Friday, August 15, 2008


It wasn't until I logged into GIA's website today (for the first time in about a month) that I learned about the death of the French Jesuit Pere Joseph Gelineau on Friday, August 8. He was 87, and had been a priest for 67 years.

Pere Gelineau was best known for his musical settings of the Psalms, originally in French, and later in English (Grail translation). Many of his Psalm tones appear with the Psalms as they appear with the Lectionary readings in Worship III. The Good Lord knows I've used and enjoyed (and still do enjoy) many of them over the years at the organ console at Holy Mass.

GIA has this obituary at their website:

With heavy hearts, the people of GIA Publications, Inc. mourn the passing of a liturgical and musical legend, Father Joseph Gelineau, SJ (1920-2008), pastor and visionary. His contribution to the world of liturgical music was both ground breaking and prolific. Gelineau devoted his life to liturgy and was instrumental in the movement toward the Second Vatican Council. He was most renowned for his numerous psalm tones (covering the entire Psalter), which were originally written for the Psalter of the Bible de Jérusalem, and were later applied to the Grail Psalter in English. For over 60 years he also composed for Brother Roger and the Taizé Community. The spiritual power of his music inspired many and now lives in the hearts and minds of Christians worldwide. He died in Sallanches, August 8, 2008 at the age of 87 after 67 years as a Jesuit priest.

Fr. Gelineau's funeral Mass was celebrated Tuesday, August 12, 2008, in the village of Vallorcine in the Savoy Alps.

May he rest in eternal peace with his Jesuit brothers in Grenoble, France.

Fr. Gelineau will be missed. May his legacy of excellent music live on!

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