Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Return of Catholic Song

Sing a Te Deum, goes the expression you sometimes hear in the Catholic world. Just one thing: one hardly ever hears a Te Deum. I’ve heard it probably six times in real life but that’s because I attend Catholic music events that actually teach this music and encourage people to sing it. But the people singing are experiencing it for the first time. Most Catholics have no idea what a Te Deum sounds like.

There is a huge body of work out there which we can call the Gregorian hymn. No, these were not written by St. Gregory the Great. But they are part of the spirit of the tradition of Gregorian chant: vigorous and evocative music on one note that are structured to convey the truths of the scripture and the Catholic faith.

These tunes are not part of the Mass liturgy proper in the sense that they are not usually drawn from the text of the liturgy itself (which is to say they are not part of the ordinary or the propers of the Mass). Many of them are taken from the Divine Office, which, believe it or not, was a common liturgical experience for Catholic in the middle ages. These days most all Catholics experience the Mass only so many of the forms of singing that began with the Office gradually moved over to become occasional music for Mass. Others pieces might have served particular purposes in Mass and then entered into general use. Still others are just pretty pieces. Solesmes has called these pieces Gregorian melodies. They are the people’s music.

Some examples might include: the four Marian antiphons, Adoro te devote, Ave verum Corpus, Christus vincit, Da pacem Domine, Jesu dulcis memoria, Panis angelicus, Oremus pro Pontifice, Ven Creator Spiritus, Ave maris stella, Tota pulchra es, Conditor alme siderum, Veni veni Emmanuel, Resonet in laudibus, Te Deum, Dies Irae, among many others. They constitute popular Catholic song as it has been known through the ages. Today, not one in a thousand Catholics know of them at all.

After World War II, with the chant tradition in serious decline, some publishers worked to salvage what they could of the chant tradition and settled on these pieces on a way to preserve and inspire. They put out books with this music. It was a noble effort. But of course it failed. After the Second Vatican Council, there was a widespread perception that lasted for 40 years that anything in Latin was outmoded and therefore discouraged and therefore not to be used at all. It was not suitable to the new age of vernacular.

That situated persisted. The books went out of print. The chant conferences ended. No one really cared anymore. There were some pockets of exceptions, a few Latin Masses here and there. But for the mainstream of Catholic life, there was virtually no circulation of this music, editions of this music with English translations, instructions on how to sing, and even the ability to read the notes nearly vanished.

A book that attempted to bring it all back, and also provide other music for the people from the Mass itself (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus) was the Parish Book of Chant. It was published by the Church Music Association of America. It was the largest collection of Gregorian hymns published in the post-Council period and probably ever, and it included enough actual service music to be a great book for the pews too. Well, it was published by an organization with no money at all and no staff, and done on the fly, just because no one else seemed to be doing.

It seems incredible to me that this was only 5 years ago. Most of the growth of the Gregorian chant movement has occurred since that time. This has been an essential resource, the basis of so much else. Since that time the CMAA has published new books of scholarship, English propers, Pslamody, choral propers, and so much else. Looking back at it, I suspect that I too had begun to feel that this book was less necessary. I became newly convicted of the new for sung propers and ordinary in the Mass, and was drawn to a more strict rendering of the liturgical text that had been entirely dropped. It became unclear to me (or at least less clear) what the role of this popular chant really was in Catholic life.

But then several strange things happened. After several printings and a total distribution of about 12,000, the Parish Book of Chant fell out of print. Richard Rice began to work on a much-expanded edition. The prices of used copies on Amazon began to soar to as much as $100 and more. Then I was teaching at a conference on chant, with an intention to focus on propers, and someone had a copy with her. I asked to borrow and flipped through the pages. It was love all over again. I love these songs. They so beautiful and so accessible, truly the people’s music. I realized all over again that this is a dazzling collection.

