Here is his setting of Ubi Caritas:
Contemporaries never have the final say on a given work of art, and that's as it should be. As for Purcell, however, I don't remember the last time I was in the mood to listen to his music.
On Thursday February 2nd, at 7:30 PM EST His Grace Archbishop Thomas Wenski will celebrate a Pontifical Solemn High Mass for the feast of Candlemas at the Church of the Epiphany, Miami, Florida.
The Liturgy will include the distribution of candles for the Feast, as well as a procession of the clerics around the interior of the church.
The assistant clerics will be Very Rev. Msgr. A. Wadsworth (Westminster, England), Rev. Fr. Guy Nicholls (Birmingham Oratory), Rev. Fr. R. Vigoa, Very Rev. Fr. C. Marino, Rev. Fr. J. Fishwick and Very Rev. Msgr. J. O’Doherty (Archdiocese of Miami), Rev. Fr. C. Saenz (Society of Jesus), Rev. Fr. J. Fryar, Rev. Fr. J. Nolan and Rev. Fr. B Austin (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter).
The Florida Schola Cantorum, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Edward Schaefer will sing Wadsworth’s Missa Brevis, and the Women’s Schola Cantorum will sing the Gregorian Chant propers for the Mass and Terce, under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Donelson.
The Pontifical Mass will broadcast on www.LiveMass.net, and also on iMass (app for iOS devices) LIVE, starting at 7:30 PM EST. Rev. Fr. C. Goodwin FSSP will be joining us as commentator for this Liturgy.
Epiphany Catholic Church:
8235 SW 57th Ave.
South Miami, FL 33143
In the first part of this series on sacred music, I described the meaning of sacred music, the music of the Church's sacred liturgy, as distinct from "religious music." In this second installment, I shall explore, from a historical perspective, the Church's role in guiding and promoting authentic sacred music for more fruitful participation in the Sacred Mysteries by the clergy and lay faithful alike.
The Second Vatican Council proclaimed that "the musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 112). This led the Council fathers to decree that "the treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care" (ibid, 114).
Sacred music in Judaism before Christ
The dual task of preserving and fostering sacred music remains a crucial one for the Church today. But to understand what the Council is asking of us, we must not only know what sacred music is in general (as we explored in the previous installment in this series) but also how the Church has carried out this endeavor in history.
The Church inherited the Psalms of the Old Testament as her basic prayer and hymn book for worship. With these sacred texts she also adopted the mode of singing that had been established during the development of the psalms: a way of articulated singing with a strong reference to a text, with or without instrumental accompaniment, which German historian Martin Hengel has called "sprechgesung," "sung-speech."
This choice in Israel's history signaled a concrete decision for a specific way of singing, which was a rejection of the frenzied and intoxicating music of the neighboring and threatening pagan cults. This way of singing the Psalms, traditionally viewed as established by King David (cf. 2 Sam. 6:5), disrupted only by the Babylonian exile, remained in use at the coming of Christ. Sung with respect to and during sacrifice in the Temple in Jerusalem, the early Jewish Christians assumed this tradition into the sacrifice of the eucharistic liturgy.
Sacred music in the early Church
After Pentecost, the first centuries of the Church's life were marked by the encounter of what was a Jewish-Semitic reality with the Greek-Roman world. A dramatic struggle ensued between, on one hand, openness to new cultural forms and, on the other, what was irrevocably part of Christian faith.
For the first time, the Church had to preserve her sacred music, and then foster it. Although early Greek-style songs quickly became part of the Church's life (e.g., the prologue of John and the Philippians hymn, 2:5-11), this new music was so tightly linked to dangerous gnostic beliefs that the Church decided to prohibit its use. This temporary pruning of the Church's sacred music to the traditional form of the Psalms led to previously unimaginable creativity: Gregorian chant — for the first millennium — and then, gradually, polyphony and hymns arose.
In preserving the forms which embodied her true identity, the Church made it possible for wonderful growth to be fostered, such that centuries after that original restriction, the Second Vatican Council boldly proclaimed that her treasury of sacred music is of more value than any other of her artistic contributions.
