Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NOW THE BAD NEWS

Ann (my wife) is in the hospital again. She was admitted this afternoon with nasty pains on the right side of her stomach and dizziness. After an ultrasound it was determined that she either has stones (she had her gall bladder removed five years ago) or an ovarian cyst. So that will very likely be removed.

UPDATE 5/1/08 1:00 PM EDT: Ann came home about noon today (YAY!). After an MRI this morning, they narrowed it down to an ovarian cyst AND a urinary tract infection. She's now on percs for pain and another med for the urinary tract infection. Plus, if the cyst doesn't go down after so long or her pain gets worse, she has to go back.

Thanks much for your prayers!
Peace,
BMP

FIRST THE GOOD NEWS

from the CHRISTUS VINCIT SPORTS desk:

Brittany's team went back to their winning ways, albeit it was a big walk-fest on both sides. Final score was 9-8, improving her team's record to 6-1.

Britt was walked twice (one of those walks with the bases loaded, and the other to load the bases) and scored both times. In fact, seven of the team's nine runs were scored on bases-loaded walks, one on a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, and one on a ground out (batter was out, but runner scored from third). Since the walks don't count as at-bats, Britt's batting average remains .875 (7 for 8, 2 homers, and now 9 walks).

Next game is Friday night at 7:30.
Peace,
BMP

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CHRISTUS VINCIT ANYWHERE! 132



You can listen below, or save the file by clicking here. (35:43/32.7 MB)
The second of our two-part series on bad music and liturgy going on locally. Today we discuss the funeral Mass for my father-in-law's aunt that took place a couple of weeks ago.

Feasts for the Week:
St. Paul of the Cross, St. Peter Chanel, St. Louis Mary de Montfort,
St. Catherine of Siena, Ascension (and the Vigil), Pope St. Pius V,
St. Athanasius, SS. Alexander I,
SS. Eventius and Theodules and Juvenal, SS. Philip and James.
For more information: New Advent Website.

CVA Suggestion Box: Ascension and Seventh Sunday of Easter.
For more information: CanticaNOVA Planning Pages - Ascesnion / Easter VII-A.

Music:
Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim (tune: Lyons)
O Clap Your Hands (written by Ralph Vaughan Williams), performed by St. Peter's Choir (Nottingham, UK), courtesy of The Classic Cat.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Canticum Novum Edition, courtesy of Copertino Son Tanning Lotion.

Additional Links:
O That I Could for Ever Dwell (written by yours truly); 2008 Eucharistic Congress (Atlanta, GA)
Catholic New Media Celebration (also in Atlanta) / The Curt Jester / Catholic Moments
SQPN / Daily Breakfast / Rosary Army / The Catholic Hack / Catholic: Under the Hood

Awards to vote for:
Blogger's Choice Awards; Blogger's Choice: Best Religion Blog
Blogger's Choice: Best Podcast (Thank you for your support!)

CVA/CVTV Krakowska Kielbasa Wall of Fame / How to Get Your Deli on the Wall of Fame

CVA Interactive Corner (including the rapidly growing Facebook group, Fans of Christus Vincit Anywhere).

NOT YOUR FATHER'S ENGLISH MASS

Nope! This one's even better!

RSCT to Jeffrey Tucker/NLM. This is the beginning of Mass at last year's Sacred Music Colloquium. Very classy, very solemn, very prayerful, and very reverent, yet in ENGLISH!

Well done!
Peace,
BMP



Sunday, April 27, 2008

WHAT OUR GAS PRICES ARE LEADING TO


Former Exxon president Lee Raymond spent part of his $400 million retirement package to acquire Shell. Prices immediately skyrocket.


Numeric prices just weren't high enough anymore.


Plan on spending your "stimulus check" there too.


Not to mention even the mower is cheaper than the gas these days, let alone the sheep.


What if you're unemployed? Then you're screwed!


Yeah, you really don't want to be registered with Mutual or Getty. Multiple mechanics told me a while back that they usually pump bottom of the barrel sludge. In fact, Getty gas clogged my fuel pump once. Never again!


A can like that could sell on Ebay for $5,000. Another $20,000 for the gas in it.


That pump won't get you far, but your car will smell pretty outside.


I have a conversion van. Bad enough. We don't need no steenkin' Hummer.


Usually by the time I get to a quarter tank my wallet's empty.


Little does this kid know Gramps is telling the truth. (BTW, when I started driving, I was paying about 60 cents a gallon for regular leaded and self-serve stations were just starting to make their mark in Rhode Island.)


Actually, they were a one-car family, and dad used the car to go to work, or the track, or the bar, or... never mind.

Peace,
BMP
PS: Pics supplied to me by my wife. Captions by yours truly.

I GOT TO HEAR A REALLY NICE LOST 45

This one may be the topic of a future Catholic Lost 45's episode for Christus Vincit ANYWHERE!

The Communion hymn at St. John the Baptist Church in Pawtucket today was Spirit Seeking Light and Beauty (text: Janet Stuart, d. 1914; tune: DOHMNACH TRIONOIDE). I only know of two books who carry this text: Pius X Hymnal, and Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles.

The only other church in all of Rhode Island that I've ever heard play this hymn is at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence, at my daughter Jessica's Confirmation.

The hymn is absolutely gorgeous! I wish more hymnals would grab this hymn. OCP, GIA, WLP, and LitPress please take note, and even the publishers of the St. Michael and Adoremus Hymnals!

Peace,
BMP

Saturday, April 26, 2008

CHRISTUS VINCIT SPORTS PRESENTS...

...Can't Win'em All!

That's right! Brittany's team lost, for the first time this year - 15-9, and to the team that's coached by the guy that coached Britt's all-star team last year. That makes our record 5-1.

And for the first time this year, Britt had an at-bat where she failed to reach safely. Though, that was the ONLY such at-bat:

First inning: grounded out to the shortstop. Hey, these things happen. 1) Proof that she's human; 2) the opposing defense was as good as ours should have been.
Fourth inning: walked, then scored on Junisha's inside-the-park home run.
Fifth inning: Britt hit her second inside-the-park homer in two games - this one for two runs. This was a blistering grounder down the right field line that barely stayed fair. Thus making up for her ground out :) .

Batting average is now .875 (7 for 8 with 7 walks and 2 homers)!

Next game is Wednesday.
Peace,
BMP

Friday, April 25, 2008

FIRST CHURCH OF THE LEGO

Obviously the church built here out of Lego blocks is by no means Catholic. There is no altar of sacrifice, no Stations of the Cross. There is a pipe organ in the rear gallery and a nice high pulpit (albeit on the wrong side). And let's not forget the Jacuzzi-sized baptismal font, where you could get baptized and get a nice massage from those side jets. Overall, not a bad effort for a Lego builder. Definitely no Duncan Stroik, but there might be a chance he could compete with Dick Vosko. What say ye?

Peace,
BMP
PS: Pictures courtesy of my wife Ann.







RARE 128' STOP REGISTERS 9.5 ON RICHTER SCALE

Got this from our good friend Joe from RPInet via Facebook.



You'll catch the tail end of a rousing singing of the Salve Regina at the beginning. Then, watch what a 128-foot pedal stop can do! Evacuate quickly!