It wasn’t long before Richard finished his second edition. He chose to put in the full verses to the hymns. He added the Sequences. He added the full Requiem Mass. He included the fully 18 Mass settings from the Gregorian Kyriale. The edition included even the five communion chants that are commonly used in the ordinary form. It keep the full ordo for the extraordinary and ordinary forms of Mass, plus much else. The entire book came in at 325 pages. I worried about the thickness so we thinned out the paper to make it easier to handle. Then we changed the cover and added two pretty ribbons. Truly, this is the  book that it should have been all along.

So who is using this book? Well, the natural market is the new scholars that have been formed over the last few years. They need to begin singing the parts of the Mass and this is a great resource for that. In addition, new scholas need to revive the Gregorian tradition of hymnody. The addition of the Requiem Mass is a brilliant stroke since this is a good place for parish scholas to sing in the early stages. The end result is absolutely spectacular in every way.

In addition, every period in history must absolutely have a book like this in print. This is the only one today. It is not an official book of the liturgy but it can and does play an essential role. In the perfect world, it would be in the pews in every parish. Also, for a parish that uses both forms of Mass, this is the only book to include both in an easy-to-use format for the pew.

Must this tradition of singing be kept alive and must it thrive? Absolutely it must. But it cannot happen unless there are beautiful resources -- with English translations -- to make it happen. This is the might contribution of this book. It is newly available on Amazon. Look for the Parish Book of Chant with the blue cover. And let’s sing and sing to the glory of God, together as a Catholic people.

Bendict XVI Album

Mass and Concert of Thanksgiving

The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is hosting a Mass and Concert this evening, in thanksgiving for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI. The concert will fittingly feature sacred music, in honor of this Pope who did so much to restore its use in the Church.

Programming begins at 5:15 Eastern and will be broadcast on multiple Catholic outlets such as EWTN. The flyer is here.

Should we kill "Christian Music"?

This article address a point that strikes me as compelling. The blogger speaks of the way "Christian music" has become this niche pop genre with its own clientele and stations and existence. He regards this approach as a terrible concession. Why must music that is regarded as "Christian" limit itself in message and form so strictly? Why can a great symphony or just a fun pop song be regarded as Christian as well?

Jacques Maritain: “God does not ask for 'religious' art or 'Catholic' art. The art he wants for himself is Art, with all its teeth.”

Godspeed, and Thank You.

We have seen that the Lord doesn't forget us – even today, his way is humble. The Lord is present, he gives warmth to our hearts, shows us life, creates charisms of goodness and charity that shine in our world, which are for us a guarantee of the goodness of God.  Pope Benedict XVI
For letting the Lord shine through you His goodness and charity, and for all you have done to restore the sacred liturgy, dear Holy Father, thank you.

Benedict XVI settled the pro multis question

Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth provides an interview to Vatican Radio on the significance of the Benedict XVI pontificate, in which he reveals the following:

“The Motu Propiro really is a very important moment in which the Holy Father puts two forms of the Roman Rite which potentially have been at loggerheads which each other since the Second Vatican Council in a creative dynamic relationship with each other. The Holy Father really is reminding us that the light of tradition should fall on all of our liturgical experience”.

“In relation to the New English Translation of the Missal…it was the Holy Father who judged on the whole question of pro multis for many, chalice rather than cup, those are his particular judgements and his prerogative as the Pope. He showed a great interest in the process as it was unfolding …over ten years in the making”.

Read the entire article and listen to the interview at the bottom.

Help Someone Get to the Colloquium

This year the CMAA has received an unusually high number of requests for scholarships to the Sacred Music Colloquium. Our scholarship fund is completely dependent on donations that come in. At present we only have enough to help a few.

If you truly value sacred music and would like to see improvement in the musical situation in your parish, please consider making a donation this year. No donation is too small...we know everyone is struggling these days. Imagine what even a ten dollar donation from 100 people could accomplish. All donations are tax deductible.

Checks can be mailed to CMAA Programs at 166 North Gay St., #19, Auburn, AL 36830

Or you can go to Pay Pal to make a donation online. All Pay Pal payments should be sent to <

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Read Square Notes in 30 Minutes from your computer

We've probably received 10,000 messages over the years that say "but I can't read square notes." No excuses left: here is a chance to learn everything you need to know in 30 minutes. You can do it from your chair at home.

