Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hymn to St. Joseph

For those looking for a sturdy, manly hymn in honor of St. Joseph, Jeffrey Wisniewski and I would like to offer the following for any good purpose this year.

Mr. Wisniewski's fine original tune and setting may be found here, or the text may be sung to ST. ANNE (O God, Our Help in Ages Past).

Some of the verses are specific to the original congregation, seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, and to the life of the priesthood.

Please feel free to sing as desired in your home schools and parishes.

Hymn to St. Joseph
Hymn text commissioned by Kenrick-Glennon Seminary on the occasion of the dedication of the renovated St. Joseph Chapel

O Holy Joseph, you restored
King David’s house and line,
O guardian of King David’s Lord:
The Son of God divine.

When years at last their course had run,
And Mary’s “yes” was said,
God chose you for His only Son,
And by an angel led.

Like Joseph from of old you learned
In dreams God’s will to see.
From Egypt’s land His Son returned,
Fulfilling prophecy.

O most chaste spouse! O husband pure!
Whose name the demons dread!
You kept the infant Church secure,
In God the Father’s stead.

Make us true men to serve the Lord,
Obedient till the end;
Like you to give our lives outpoured,
Our guardian and our friend.

Like you to work with patient skill
To glorify God’s name,
Like you to do the Father’s will,
And hide from worldly fame.

O blessed guardian of the Church,
Direct us all our days.
Teach us to preach to those who search,
And lead God’s people’s praise.

O patron of a happy death!
When life at length is through,
May He be close at our last breath,
Who was so near to you.

To Father, Son, and Spirit be
All glory evermore.
St. Joseph, through eternity,
May we with you adore!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

All Those Obscure Musical Terms

This is, perhaps, old for some of you but I just saw it for the first time, and thought most of us could use, if not a laugh, a smile.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Fifty-One Years After the Council: No 7 and Last in Our Series on Vatican II

When all is said and done, what are the major unresolved issues from the four major constitutions of Vatican II, and what are we as a Church facing now that stems from those issues?  In our last episode in this series on Vatican II, we explore all of this and more.    

We hope you have enjoyed all of these episodes and it has spurred on great dialogue and a desire to learn more!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

“Cantate Domino”: an international declaration on sacred music

On Sunday, March 5, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Church's Instruction on Music in the Liturgy Musicam sacram, over 200 musicians, pastors, and scholars published a declaration under the title "Cantate Domino canticum novum".

The statement recalls the Second Vatican Council's teaching which describes sacred music as "a treasure of inestimable value", and it speaks of elements in common practice "that contribute to the present deplorable situation of sacred music and of the liturgy."

We, the undersigned—musicians, pastors, teachers, scholars, and lovers of sacred music—humbly offer to the Catholic community around the world this statement, expressing our great love for the Church’s treasury of sacred music and our deep concerns about its current plight.

The statement calls on the Church to (1) reaffirm the musical heritage of the Roman rite: Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony; (2) give children an exposure to the beauty of true musical art; (3) promote the professional training of lay church musicians; (4) insist on high standards for music in cathedrals and basilicas; (5) encourage every parish to offer at least one fully sung Mass every Sunday; (6) provide musical training for the clergy, to enable them to sing their part of the liturgy; and (7) educate liturgists in the musical tradition of the Church.

These recommendations, along with a discussion of widespread failings in musical practice, are fleshed out in the full document, which is available here. Versions in five other languages and a list of the signatories can be reached through the coverage at our sister site New Liturgical Movement.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pope Francis on Liturgical Music in Recent Decades:Sometimes a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed

...if we can call things of the past fifty years recent, which, on the scale of the Church's existence, they are.

A conference,  entitled "Music and the Church: cult and culture fifty years after Musicam sacram" was
organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for Culture.
“The encounter with modernity and the introduction of [vernacular] tongues into the Liturgy stirred up many problems: of musical languages, forms and genres....We need to promote proper musical education, especially for those who are preparing to become priests – in dialogue with the musical trends of our time, with the demands of the different cultural areas, and with an ecumenical attitude.”
(From his mouth to God's ear, and the ears of bishops and rectors of seminaries.) 

A common topic of discussion in the most progressive* liturgical music circles is how greater emphasis on an "ecumenical" use of hymnody could have spared, at least those of us in the English-speaking world, from much ugliness and banality inflicted in the name of "getting the people to sing," no?

(Side note: this is the first time I've ever read the phrase "liturgical animators" except as a quotation from older, past-their-sell-by-date sources.)

* I mean, of course, the authentically progressive.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Forty days, and three days

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gaudium et spes: No 6 in Our Series on Vatican II

In this penultimate episode in our ongoing series on Vatican II, we talk about one of the most controversial document of Vatican II, on the Church in the Modern World, placing in the context of everything from Humani generis to current theological debates.  

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dei verbum: No 5 in Our Series on Vatican II

Revelation is at the heart of the Church's message.  But what is the role of Scripture and Tradition in the deposit of faith?  In this episode of our ongoing series on Vatican II, we look at everything from the theological background to Vatican II to this important document of the Council and its aftermath.

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!

Friday, February 17, 2017

New CD from the London Oratory Boys Choir

The celebrated London Oratory Schola Cantorum Boys Choir has a magnificent new CD going on sale today.

Here is their beautiful promotional video. Enjoy!

For more information or to purchase:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Auricular Fast

A very interesting idea over at Ninevah90, (about which I have no opinion, and little knowledge, but i think the title tells it all) regarding a musical and aesthetic "palate cleansing," the better to approach discernment, in matters musical, yes, but without reading more on the site yet, I believe in all things pertaining to the life of Faith.
even most dedicated Christians have lives that are too noisy, too suffused in music and media, and lacking in aesthetic discernment. Aesthetic discernment is important because it allows us to develop gates and strongholds to our inner lives, the very gates and strongholds that are antithetical to modern approaches to “entertainment.” In short, we want to grow up spiritually in regards to music and media as well.
Anyone know Mark Nowakowski?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lumen gentium: No 4 in Our Series on Vatican II

In our continuing series on Vatican II, today we look closely at the Constitution on the Church and discuss a lot of the theological preparation for that document, including Pius XII's Mystici corporis.

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Star of the Sea