Peace,
BMP

Thursday, April 24, 2008

DON GILLIS, 1922-2008

A Christus Vincit Sports Obituary

I've mentioned a few times before that I am a longtime fan of candlepin bowling. Longtime Boston sportscaster and host of WCVB-TV Channel 5's Candlepin Bowling Don Gillis died last night after suffering a series of strokes within the last three weeks. He's also had Alzheimer's in recent years. He was 85.

Candlepin Bowling aired on Channel 5 in Boston from 1958-1996. Don replaced Jim Britt as host until 1967 and stayed on until the show's finale.

Fellow YouTuber Wolfman posted this montage of some of Don's highlights. Enjoy!



Peace,
BMP

CV SPORTS SOFTBALL COVERAGE

Another win, and a last inning barrage!

Brittany's team has won again, this time by a score of 13-5! Their record is now 5-0.

The final inning included a barrage of hits:
Our closing pitcher, Haley, cranked an inside-the-park two-run homer to deep left center field.
Brittany (my daughter) followed with another inside-the-park homer (her first, EVER!) to deep right field.
Junisha (who played on Britt's all-star team last year) followed with a soft liner to shallow right and scored on a comedy of errors.

Britt still has her 1.000 batting average (6 for 6, plus a half-dozen walks). In addition to her homer, she drove in two runs on a bloop single over the shortstop's head, and forced in another run on a bases-loaded walk.

In addition, Brittany usually catches the first two or three innings. Katherine is our starting pitcher, and doesn't pitch as hard as Haley, our closer. Usually when Haley pitches, Britt plays third base. However, Haley's regular catcher is injured and out for the next two weeks, so Britt had to catch Haley's smoke - and did very well!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOO - GO BRITTANY!
Peace,
BMP

IT AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN

Following in Jason's footsteps, and title inspired by an old Kermit the Frog tune:
Your Life is 48% Green



Your life is pretty green - and you know a lot about how to live an eco friendly life.

So congratulate yourself for being good to the earth. And maybe think about implementing some of the ideas from this quiz!

Peace,
BMP

How Green?




Your Life is 60% Green



Your life is pretty green - and you know a lot about how to live an eco friendly life.

So congratulate yourself for being good to the earth. And maybe think about implementing some of the ideas from this quiz!



So there you have it! I actually just yesterday replaced the lamp bulbs in my living room with the more "eco-friendly" ones. They do produce a different sort of light that I'm used to, but they work fine. I'll let the other bulbs just burn out before I replace them, since I spend most of my time in the living room when I'm home (knitting, watching TV), I figured that's where I should actually just replace. Now, we wait for the construction of Lafayette's Whole Foods store. That will be excellent! Hat tip for this survey to Paula at As We Wait. If you have a moment, drop by Paula's blog and render your support! We don't want to see her go, since we so much enjoy here posts!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CHRISTUS VINCIT ANYWHERE! 131



You can listen below, or save the file by clicking here. (32:43/29.9 MB)

Today we offer a special presentation: a snark's version of A Tale of Two Cities, as we discuss the music for the Papal Masses celebrated just last week in Washington, DC, and New York City.

Feasts for the Week:
St. Anselm; SS. Soter and Caius; St. George; St. Adalbert; St. Fidelis of Signaringen;
Pope Benedict XVI; St. Mark; SS. Cletus and Marcellinus. For more information: New Advent Website.

Christus Vincit Semi-Live with the Bitmap: Music for the Extraordinary Form Mass we played for the Fourth Sunday after Easter at St. Leo the Great Church.

Music:
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! (tune: Hyfrydol); Cantate Domino Canticum Novum (written by Vincent d'Indy)
Now Thank We All Our God (tune: Nun Danket)
Liberty Bell March (written by John Philip Sousa), performed by the Hampshire Guitar Orchestra, brought to you by Podsafe.

CVA Top Ten List: Top Ten Things I Was Happy Not to See at Any of the Papal Masses, brought to you by Ridalin (not to be confused with "Ritalin")
Additional Links: Official Videos of the Papal Visit; Kelly Clarkson sings Schubert's Ave Maria

Awards to vote for:
Blogger's Choice Awards; Blogger's Choice: Best Religion Blog
Blogger's Choice: Best Podcast (Thank you for your support!)

CVA/CVTV Krakowska Kielbasa Wall of Fame / How to Get Your Deli on the Wall of Fame

CVA Interactive Corner (including the rapidly growing group, Fans of Christus Vincit Anywhere).

ANOTHER WIN

A CV Sports Girls' Softball Exclusive

Last night Brittany's team chalked up another win - this time 13-6 over a team that started to surge in the final inning. The team's record is now 4-0.

Brittany's hitting last night included a walk and a bloop single just over the third basegirl's head. Her batting average is still 1.000 (4 for 4 with 5 walks). She has yet to fail to reach base, and was tagged out only once (that was in a base-stealing miscue last Saturday) so far.

Next game: Thursday night at 6.
Peace,
BMP

Monday, April 21, 2008

AVE MARIA, A LA KELLY CLARKSON

Thankfully, this was at a youth rally, and NOT at Holy Mass. I think I pissed off a few people, however, for making what I feel was a constructive criticism saying that a classical piece like the Ave Maria isn't a good match for her, and that the "ad libs" had to go. But the same people get pissed off if one says that Rosanne's thrashing of the Star-Spangled Banner is hilarious.

RSCT to David who mentioned it in this post's beefbox.



Peace,
BMP


Sunday, April 20, 2008

CANTATE DOMINO / SING A NEW SONG TO THE LORD

Jeffrey Tucker rightly points out today's Introit: Cantate Domino.

I wonder how many musicians out there will do one of the following:
A) Cantate Domino in the chant setting (If you don't have a Liber or a Graduale, Jeffrey posted the music in chant notation in his post linked at the top)
B) Cantate Domino in a choral setting of some sort (I'm doing the d'Indy setting tonight at St. Leo's)
C) Cantate Domino sung to a Psalm Tone
D) Sing a new song to the Lord (tune: CANTATE DOMINO, aka ONSLOW SQUARE, by David G. Wilson - this one's not bad for something in 6/8)
E) Alleluia! Alleluia! Sing a new song to the Lord (the text by John Dunn - even better!)

OR these:
F) Sing a new song unto the Lord (the infamous Schutte setting that makes you want to pirouette about in your pew)
G) All the ends of the earth (as set to music by Haugen-d'Hass or Bob Dufford - both settings are hideous, IMO)
H) the so-called "other suitable song"

What did you play? Or what were you forced to endure? Inquiring snarks want to know! :)

Peace,
BMP

Who the heck is Uta?? Christus Vincit tells you...



Here's the scoop: We reported yesterday on the exhibition of relics and religious articles in Halberstadt and mentioned that, as part of the re-opening exhibition, articles from Naumburg cathedral are also among those displayed. That cathedral is almost always identified with the statue of Uta, Gräfin von Ballenstedt (the duchess of Ballenstedt) and her husband Markgraf Ekkehard II, both of whom died in 1046, or sometime around then. Besides the fact that her name is a three-letter box filler in almost every German crossword puzzle in print since probably the 11th century, Uta and Ekkehard both count among the 12 patrons who enabled the construction of the cathedral church in Naumburg. I don’t think there is a single German around who would not recognize the immortalized face of Uta. Art Historians of any nationality will know her face as well as they know their own, especially how she lifts her collar up to her right cheek. Also pictured is a photo of the Romanesque/Gothic Naumburger Dom.

