Happy New Year, Roman Style

I had a pretty fun night tonight at St. Peter’s Basilica. The choir at my University, the Angelicum, was invited to join with other university choirs of Rome for First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent. We acted as part of the “people’s choir” that mostly provides support for the congregational singing. It was a fascinating experience, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event for me. We had our own conductor, and although I never caught his name (words in Italian go by so very quickly!) he was really excellent. We were a large group from all over the globe, both geographically and musically speaking, and somehow he made us a chant schola in a very short time. He insisted on artistry as well. It was a real pleasure to work with him and with all those involved.

It was especially nice for me to have the chance to conduct the Salve Regina tonight at the end of the Rosary that preceded Vespers. Here we are at the end of the Year of Faith. And such a year it has been! So just before the new year began in earnest with the Holy Father’s “Deus in audiutorium meum,” we all sang one last Auld Lang Syne to invoke the help of the Lady who has kept her merciful eyes turned upon us this whole time.

Looking forward to the New Liturgical Year and all that the Lord has in store for His Church. Buon anno! Buon Avvento a tutti!

3 Replies to “Happy New Year, Roman Style”

  1. Wonderful to see all those young people singing Gregorian psalmody. For some reason progressive liturgists after the Council (e.g. Gelineau) insisted that psalms in the vernacular needed new settings (I suspect that commercial considerations played a part). I do not speak Italian, but I could have easily joined in, since I am used to singing Vespers (both forms) in Latin. I suspect there is a lesson here. I also noted that the familiar texts (hymn, Magnificat, Pater Noster, Alma Redemptoris Mater) were fittingly in Latin.

    US and UK parishes take note! You don't need vast musical resources to sing vespers.

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