Thursday, December 29, 2016

January 1, 2017: Mary, Mother of God

Falls on a Sunday this year!  Masses are the regular Sunday schedule (Saturday at 5 PM; Sunday at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM).  Brass and singers are off.  I will be leading the singing from the console this weekend.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advent IV and a Concert

On Sunday, December 18, at 2 PM, there is a Christmas concert, dubbed The Joyful Sounds of the Season, at St. Matthew Church in Cranston, RI.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

An Action-Packed Four-Day Weekend

The Thursday Mass is an Extraordinary Form High Mass at SS. John and James Church in West Warwick, RI (where I am the "organist du jour").  The rest are all Ordinary Form Masses at Sacred Heart (where I am the parish organist).

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Day and I Advent

This Thursday, Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, we have one Mass at 9 AM.  It's also the last day of the Laus Tibi Christe Mass, for a time. 馃槈

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

This weekend, we have our brass trio for three of our Masses, as well as a substitute soprano.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sunday XXXIII at Sacred Heart

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Feast of St. Andrew Avellino

Extraordinary Form of the Mass (High Mass), 3rd class
SS. John and James Church, West Warwick, RI
Thursday, XI-10, at 7 PM

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Prelude and Postlude: TBD
Ordinary: Mass VIII
Proper: Common of Confessors (not Bishops)
- Complete Proper of the Mass, Koch and Greene, pp. 73-75, set #4

Hymns (tentative):
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty ("Lobe den Herren")
Praise the Lord, ye heav'ns, adore him ("Hymn to Joy")

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Endorsement from the Scriptorium

I, Brian Michael Page, in sound mind and body, hereby endorse Donald J. Trump for President of the United States.  Make no mistake about it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sunday XXXI

This is the last weekend for Community Mass, as we switch to the Laus Tibi Christe Mass for November (up through Thanksgiving, but except All Souls).

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sunday XXX

Know your Roman numerals, folks!  I did NOT mean "triple-X-rated Sunday"!!!!!

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Three-Day Weekend at Sacred Heart

First Friday this month, October 7, is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.  I decided to pull out a golden oldie for this one: O Queen of the Holy Rosary (tune: Ellacombe), using the text from The New St. Basil Hymnal (published by the Basilian Fathers in 1958).

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

First Friday and Sunday XXIII at Sacred Heart

This three day weekend consists of our First Friday Sacred Heart Community Mass, as well as the XXIIIrd Sunday of Ordered Time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sunday XXI, SS. Dominico Abate e Pietro Martire

This weekend, in addition to the 21st Sunday of Ordered Time, we're at that time in August where our parish honors two patron saints of Fornelli, Italy, birthplace of many of our parish's founders.  The saints are Dominico Abate (Dominic the Abbot) and Pietro Martire (Peter the Martyr).

The Olympics - New Sports Needed!

My first actual blog post in over a month, other than music lists.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

First Friday and Sunday XIX at Sacred Heart

This coming First Friday Mass doubles as a memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sunday XVIII at Sacred Heart

In light of the recent sick and twisted killing of Fr. Hamel in France by ISIS, I chose a prelude and postlude in light of that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Three-Day Weekend (July Version)

This three-day weekend consists of the First Friday Sacred Heart Community Mass on VII-1 at 6 PM, and the weekend Masses for Sunday XIV of the Year.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sunday XIII at Sacred Heart

After this weekend, we will put the Laus Tibi Christe Mass away until November, and switch to settings in English for July-October.  Details on that next weekend.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Funeral Talk

How to deliver an effective eulogy at a Catholic Funeral Mass in ten easy steps:

It's Time to Play the "Mystery Vocal Output" Game!

This one is for the singers!  Ever go to sing (especially at Holy Mass) and find out you have to "expect the unexpected"?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sunday XI at Sacred Heart

Back to somewhat of a "slowing down" stage, both liturgically and for me personally.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Requiem Matris Meae

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of my dear mother, Theresa Page.  She died Tuesday evening (May 31) at about 11:30 PM.  She had been ill for quite some time.  She was a month and a half shy of turning 84.

The Three-Day Weekend at Sacred Heart

First Friday this month is also the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, our parish's Patronal Feast.  Joining us will be our brass trio.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Corporate Naming Rights: ORGAN BUILDERS

It's amazing the crazy thoughts that can come to one's mind while in the car or in the shower, or on the can.  Last night, it was corporate naming rights, you know, corporations putting their names on things, namely sports venues.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
at Sacred Heart Church

The brass trio returns this weekend for three of our four Masses, one of them also being First Communion.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gott Vater, sei Gepriesen (and Keep It Real, Part Deux)

Today, Trinity Sunday, I'm sure most Catholic parishes have used the tune Gott Vater, sei Gepriesen with the hymn Sing Praise to Our Creator (those with World Library Publications hymnals/missalettes) and O God, Almighty Father (almost everyone else).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Keep It Real!

Over the past couple of decades, the two biggest publishers of music for Roman Catholic parishes, OCP and GIA, have come out with the worst hymnals for English-speaking Catholics in the United States, hands down.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Don't Do This at Church!

I haven't done a Don't Do This at Church post in ages.  Today, I have a double feature for you!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Most Holy Trinity at Sacred Heart

Starting with this weekend, we put away the Picchi ("Cristo Risusciti") Mass and begin use of the Caudana ("Laus Tibi Christe") Mass for the remainder of May and all of June.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Scriptorium Got a Little Plastic Surgery

Yeah!

I opted for the newspaper motif for the "Epistles" blog, thus the new title, font, and color scheme.

Come Spend Some Time with Mary

This and every Tuesday in the month of May:

Pentecost at Sacred Heart

This weekend, as we conclude Paschaltide with the Birth of the Church (50 days after Easter), we will have our brass trio, consisting of two trumpets and a French horn, at three of our four Masses.

Monday, May 2, 2016

An Action-Packed Week at Sacred Heart

Four, count'em, FOUR events happening this week at Sacred Heart!

"Psalm 151" for Ascension and VII Easter C
(May 5 and 8, 2016)

I'm presenting two planners in this post: one for Ascension, and one for VII Easter (Year C).  Of course, many dioceses celebrate Ascension on the Sunday after the actual Ascension. Those places can disregard the VII Easter list, as that's when Ascension falls for them.  Here in the Northeast, we're lucky enough to benefit from both Ascension Thursday (a Holy Day of Obligation) AND VII Easter.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Catholic or Pentecostal?

I stumbled onto this ad via a couple of Boston area organist friends from Facebook a while back.  I've been meaning to post on it.

Unfortunately, this is a real ad from the website of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mother Mary Alexis Donnelly

I don't often "share a memory" that Facebook encourages me to share, but I posted a link to this article on Facebook about four years ago.  This article has me connected in two parishes, believe it or not!

Something We've Been Trying to Say for Decades...