BUY MY PRODUCT

PLEASE!
The next best thing to a bleg!

This afternoon I took the liberty of joining the Amazon Associates Program. On the footer of most of my posts, starting with yesterday's, I've added a widget for "recommended items" at Amazon. Anytime you click on one of those and buy, I make money. It's the next thing to a bleg, only I'm not asking for direct handouts. My unemployment's about to run out soon and I can only take so many rejections in one sitting (I've been searching my arse off for work). Any help here would be appreciated.
Thanks much.
Peace,
BMP


WE SNARKS HAVE BEEN OUTSNARKED

In the Cannonball Blog Awards, we were one of the nominees for the Snarkiest Catholic Blog. And yes, we've been outsnarked by the even-bigger snarks: the Catholic Cavemen.

We were tied with the Cannonball herself for second place in this category, with 25 votes each. The Cavemen scored 40 votes.

Congrats to the Cavemen for a job well done.

I don't take this "loss" as a total failure on our part. After all, they may be the better snarks. However, we're still the ORIGINAL snarks and will continue to snark the world for the rest of our snark lives!

Peace,
BMP

A BIG IMPROVEMENT

I didn't get to catch the first part of the Papal Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. I was able to catch from the end of the offertory on. I can tell you that what I heard was far better than the music at Nationals Stadium. The trumpet fanfares sounded a lot more classy. The selections were not only better, the so was the execution of said selections.

My only real pet peeve from that Mass is having the cantor at the mic at times when you have a full choir leading the congregation. It's not necessary. Back off! Let the people sing!

There was NO Massive Cremation at the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Instead there was Sanctus VIII, the Danish Christ Has Died and Amen, and the Agnus from Messe in C by Josef Rheinberger.

Communion was I Am the Bread of Life, which I normally tolerate at best (some of the message boards I frequent have given it the nickname Toolanbread). However, this rendition was well-executed. It actually sounded like a hymn. A second piece was a tenor solo that I didn't quite recognize. It seemed to be an excerpt from the Gloria in Excelsis. If anyone knows more of this piece, please feel free to comment.

The closing was Holy God, We Praise Thy Name, which sounded like a hymn, unlike the DC thrashing of Hyfrydol.

The only other thing I didn't care for was that I felt the Secret Service guard to the Pope's right seemed a bit harsh toward a few of the nuns (habited, mind you) that tried to pop out, pushing them back as if these nuns were just ordinary nutcases.

Much, much better! I hope today's Mass at Yankee Stadium sounds just as classy.
Peace,
BMP

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Domschatz in Halberstadt: The most important collection of religious articles outside the Vatican



Those interested in Church History and Art History will be happy to know that the greatest and most extensive collection of religious artifacts outside the Vatican is now once again open for public viewing. The cathedral treasures of the Stephansdom in Halberstadt opened this week in the German state of Sachsen-Anhalt. The Stephansdom was built in 804 by Charles the Great as the eastern-most church in the empire. The exhibit which features items from the 5th - 18th centuries includes liturgical implements (including a communion plate from Byzantium), textiles (liturgical vesture), altar pieces, sculpture, manuscripts and many priceless tapestries, many of which are the oldest of their kind in Europe. Also among the various relics in collection: a finger bone of St. Nicholaus, and a stone used to martyr St. Stephen. In addition to some 300 of the 650 total items in Halberstadt displayed in the opening exhibition are articles from the other of the most important religious collections in Europe, all of which are also in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, namely items from the treasuries of Quedlinburg, Naumburg (home of the famous statue of Uta!), and Merseburg. You may read, hear and watch more about the exhibit in the German media at www.zdf.de and at www.ard.de. One must consider that the collection survived the Reformation, the 30 years war, the World Wars, and the yoke of Communism. Other notables besides St. Nick's finger and Charles the Great with direct ties to Sachsen-Anhalt: G.F. Haendel (Halle), and Jason A. Pennington (Leopoldshall/Stassfurt). Now, for a re-read of Juilius Wolff's excellent books Der Raubgraf and Der Sachsenspiegel.

CHRISTUS VINCIT SPORTS CONTINUING SOFTBALL COVERAGE

Another win, but less violence

This morning Brittany's team won 12-5 in a game that had far more walks than hits. Brittany herself never got an at-bat. She got walked twice.

That makes her team 3-0.
Peace,
BMP

WE HAVE A VERY LOW CUSS LEVEL

Not even 1%. To boot, our cuss level is 3.2% lower than Fr. Erik's (neener neener).

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Peace,
BMP

Friday, April 18, 2008

You Are Peter. Welcome Holy Father to the U.S.A.

As we’ve heard from the news reports, Pope Benedict has spoken about the sexual abuse scandals and admitted that the situation has been handled badly. Boy, ain’t he right! The Holy Father also mentioned that he would work to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood. Well, those are hopeful words. At least we know the Pope is on board in trying to remedy the situation. Now it’s just a matter of convincing many of the bishops (and priests too) to listen to their Pope. We know that’s not always the case (Motu who? Gregorian, what was that, Ratz? Oh, by “Latin” you must be meaning “English” with a mambo beat – hit it, sister!). Relativism is so often applied to the Pope’s own mandates – ironic, isn’t it, considering that combating the R-word has been from the start of his papacy, one of Benedict’s major tasks. We experienced that with the Motu Proprio, as many of the American bishops and priests were utterly dumbfounded by the wording of the document and started immediately analyzing the thing for loop holes in order to slow its implementation. Only a few weeks ago I received an email from one of the Motu watch dogs in this diocese that outlined the particulars of the Latin verbiage and how it could be changed and adapted to fit the expectations of the fearful un-Latined red sashes. I was most intrigued how the Latin was contorted to conform to the nutty English rendition the committees were working from. To quote Orwell: “Pigs may not sleep in beds….with sheets”. Talk about reverse translation! That’s ok. It’s all relative, Holy Father. We all know you say one thing, but after we crank your words through our handy-dandy liturgist mill, why, you come out saying just what we want to hear! Ok. Enough of that. Back to business. Sex.
From the words I heard and read in the media, I got the notion that the Pope really did mean what he said. That’s certainly good news for those of us who are waiting for the other (Prada) shoe to drop in regards to the sex scandals. We’re really tired of hearing about the cover-up’s and the explaining-away’s. If the Holy Father really wants to clean house, and I believe he does, I would suggest he listen to some of the over-sexed sermons we faithful have to endure time and again. I’ve heard some sermons in my day that have left me so hot and bothered, desperately rummaging through my Dooney and Bourke for an estrogen tab because of all the depraved sex the priest was telling us about and which we must avoid – and which I’ve been missing out on. “Damn, this stuff is better than porn,” I’ve thought, crossing myself at the sermon’s final blessing. The guy said in his opening remarks he was going to turn up the heat, but I didn’t think he meant to give me hot flashes! Isn’t someone getting confused between the Gospels and the script of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”? Christ said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock…”, not “Thou art a cock in frock on a rock.” In Baton Rouge, the Louisiana law-makers are discussing a bill that would call for castration of male second-time sex offenders. I like that idea. The fact that the matter is even being discussed sends a strong message of “enough is enough, already!”. Yeah, yeah, I know. Castration removes otherwise healthy organs, the removal of which would be considered sinful. Sinful? For just one example: I’m reminded of the Arizona priest who redefined the slang term “boom box” to mean “confessional”. Let’s retire Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave” as the seminary alma mater. Let’s make the sermon time a time for instruction instead of a time for priestly window shopping and projection upon the congregation of secret sexual proclivity. So now we are faced with an ethical dilemma: is it more sinful for father to doink the crucifer before Mass, or for father to be relocated to the soprano section of the prison choir? I advocate castration and relocation over plying and denying.