Workshop in Ventura, Caifornia

Interested in participating in the wonderful early musical traditions of our Church? Mission San Buenaventura Parish is hosting a special
Introductory Workshop on Gregorian Chant called: “A Bond of Unity.” We are incorporating sacred chant into our liturgy, including the “Tantum Ergo” chant that we sing on Holy Thursday. You don't need a great voice to sing these chants, just a love of God and desire to pray through music. Everyone is invited! Organized by Music Director Janis Nelson and Parishioner Carl Neimeyer, it takes place on
Saturday, March 2 in O’Brien Hall from 9 AM to Noon. For more info, contact Janis at the Parish Office 643-4318 or Carl at 805-874-2275/

Introduction to Sacred Music: Join the Class on Sunday (from your computer)

On Sunday afternoon, I'm teaching a short introduction to sacred music. I'll cover the contents of the Parish Book of Chant and the general framework for music in the Roman Rite. I'll talk for 45 minutes and take Q&A for 45 mins. If you would like to come, great. If you know someone who you think needs to be there, send that person the link.

The cost is $19. Register here. Class size limit: 24.

The Full PBC for your inspection

Examine the Parish Book of Chant in full

You can examine the entire contents of the Parish Book of Chant now from this special page on

PBC 2.0 at 1,737

The PBC is now at 1,736 in Amazon rank. This is wonderful. Thanks to everyone. If you haven't picked up yours, please do it today, so that we can move this to the 100s.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

O Nata Lux

Help the PBC by ordering now

If you are thinking about buying the PBC (as you should!) now is the best time because your purchases combine with others to give the book the biggest possible boost on Amazon ranking, which in turn helps with search results and visibility to the larger community of music buyers. The book has moved from 1 million to 6,000 in a couple of days, but it would be best for it to rise to the 100s if possible. You can help that effort by buying now.

Monday, February 25, 2013

English Propers: Palm Sunday

Lumen Christi Cantor Scores for Palm Sunday have been posted for free download.

Although many of the unique musical elements of the Palm Sunday liturgy are found in the new edition of the Roman Missal, all of the chants lack musical settings of the Psalm verses which are to be sung by the cantor or choir. Similarly, many of the antiphons for the procession and entrance are found in the Missal in text only.

The Lumen Christi Missal sets all of the texts that the congregation may sing in simple English chant, and the cantor score posted here provides the complete corresponding musical complement for the cantor and choir.

Download it here:

This edition includes simple English chant settings for:
  • Hosanna filio David (English and Latin)
  • The two Pueri Hebraeorum antiphons (English and Latin) with English verses
  • Hymn to Christ the King (English and Latin) with English verses
  • The Responsory from the Missal for entrance into the Church (English)
  • A full setting of the Entrance Antiphon for the Simple Entrance with congregational refrain (English)
  • Chanted Responsorial Psalm from the Lectionary
  • Lenten Gospel Acclamation with the Christus factus est Gospel Verse in through-composed chant (English)
  • Offertory Antiphon (English, congregation-friendly)
  • Communion Antiphon (English, congregation-friendly)

Similar editions for the Sacred Paschal Triduum will be posted this week.

Holy Week is full of treasures that many parishes have never experienced. This year your parish can take a step closer to singing what the Roman Rite asks us to sing, and at no cost to you.

The Latest Scandals

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter offers a good summary and balanced assessment of the latest revelations about deep moral problems inside the Vatican. The news pains every Catholic the world over and deeply. But let's remember that the core of Catholicism is not about worshiping men with power or believing in the personal sanctity of leadership. The Church is both human and divine and we all do well to keep in mind what is what. The human element will always disappoint. The divine is the source from where our faith derives. One reason this blog focuses on liturgy and music in particular is because they are our portal to the divine. In times of crisis we need to cling to truth and we need sensory reminders of how and where to find it. Those who are involved in the great project of uniting the ritual to its native art are helping to provide those reminders.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Vatican Radio on Musical Evangelism

A marvelous story on our good friend Charles Cole and the coming together of London and Rome, appearing on Vatican Radio (with audio links).