...is reiterated in this excellent article by Roseanne Sullivan.  I will let you read for yourself what she has to say, but I'll enter some snarky-ish thoughts of my own.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

V Easter at Sacred Heart

Following is the music for this coming Sunday's liturgy, for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

Entrance hymn: This joyful Eastertide, "Vreuchten"
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 145: R./ I will praise your name for ever, my King and my God, BMP (.pdf)
Alleluia: BMP, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Christ the Lord is ris'n today, "Surgit in haec dies"
- See this post in which I tell the tale about the two texts that begin with this line, and their two tunes each!  The tune used this day is the tune from which our seasonal Mass setting Missa "Christo Risusciti" is adapted.
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: Cantate Domino canticum novum, Vincent d'Indy
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Christ is alive, "Truro"

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Liturgy Planning using "Psalm 151"
V Easter C (24 April 2016)

INTROIT
Psalm 98: Sing to the Lord a new song

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 145: I will praise your Name

ALLELUIA
Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae" (Easter Season)
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

OFFERTORY
Psalm 66: Shout with joy to God

COMMUNION
Psalm 80: I am the true vine

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How to Make Ordinary Look Extraordinary

Don't let the title of this post deceive you.  I don't mean "add more extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion"!  I still remember the initial nightmare of the formal installation of the first five men at the church I attended as a teenager.  They really thought they were extraordinary.  Talk about an "all about them" moment if there ever was one!  But I'll save that for another post.

I read an excellent article from The New Liturgical Movement this afternoon on how to made the Ordinary Form of the Mass (current Missal) seem as sacred as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (1962 Missal), just by sneaking in some elements that seem unique to the Extraordinary Form (but could very easily go well in the Ordinary Form).  And it's something I see periodically from time to time from different priests - not all of the elements from all of the priests in question.  Mind you, I've only familiarized myself with the Extraordinary Form in 1999, when I served four solid (but very happy) years at Holy Name in Providence.  I won't list all the elements the article lists.  I'll let you read the article to get them all (let's be fair to the author(s) of the original post).

I guess the first element I experienced was at Holy Name, in Ordinary Form Masses in the main church.  A bell (I call it the "introit bell") signaled the start of the entrance procession.  That practice is the norm at my current parish, Sacred Heart, as well.

At a couple of parishes of late, including my current parish, there is the "triple ring" of the bells ("Sanctus bells", I believe they are called) at the elevations.  Now, if they were spread out like in the Extraordinary Form, that would be even cooler, I think - yeah, kneel (one ringy-dingy) - elevate (two ringy-dingy) - kneel (three ringy-dingy).

At my current parish, I inherited a nice practice in the Eucharistic Prayer, and we do this almost exclusively at Masses celebrated by the pastor.  There are a number of musical settings of the Mass where there is music for the elevations.  Traditionally, the Sanctus and Benedictus were often sung separately, especially if the music was a choral setting.  In between the two, while the priest prayed the Canon, the organ played softly, whether it be written music or improvised, but would open up once the Host was elevated, and once again when the Chalice was elevated.  Though the Sanctus and Benedictus is a single entity in the current Missal, I play the soft music (I often improvise on chant themes of the day or season), then open up with each elevation (near full organ).  The bells still ring along with the fanfares (three times).  After the Memorial Acclamation, the organ is silent until the concluding Amen.  (Incidentally, this practice is not effective with guitar or piano.  Has to be an organ.)

One tip of the article mentions always using the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).  I know some priests personally who do say the Canon exclusively, and invoking ALL of the saints listed (even the optional ones in parentheses, et al).  One of those priests also says "Through Christ Our Lord, Amen" in its specified instances (also suggested in the article).

Some priests now actually celebrate the Ordinary Form ad orientem.  Yes, you can do that, you know!  My pastor does that during Lent and Advent.  Unfortunately, our church is small, so at Christmas and Easter, the abundance of flowers takes over the ad orientem space.

Calling to mind another tip in the article, about using "The Lord be with you" --- In the traditional Mass, Dominus vobiscum is said/sung before the orations (Collect, Secret, and Post-Communion).  I once worked for a pastor (RIP) who would say "The Lord be with you" before those prayers in the Ordinary Form.

I'm usually not in the sacristy immediately after Mass (I'm doing a postlude), but I wonder how many people actually act on the suggestion of doing the prologue to John's Gospel (John 1:1-14, known in the Extraordinary Form as the "Last Gospel", which concludes all Masses on Sundays and feasts) en route to, or inside of, the sacristy after Mass.

In the "Mnemonic Principle" paragraph, that is, adding things that no longer exist in the current Missal, like commemorating saints/feasts that no longer exist on the day you're celebrating, I think so much of my own birthday, July 1, which used to be the fixed date of the feast of the Precious Blood.  In the traditional liturgical calendar (you can find this in most hand missals), in addition to the feast/saint of the day, many days also have commemorations of yet another saint/feast).  This is the concept I think of in reading that paragraph.

Another idea would be to reinstate the Dies Irae sequence at the Funeral Mass.  One could chant this during Communion, after the Lux Aeterna.  Or, if you're really brave, go ahead and add it after the Epistle reading, the proper location of said sequence.

Finally, expanding on the Funeral Mass topic, something we do as a rule at Sacred Heart is use the traditional responses to the Agnus Dei tropes unique to Masses for the Dead.  Traditionally, the Sanctus and Agnus Dei for the Requiem Mass (and even the Funeral Mass to this day) are taken from Mass XVIII (the most commonly used Mass chants in Latin, as they come from the Jubilate Deo collection of Mass chants issued by Pope Paul VI in 1974, as well as amongst the simplest chants).  But in the traditional Mass, the two instances of "miserere nobis" is replaced by "dona eis requiem", and the ending "dona nobis pacem" is replaced by "dona eis requiem sempiternam".  I inherited this practice at Sacred Heart, and continue it to this day.  Even the visiting priests I've done funerals with like this.

So many ways one can put the "Holy" back into "Holy Mass".

SAVE THE LITURGY, SAVE THE WORLD!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Music for IV Easter at Sacred Heart

Music for Holy Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, aka "Good Shepherd Sunday" in the Ordinary Form (Extraordinary Form just got the "Good Shepherd Sunday" this past Sunday, which was the Third Sunday OF Easter in the Ordinary Form, and Second Sunday AFTER Easter in the Extraordinary Form).  Have I now made anyone numerically challenged yet?  (tee hee!)

Here we go: Music for Fourth Sunday OF Easter (or Third Sunday AFTER Easter lol)

Entrance hymn: At the Lamb's high feast we sing, "Salzburg"
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 100: R./ We are his people, the sheep of his flock, Royce Nickel
Alleluia: BMP, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Crown him with many crowns, "Diademata"
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: He shall feed his flock, G.F. Handel (alto and soprano soli)
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Christ the Lord is ris'n today, "Llanfair"

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Good Shepherd Sunday (IV Easter C)
"Psalm 151" Style (17 April 2016)

Selections from my Psalm 151 project as they apply to the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C, aka (in the Ordinary Form) Good Shepherd Sunday.

INTROIT
Psalm 33: The earth is full

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 100: We are his people

ALLELUIA
Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae" (Easter Season)
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

OFFERTORY
Psalm 63: O God, my God

COMMUNION
Psalm 23: I am the good shepherd

As an aside, if you have a copy of Ted Marier's brainchild hymnal Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles kicking around, check out Sr. Theophane Hytrek's I am the good Shepherd, #377.  It's quite nice!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Designer High Pulpits R Us!

OK - who has a caption for this designer high pulpit?  Found this on Facebook this morning!





In what looks to be an otherwise beautiful church, this high pulpit came from the Church of Saint Rocko in beautiful downtown Bedrock (thus the spelling "Rocko" instead of "Rocco").  Or was it Saint Stoneyslaus?  Or perhaps Our Lady of the Gravel Pit?