THE POPE IN D.C.

I didn't get to watch the Papal Vespers or the Papal Mass LIVE. However, I did get to watch a good chunk of the midnight rerun of the Vespers at the Crypt Church of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception the other night, and I must say that the music for the Vespers was very good, if not excellent, done in typical National Shrine style.

It's too bad it wasn't Dr. Latona who ran the music for the Mass at Nationals Stadium, because my review of the Papal Mass music is the exact opposite of what I thought of the music for the Papal Vespers.

I've been watching the video of the Papal Mass at the Boston Catholic TV website. Unfortunately, the video only started at the last chord of the Entrance hymn. The Kyrie was awful. The Gloria wasn't bad, but I think would have been better without the handbells (I don't know why, but I've never really been a fan of handbells). I would have prefered either the Gloria VIII straight through or something more Vatican-like (e.g., alteration between chant lines for congregation and motet-like lines for choir).

Now, most people that know me know that I am a huge fan of Alexander Peloquin, and normally that includes the Psalm setting played for the Papal Mass, but not as performed on this day. The "joint music ministry" did it an absolute injustice - 1) it was too fast; 2) they should have lost the piano and handbells. I thought it sounded like a Mexican version of something Dan Schutte would have written instead of what Peloquin envisioned when he wrote it.

I'm also a big fan of the Alleluia from O Filii et Filiae. However, again, I think the handbells and the Mexican-like tempos killed it.

I don't know what the hell they were singing when the people were presenting the Holy Father with gifts, but it was awful. So was their third-world thrashing of the normally-beloved chant, Veni Creator Spiritus at the offertory itself.

I think you all know my opinion of Mass of Creation. I think they could have done a lot better than using that particular Mass. Not to mention that the trumpet fanfares sound like something from MahonyFest (er, the LA Religious Misedumacation Congress)

The chant Lord's Prayer in English is one that just about every American Catholic congregation should know. I highly doubt there was any need for a miked cantor when there was a full choir to lead it.

The Agnus was ok. The melody was a little weak, but I'm happy that it was in Latin.

Now for the Communion music round-up:
All the Earth, a hymn I normally like, was thrashed by that same quick Mexican-style tempo. I do, however, like the various harmonies used in the verses. Next was some gospel type piece that was far more fit for the Billy Graham Crusade than a Papal Mass. The chant Ubi Caritas would have been a far better choice than the Hurd. The Spanish song that followed was awful as well. See my opinion of the gospel song. Finally, they do go into the chant Ubi., well, just the antiphon, before going into some MahonyFest-styled rendition of the Pange Lingua. Then there was My God and My All (no, not the beloved "Sweet Sacrament we thee adore" version). That guitar's got to go. The best piece of the Mass was the Franck Panis Angelicus.

The closing hymn was good too - Lord, You Give the Great Commission, set to HYFRYDOL. Though the fanfares (once again) sounded more fit for MahonyFest, as does whatever it was they were singing after.

I think the New York Masses will be far better. Overall, I think the Pope deserved better. The music should have represented our Catholic culture, not so much our secular cultures (but then, I feel that way about every Mass).

Peace,
BMP

Thursday, April 17, 2008

CHRISTUS VINCIT SPORTS PRESENTS:

My 10-year-old daughter's dangerous!

Another win for Brittany's team, this time 9-4. Britt went 2 for 2 with a walk. But not without nearly taking out a coach and a player (inadvertently, of course; after all, it's sports).

First at-bat: a hard-hit grounder to left center for an RBI single.

Two innings later: a walk, but not before hitting a rocket line drive foul that nearly picked off her own first base coach. She scored on a later hit.

Next inning: another hard-hit grounder for another single. This time, the second basegirl wasn't so lucky as she got pegged in the ankle. Again, we never wish for these things, but also again, it's sports. Brittany scored on a later single. She would have had another RBI or two if the girl before her didn't hit an inside-the-park two-run homer.

So, we're 2-0 to start the season. Our next game is 9:00 AM Saturday. Let's see how these girls do with early mornings.

Peace,
BMP

Sacramental Tyranny: The Price Of Salvation?

