He heard the whole conversation. Buckle up folks!
A gentleman came upstairs to the choir loft just as the Extraordinary Form Mass was ready to start. Father rang the bell outside the sacristy - the signal to begin. So as I'm hastening to get to the organ console for the opening hymn, this guy kept babbling despite my giving him the one-minute finger (no, I didn't flip him the bird) about how this Mass was being offered for a recently-buried relative. He wanted to know (reminder: this was an Extraordinary Form Low Mass) if we could squeeze in Eagle's Wings. I had to get started, so I gave him a quick reply: "Not at this Mass," then I got the hymn going.
After we finished the hymn, Rich and I couldn't stop laughing for a good five minutes. I think we finally got our composures back just before the Gospel reading. A more fitting reaction that went through my head was similar to the scenario from the movie Animal House where the Delta pledges are being introduced on a slide show, and Flounder's face was the next slide. They all started laughing and jeering and tossing beer cans at the screen.
I'm sure this guy didn't know any better. But it was just enough to warrant my issuing of the September 2008 WTF Award! Congratulations!
UPDATE: Rich just posted his side of the story!