Dinosaurs were used for many purposes on The Flintstones.  Fred used one to move rocks around from one pile to another for Mr. Slate's quarry.  Dinos also served as buses, taxicabs, paddy wagons (Fred got hauled in by one for disturbing the peace once), and even a piano (on the early 70's Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm cartoons, in which Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are teenagers).  But I've never seen one as a high pulpit until today.

Whatever edifice the dino pulpit came from, I'm sure it had rock-solid pews, as well as organ pipes carved from rock (you can see the steam blowing out of them as the music is played).  And since everyone in Bedrock walked barefoot, that made the Washing of Feet so much easier on Holy Thursday.

YABBA DABBA DOO!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Music for III Easter at Sacred Heart

Hopefully we won't get any more snow!

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Entrance hymn: Rejoice, angelic choirs, rejoice, "Mit Freuden Zart"
- Some hymnals use the name "Bohemian Brethren" for this tune.  Same thing.  I prefer "Mit Freuden Zart", because "Bohemian Brethren" reminds me to much of "Bohemian Rhapsody", and though I like most of Queen's songs (when I'm not in church), the "Rhapsody" is one of only two of their songs I cannot stand.  It's like coming to church and hearing "Eagle's Wings" for the 154,000,000th time.
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 30: R./ I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me, Sam Schmitt
Alleluia: Owen Alstott, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II
Offertory hymn: Christ the Lord is ris'n today, "Heil uns Heil, Alleluia"
- While most hymnals name this tune "Victimae Paschali" or in full "Victimae Paschali Laudes", I think too much of the Mode I tune used for the Paschal sequence of the same name.  For a while, mainly the 1980's and 1990's, We Celebrate (before J.S. Paluch fully merged with World Library Publications) used the name "Heil uns Heil, Alleluia" for this very tune.  The text is actually a paraphrase of the "Victimae Paschali Laudes".  Further, this text is not to be confused with the more popular Charles Wesley text that is set with Alleluias to the tunes "Llanfair", "Gwalchmai", and (in some hymnals) "Easter Hymn" (the latest used in most hymnals with the Lyra Davidica hymn, Jesus Christ is ris'n today).
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: O Sacrum Convivium, Roberto Remondi
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: This joyful Eastertide, "Vreuchten"

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Music for III Easter (C) (10 April 2016),
according to"Psalm 151"

The Propers from my Psalm 151 project for use for this coming Sunday (April 10, 2016), the Third Sunday of Easter, Year C

INTROIT
Psalm 66: Shout with joy to God

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 30: I will praise you, Lord

ALLELUIA
Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae" (Easter Season)
- includes parts for two B-flat trumpets, B-flat trombone or F horn, and timpani

OFFERTORY
Psalm 146: Praise the Lord, my soul

COMMUNION
Psalm 19: O Lord, you know all things

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Music for First Friday and Low Sunday at Sacred Heart

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

First Friday - Sacred Heart Community Mass
Friday IV-1-16 at 6 PM

Normally we'd open and close with Sacred Heart hymns, but since we're in the Octave of Easter, we will sing the great hymns of Paschaltide.

Entrance hymn: The day of Resurrection, "Ellacombe"
Psalm 118: R./ The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone, BMP, adapted from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II.
Alleluia: from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II.
Offertory hymn: The strife is o'er, "Victory"
- Excerpted from Palestrina's Gloria Patri.
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion responsory: O Filii et Filiae, Mode II
Recessional hymn: Jesus Christ is ris'n today, "Easter Hymn"

Second Sunday of Easter
Saturday IV-2-16 at 5 PM; Sunday IV-3-16 at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM

Traditionally known as Low Sunday or Quasimodo Sunday (after the assigned Introit of the Day), also declared by Pope John Paul II in 2000 as Divine Mercy Sunday.

Entrance hymn: Jesus lives, thy terrors now, "St. Albinus"
Gloria: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 118: R./ Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love is everlasting, Owen Alstott
Sequence: Christians, to the Paschal Victim, Mode I
- The Sequence of Easter Day, which can be used every day within the Easter Octave, including this day, the Octave day itself.
Alleluia: from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II.
Offertory hymn: The strife is o'er, "Victory"
Liturgy of the Eucharist: Missa "Christo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi, and adaptations thereof
Communion anthem: Adoro Te Devote, Mode V
Post-Communion hymn: Regina Caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Jesus Christ is ris'n today, "Easter Hymn"

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Monday, March 28, 2016

How to Make the Best of "Psalm 151"
on Divine Mercy Sunday (April 3, 2016)

You can find the whole works right here!

And yes, the Sequence of Easter Day is optional every day within the Octave!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!
BMP

Sunday, March 27, 2016

What Might Be an Unexpected Theme...

...on which to improvise at Eastertide!

Some people often play prepared postludes at the end of Mass.  Others improvise.  Either way is fine as long as they sound good, of course.  I am one of those guys who (most of the time) prefer to improvise.

I for one would never say that playing a prepared postlude from an actual piece of sheet music is a bad thing.  In fact, it's a great thing.  I have longed for the longest time to get the courage to spend some time in front of the Finale of the "Widor V" (that is, the Fifth Symphony of Charles Marie Widor) and try to tackle it.  I confess that it has not happened yet.  However, I have heard it played by some of the world's greatest organists, on local, national, and worldwide levels (OK, the latter two via YouTube and TV).  There are some postludes I have played of a much lesser difficulty, of course.

As of late, I've been really inspired to work on my improvisational skills, and again, by listening to some of the greatest organists existing today.  On a local level, Providence's own Phil Faraone, who is the organist at our local Cathedral (SS. Peter and Paul, Providence, where the late great Alexander Peloquin served from 1950-1990).  On a more distant galaxy far, far away, one can hear the great musical wizardry of Olivier Latry, titular organist at the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  You can listen to Monsieur Latry in "beast mode" here.

I once heard a young organist in a small Catholic church where I attended as a teen do an improvisation on a theme that I was one of few to recognize, and while I wouldn't dare to try such a thing, again, I was intrigued at 14.  The theme: Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues.  I'm sure not many picked up on it, but I did.

So, of course, a few YouTube videos later and I find myself learning some new tricks!  What can I say?  If it's something that intrigues me and I really want to learn it, I'm a sponge!  (And no, I don't mean in a Spongebob Squarepants sort of way!  That guy is just freakin' creepy!)

SO COME ON!  WHAT'S THIS "UNEXPECTED THEME"???

I find the most fun in improvising on Gregorian themes.  During Lent, I did improvs for preludes and postludes based on basic Lenten chants such as the Mode I Parce, Domine and the Mode V Attende, Domine.  I've even improvised on Mass XVII (the Mass setting actually intended for the Sundays of Advent and Lent).  On other days, I've toyed with sections of the Mode I Ave Maria, and even Paul Cross' Mary, the Dawn, which is based on Psalm Tone 4 (the latter appears in the Pius X Hymnal and the 1984 People's Mass Book).

Today I toyed around with a few different Paschal themes.  For prelude, I improvised on O Filii et Filiae (O sons and daughters), a Mode II processional from Paris that dates back to the 15th century.  For Communion at the 7:30 AM Mass, I managed to come up with a theme around the "Amen, alleluia" ending of the Mode I Paschal Sequence, Victimae Paschali Laudes (Praise to the Paschal Victim).  I also used the sequence as a whole as an additional prelude for the 11:15 AM Mass.