I was recently handed an article from the March, 2008 edition of the magazine “First Things”. The piece is entitled “Clerical Scandal and the Scandal of Clericalism”. Richard John Neuhaus discusses the topic of clericalism via Russell Shaw’s books, To Hunt, To Shoot, To Entertain: Clericalism and the Catholic Communion and Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church.
Neuhaus highlights the scandal through Russell’s expertise gained through his former position as an official spokesman for the United States bishops’ conference. Neuhaus states: “[Shaw] has ample experience with the secretive ways of church leaders who, as the old saw has it, think that the chief and maybe only role of the laity is to pray, pay, and obey.” The Germans say: “Der Mensch denkt; Gott lenkt.” (Man thinks; God leads). The cynical Catholic layman who sees through the pretense in respect to priestly clericalism might opt for the same phrase re-punctuated by Bertold Brecht: “Der Mensch denkt, Gott lenkt.” (Man thinks that God leads). This is not to say, as Neuhaus also makes clear, that there is no room in the church for some modicum of confidentiality and secrecy, which is allowed for, according to the article, “both canonically and in pastoral common sense.” There’s the clincher. Canonically, we understand as a given. The pastoral common sense part, however, is another matter. One may observe of the cleric: “He just can’t see the forest for the Roman Catholic trees.” The puzzling phrase heard from the pulpit by this author’s ears, and by at least 1000 others at a local devotional celebration last year that one can determine the spiritual worthiness of a congregation by two things: 1) the length of penitents in the confession line and 2) by the amount of cash in the collection plate each week is a full, active, and conscious example of that proverbial (yet erroneous) role of the laity to “pray, pay, and obey.” I pose this: So what if we don’t? Do we lose heaven? Is the priest one of those mythic Fates, dropping our salvation from a spindle like a thread, to be cut off by the sacerdotal shears when our pennies don’t ring loudly enough in his discretionary fund, or if we don’t enumerate our transgressions to his satisfaction? How are we to reconcile the notion of the laity as the “Populus Dei”? Did the Roman Missal get it wrong? Or are we laymen such as neophyte freemasons not allowed an illicit glance into the secret ecclesial texts meant only for the eyes of the more deeply initiated? This evokes that legendary image of Luther’s chained Bible in the university library. Consider this metaphor: There is a gate set up across a path, but instead of its being connected to a fence, the gate stands alone. The gate keeper must convince travelers that a real fence extends from either side of his gate, and that each much pass through the gate to continue his journey after paying the proper toll. One day, a clever traveler thumbs his nose at the gatekeeper, walks around the gate and continues along the path. The gatekeeper becomes angry and impotently curses the traveler. There is so much information available nowadays for our common sense (and logic) to be so confounded as to yield to clericalism. In the past it was easier for the Fates to conceal the texts of Canon Law, to digest Holy Scripture, spinning their yarns in secrecy, vacationing atop Mt. Sinai until they feel inclined to descend the height, commandments in one hand, turkey drumstick in the other, declaring with a great belch the latest mandates hashed out in the great tent of meeting. These days are long gone. Liturgical rubrics and copies of Canon Law are readily available. Need we even mention the corpus of Catholic teaching at everyone’s fingertips in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Mysterium non est. Clericalism is a magic spell that transforms the rude swain destined for the churchyard into the Great and Wonderful Oz. Whereas true political nobility is inherited, ecclesial nobility is bestowed. A greased palm does not create a duke. Christ himself came to earth not to be served, but to serve. Washing 12 pairs of clean feet on Maundy Thursday just isn’t enough to convince us once a year of the sincerity exercised by the fellow with the ewer and basin. A priest is not a noble. He’s a servant. “In persona Christi” he cries. “I stand in the person of Christ!” Good try, but not exactly. Thank goodness that term only refers to the consecration of the communion elements, and not everyday life, just as the concept of papal infallibility pertains only to the teachings on faith and morals. The pope can not walk on water, and a priest in his everyday life is hardly a personification of the Son of God. Shroud-clad skeleton Death in the bishop tableau of the ancient Totentanz mural in Lübeck reminds the richly mitred, coped, and brocaded: “Du lehnst dich ümbsonst auff deinen Hirtenstab./ Zerbricht das schwache Rohr, so taumelstu ins Grab.” (In vain you lean upon your shepherd’s staff. When that weak little reed breaks apart, so you will tumble into the grave.)
The clergyman caught in the clerical trap succumbs to his own human frailty which contorts and redefines the Christian goal “to be like Christ”. A fiddle back and lacy alb make a Christ as ineffectively as platform shoes and a wig make a Louis. Let us not forget: mental hospitals throughout the country are packed with lunatics who believe they are Jesus, and church parishes should not be safe exiles for the mentally unstable. Were there no lessons learned from the life of the divine Caligula? His horse was a made a senator by God’s command.
Neuhaus continues: “Shaw is also well aware that the Church is not constituted as a democracy, as he also knows how frequently the observation that the Church is not a democracy is misused to avoid addressing the problem of clericalism.” There must be a balance. Democracy the Church ain’t. Yet a tyranny she also ain’t. Thank God Christ wasn’t a cleric, drunk on his sudden acquisition of power by virtue of his personage. When confronted by the woman caught in adultery, we may have seen Him charge the mob to use filthy seductress for target practice. A humble priest is a good thing. He is a pastor of his flock. He leads them, he gives them council, he is the caretaker of souls. And then there are these: he comes from unfortunate circumstances, the next had few opportunities as a child, the other was the butt of jokes, this one his high school teachers labeled a sissy, that fell madly in love with his best friend, yet felt shame for his unnatural yearning, this one is so horrendously homely, there would be no chance he could ever take a wife: one kiss, then death! These budding clerics look to the priesthood for a way to get back at humanity for being handed the short end of the stick: each is the ugly duckling who wins the beauty pageant. These are the sociopaths who misuse the monarchial construction of the Church and transform their corners of the kingdom into their own, personal tyrannies. Coupled with their superiors’ self-expedient unwillingness to keep their underlings in check, they allow these priest-tyrants to ply their craft. Neuhaus quotes Shaw: “By clericalism I mean an elitist mindset, together with structures and patterns of behavior corresponding to it, which takes it for granted that clerics – in the Catholic context, mainly bishops and priests – are intrinsically superior to the other members of the Church and deserve automatic deference. Passivity and dependence are the laity’s lot.” Thus can all manner of sins be concealed under the rubric of “pastoral reasons”, including the misuse of one’s office to justify the abuse of souls in the guise of pastoral care, the clichéd “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. A Roman priest asked his congregation recently, “Why do you hate me? Why do you run from me?” His response to this rhetorical question was that the people are shy to speak to a man in a Roman collar. It’s not the collar. It’s the man. We are no longer taught, and rightly so, to esteem a man simply for his vesture or because of his job. We can wash the blood off the hands of a serial killer and dress him in a well tailored suit. We can revere the businessman for his prowess at making millions and allowing his employees to amass healthy retirement benefits. And then, we hear of Enron. Legendary Fr. Rossi, Latin teacher for years at a Catholic boys school, was immortalized for many reasons in the memories of his colleagues and students alike. He was a wise teacher, and knew that there were some boys who simply could not and would never be able to wrap their minds around the complexity of the Latin language. Their studies would always be lacking, and they would always fall short. His response when questioned about these fellows when their records never improved, regardless of his fine teaching: “Well, sir, you just can’t shine shit.”
Neuhaus recounts the story that when Pope Benedict XVI was ordained to the priesthood, his town mounted a huge celebration (found in the Pope’s memoir entitled Milestones). Father Ratzinger, when seeing the celebratory reception kept telling himself, “This is not for you.” How wise! Here is a man who looked upon his ordination the right way: he was made a priest in order to serve. Not to be served. It wasn’t about his wants and likes. Isn’t it fascinating how such a humble priest ascends, eventually, the throne of Peter? What the young Father Ratzinger did was not unlike the triumphal entrance of an ancient Roman general into his city. “Sic transit gloria mundi” someone would whisper into his ear: thus the glory of the world passes away. It was a charge: don’t get caught up in all the hoopla. And most of all, don’t think it’s all about you. For the cleric, it is all about him. By ordination, he adopts the false and dangerous mindset that he has been elevated to super-human status. The judge of a good pastoral leader is not in how well he orders others, changes things around to suit himself, how effective he is in getting his way, how well he can engage in cover-up’s to protect his own mistakes and the reality of his lineage, or how well his superiors protect him and themselves from his own vanity. The good judge of pastoral leadership is based upon how he cares for his flock as Christ would care for them. Does he search out the lost sheep, or can he not be bothered by the wretched beast who failed to follow his lead? Is he willing to sacrifice for his flock out of sincerity or is he forgoing his Popeye’s Chicken on Fridays simply because he needs to show his congregants he can go for long-periods without food, so that they may all be impressed by his ability to fast (might I suggest a review of the Holy Gospel of Ash Wednesday?). My understanding is that boa constrictors also are able to go long periods between feedings. Perhaps this is a common trait among serpents.
Neuhaus, and I agree with him, uses the term “neurotic” within the context of the clerics and the scandal of clericalism. He writes: “…Shaw addresses the long, long aftermath of the trusteeship controversies of more than a hundred years ago. With great difficulty, the bishops turned back the efforts of some Catholic laity to establish in this country a Protestant ecclesiology of congregational independence and lay control. A persuasive argument can be made that the bishops succeeded all too well. And parish pastors, too, who understand themselves to be bishops, or even popes, in their own domain frequently exhibit a neurotic vigilance against the real or imagined ghost of trusteeism.” The last thing a cleric wants is for the laity to be in charge. Not only would they gain direct knowledge of what is going on, they would be in a position to speak out against it. The cleric is an empire builder who surrounds himself with yes-men, who in committee can reach consensus even before any argument is heard. A no-vote against the cleric spells removal from the inner circle. “You may believe anything you like, as long as you agree with me. Blessed assurance: vengeance is mine!” When this comes from a priest, that priest, despite the collar, is acting immorally, holding over the heads of his innocent flock their own salvation as ransom for their loyalty. Pray, Pay, and Obey.
Then, after the clerical dust settles, we stand staring at the sky like the men of Galilee, wondering why once devout and dedicated Catholics suddenly leave the Church as a result. Clericalism is a malignancy which through its relativistic forgiveness both of priestly and episcopal scelera, gives credence and weight to the writings of the 16th century reformers, who themselves spoke no blasphemy or heresy, but who themselves had unmasked the clerical beast, to the benefit of millions of faithful worldwide who since 1517 have cast off that despicable yoke. Clericalism enables, rewards, and conceals all forms of mistreatment and abuse of the laity – need we be reminded of Gerhard Müller’s disgusting remarks in attempt to exonerate himself from blame in the recent sexual abuse scandal in the diocese of Regensburg, or of a certain Boston bishop who was handed a Roman plum for acting similarly. Clericalism transforms “Mother Church” from the bride of Christ into a beastly, carnivorous vagina dentata, both at the parish level by those who do the dirty work, and by those in diocesan administrations who, for their own safety’s sake, choose not to address this scandalous evil.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

