Friday, June 24, 2016

Reminder: live video stream of Mass from the Cathedral in St. Louis

A scheduling note: the Colloquium’s Mass from the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis will be streamed live on the internet, thanks to the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.  The Mass begins at 5:30 p.m. Central Time (6:30 p.m. Eastern), and the stream will be available at .

The music program for the liturgy follows, with the various choirs of colloquium participants indicated. The music repertoire book is available for download at the CMAA web site.

Friday, June 24, 5:30 p.m. (Central), Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Mass, ordinary form, Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Bishop James D. Conley (Lincoln, Nebraska), celebrant
Bishop Conley, at the plenary address
he gave Friday morning.
Horst Buchholz, organist

Organ prelude: Fantasia sopra Ut queant laxis, Johann Jakob Froberger
Introit: De ventre matris (women’s refresher chant class, Mary Ann Carr-Wilson)
Kyrie: Missa Papæ Marcelli, Palestrina (Wilko Brouwers conducting)
Gloria: Missa Papæ Marcelli
Gradual: Priusquam te (chant improvisation class, William Mahrt)
Alleluia: Tu puer (women’s chant schola, Charles Cole)
Credo III (tutti) with Et incarnatus est from Missa Papæ Marcelli
Offertory: Justus ut palma (men’s faculty master choir, David Hughes)
Offertory motet: Iustorum animæ, Stanford (motet choir, Charles Cole)
Sanctus: Missa Papæ Marcelli
Memorial acclamation: Mortem tuam (tutti)
Pater noster (tutti)
Agnus Dei: Missa Papæ Marcelli
Communion: Tu puer (chant fundamentals class, Jonathan Ryan)
Communion motet: Iesu dulcis memoria, Victoria (motet choir, Charles Cole)
Organ postlude: Improvisation on Ut queant laxis

Colloquium Day 4: Requiem

The Sacred Music Colloquium continued Thursday with rehearsals, breakout sessions, and an annual favorite, a sight-reading session for new compositions, led by the genial David Hughes.

Participants returned to the Shrine of St. Joseph for the annual Requiem Mass offered for the repose of departed members of the CMAA. For many Colloquium participants, it was the first time they had an opportunity to experience this rite of the Church in its classic form, with the chants of the Mass for the Dead and traditional practices such as the singing of the sequence Dies irae and the use of a catafalque to represent the departed for whom the Mass is offered.  Here are the assembled participants after the Mass.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Colloquium Day 3: All Together

Before I write about Wednesday, let me follow up with a little more information about events that took place on Tuesday:

Thanks to Joel Morehouse (of the Setnor School of Music, Syracuse) for posting additional photos of the Mass at St. John the Apostle Church (the pro-cathedral) at our sister site New Liturgical Movement, where Joel is also a contributor on parish music and liturgy.

At the CMAA members meeting on Tuesday, general manager Janet Gorbitz announced that the 2017 Sacred Music Colloquium will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, from June 19 to 24, and one of the Masses will be offered at the historic St. Agnes Church in remembrance of Monsignor Richard Schuler, the long-time pastor and musician, co-founder of the CMAA, and editor of the journal Sacred Music.

In addition, Janet announced that registration is open for CMAA’s 2017 Winter Sacred Music event, to be held at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, Alabama next January.

On Wednesday, Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in St. Louis opened their doors and their organ loft to Prof. Ann Labounsky (Duquesne) who presented a breakout session on repertoire for pianists making the transition to the king of instruments:

And here is a view from the transept of Christ Church Cathedral:

At the end of the afternoon, Holy Mass at the Shrine of St. Joseph:

After Holy Mass, colloquium attendees came together in front of the Shrine for a group photo:

(Photo credits: Rene Zajner)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CMAA Colloquium: The Next Generation

This evening after Compline a group of the young and not- so- young met together in a corner of the hotel lobby rather spontaneously to sing and say the Rosary.

Just one more blessed moment in the wonderful and ever new movement we call The Church Music Association of America.

Colloquium Day 2: Let's get started

Some glimpses of Tuesday at the Colloquium:

After morning prayer and breakfast, the first session is a chant rehearsal:
at the men’s schola session taught by Wilko Brouwers,
the curve of a neume on the paper is echoed by its counterpart outside.

In Tuesday’s plenary address,
Dr. Mahrt describes the “musical shape” of the liturgy.

Colleen Crafton from the Ward Center in Richmond, VA
brought her own choristers (!) to demonstrate a Ward Method lesson.

Photographer Rene Zajner listens in
as David Hughes (of St. Mary’s, Norwalk) and some colloquium participants
try out new compositions the latter have brought.

Scott Turkington (and his double, through the looking-glass)
present a session on conducting polyphony.

As the polyphony rehearsals begin,
Charles Cole from the London Oratory School
brings the motet choir together with some exercises.

And after that session, it is time to put things into practice, to sing for Mass at the Pro-Cathedral of St. John.

Horst Buchholz (our host this week at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis) directs the Mozart choir in Tallis’ This is my commandment:

And with Holst’s famous tune, the Mass is ended.
[UPDATE: Joel Morehouse has additional photos of the Mass and information on the music presented at our sister site New Liturgical Movement.]