But what one might not expect to hear an improv on this day in age is this:

which translates in modern notation to this:

If you don't read music in either notation, you can listen here.

In my younger days, this was the ONLY Alleluia played before the Gospel in many parishes --- year round (except during Lent, of course)!  That's because many parishes had Monthly Missalette in the pews at that time, and of the six alleluias given in the Order of Mass section of the missalette, this was the first.

In addition, a little known factoid for those who have never perused a Liber Usualis or a Graduale Romanum: the alleluia shown above (Mode VI) is the traditional antiphon to the proper Communion for the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.  This appears in the Graduale, even today, in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, as the proper Communion.

So, there you have it!  My postlude was based on the once-popular Mode VI triple Alleluia.  I say "once popular" because, over the last couple of decades, as many parishes seem to have dumped Monthly Missalette for OCP's Breaking Bread or Muzak Issue, many seem to have subsequently dumped this beloved Alleluia for the so-called Celtic Alleluia, a setting that makes me want to grab a mug, or perhaps a stein!

Going back about three paragraphs, almost (but not quite) as a post-scriptum from the Scriptorium, I did mention that there were six alleluias given in the Order of Mass section of Monthly Missalette in my youth.  These were placed just before the readings of the month, and were as follows:

1. The above pictured Mode VI Alleluia
2. The alleluia from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II
3. An adaptation of a ditty called Sing Alleluia, by James Gerrish (The alleluia part of it isn't all that bad, and for the Alleluia before the Gospel, the word "Sing" was dropped, thankfully!)
4 and 5. Two alleluias by the late Robert Twynham, longtime music director at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.
6. The alleluia from Wonderful and Great, by Lucien Deiss.

In my regular rotation of Alleluias to this day, I still use #'s 1, 2, 5, and 6, though #'s 3 and 4 are not so bad either.  Beats the hell out of Celtic Alleluia.

Hope you all had a wonderful blessed Easter!

Quod scripsi, scripsi!  (My new closing: What I have written, I have written!)
BMP

PS (yes, an ACTUAL post-scriptum): Rest in peace, Mother Angelica, the Poor Clare nun who founded the Catholic network EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).  She died today, Easter Sunday, at the age of 92!  This nun did great work in bringing good solid Catholic programming to viewers around the world, and being rewarded by the Lord calling her home on the day of His Resurrection!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Sacred Triduum 2016 at Sacred Heart Church

Holy Thursday of the Lord's Supper
Thursday III-24-16 at 7 PM

Entrance hymn: Lift high the cross, "Crucifer"
Kyrie and Gloria: Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe", Federico Caudana
Psalm 116: R./ Our blessing cup is a communion with the blood of Christ, BMP (PDF)
Gospel Acc: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP, adapted from Mode I (PDF)
Offertory hymn: At that first Eucharist, "Unde et memores"
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion anthem: Ave verum Corpus, Camille Saint-Sa毛ns
Solemn Translation of the Holy Eucharist: Pange Lingua, Fr. Carlo Rossini

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion
Friday III-25-16 at 7 PM

Psalm 31: R./ Father, into your hands I commend my spirit, Sam Schmitt (PDF)
Gospel Acc: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP, adapted from Mode I (PDF)
Adoration of the Holy Cross:
- God so loved the world, Sir John Stainer
- T茅nebrae factae sunt, Johann Michael Haydn
Music at Communion:
- Adoro Te, O Panis Caelice, Louvain
- Ave Verum Corpus, Lorenzo Perosi
- Tantum Ergo, Oreste Ravanello
Post-Communion: Abide with me, "Eventide"

THE EASTER VIGIL IN THE HOLY NIGHT
Saturday III-26-16 at 7 PM (with brass)

Exsultet: Missal chant
Psalm 104: R./ Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth, Owen Alstott
Psalm 16: R./ You are my inheritance, O Lord, BMP (PDF)
Exodus 15: R./ Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory, BMP (PDF)
Gloria: Missa "Cristo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Alleluia: Alleluia "O Filii et Filiae", BMP, excerpting from the Mode II chant (PDF)
Litany of saints: Missal chant
Vidi Aquam: Joseph Gruber
Offertory hymn: The day of Resurrection, "Ellacombe"
Sanctus: Missa "Cristo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Memorial Acclamation: We proclaim your death, O Lord, BMP, adapted from Picchi
Amen: BMP, adapted from Picchi
Agnus Dei: Missa "Cristo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Communion anthem: Hallelujah!, G.F. Handel (from Messiah)
Post-Communion hymn: Regina caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Jesus Christ is ris'n today, "Easter Hymn"

Easter Sunday
Sunday III-27-16 at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM (brass at latter two Masses)

Entrance hymn: The day of Resurrection, "Ellacombe"
Gloria: Missa "Cristo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Psalm 118: R./ This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, Owen Alstott
Sequence: Victimae Paschali Laudes, Mode I
Alleluia: Owen Alstott, excerpting from O Filii et Filiae, Mode II
Vidi Aquam: Joseph Gruber
Offertory hymn: That Easter day with joy was bright, "Puer Nobis"
Sanctus: Missa "Cristo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Memorial Acclamation: We proclaim your death, O Lord, BMP, adapted from Picchi
Amen: BMP, adapted from Picchi
Agnus Dei: Missa "Cristo Risusciti", Luigi Picchi
Communion anthem: Hallelujah!, G.F. Handel (from Messiah)
Post-Communion hymn: Regina caeli, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: Jesus Christ is ris'n today, "Easter Hymn"

Peace,
BMP

Liturgy Planning with Good Old "Psalm 151"
Sacred Triduum 2016

Instead of doubling up on details, I'll give you links to the planning pages in Christus Vincit Music.





Peace,
BMP

Friday, March 18, 2016

Liturgy Planning with "Psalm 151"
St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary (March 19, 2016)

This might be a bit late (I just finished this set last night), but if you can sight-read these in a pinch, great.  If not, save this reference for next year.  Here are the "Psalm 151" components for this Saturday (March 19), the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, thus the foster father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

INTROIT
Psalm 92: The just shall flourish
R./ based on Miser茅ris 贸mnium, D贸mine; V./ Tone 1, plus alternate original SATB tone

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 89: The Son of David
R./ metrical, with descant; V/. original

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (in lieu of Alleluia)
Gospel Acclamation "Vex铆lla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

OFFERTORY
Psalm 89: My faithfulness and mercy
R./ chant; V/. original

COMMUNION
If Matthew Gospel is read: Psalm 112: Joseph, son of David
R./ chant; V/. original
If Luke Gospel is read: Psalm 27: Did you not know
R./ chant-style; V./ Tone 5, plus alternate original SATB tone

Monday, March 14, 2016

St. Joseph and Palm Sunday at Sacred Heart

St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary
Saturday, III-19, at 9 AM, followed by Zeppoles downstairs!!!

Entrance hymn: Joseph, be our Guide and Pattern, "Oriel"
Kyrie: Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe" (Caudana)
Gloria: Mass VIII
Psalm 89: R. The Son of David will live for ever (BMP)
Gospel Acc: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP, adapted from Mode I (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Come now, and praise the humble saint, "Land of Rest"
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion hymn: Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All, "Sweet Sacrament"
Recessional hymn: Holy Patron, thee saluting, "Pleading Savior"

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
Saturday, III-19, at 5 PM; Sunday, III-20, at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM

This weekend, our brass trio (two trumpets and a French horn) and a tenor will be added to our regular trio (a soprano, an alto, and yours truly on bass and organ) for three of our four Masses.

