Thursday, December 25, 2008


Christmas Day - 9 AM (Ordinary Form)
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


Merry and blessed Christmas to all readers, listeners, viewers, etc.
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


Let's pray that Rome does NOT approve the use of the Revised Grail Psalter, especially if it's the version I think it is - the "bastardized for so-called inclusive language version" which even neuters the Lord. Another ghastly alteration - "The Lord is my shepherd" becomes "Lord, you are my shepherd" - yes, from third person to second. The Latin "Dominus regit me" is clearly third person. Worse than that - it gives GIA an even bigger copyright monopoly on the liturgy. Their composers (namely Marty Haugen and David Haas) will be given pride of place in terms of their musical settings. If it's anything like that "Celebration Series" of Psalm settings that sold big in the 1980's and 1990's, prepare yourselves for a liturgical disaster in the making.

RSCT to Jeffrey Tucker.



John Cage's 4'33", orchestral version conducted by Lawrence Foster.


Saturday, December 13, 2008


...goes to the English clergy who get their rocks off of bastardizing the texts of the tried, tested, and true Christmas carols.

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


What do you think a worship aid using the extraordinary form of Holy Mass would be like if published by one of the "big three" (WLP, GIA, OCP)?

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


St. John the Baptist Church, Pawtucket, RI
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


On my way back from doing some business in Beverly, Massachusetts, for my teenage son's rock band this afternoon, I spotted a very prominent church, St. Mary Star of the Sea. It was about ten past three, and I took a curiosity peek (I would have loved to stay for Mass, but my son and his bandmates were waiting and we had to get back to *shudder* Rhode Island).

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!


After all, the ICEL will not allow anyone to have access to a true musical setting to the new translation of Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form until the major publishers have released their version.

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.



Hats off to Jeffrey Tucker, who was about as rational as humanly possible in this post about a chat with a man who plays guitar and piano in church. I don't know if I could be that rational, to be honest.

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


The extent of my political posting intelligence!

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.