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Colloquium Day 1: Greetings and Felicitations

The 26th Sacred Music Colloquium of the Church Music Association of America began Monday evening in St. Louis. At the City Center Hotel, participants enjoyed a festive reception and dinner and were welcomed by chaplain Rev. Robert Pasley, the rector of Mater Ecclesiae Church in Berlin, NJ; and by our president, Prof. William Mahrt (Stanford).
The evening was made complete by a concert at the City Library, presented by Pro Arte Saint Louis, the early music ensemble conducted and co-founded by CMAA vice president Horst Buchholz.

(Photo credit: Rene Zajner)

Colloquium Day 1: Meet Us in St. Louis

The Basilica of Saint Louis, King (the “Old Cathedral”) in St. Louis, MO. (Photo credit: Rene Zajner)

Before the Sacred Music Colloquium even got started Monday, a group of participants met to visit some of the fine historic organs in the city of St. Louis. The group ended its tour at the Old Cathedral, near the Gateway Arch.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

On the Discernment of Charisms, and Suffering

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently released a Letter on the Charisms in the Church. The charismatic life is both strange and perfectly normal, because of the abiding presence in the Church of the Holy Spirit who "fills the whole world," according to the introit for Pentecost.

The letter refreshingly does not focus as some would on the opposition between order and charism, but rightly notes that there are hierarchical gifts as well as charismatic gifts, and they are meant to exist in ordered communion for the life of the Church.

One of the helpful paragraphs in the letter, and one that will strike a chord with many musicians, is in the section that explains how charisms are discerned. St. Paul said to test the spirits. What are the tests? According to the CDF, among them is this:
Acceptance of moments of trial in the discernment of charisms. Because a charismatic gift may imply “a certain element of genuine originality and of special initiative for the spiritual life of the Church” and in its surrounding “may appear troublesome”, it follows that one criteria of authenticity manifests itself as “humility in bearing with adversities”, such that: “The true relation between genuine charism, with its perspectives of newness, and interior suffering, carries with it an unvarying history of the connection between charism and cross”.Any tensions that may arise are a call to the practice of greater charity in view of the more profound ecclesial communion and unity that exists
 One sees this kind of suffering most readily in the founders of religious communities, who almost as a matter of course endure all sorts of bewildering disappoints of the kind St. Raymond of Penyafort once mentioned:
The sword falls with double and treble force externally when, without cause being given, there breaks out from within the Church persecution in spiritual matters, where wounds are more serious, especially when inflicted by friends.
The lives of the saints are chock full of these often surprising events and persecutions.

Church musicians of the reform-of-the-reform will readily recognize times when they felt that they or their friends appeared "troublesome" instead of eminently useful for the sake of the sacred liturgy. This is a painful experience for an artist, but one which should be endured faithfully and with humility.

Friday, June 10, 2016

In Praise of the Delightful Book of Psalms. Balm for Our Spiritual Health

It is a truism in musical theatre, (apart from opera, which is through composed,) when our emotions are too "big" to be spoken, we must sing them.
St Ambrose knew that:
    Moses, when he related the deeds of the patriarchs, did so in a plain and unadorned style. But when he had miraculously led the people of Israel across the Red Sea... he transcended his own skills (just as the miracle had transcended his own powers) and he sang a triumphal song to the Lord. Miriam the prophetess herself took up a timbrel and led the others in the refrain: Sing to the Lord: he has covered himself in glory, horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.
     History instructs us, the law teaches us, prophecy foretells, correction punishes, morality persuades; but the book of psalms goes further than all these. It is medicine for our spiritual health. Whoever reads it will find in it a medicine to cure the wounds caused by his own particular passions ..
     And as for the power of prophecy – what can I say? Other prophets spoke in riddles. To the psalmist alone, it seems, God promised openly and clearly that the Lord Jesus would be born of his seed: I promise that your own son will succeed you on the throne.
     Thus in the book of psalms Jesus is not only born for us: he also accepts his saving passion, he dies, he rises from the dead, he ascends into heaven, he sits at the Father’s right hand. The Psalmist announced what no other prophet had dared to say, that which was later preached by the Lord himself in the Gospel.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Corpus Christi in Valencia

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dominican Priesthood Ordinations Live on EWTN this Saturday

Tomorrow morning the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (Eastern Province) is scheduled to ordain 11 of their brothers priests of Jesus Christ.

The Ordination Mass will be broadcast live, at 9:30 Eastern time, on the Eternal Word Television Network. The venue is the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Our readers may be interested in viewing for any number of reasons liturgical and otherwise, including the consolation of the beautiful witness of so many excellent young men dedicating themselves to priestly service for the salvation of souls.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Hymn for the Morning

St. Robert Bellarmine's office hymn Orbis Patrator optime, in honor of the Guardian angels
Trans c. 2013
O best Perfector of all things,
who out of nothing being brings
through your almighty strong right hand;
who rules by provident command,

Come here to sinners, Lord, we pray,
assembled at the dawning day.
As day breaks through the dark of night,
Lord, give our minds a newborn light.

And may the angel guard you give
be with us all the days we live.
May he be ever close to win
protection from the plague of sin.

May he exterminate that claim—
the dragon’s envy and his blame—
and keep our hearts, caught unawares,
from walking into lying snares.

To exile let our foes be sent;
let illness share their banishment.
Let people prosper and increase
in realms of health and lasting peace.

To God the Father glory be,
who cares, by angel ministry,
for all those ransomed by the Son
and whom the Spirit’s unction won.