Introit:
- Pueri Haebraeorum, from Six Palm Sunday Acclamations (Schubert) (except 7:30)
- Hosanna Filio David, Mode VII (7:30 only)
Processional hymn: All glory, laud, and honor, "St. Theodulph"
Gospel Acc: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP, adapted from Mode I (.pdf
At the kneel/pause (within the Passion): Adoramus Te, Christe (Dubois)
Offertory hymn: O sacred Head, sore wounded, "Passion Chorale"
Sanctus:
- Six Palm Sunday Acclamations (Schubert) (except 7:30)
- Mass XVIII (7:30 only)
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei:
- Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe" (Caudana) (except 7:30)
- Mass XVIII (7:30 only)
Communion anthem: Tenebrae Factae Sunt (M. Haydn)
Recessional hymn: To Jesus Christ, our sov'reign King, "Ich Glaub an Gott"

Peace,
BMP

Palm Sunday Liturgy Planning (March 20, 2016),
using the iSNARK! secret weapon, "Psalm 151"

Here it is, all the stuff you need for Palm Sunday with my on-going pet project, Psalm 151.  Here goes!

INTROIT
Hosanna to the Son of David/Hosanna Filio David - Lumen Christi Missal, page 136.
I didn't do one, but here's my reference to the best bet.  Link given is external.

PROCESSION OF THE PALMS
Hymn: All Glory, Laud, and Honor - using the standard tune, St. Theodulph (found in any decent Catholic hymnal), or using my own simplified version of the Mode I Gloria, Laus, et Honor tune.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 22: My God, my God
R./ metrical, original; V./ original

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (in lieu of Alleluia)
Gospel Acclamation "Vex铆lla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

OFFERTORY
Psalm 69: For food they gave me gall
R./ minor; V./ Tone 1, with original alternate SATB tone

COMMUNION
Psalm 116: Father, if this cup
R./ metrical, original; V./ original

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

V Lent at Sacred Heart

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

I'm going to play with a slightly different format today.  (tee hee!)

Ordinary:
- Missa Populare Laus Tibi Christe (Ky)
- Mass XVIII (Sa, Ag)
- ICEL chant (Mem C)
- Amen melody based on Sanctus from Mass VIII

Intervening Chants:
- Psalm 126 (Calabrese) (.pdf)
- Gospel Acclamation Vexilla Regis (BMP) (.pdf)

Hymnody:
- "Rockingham" - When I survey the wondrous cross (Entrance)
- "Eventide" - Abide with me (Offertory)
- "King's Weston" - At the Name of Jesus (Post-Communion)
- "Horsley" - There is a green hill far away (Recessional)

Communion anthem:
- Parce, Domine (Rossini)

Peace,
BMP

Monday, March 7, 2016

Liturgy Planning using "Psalm 151"
V Lent (March 13, 2016)

Following is our Liturgy Planner using my Psalm 151 project for the Fifth Sunday of Lent.

INTROIT
Psalm 43: Vindicate me, O God
Completely original, though based on Tone 8, with alternate original SATB tone

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 126: The Lord has done great things for us
R./ Minor; V./ Tone 5, with alternate original SATB tone

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (in lieu of Alleluia)
Gospel Acclamation "Vex铆lla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

OFFERTORY
Psalm 119: I will praise you, O God
R./ Lydian; V./ Tone 5, with alternate original SATB tone

COMMUNION
Psalm 32: I condemn you not
R./ Minor; V./ Tonus Peregrinus, with alternate original SATB tone

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Amazing Grace

What are the words?
GIA can't seem to make up their minds!

It's not very often we sing Amazing Grace at our parish, especially on Sundays.  It's one of the few more "popular hymns" I don't mind using every now and then.  Of course, the Gospel reading of today (IV Lent, Year C, as I write this) tells that the "prodigal son" "was lost, but has been found".  So, I once was lost, but now am found, seems kosher.

But what about the line of hymn text before that?

The most popular opening line in most hymnals, even Catholic hymnals, is (with very little doubt) Amazing grace! how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  A smaller chunk of worship aids use Amazing grace! how sweet the sound that saved and set me free.  But what do you do when a particular hymnal uses both?

Now, I'm not referring to a hymnal that has both texts at the same time (e.g., the second text below the first, probably in parentheses, italics, or both). First of all, you have to consider the source: Worship - Third Edition (one of two hymnals at our parish), published by GIA Publications, which (as many readers of the former incarnation of this blog may remember) can't seem to make up their minds as to hymn texts.  I'm referring to when two editions of the same exact hymnal have contrasting texts.  I discovered this while singing this with my two other singers at the 5:00 PM Mass last night.  The pew edition had the saved a wretch like me line, while the choir edition had the saved and set me free line.  So, before the 9:00 AM Mass this morning, I checked the pew book, and sure enough, wretch like me.  Since that's what the people downstairs in the pews are singing, I instructed the singers to sing that text from then on.

And here's a funnier note: As I combed through the copies of Worship - Third Edition that were in the choir loft, both pew and choir editions, plus the landscape organ edition and the spiral guitar edition, I noticed that all the pew books upstairs, plus the organ and guitar editions,  had the wretch like me line.  All the copies of the choir edition had the set me free line - except one!  I happened to stumble on one copy of the choir edition that had the wretch like me line.  How the hell did that happen?

BTW, so you know, they were all the original 1986 editions of the hymnal, not the 1998 updated edition that came with the Lectionary changes of that time.  The 1998 update has the wretch like me line, at least in the pew edition that I have a copy of here in the scriptorium.  I also have the 1986 original pew edition, which has set me free.  I also have a pew edition and a choir edition of RitualSong, also by GIA, published in 1997.  That seemed to be more consistent - wretch like me in both copies.

Just picture this (another hymn now): There are four editions of Worship - the original Worship (1971), Worship II (1975), Worship - Third Edition (Worship III would have been too easy, 1986), and Worship - Fourth Edition (2011).  Read this post, and go to my reference to On Jordan's Bank (Worship IV, #392) and how the second verse differs with each edition.

The folks at GIA just can't seem to make up their minds!

Peace,
BMP

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

First Friday and Laetare Sunday Music at Sacred Heart

Here it is, folks, the music for the Sacred Heart Community Mass (First Friday) and Sunday IV of Lent, that is, Laetare ("Rejoice") Sunday at Sacred Heart Church.