(Vatican Radio) Among the estimated 150 thousand people who spilled from St Peter’s Square out onto via della Conciliazione for Pope Benedict XVI’s last Angelus Sunday, were the burgundy blazers and caps of one of Britain’s most famous Catholic schools, represented by their equally world famous choir: The London Oratory Schola Cantorum.

“I offer a warm greeting to all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus prayer” said Pope Benedict, “especially the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School. I thank everyone for the many expressions of gratitude, affection and closeness in prayer which I have received in these days”.

The boys together with their director Charles Cole were fresh from singing at morning Mass in St Peter’s Basilica. They were invited by the regular choir for all non-papal liturgies in St Peter’s, the Capella Giulia, which is marking the 500th anniversary of its founding this year by inviting choirs from around the world to come and sing at the tomb of the Apostle.

At the end of Mass, to the joy of the congregation, both choirs, situated opposite each other in the two transepts of the Altar of the Chair, sung the sublime double-choir motet Adoramus te, Christe by the late renaissance Slovenian composer Jacob Handl.

It was just one of the many moving moments at St Peter’s this Sunday, but without doubt the excellence of the singing and the beauty of the liturgical music was of great spiritual benefit to the pilgrims who had flocked to Rome for this last appointment with Pope Benedict.

“I think the music of the Church has such an important role in developing and nourishing our faith and reinforcing things” says Charles Cole, Director of the London Oratory Schola Cantorum. He dropped by Vatican Radio to speak with Emer McCarthy about what he termed ‘musical evangelization’ and the great boost Benedict XVI’s pontificate has given to the current renaissance in Catholic liturgical music. Listen: RealAudioMP3

“I think certainly in this day and age where frankly being a Catholic is very, very difficult when we have a constant stream from the media telling us that Catholic truths are off target and no longer in vogue, there are certain truths within the music that tells us, no we are not wrong, we are definitely doing the right thing and we need to keep at it”.

“I think the music is something very comforting, its our dialogue with God, it’s the way we relate to Him through the liturgy and for that to be something available to the boys through the choir is something of huge importance.”

“Under the pontificate of Benedict XVI there has been a particular focus on the relationship of the liturgy and music and this remarkable heritage and its grown to ever greater prominence. But it never really went away its always been there and its something that we simply need to keep alive and nurture, because frankly that music is so special, so unique for the Catholic Church…because its our music”.

“Music and the liturgy have been given a huge boost under his pontificate and that will last for a long time to come”.

The Big News: Parish Book of Chant is ready for shipping

ChantCafe readers are the first to know. The 2nd edition of the Parish Book of Chant is here and ready for shipping. If you have any interest or involvement with Catholic music at any level, or you are just interested in chant, make this book your own right now. It is dramatically improved over the 1st edition with expanded Kyriale, Sequences, Communion Propers, and full chant hymn verses.

We only printed 3,000 this time. I would love to see us go to print again soon. I suspect that this will be the case.

Get yours now. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Edmund Campion Missal

Ben Yanke has provided a complete review of a new resource for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass -- a resource that has been very much in need. The original is here and this is a repost. In addition, the publisher tells me that the organ accompaniment book is now complete.


Simply put, the Saint Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal from Corpus Christi Watershed is a brilliant new Sunday/Feast day hand-missal for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is skillfully edited, and without exaggeration, it is one of the most beautiful modern books I have seen or used. It is a full missal and hymnal, containing not only the Sunday propers and readings in both Latin and English, but also the complete Kyriale, six versions of the Credo, nearly 20 pages of congregational chants for use throughout the year, over 150 pages of orthodox, traditional congregational hymns, various prayers for private prayer before, during and after Mass, and for other sacraments and rites in the Extraordinary Form (such as marriage, confirmation, benediction and funerals). Most importantly, it starts at $23 for a single copy! Very affordable.

