Sunday, February 20, 2011

NOW THIS IS WHAT A SUNG MASS IN ENGLISH SOUNDS LIKE!

This morning, I made an almost split decision (is the other night "split decision" enough?) to take my wife and my daughter to the church that sets the standard and then some when it comes to liturgy and music:

ST. PAUL CHURCH, CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
home of the
BOSTON ARCHDIOCESAN CHOIR SCHOOL

The only disappointment is that the boy choir was on vacation (as the Choir School is on vacation this week). However, the Men's Schola did not disappoint my ANY means. Impressive is an understatement when it comes to the music that happens at St. Paul's. It's too bad I never got to attend Mass there when John Dunn was Music Director, or even better, the late Theodore Marier. But the new director, John Robinson, is just as good!

At the time of the 1984 edition of the parish's hymnal, Hymns, Psalms, and Spritual Canticles, Ted Marier was the director, and John Dunn was his assistant. The hymnal was Marier's brainchild. Better musicians may be familiar with his contributions to the Pius X Hymnal of the mid 1950's. Dunn contributed a sizable amount of hymn texts to the current hymnal. The hymnal is out of print. Perhaps a new edition with the new Roman Missal translation? Would be nice!

Let's just say for the first time, my wife and daughter got to experience a FULL sung Mass! Here is the music list:

Introit: Domine, in tua misericordia speravi (Graduale Romanum)
Entrance Procession: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Lobe den Herren)
Kyrie and Gloria from Missa a Simplicitate by Jean Langlais - in English
Psalm 103: Marier chant setting with Psalm Tone 7a from the parish hymnal
Alleluia for Sundays of the Year I by Theodore Marier
Credo II in English
Offertory: Intende voci (Graduale Romanum)
Hymn: Praise, my soul, the King of heaven (Lauda Anima)
Sanctus: Minor Mode by Theodore Marier - in English
Memorial: Christ Has Died (Marier)
Amen: Eucharistic Prayer Conclusion I (Major Mode) (Dresden, slightly altered)
Lord's Prayer: Marier chant
Agnus Dei from Missa a Simplicitate by Jean Langlais - in English
Communion: Narrabo omnia mirabilia tua (Graduale Romanum, with verses)
Recessional: We give immortal praise (Love Unknown/John Ireland)

One would be hard-pressed to find a music program THIS GOOD in southern new England. Probably St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, CT.

If this isn't the ideal when it comes to the Mass in English, it's DAMN CLOSE! Heavenly!
Peace,
BMP

5 comments:

RC said...

Isn't it great?

Brian Michael Page said...

Yes it is. And who woulda thunk? This was an ENGLISH Mass! I'm just imagining (as the men were great) how much greater it would have sounded with the boys added on.
BMP

Richard R. Bunbury said...

But of course!

Lynne said...

But how was the homily?

Brian Michael Page said...

I forgot most of what Fr. Drea preached about, but he was good.
BMP