Sunday IV of Lent is definitely my favorite Sunday in Lent in which we organists get to use a little more organ than the other four Sundays (I, II, III, and V) of Lent.  OK, definitely not "Easter Mode".  After all, we still have to wait three more weeks for the Alleluias to kick in.  March 19, St. Joseph's Day, is the only time before Easter we'll get to use a Gloria, as that day is a solemnity, and only at the morning Mass, as that's a Saturday, and the evening Mass will anticipate Palm Sunday, well, in the Ordinary Form anyways.  I also look forward to playing St. Joseph's Day each year, not only for the solemnity atmosphere, but for the zeppoles that follow.  (Ah! The benefits of working for a predominantly Italian parish!)  ;)

Anyhoo, here is the music list for this weekend:

First Friday (Sacred Heart Community Mass)
Friday III-4-16 at 6:30 PM

Entrance hymn: O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine
Psalm 15: R./ He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord, Sam Schmitt
Gospel Acclamation: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP, adapted from Mode I (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Attende, Domine, Mode V
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion hymn: Ubi Caritas, Mode VI
Recessional hymn: To Jesus' Heart, all-burning

Fourth Sunday of Lent
Saturday III-5-16 at 5 PM; Sunday III-6-16 at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM

Entrance hymn: When I survey the wondrous cross, "Rockingham"
Psalm 34: R./ Taste and see the goodness of the Lord, BMP  (.pdf)
Gospel Acclamation: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP, adapted from Mode I (.pdf)
Offertory hymn: Our Father, we have wandered, "Passion Chorale"
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII 
Communion anthem: God so loved the world, Sir John Stainer
Post-Communion hymn: Amazing Grace, "New Britain"
Recessional hymn: Lift high the cross, "Crucifer"

Peace,
BMP

Monday, February 29, 2016

Liturgy Planning, Psalm 151 Style!
IV Lent (Laetare Sunday, March 6, 2016)

Following is our Liturgy Planner using my Psalm 151 project for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare, or "rejoice", Sunday).  Yes, open up the organ a little more this Sunday.  LAETARE!

INTROIT
Psalm 122: Rejoice, O Jerusalem
R./ Phrygian mode; V./ Tone 5 with alternate original SATB tone

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 34: Taste and see
R./ chant-style, ionian; V./ completely original

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (in lieu of Alleluia)
Gospel Acclamation "Vex铆lla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

OFFERTORY
Psalm 13: Enlighten my eyes
R./ based on Ill煤mina Oculos Meos; V./ Tone 4 with alternate original SATB tone

COMMUNION
Psalm 32: Rejoice, for he who was dead
R./ minor key; / V. Tonus Peregrinus with alternate original SATB tone

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

III Lent at Sacred Heart Church

Saturday, February 27: 5 PM
Sunday, February 28: 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM

Entrance Hymn: Forty Days and Forty Nights, "Heinlein"
Kyrie: from Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe", Federico Caudana
Psalm 103: R./ The Lord is kind and merciful, BMP
Gospel Acclamation: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP
Offertory hymn: Jesus, Lover of My Soul, "Aberystwyth"
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII 
Communion anthem: Jesu, Salvator Noster, Fr. Carlo Rossini
Post-Communion hymn: Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee, "Windsor"
Recessional hymn: Take Up Your Cross, "O Jesu Mi Dulcissime"

Peace,
BMP

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Liturgy Preparations using "Psalm 151"
III Lent C (February 28, 2016)

Following is our Liturgy Planner using my Psalm 151 project for the Third Sunday of Lent.  For this Sunday, you can (once again) use one of two Introits.

INTROIT
Psalm 25: My eyes are turned
R./ chant-style, minor; V./ Tone 4 with alternate original SATB tone
- OR - Psalm 34: I will give you a new Spirit
R./ chant-style, ionian; V./ completely original

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 103: The Lord is kind (I)
R./ chant-style, mixolydian; V./ Tone 8 with alternate original SATB tone

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Gospel Acclamation "Vex铆lla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

OFFERTORY
Psalm 19: Your servant will observe
R./ chant-style, minor; V./ completely original

COMMUNION
Psalm 84: Blessed are they who dwell
R./ chant-style, mixolydian; V./ Tone 8 with alternate original SATB tone

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

II Lent at Sacred Heart Church

Saturday, February 20: 5 PM
Sunday, February 21: 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM

Entrance hymn: We sing the praise of him who died, "Breslau"
Kyrie: from Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe", Federico Caudana
Psalm 27: R./ The Lord is my light and my salvation, R./ by Richard Proulx, V./ by Joseph Gelineau, SJ
Gospel Acclamation: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP
Offertory hymn: The glory of these forty days, "Erhalt uns, Herr"
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII 
Communion anthem: Ave Verum, Lorenzo Perosi
Post-Communion hymn: Let thy Blood in mercy poured, "Jesu, Meine Zuversicht"
Recessional hymn: There is a green hill far away, "Horsley"
 
Peace,
BMP

Monday, February 15, 2016

Liturgy Preparations using "Psalm 151"
II Lent C (February 21, 2016)

Following is our Liturgy Planner using my Psalm 151 project for the Second Sunday of Lent.  For this Sunday, you can use one of two Introits.

INTROIT
Psalm 27: My heart has declared unto you
R./ chant-style, minor; V./ Tone 5 with alternate original SATB tone
- OR - Psalm 25: Remember your mercies, O Lord
R./ chant-style, minor; V./ Tone 4 with alternate original SATB tone

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 27: The Lord is my light
R./ chant-style, minor; V./ Tone 5 with alternate original SATB tone

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (in lieu of Alleluia)
Gospel Acclamation "Vex铆lla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

OFFERTORY
Psalm 119: I will meditate on your commandments
R./ chant-style, major; V./ Tone 5 with alternate original SATB tone

COMMUNION
Psalm 45: Tell no one about the vision
R./ chant-style, major; V./ completely original

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Lent and Stations of the Cross at Sacred Heart

First Sunday of Lent
Saturday II-13-16 at 5 PM; Sunday II-14-16 at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM

Entrance hymn: Praise to the Holiest in the height, "Newman"
Kyrie: from Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe", Federico Caudana
Psalm 91: R./ Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble, R./ by C. Alexander Peloquin, V./ by Joseph Gelineau, SJ
Gospel Acclamation: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", BMP
Offertory hymn: Lord, who throughout these forty days, "St. Flavian"
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII 
Communion anthem: My song is love unknown, John Ireland
Post-Communion hymn: When I survey the wondrous cross, "Rockingham"
Recessional hymn: Jesus, Name all names above, "St. Theoctistus"

Stations of the Cross and Holy Communion
Tuesdays of Lent and Passiontide at 7 PM

Format for all six Tuesdays:
At the Entrance, and after each Station: At the Cross her station keeping 
- The book we use has two verses at the very beginning, two verses after station 1, one verse each after stations 2-6, two verses after station 7, one verse each after stations 8-13, and two verses after station 14.
The Lord's Prayer is recited.
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Ecce, Agnus Dei is recited.
Communion hymn:
- Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All, "Sweet Sacrament" (February 16, March 1 and 15)
- Let thy Blood in mercy poured, "Jesu, Meine Zuversicht" (February 23, March 8 and 22)
Recessional hymn: Lift high the cross, "Crucifer"

Peace,
BMP

Monday, February 8, 2016

Liturgy Preparations using "Psalm 151"
I Lent C (February 14, 2016)

Here we go with another Liturgy Planner using my Psalm 151 project, this time for the First Sunday of Lent.  There's a lot of Psalm 91 going on for this day, plenty enough so that you don't have to resort to the "Eagle's Claws".

With the exception of the Gospel Acclamation, all of these pieces have an original response (the Responsorial Psalm has a nice solemn metrical response in common time, the others are in chant), and the verses are set to Tone 1, with an alternate original SATB tone.

INTROIT
When he calls to me, I will answer him (Psalm 91)

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble (Psalm 91)

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (in lieu of Alleluia)
Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

OFFERTORY
The Lord will hide you with his shoulders, and under his wings you will find refuge (Psalm 91)

COMMUNION
The Lord will hide you with his shoulders, and under his wings you will find refuge (Psalm 91)
Note: Unlike the Offertory (which is the exact same music as the Communion, but only one versicle from the Psalm, plus the Gloria Patri), the Communion has five versicle pairs from the Psalm.