THE VIDEO THAT GOT ME DAS BOOT

RSCT to Damian Thompson for this video. BTW, "Don't do this at church!"



This is the exact video that got my arse booted from the NaPalM boards.

The church: St. Nicholas, Evanston, IL.
The prancing pastor: Fr. Robert Oldershaw (Now retired, thank God. It kind of surprised me at first, since he was on the editorial board for GIA's best hymnal, Worship II, 1975.)
The music director: Tony Alonso (Watch his bopping around at the piano. You'd think it was Elton John playing.)

The debate started when I posted a link to the clip on the NaPalM (npmusers) message boards. A couple of people started replying with "Oh, that's Tony Alonso. He's got stuff published by OCP," as to say "Who are YOU to cry foul?"

I then posted a couple of links to articles of Cardinal Arinze decrying liturgical dance, and then I got a reply back saying that Cdl. Arinze was "clueless". I then went off on the dissenters, and closed with something like "this is why I don't waste my $85 a year for an NPM membership". Because this is the crap they support.

Peace,
BMP

I SAY, YOU SAY

An original meme

OK - the object is to reveal your everyday terminology for everyday household items and what-not. You may answer with the choices given, or use your own.
TAG! Any and all readers are considered IT.

1. That shiny metal stuff that you use to wrap food with:
A. Aluminum foil / B. Tin foil / C. Reynolds Wrap

Son and I say C. Wife says B.

2. That clear plastic stuff that is also used to wrap food with:
A. Plastic wrap / B. Saran wrap / C. Glad wrap

Wife and I both say A (I used to say C as a kid). Son says B.

3. Those things you use for facial and nasal care:
A. Tissues / B. Kleenex / C. Snot rags

Depends on the company I'm around, I say either A or C. Wife says A and adds "Tissues for your Issues". Son says C.

4. The stringy pasta that you eat with meatballs:
A. Spaghetti / B. P'sghetti / C. Noodles

Son and I say A. Wife blatantly says B.

5. Those wooden sticks you see in a chips bag:
A. Pretzel / B. Prentzel / C. Sticks

See #4.

6. That mammoth trunked animal in the zoo:
A. Elephant / B. Elly-Phahnt / C. Wooly mammoth

I say A. Wife says B. Son says C.

7. The room in the house you have to use at least once a day:
A. The bathroom / B. The rest room / C. The little boys'/girls' room / D. The can

Both of us use all terms except B, plus others, like "outhouse", "office", and "throne". Wife adds "bait room". Son says D.

8. The paper you use after using the room described in question #7:
A. Toilet paper / B. Bath (or bathroom) tissue / C. Butt wipe

Wife and I both use anything but B. Son says C.

9. Your classification of a passenger van (full-sized or mini), besides van:
A. Car / B. Truck / C. Bus

All three of us say B. (As a former parts worker, I can vouch that vans, including passenger vans, are listed under truck, like "Chevy truck", or "Dodge truck", etc.) However, my son was looking for "tree" as a choice, to be funny.

10. OK, finally, something relating to liturgical music - your classification of a Hammond organ:
A. Instrument / B. Appliance / C. Furniture

Wife says A. I say B. Son says C.

Remember: you're not limited to the choices given.
Have fun!
Peace,
BMP

UPDATE: Fr. Erik's answers are especially funny!



CHRISTUS VINCIT SPORTS PRESENTS...

Brittany's season opener

Last night my daughter Brittany and her team started their 2008 softball season with a bang, by winning 15-8 over a team run by one of the best managers in the league. Though most of the runs on both sides were scored by walks, there were a few good hits out there. This one girl, Kate, hit an inside-the-park grand slam for the opposing team, thus accounting for half of that team's runs.

Brittany herself drove in two runs on a triple in the last inning in her only official at-bat. Walks don't count as an "at-bat". Brittany walked twice, one of those forcing in a run.

This marks a couple of firsts for Britt:
1) This is the first year that the league made the transition to go all fast-pitch. All of her previous five years (three in instructional and two in junior) were slow-pitch. Last year, she did play in a fast-pitch league in the fall, so she has a bit of an advantage.
2) This is the first time in the last three seasons (2006, 2007 spring and fall, and 2008) that Britt's team opened with a win. In 2006, she was on a team that went 0-20 for the season. Last year's spring team went 2-16. Her fall fast pitch team last year went a respectable 6-4, but their opening game was a 13-0 loss.

This year, since it went all fast-pitch, ALL players went on the draft and had to try out - yes, even the veteran players. She's on a team that is much better-coached than the team she had the last two springs. I think, win or lose, this is going to be the best season for her in three years.

Brittany's next game is tomorrow night.
Peace,
BMP

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CHRISTUS VINCIT ANYWHERE! 130



You can listen below, or save the file by clicking here. (35:45/32.7 MB)
After enough comical Don't Do This at Church segments, I figured I'd touch base with a couple of bad Masses that I stumbled into myself over the past three weeks or so. First of two parts.

Feasts for the week:
St. Justin; SS. Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus;
St. Anicetus. For more information: New Advent Website.

CVA Suggestion Box: Music suggestions for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
For more information: CanticaNOVA Planning Page for Easter V-A

Music: Clouds or Smoke, by Derek K. Miller, courtesy of Podsafe.
Christus Vincit Sports: Shamus bought a Red Sox shirt on E-bay for 50¢. Listen to find out whose shirt it is. Brought to you by the Christian Duplicating Service.
Additional Links: Holy Family NYC Worship Leaflet for 4/13/08

Awards to vote for:
Blogger's Choice Awards; Blogger's Choice: Best Religion Blog
Blogger's Choice: Best Podcast (Thank you for your support!)