. . .
The CMAA Colloquium and the Priest
By Father Robert C. Pasley, KCHS
Chaplain of the CMAA
Rector of Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ
The annual CMMA Colloquium has been an overwhelmingly wonderful experience for over 20 years. It has been open to anyone interested in the Catholic Church’s official understanding of Sacred Music and its proper use in the Sacred Liturgy. Most of the attendees have been lay people with a small smattering of priests each year. In the last 5 years, a class on the correct tones for the celebrant has been added for priests and seminarians. The problem, however, is that most of what was taught was not printed in the liturgical books. Well, with the new Missal, this has now changed. The priest’s chants are printed from cover to cover.
I would like to extend a special invitation to priests and seminarians to consider attending the Sacred Music Colloquium XXII at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah. June 25-July 1, 2012. If the Liturgy is to be restored, if chant scholas are to be formed, if the people are to learn to sing the Mass and not just sing at Mass, if we are going to be faithful to our tradition, then of all people, bishops and priests, must once again learn to sing the Roman Rite according to the tones of the Roman Rite.
Just recently I was watching the Mass on EWTN. The Franciscan priests of EWTN have done a superb job learning the chants of the new Missal. One day, a guest priest said the Mass, a good priest and a great preacher, but when he opened his mouth to sing, a Syro, Byzantine, Anglican, modified Roman, with a modern interpretive touch chant came out of his mouth. It was jarring and distracting and it was wrong.
It was not the priest chant of the Roman Rite. It was either what he was taught in the seminary, or what he heard another priest sing and liked, or his own invention, but it was not the proper chant of the Roman Rite. I am not trying to tear this priest down but just make a statement of fact, and he is not alone. So many priests mean well. They want to sing the Mass, but in the last 45 years they were taught nothing or next to nothing. There has been a breakage with our Catholic, liturgical, priestly musical traditions and it must be corrected. Now is the time for every priest and seminarian to buckle down, force themselves to unlearn bad habits, and learn the right way to sing the Rite.
The CMAA wants to help seminarians, priests and Bishops. We have many resources on musicasacra.org. We have Sacred Music Magazine and we have the magnificent Colloquium. Many priests might be intimidated by the Colloquium. “But Father, Father, I would like to come but I am not a musician. I can’t read music, and I’ll feel self-conscious around all those professional musicians.” First, you don’t have to be a musician but someone who wants to learn. If the priest doesn’t sing, the Sacred Liturgy can never be celebrated to its fullest extent. You are absolutely necessary, not only sacramentally but musically.
Second, to sing the Mass you will have to have some basic knowledge of chant notation. This year, all first time clergy and seminarians, unless you are a musician priest, will have to spend each morning in the basic chant scholas. This is necessary for a good foundation and it is a good way to see how greatly people will sacrifice to give glory to God. Third, there is no place for self - consciousness. Priests are the servants of God, His people and the Sacred Liturgy. They must do everything possible to learn how to pray and sing the Mass according to the mind of the Church.
The class on the chants of the Missal will be offered each afternoon. Not only will the new Missal be covered but the basic principles of music for the priest found in the Liber Usualis will be discussed. Orations, readings, prayers, the Eucharistic Prayers and chants for the Ancient Form of the Mass will be covered.
The highlight of the day is Holy Mass in the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Forms. The chants, the polyphony, the organ, and the variation of great styles of the sacred treasury of Catholic Music will be at the service of the Liturgy. These liturgies are meant to be paradigms of liturgical practice, musical excellence and moments of the most intense and uplifting prayer. You will be immersed in all things Catholic.
Finally, there is the social part of the Colloquium. You will meet priests, seminarians and people from all over the country and the world, who are filled with zeal for Sacred Music. You will network with priests, seminarians and people who want to do what is right. You will hear inspiring stories. You will be uplifted by the talks. You will be exhausted from the liturgical Opus Dei. You will laugh, be inspired and come away a better priest or seminarian and person.
Most dioceses offer their priests a stipend for further education. Check into it. Use that money for the Colloquium. You will not be sorry. I long to see many more priests and seminarians at the Colloquium this June. God Bless You!