Peace,
BMP

Liturgy Preparations using "Psalm 151":
Ash Wednesday (February 10, 2016)

Greetings!

Following is the first of a series of "liturgy planners" utilizing components of my pet project, dubbed Psalm 151, a set of Introits, Responsorial Psalms, Alleluias (in this case, the Lenten Gospel Acclamation in lieu of Alleluia), Offertories, and Communions for the complete three-year liturgical cycle.  It is a work in progress, with the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Passiontide completed, as well as the Easter Vigil.  As of the time I write this post (4:20 PM on Monday, February 8, 2016), I am now into the Third Sunday of Easter in this project.

Without further ado, here is Ash Wednesday!  And yes, I've even thrown in a Parce D贸mine-based responsory for the Distribution of Ashes.

INTROIT
Your mercy extends to all things, O Lord (Wisdom 11 and Psalm 57)
R./ based on Miser茅ris 贸mnium, D贸mine; V./ Tone 1 with alternate original SATB tone

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned (Psalm 51)
completely based on the Mode I Parce, D贸mine.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (in lieu of Alleluia)
Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis" (Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ)
R./ based on Vex铆lla Regis Pr贸deunt; V./ Tonus Peregrinus

DISTRIBUTION OF ASHES
Parce, D贸mine, parce p贸pulo tuo, ne in aet茅rnum irasc谩ris nobis (Psalm 51)
completely based on the Mode I Parce, D贸mine.

OFFERTORY
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have raised me up (Psalm 30)
R./ chant-style, mixolydian; V./ Tone 7 with alternate original SATB tone

COMMUNION
He who ponders the law of the Lord day and night shall bear fruit in due time (Ps. 1)
R./ chant-style, lydian; V./ Tone 5 with alternate original SATB tone

Peace,
BMP

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

First Friday, Sunday V (with a BANG!), and Ash Wednesday at Sacred Heart

First up, the Sacred Heart Community Mass, this Friday (First Friday, II-5-16) at 6 PM, which is also the Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr.

Entrance hymn: O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine
Psalm 18: R./ Blessed be God, my salvation, Tone 8
Alleluia: Owen Alstott (A-flat chant-style)
Offertory hymn: In the cross of Christ I glory, "Charlestown"
Sanctus: Holy Angels Mass, BMP
Memorial AcclamationWe proclaim your death, O Lord, BMP (Holy Angels Mass)
AmenDresden Amen, arr. by Theodore Marier
Agnus DeiHoly Angels Mass, BMP
Communion hymn: Pange Lingua, Mode III
Recessional hymn: To Jesus' Heart, all-burning 

Now for the biggie this week, Sunday V of the Year.  Being the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday, this is the last time we get to use the word Alleluia for a few weeks.  It is customary that we add a few extra alleluias to our hymnody and what not, and this weekend is no exception, especially in our Communion anthem.  Saturday Mass (II-6-16) at 5 PM.  Sunday Masses (II-7-16) at 7:30, 9, and 11:15 AM.

Entrance hymn: Alleluia! sing to Jesus, "Hyfrydol"
Gloria: Holy Angels Mass, BMP, or spoken
Psalm 138: R./ In the sight of the angels, I will sing your praises, Lord, Owen Alstott
Alleluia: Owen Alstott (A-flat chant-style)
Offertory hymn: I sought the Lord, "Artavia"
Sanctus: Holy Angels Mass, BMP
Memorial AcclamationWe proclaim your death, O Lord, BMP (Holy Angels Mass)
AmenDresden Amen, arr. by Theodore Marier
Agnus DeiHoly Angels Mass, BMP
Communion anthem: Festive Alleluia, Gordon Young
- Nice pompous piece, chocked full of alleluias!
Post-Communion hymn: Jesus, Name of wondrous love, "St. Bees"
Recessional hymn: Ye watchers and ye holy ones, "Lasst uns Erfruen"

And now, Ash Wednesday (II-10-16).  We put the Alleluias away, in our chant before the Gospel, and in our hymnody.  The Gloria is also omitted (except for the season's lone solemnity this year, St. Joseph, which falls on Saturday, III-19-16, the day before Palm Sunday).  We will also go into chant Mass Ordinary settings.  Masses are at 9 AM, 12 noon, and 6 PM.

Entrance hymn: Lord, who throughout these forty days, "St. Flavian"
Kyrie: from Messa Populare "Laus Tibi Christe", Federico Caudana
Psalm 51: R./ Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned, Alexander Peloquin (Songs of Israel, Vol. I)
Gospel Acclamation: Gospel Acclamation "Vexilla Regis", Mode I, adapt. BMP
Offertory hymn: Our Father, we have wandered, "Passion Chorale"
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Memorial Acclamtion: Save us, Savior of the world, ICEL chant
Amen: adapt. from the Sanctus of Mass VIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion hymnAttende, Domine, Mode V
Imposition of Ashes:
- Parce Domine, Mode I, adapt. BMP (9 AM and noon); Carlo Rossini (6 PM)

Peace,
BMP

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Of Cantors, "Song Leaders", and Soloists

Three days ago, I posted this blurb about cantors and "song leaders".  Today, I will continue down that road a bit.

If you noticed in the last blurb, I blatantly used quotation marks for the term "song leaders".  I did that because while some really do make an attempt to "lead" the singing of the people in the pew, for some, it's an audio/visual presentation.  Think of it as (quoting Happy Bunny with the big $&!+-eating grin) "Let's focus on ME!"  And again, many actually start listening (and staring) and stop singing.

But now, I'm going to go into the next phase of solo singing: the soloist.  This happens mostly at funerals and weddings.  Any organists reading this know of what I speak, especially if they've worked the northern Rhode Island circuit in the 1980's and 1990's.

I don't know if anything has changed since 1997 when I left my last northern Rhode Island parish as organist/music director, but certain funeral parlors had a knack for pushing soloists.  More than half the funerals I played in that area included a soloist, usually from outside the parish.  And, of course, many of them insisted on putting on their own show, and it was allowed by many a parish.  While, thankfully, nothing totally secular came about (except for one parish where the pastor once honored a request for John Lennon's Imagine, played, but not sung, as a recessional), but there was a good amount of crap being pushed.  There are a couple of soloists, probably deceased by now, who did use a repertoire of decent Catholic music, and, while they weren't doing Mass XVIII, they would usually do People's Mass or Christian Unity, both by the late Jan Vermulst, and not Massive Cremation, or the Jesuits Mass, or the current Missa My Little Pony.  But nonetheless, they come expecting to sing SOLO, and having the organist sing along with them (even if said organist is familiar with the tune, and whether in unison or in harmony) is generally frowned upon by the soloist, and sometimes even by the family who requested him/her.

Since breaking out of that circuit of having a soloist come almost unexpectedly every other funeral or more, I've been able to set a bit of a policy on soloists, and at my current parish, enforce it fully.  This goes basically for weddings and funerals, as there is no reason to work with outside soloists for Sunday Mass.

For example, if you're requested for a solo piece (e.g., an Ave Maria at the Offertory), fine.  You will get that solo.  But if you're familiarity with the Mass Ordinary settings is limited to Haugen, Haas, St. Louis Jesuits, and other similar composers disallowed at the parish, have a seat.  Speaking of Mass Ordinary, at funerals, we do Mass XVIII (with the pro Defunctis Agnus Dei) as a rule.  I am willing to give leeway to the aforementioned Vermulst Masses, plus Owen Alstott's Heritage Mass and Richard Proulx's Community Mass.  I'll even accomodate anyone who wants to give my own Holy Angels Mass a try.  :)  There may be some other Masses of similar quality that I may be able to sight-read quickly (or at least fake well).  Same policy goes with hymnody.

