Monday, March 17, 2008


One gets it (NYC), one doesn't (DC).

This is the alleged list of music being performed at the Papal Mass in Washington, DC on April 17:

Plenty Good Room-------------------------------Spiritual
Come, O Spirit of God---------------------------Manolo
Sing Aloud Unto God our Strength------------Nelson
Go Up To The Altar Of God--------------------Chepponis
Ave Verum Corpus-------------------------------Mozart
Spirit of God---------------------------------------LeBlanc
Concertato On Grosser GottHoly God, We Praise Thy Name
O Spirit All-Embracing--------------------------Holst/Proulx
Ave Maria-----------------------------------------Dett
O Holy Spirit By Whose Breath----------------Latona
Gloria – Mass of the Angels---------------------Proulx
Lord, Send Out Your Spirit----------------------Peloquin
Easter Gospel Acclamation----------------------Luckner
Trilingual Intercessions--------------------------Hay
Let All the World in every Corner Sing-------Argento
Ven Espiritu Sancto
Sanctus - Mass of Creation----------------------Haugen
Memorial Acclamation – Mass of Creation---Haugen
Fraction Rite---------------------------------------Honoré
The Lord’s Prayer
Psalm 100 – All the Earth-----------------------Deiss/Proulx
Jesus Is Here Right Now------------------------ Roberts
Ubi Caritas---------------------------------------- Hurd
Pange Lingua-------------------------------------Manolo
My God and My All-----------------------------Zaragoza
Love’s Redeeming Work Is Done-------------Ogden

The titles I did NOT highlight in bold are either fine, or titles I don't know of. For the Pope to have to hear these would be downright horrible. Though, maybe if he did hear these, he'd get a good example of what the typical American liturgeist is about and declare that this crap MUST stop.

Not listed above is the following (emphasis mine):

Tom Stehle, who is in charge of music for the D.C. Mass told me that the liturgy will contain many familiar pieces. The opening hymn, for example, will speak of the Holy Spirit, but with a familiar tune – “All Creatures of Our God and King.” (This is fine) The Mass, recall, is a votive Mass of the Holy Spirit with Pentecost readings.
The closing hymn will be “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus,” but with text about the Holy Spirit and being Christ’s presence in the world. (In other words, they've bastardized the hymn to utilize a "praise us" text??? WTF???)
"The most important thing to me is that everyone present is fully engaged," he said. "The music is aimed at allowing the assembly to take up its role and not just be spectators, but full participants in the celebration, no matter where they are sitting." (Spoken like a TRUE liturgeist!)

RSCT to Jeffrey Tucker at NLM, who rightfully says:

Do the organizers of this Mass care at all about the cause to which this Pope is so obviously dedicated? Are they seeking to say: your cause is not our cause?

This isn't responsible liturgical planning. This is an insult. American Catholics should be deeply embarrassed and outraged.

Meanwhile, in another NLM post, at least Dr. Jennifer Pascual (music director at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC), who is directing the Pope's Mass in New York City, gets it. This list is impressive.

Yankee Stadium – Celebration of the Eucharist: April 20, 2008
Dr. Jennifer Pascual, Director of Music/ Mass Conductor
New York Archdiocesan Festival Chorale
Cathedral of St. Patrick Choir
Ulster County Vicariate Choir, Michael Sweeney, Director of Music
Donald Dumler, Organist
John Des Marias, Cantor
Joe Simmons, Psalmist
Entrance of concelebrants:
Symphony No. 9 in D minor – Ludwig van Beethoven
I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
II. Molto vivace
Entrance of the Holy Father:
Hymnus Pontificius – Charles Gounod, arr. Alberico Vitalini
Dixit from Vesperae Solennes de Confessore – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Music for Mass:
Jesus is Risen/ Cristo Jesús Resucitó – arr. John Rutter
Tu es Petrus – Dom Lorenzo Perosi
Kyrie – from Litany of the Saints, adapt. Richard Proulx
Gloria from Missa O Magnum Mysterium – Tomás Luis da Victoria
Psalm – Dr. Jennifer Pascual
Alleluia (VICTORY) arr. Wm. Glenn Osborne
Credo III
Trilingual Intercessions – Michael Hay, orch. Wm. Glenn Osborne
How Lovely is thy Dwelling Place – Johannes Brahms
Sanctus from German Mass – Franz Schubert, adapt. Richard Proulx
Christ Has Died/ Amen - Franz Schubert, adapt. Richard Proulx
Agnus Dei from Missa O Magnum Mysterium – Tomás Luis da Victoria
Panis Angelicus – Cesár Franck, Marcello Giordani, Tenor, Metropolitan Opera
Sicut Cervus – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Ave Verum – Alexandre Guilmant, orch. Deborah Jamini
Amén. El Cuerpo de Cristo - John Schiavonne, orch. Carl MaultsBy
Let Us Break Bread Together – arr. Carl MaultsBy
This is the Feast – Richard Hillert, arr. Richard Kidd
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee/ Jubilosos te Adoramos – from Hymn to Joy
Fantasy – Bruce Saylor
Symphony No. 9 in D minor – Ludwig van Beethoven
IV. Presto

With the exception of the two I highlighted, excellent!



Motherhen said...

Well, like you said, maybe our Holy Father will see what the majority of us have to suffer with week in and week out.

At least they are not singing Amazing Grace. (tee hee)

Adrienne said...

I told my husband about this last night and he about had a cow. Does this guy not read any of Pope Benedict's stuff? Full and active participation? How about we give everyone blessed slinkys to play with on the church steps for the boring parts of the Mass!

At least the April 20th Mass looks decent. Lots of Victoria (my favorite) and Palestrina.

Jason Pennington said...

At first I wasn't going to comment, but just roll my eyes, sigh, and say to myself, "here we go again". Then, I saw Jeffry Tucker's bold comment that he was outraged at the first music list. He's right, that Americans SHOULD be embarassed by such an offering. The problem is, so many priests have no concept of any of this, and are so inadequately educated in such matters, that they have no idea how profoundly they embarass themselves daily. After a while, one starts to wonder whether one is the only voice in the wilderness advocating good quality liturgical music -- to one's own detriment, I might add. Moreover, one begins to question whether it's all really worth it. Then we read the outstanding list from New York City and sigh in relief, that at least somewhere in a large American parish there is music worthy of such a celebratory occasion. Perhaps we can only hope that the Pope himself might address the deficient selections in the first list. But then again, since offering the sacrifice of Cain has become the norm in most American parishes, and since the instructions of the Pope are ignored by so many (I can name a few names, if you like), I scratch my head again and wonder, really, what good anything like that might do. All I know is that I know my chant, I know my polyphony, and I know my Latin. I know my Scripture and I know my history, and I'm a damn good organist (at least I've been told that), and no priest with wretched taste can ever take that away from me. After being brow-beaten long enough, it makes me burrow down into my bunker for the time being and leave behind the message, "as soon as you have sorted things out, let me know. Until then, you can find me in Canterbury, where tradition still means something." What a mess.


Adrienne said...

Jason - time for a glass of green beer.

George Tarasuk said...

I'm with you all the way on this one, guys. I've got to be honest, as a Roman Catholic who played in Catholic churches for 15 years, I just got tired of fighting it. The Episcopal Church might be a mess in every other way, but at least they know how to do liturgy. I'm with Jason up there - it's a total mess.

John the organist said...

Jason I like this. I'm a Catholic organist playing in the Anglican Church. Message me at if you would like an invite to organistlibrarian blog!