CVA/CVTV Krakowska Kielbasa Wall of Fame; How to Get Your Deli on the Wall of Fame

CVA Interactive Corner (including that rapidly growing Facebook group, Fans of Christus Vincit Anywhere)

STORY OF MY LIFE

Another rejection call. What else is new at this point? I guess "you make the organ sing" wasn't good enough! My bet is that the guy that got the job was the one I saw walking out with the gig bag on his back.
Peace,
BMP

Sunday, April 13, 2008

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Fourth Sunday after Easter (Extraordinary Form/Low Mass)
April 20, 2008 - 5:00 PM
St. Leo the Great Church, Pawtucket, RI

Alleluia! sing to Jesus..."Hyfrydol"
Regina caeli...Lotti
Cantate Domino canticum novum...d'Indy
Now thank we all our God..."Nun Danket"

If I had a full choir to work with, the Viadana "Exultate Justi in Domino" would be in order.

Peace,
BMP

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS, AND A GROOVY IMPROV

St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI
Fourth Sunday of Easter - April 13, 2008


Today I went to Mass as pewsitter at my "retreat" - the "sure thing" in terms of hearing some good music on a great pipe organ (III/31 Compagnie des Orges Canadiens) while fulfilling my Sunday obligation and being able to get back home in time for my daughter to make her softball scrimmage. As per usual, the music was on the most part very good.

Alleluia! Alleluia! hearts to heav'n and voices raise..."Hymn to Joy"
The Lord is my Shepherd...Alstott
Celtic Alleluia...Walker/O'Carroll
The King of love my Shepherd is..."St. Columba"
Massive Cremation (Paul, the music director/organist, razzed me after Mass, "I was thinking of you when I was playing this" - LMAO!)
My God and my All...Zaragoza (simple text, nice melody, not rushed; had a feel of either a Spiritual or Early American, but I actually liked it)
To Jesus Christ, our sov'reign King..."Ich Glaub an Gott"

After Mass, Paul and I chatted and he was telling me of a wedding he attended yesterday that was similar to the funeral I encountered last Wednesday. In his case, it was a Ruffati pipe organ that was cast aside in favor of piano. He also led me to this groovy improv by Philip Faraone on the beloved Christmas carol, Angels we have heard on high. Phil is the organist at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence, RI. The organ: a 125-rank, four-manual Casavant Freres, one of the world's largest trackers, built in 1972 under the supervision of none other than Alexander Peloquin. Here's the video:



If you type in "Philip Faraone" in the search in YouTube, you'll come up with some groovy gems of him accompanying the Gregorian Concert Choir (the Cathedral's resident choir), directed by Father Anthony Mancini (the Cathedral's music director AND rector), at St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome. You'll be in for a treat. Big thanks to Paul at St. John's for the tip.

Peace,
BMP

Nottoway Plantation Trip

Yesterday, some of friends and I took the short road trip south of Baton Rouge to White Castle, Louisiana to visit the Nottoway plantation. The house, built in 1859 is one of several large plantation homes on the River Road extending between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. To our readers in the Lafayette area, I would highly recommend a day trip down to White Castle for a fascinating jaunt into Louisiana history (especially if you are interested in the antebellum and Civil War eras). The mansion is now a B & B, so you could also spend the night there. There are regular guided tours of the house. Kudos to the tour guides! They share with you detailed information regarding the Randolphs (the family who built the house -- the family cemetary is there on site), life at the plantation, and historical/cultural information regarding the objects in the house. Only a few pieces of furniture are original to the house, as when the master died, Mrs. Randolph sold the mansion and the furniture and moved away. However, all the furniture is period. The house sits only yards behind the Mississippi River levee. You can see the main river shipping channel from the upstairs porch. In the study, framed in a shadow box, is some grapeshot fired on the house from a Yankee gun boat. The shot became embedded in a front column of the house, and fell out of the wood to the porch some time in the early 1970's. Here are some pictures:

A live oak on the grounds

The round side porch

The front porch

The garden

The music room: 2 forte pianos, a melodia, and a harp

Thursday, April 10, 2008

REVENGE OF THE PEW SITTERS

Our good friend Sir Monocle left this link in the combox of my wife's aunt's funeral post. This is almost a reverse of what happened in my last parish as music director.

'Era of pay, pray and obey is over'
Lobbying with cash: Catholics at Lemont church protesting to bring priest back
By Steve Schmadeke
SUN-TIMES NEWS GROUP

Last summer, some parishioners at St. Alphonsus Church in Lemont were angry when a new music director dismissed the 60-year-old traditional music choir. (WTF???)

Musically miffed parishioners started a "Pennies from Heaven" campaign, putting just a single cent into their weekly offering envelope.
(Wow! Talk about trying to take their parish back!)

About six months later, the archdiocese intervened, the pastor and music director relented and the choir was brought back for one Mass a month, according to people involved in the campaign.
(Once a month! Whoopie doo!)

"The choir went to war because no one listened to us," said Diane Bronzell, who sings alto in the choir and led the protest campaign. Neither the pastor nor archdiocese returned calls from the Southtown. "They blame us (for speaking out). They said we've sinned. We knew money talks."
(Now, did you ever notice only when one cries foul because the Mass has been sabotaged that suddenly the one crying foul is "arrogant, uncharitable, and sinful?" But it's altogether different when the shoe's on the other foot!)

[...]

Meanwhile, at St. Alphonsus, Bronzell said, the traditional choir has shrunk from 40 to 15. She said so many restrictions have been placed on the choir since it was reinstated that she may restart her protest campaign. (Ah yes, just like those trying to place restrictions on the Extraordinary Form despite the liberties Pope Benedict XVI gave us in Summorum Pontificum)

The shame of it is that St. Alphonsus Church is a nice looking church, at least from the picture on the parish website. What the hell is this pastor and music director thinking?

In my last parish, income shrunk since my arrival there (though not to the extent of giving only a penny a week), but it wasn't until two months before I was sacked that I was told that "music was to blame". I didn't disband the choir that my predecessor had. They followed her out the door on their own. But there were enough people pissed off, I guess.

Was it because I play the organ like an organ? Or was it really my introduction of actual Catholic music?

Peace,
BMP

OFF-TOPIC: A VOCABULARY PET PEEVE

Has anyone noticed lately the influx of people that celebrate "one-month anniversaries", "six-month anniversaries", etc? Guess what --- there's no such thing. Anniversary is by the YEAR, not the month. After the first month, you could invent a crazy term like a "mensaversary" ("mensis" is Latin for "month"). And for six months, there's already a word - "semester" (from the Latin "semestris"). But this "anniversary" bit is a year - twelve months - 365 days (366 this year, and again in 2012) - no less.

Peace,
BMP

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

RELATIVE'S FUNERAL: A MUSICAL SABOTAGE

This morning my wife and I attended the funeral Mass for her aunt (she was 84). Man, has the music taken a steep downhill slide! The church is a modern build in my hometown (the original, much nicer looking, church burned down in 1976), with a three-manual Rodgers and a recently-acquired digital piano. See if you can guess which instrument was used for the ENTIRE Mass. Yup - the digital piano. Every freakin' piece was arpeggio after arpeggio after arpeggio. Apparently they haven't gotten the fact that cocktail lounge music does not belong at Mass. It was more mortifying than death itself. Here's the rundown:

As my wife and I and the rest of the funeral procession entered the church, we were entertained with the lounge-like instrumental stylings of We will rise again by David Haas.
The opening hymn was Amazing Grace, of course.
Apparently the "pianist" doesn't know much about (or is just completely ignorant of) liturgical rubrics, as Shepherd me, O God was the Psalm, which really sounded like background tracks to a soap opera (or as my mom would call it back in the 60's and 70's, "my story").
The Alleluia was from the St. Louis Jesuits debacle.
The offertory was Gentle Woman, without the Hail Mary part.
The music for the Liturgy of the Eucharist was from, wait for it, wait... for... it..., Massive Cremation.
The Communion was, of all $#^&^#$% things, All I ask of you - yeah, at Communion, we sing of being sentimental with our friends.
The song of farewell was Bob Dufford's Songs of the angels (blech!)
The recessional was How great thou fart, complete with vocal ad libs on the second verse.