Wrapping this up: let's differentiate:

* Cantor: sings the versicles of the Responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia, and other such responsories.

* "Song Leader": leads the singing of hymns, Mass Ordinaries - those pieces that belong to the congregation.  Often accidentally becomes a soloist, by way of the dreaded microphone.  In no way should a "song leader" blare into a mic at the choir Mass.  Let the choir be the leaders.

* Soloist: sings pieces intended for solo voice.  Such examples would be most Ave Maria settings, the Franck Panis Angelicus, and the Faure Pie Jesu.  Often by accident a "song leader" becomes one by way of the microphone (see above).

Peace,
BMP

Friday, January 29, 2016

Of Cantors, "Song Leaders", and Microphones

I know I've touched on this previously, well, way way back when I was blogging regularly under the Christus Vincit moniker, but I don't think many new readers (the few I may have) will want to try to dig back a decade into the archives to see what I (or any blogging partners I had) really wrote.  Or will they?

I am a regular poster and lurker on the Facebook page "I'm Fed Up with Bad Church Music".  It's a great group for venting about really bad music that often takes place in our churches.  And it's not only for Catholics (though a good number of us are).  Many Protestant faiths are represented on the page as well.  It's one of many ways some of us give an example of what NOT to do at church.  The page is extremely active, not to mention well over 11,000 members strong!  And, like any other page, you might get a small handful, or maybe even one or two who join the page for the sheer purpose of calling us out for our task at hand, but that we'll save for a future post.

Anyhoo, on the above mentioned page was posted a video of a guitarist and singer at (surprise, surprise!) an Episcopal church bellowing (and I do mean "bellowing") the infamous I Am the Bread of Life.  You know, the ditty often referred to as "Toolanbread", after the ditty's songwriter, Sr. M. Suzanne Toolan, RSM.  I would normally expect such at a mainstream Catholic church, and I'm sure even most Episcopal organists would writhe in pain after hearing this!  Here is that video...


Like any other thread in an active page or listserv, while much of the thread stayed on topic, there were places that branched off into discussions about cantors, "song leaders", and the dreaded microphone.  That is my inspiration for my post as it appears below the following lovely string of asterisks.

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A cantor's basic role is to sing the Psalm, whether it be in the form of the Responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia (and its versicle), a Communion responsory (proper preferred).  Those are the things usually assigned to a cantor.  Of course, the responses to such Psalmody belongs to the congregation.

The role of "song leader" (if one is really needed) would be to lead the singing of the hymns, the Mass Ordinary, and other items that belong to the congregation.  Ideally, at Masses in which the choir is singing, then the choir is the "song leader".  More on this two paragraphs down.

Does a cantor or "song leader" really need a microphone?  Under proper conditions (acoustics good, singer(s) trained to project well, congregation's turn to sing), no.  I remember a liturgy committee leader (who had a brother for whom I worked for eight years later on) once telling me back in the summer of 1983 that if the person leading is singing too loud, the congregation will very likely "start listening and stop singing".  And in many cases, he's right.  So, why the microphone, except to attract attention to oneself?

My biggest pet peeve is not only a cantor or "song leader" (Don't you just love the way I use quotation marks?  Tee hee!) blaring into a microphone, but even doing so when there is an able and competent choir singing.  Is that really necessary?  I've seen it in small churches and cathedrals alike.  The choir is singing, yet there is the "song leader" up front, blaring into a mic, flapping his/her arms up in the air when it's time for the people in the pew to sing (we have to hope and pray that said "song leader" does not have B.O.), thus the choir is hardly heard.  Before I took the job at Sacred Heart, my wife Ann and I once went to a small church not far from home where the situation was exactly that for the entire Mass!  The choir, a very competent one, I might add, was basically relegated to serving as the back-up group for their "featured singer".  And wouldn't you know, just months later, a pastor from another church called me up, asking me if I was interested in the organist position there.  I learned that he was looking to downgrade the music program severely (not in his words, but he talked up his moves like they were bragging rights).  That included unplugging the three-manual Moller pipe organ and replacing it with an electronic "keyboard", hiring a "song leader" from the outside, and relegating the choir to merely backing up their "featured singer" (and yes, the pastor used the words "featured singer")!  This, sadly, is what it has come down to in many parishes.

More on microphone abuse:  More than once have I played a funeral where the family requested a singer who was not only microphone happy, but very loud, and very warbly.  Funny thing is that in both cases that come to mind the most for me, the opening hymn was Amazing Grace, and in both cases, it sounded like this:
A-HA-MAY-HAY-HAY-HAY-HAY-ZIN-HING GRAY-HAY-HAY-HAY-HAY-HACE,
HOW-HOW-HOW SWEE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE-HEET THE-HUH-HUH SOU-HOU-HOU-HOU-HOU-HOUND...
Without amplification, the hymn was sung fortissimo ("ff", or "very loud", for any non-musicians reading this).  Add the mic, the end result was an earth-shattering fortissitissitissimo ("ffff" or "extremely loud").  In the latter case, the parish secretary asked me what the hell that noise was, as she could hear it from the rectory!

First of all: LOSE THE MIC!  If the singer is trained properly, he/she will project.  As a member of a chorus in high school (a public high school, mind you!), we were trained to project, so that we could be heard without the aid of microphones (or at least "excessive microphones").  I was Jud Fry in our high school production of Oklahoma! in my junior year.  We all had to project.  Even the women with the softest of voices that got roles projected.  They made themselves heard with no amplification whatsoever.  We were very fortunate to have a choral director (Mrs. Nectar Lennox) and a drama teacher (Miss Gail Frappier) who taught us those things.  GIA Publications may be publishing a lot of crappy music as of late, but they did come out with a couple of good buttons that were being sold in bulk.  One of them was "BACK OFF! LET THE PEOPLE SING!"

Next: Carpeting --- if it's killing the acoustics, get rid of it!  You don't need it.  So now that's two things we don't need - excessive mics and carpeting.  Save your scuttola!  Thus the other GIA button: CARPET BEDROOMS, NOT CHURCHES!"

Finally: if you have a drop-ceiling in your music area, lose it!  I had to deal with one in a former parish whose name and location I will not mention.  It was a nightmare!  It also had carpeting.  Nightmare times two!

If the choir sings at Mass, let them lead the hymns and sung Ordinary.  You don't need a separate "song leader" to drown out the choir.  Teach them to project as a group.  Give the cantor parts (Psalm versicles, etc.) to someone within the choir who can project them from his/her spot in the choir.   You can even write choral versicles.  There is no written rule stating that Psalm versicles have to be sung solo.  Here's a sample video from St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, Australia (where George Cardinal Pell of ICEL fame was Archbishop until February 2014):


You may have to fast forward to spots like the entrance hymn and the responsorial Psalm.  But you will notice that there is not a cantor within eyesight or earshot in that mammoth cathedral.  Not to mention the musical selections are of very high quality.  Oh, and it was merely the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time!

Carpet bedrooms, not churches!
Back off! Let the people sing!

SAVE THE LITURGY, SAVE THE WORLD!

Peace,
BMP