Several years ago, I met an aspiring young musician and recent college graduate who had an ambitious vision for the renewal of Gregorian chant in the Catholic Church of Phoenix and beyond. The internet gave him access to hundreds of years of scholarly musical literature and chant books, the kinds of things one once had to travel to Swiss monasteries to look at; he was apprenticed to an elderly Benedictine monk and chant master in Chicago who was conveying the skills and wisdom necessary to reanimate chant in the 21st century; he had contacts with a number of willing and able singers thanks to his parish life and his connections at ASU’s highly regarded school of music.
There was just one problem: he didn’t have a music job in a parish. It’s kind of difficult to start a revolution without even a camp in the jungle. But fortunately, his employer was allowing him to set up a music studio and rehearsal space in a vacant old building he owned and was redeveloping right on Central Ave., a tiny, gutted former retail store with wires and pipes sticking out of ceilings and walls and a concrete slab floor splattered with the paint, glue, and plaster of decades. In this rent-free urban chant lab, Adam Bartlett assembled and rehearsed a number of small choirs and chant scholae over the next year. The intricate modal lines of chant, developed in the resonant acoustics of medieval churches, sounded unbelievably good in the echo-y space of this gutted old building, and it wasn’t long before Adam’s guerilla campaign to re-animate sacred music gained first a toehold in the Diocese, and then a foothold at St Joan of Arc parish. (His recent editing and publishing ventures in the global community of church musicians have advanced of late: read about them here and here.)
Ancient Gregorian chant in the heart of an urban redevelopment: I can’t think of a better example of the kinds of things that happen in Phoenix because of Sloane McFarland, entrepreneur, re-developer, conceptual artist, landlord, and, not accidentally, a daily Communicant in the Catholic Church. His company, Martha + Mary, does in its projects what its name suggests: create spaces within the active-practical sphere (read: businesses) for the reflective-contemplative activities without which human life is empty.
The Theme of the Workshop is Restoration of the Propers of the Mass - The Seminar begins Wednesday evening with an open-to-the-public-address by Fr Columba in Jones Hall from 7.00-9.00 pm. The public are invited for this event, and Fr Columba’s address will again be very educational, useful, and informative by weaving the fascinating journey of chant throughout history, from murky first centuries, to the questionable involvement of Gregory himself, to Charlemange, Middle Ages, Renaissance, XIX. century, and our own day.
The three days of classes will address the mass propers and their role in everyone’s liturgy. These are the propers of the Graduale Romanum, which can be sung with equal power in Latin or in English, to the Gregorian chant music or to more modern composition. Much of the chant for the English we will be doing is brand new chant, composed by Fr Columba for this workshop mass.
You will learn about the repertory of Proper Chants and their place in the liturgy, and how they can, if one wishes, be combined with hymns and other music. You will, though, experience their unique contribution to the mass, to which they are part and parcel, and to which they would restore a rich repertory of scripture to the mass, a repertory which belongs to, is a part of, the mass, but for various reasons was allowed to fall by the wayside 40 years ago. Our starting point is GIRM, which states first, and state plainly that the prefered musical embroidery of the mass are the propers from the Roman Gradual, whether Latin or English or to other music. So the thrust of this workshop will be one of education as to how the propers may be used, encouraging musician to restore these ancient chants with are part and parcel of the Roman rite. While other music is purely ancillary, extrinsic to the rite, the propers and a integral part of the mass.
Fr Columba is one of the worlds greatest authorities on Gregorian chant, and has studied and taught it for sixty years. He not only teaches old chant, but composes new chant which is superb in its relationship to the words be expressed. His examples and insight will bring you into experiencing chant as the living tradition that it is.
Do plan to attend this workshop sponsored by St Basil’s School of Gregorian Chant and experience mass in a greater richness that you can take home to your parish.
For further information contact our website at http://www.gregorianchantschool.org, or view the flyer at the link given at top, before the ‘comments’.
Also, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel.:713-376-0289, or 713-526-1248
Lowell Davis –
M. Jackson Osborn –
Choirmaster and Lecturer in Chant Studies