The entire music program reeked of mellow cocktail lounge entertainment, or perhaps one of those old "easy listening" piano albums that my mom had collected over the years.

My wife's aunt, rest her soul, must have been mortified.
Peace,
BMP

Monday, April 7, 2008

CHRISTUS VINCIT ANYWHERE! 129




You can listen below, or save the file by clicking here. (33:32/30.7 MB)
Technology has made even Holy Mass accessible on the Web. In today's show, we've picked out the four churches with the best regular celebrations of the Mass (and with the best music) in English on the Web.

Feasts for the Week: St. John Baptist de la Salle; St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Leo I.
For more information: New Advent Website.

Christus Vincit Semi-Live on I-195: Last Sunday, I was the substitute organist for two Masses at a friend's parish in Fall River, Massachusetts. Per that friend's request, I am keeping the friend's name and parish name anonymous. Today we discuss the music we did that day, the Third Sunday of Easter.

Music:
Sing with All the Saints in Glory (tune: Hymn to Joy)
O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing (tune: O Filii et Filiae)
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (tune: Hyfrydol); The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done (tune: Victory)
To Victory, by DJ Topshelf, courtesy of Podsafe

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Cathedrals Built in the 21st Century Edition, courtesy of Maracas.

Additional Links:
St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine (Boston, MA); Holy Family Church (New York, NY);
St. John's Abbey (Collegeville, MN); Cathedral of the Madeleine (Salt Lake City, UT);
Intermountain Catholic Broadcasting

If you own or shop at a deli or market that sells Krakowska Kielbasa (the official deli meat of CVA and CVTV), please drop me a line at bpage69 [at] yahoo [dot] com, so that I can send that deli a neat little flyer as well as promote the deli on the podcast. Not only will this promote Christus Vincit ANYWHERE!, but someone's great deli will get promoted too, as well as a great sandwich meat.
Details here
/ WALL OF FAME here

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(Thank you for your support!)

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Friday, April 4, 2008

THE HOUSTON CO-CATHEDRAL DEDICATION...

...was celebrated in a world-class liturgy. I encourage you to catch the video clips here. Cardinal DiNardo really says Mass with class.

High points:
The deacon proclaimed the Gospel reading in Latin.
Cardinal DiNardo used abundant chalices - REAL chalices, not glass pitchers.
The music on the most part had a Vatican feel to it. Excellent!

Low points:
I've watched at least half of the clips on Channel 13, and I didn't find any low points at all.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has a lot to be proud of. I can't marvel enough!
Peace,
BMP

Thursday, April 3, 2008

WE MADE THE WASHINGTON POST

More developments on the DC Debacle

My initial missive on the music lists for the Pope's Mass in DC was linked in this article in the Washington Post (the article was dated 3/20, though I just found it today, RSCT to Aristotle).

After the list went up last week, Catholics who believe church music has veered too far into entertainment (and away from tons of Gregorian chants) objected angrily on various blogs (here, and here) and reportedly sent a torrent of hateful emails to Thomas Stehle, director of the special papal choirs put together for the April 17 Mass.

Well, I can't say I was hateful, nor did I send any e-mails. I can't speak for all writers. I DID express a desperate concern about certain selections. I mean, COME ON! THIS IS THE FREAKIN' POPE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE! HE DESERVES THE BEST! OK - shout mode off. Seriously - If Mass of Creation and Plenty Good Room are amongst the best, I'd hate to see the list of what pieces stink.

I also left a positive note in my little missive, and that's the fact that the powers that be in NYC actually GET IT!

Peace,
BMP

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

MARTY HAUGEN SPEAKS

I'm sure many have heard about the music lists for the Pope's forthcoming Masses in NYC and in DC. Ah yes, Massive Cremation is programmed for the DC Mass. A lot of people, bloggers and commenters alike, have put up a stink over it, and rightfully so. I truthfully think the Pope deserves a lot better than Mass of Creation. I don't necessarily mean look for those big choral or orchestral Masses from the 1500-1800's. But at least give him something decent.

That said, Marty Haugen himself left a comment at the Catholic Sensitivity blog. Of course, there is that chance it could be a troll posing to be Mr. Haugen. For the time being I'll give the benefit of the doubt that it was the real Marty.

For twenty plus years I have been told, mainly anonymously through the internet, how I have been personally responsible for destroying Roman Catholic worship. I have never responded; however, I wish to offer a few comments now.
First of all, although I am not Roman Catholic, I have a deep love and respect for and faith in the worship tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. My own hesitancy about joining the Church is not about its eucharistic theology, but rather around the unwillingness of the Church to commission, ordain and welcome all humans as Jesus did–male and female, married and unmarried, saints and sinners. I believe that the Church, God’s people and all of creation have suffered from this omission.
I do not think of my own music as central or important to Roman Catholic worship, present or future. I began writing as a parish musician; I still keep the vision that to be “catholic” is to learn and love and embrace the best of the past tradition and to welcome the “best” of what is new, as Gods [sic] speaks through all cultures and expressions (see “Lumen Gentia” [sic]). I leave it to communities and to the Holy Spirit that will (more than us, thank God) guide the future choices that will last.

I had nothing to do with the choice of “Mass of Creation” for a Papal Mass. Having said that, I believe that attacks upon Tom Stehle in his efforts to engage a congregation with what he hoped would be familiar and meaningful to them (using parts of the liturgy with currently approved texts) were unfair, un-Christian and beneath those of us who truly care about how God speaks through our Sacraments.

OK - I believe that Mr. Haugen did have nothing to do with Mr. Stehle's choice of Mass setting. Whatever BS story he or the DC organizers used to get Rome to approve it is beyond me. Was it even approved by Rome in the first place?

The problem is - Marty, your tunes are not that singable. Further, you claim you don't think your music is important to Roman Catholic worship. Yet, one of the largest Catholic publishers, GIA, has picked up all but a small handful of your abundance of published music. Worse, the other major publisers, WLP, OCP, and LitPress, have also picked you up big time. Most of the NPM cronies I've had the displeasure of running into on these boards go ga-ga over you and shun the music that the Roman Catholic church itself has called for to gain pride of place, and that's Gregorian chant. Pope Benedict XVI has decried, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and as Pope Benedict XVI, pop styles of music at Mass. But yet, guess what pops up...

No, it may not be your SINGULAR fault. However, I find fault in all that have promoted this sort of stuff - not just yours, but many like it.

As for your reasons for not joining the Catholic Church, I will commend you for not claiming you're Catholic. I'm still curious of how supposedly-Catholic publishers got to pick up music from someone whose beliefs oppose the Church's.

I say this with all due respect.
Peace,
BMP