First Impressions

As I took it out of its shipping box, I was struck by the simple, subtly decorated, yet very dignified cover, with the slight star design in the background. With a striking image of the Agnus Dei, surrounded by ornamental borders, this cover is sure to draw your attention to the beauty of the liturgy before the Mass even begins or you open the missal. The binding and hard-cover is that of a hymnal, allowing this book to be used by both individuals and by parishes wishing to place it in the pew rack alongside or in place of their other hymnal.


The artwork scattered throughout the pages of the missal is just as beautiful. It is typeset in such a way that it does not feel at all cramped, but at the same time, much of the free space is used for art, in a very tasteful manner. All of the line art has been newly digitized, making it look crisp and clear rather than scanned or faded.

Size and Weight

At 6×9 inches, it is larger than many hand-missals, but that increase in size is accompanied by an increase in font size compared to many other missals, making it very readable, and also easy to fit in standard hymnal racks. It is a little bit above an average weight among hymnals, but it’s still easy to handle, and not too heavy, considering all that’s in it.


One interesting feature of this book is the dual ordinary sections, one for use at a Missa Solemnis or Missa Cantata (Solemn High Mass and High Mass, respectively), and one for a Missa Lecta (Low Mass). This eliminates the problems of those unfamiliar with the Extraordinary Form being confused about cues or rubrics referring to actions that only occur at a “low Mass” or actions that only occur at a “high Mass.” The two sections are styled differently, including different drop-caps and background color, so that they are not easily confused with each other, should you lose your place in the book and try to return. While most of the book is printed in black and white, the ordinary sections are printed in color, and are very well typeset. The artwork and typesetting in the ordinary section rivals that of some ornate altar cards, filled with beautiful artwork and pictures from a traditional Mass, a testament to Mr. Ostrowski’s fantastic work.

237_Low_Mass_IntroiboAnother interesting feature of this missal is over 100 pictures of an actual Mass (two, in fact, one for each of the ordinary sections). There is at least one real picture on each page spread in the ordinary, which allows those new to the congregation to orient themselves, should they become lost in the ordinary section. It also allows the congregation to see some of the small gestures that happen in the sanctuary, such as the fraction rite over the chalice, the deacon kissing the chalice at the offertory, or the priest striking his breast during the Confiteor.

I would be remiss not to mention the beautiful vestments and churches seen in these sample pictures. All of the vestments used are beautifully embroidered, and are very much in the style of the roman rite, exemplifying beauty. The same can be said about the churches in which these Masses were celebrated. Also included in the ordinary sections are many short yet illuminating descriptions or commentaries on the applicable part of the Mass, making clear what is happening both externally and internally.

The Missa Solemnis section also includes the music for the Vidi Aquam, Asperges, Preface Dialogue, and the final verse of the Pater Noster, all in their appropriate spot, facilitating easy congregational participation on these parts. They are engraved in neumes.
While I had hoped it would come with ribbons, it is designed in such a way that it is possible to easily use it with a single bookmark, switching the bookmark between the proper section and the ordinary section. However, for those individuals or parishes who would prefer ribbons, myself included, the book is bound in such a way that it would be quite easy to insert a set of missal ribbons purchased from another vendor (such as these ribbons). In either case, it seems to be a win-win: those who prefer not to use ribbons have a book that is specifically designed to be used without them, and those who do can easily add them on their own, with no negative effect.

The drop-caps in the proper section of the missal are also very dignified, but in the ordinary section, which is printed in color, they are exceedingly beautiful, as is the rest of the ordinary section.


I was pleased to see all of the eighteen Gregorian Masses included, as well as the six Credos, allowing the schola full freedom of choice among the Gregorian Masses that they might not otherwise have, should the congregation be using another resource, such as the first edition of the Parish Book of Chant (although this problem is remedied in the second edition of the PBC). These chants, along with the other chants in the book, were re-engraved in Gregorio, using a large, easily readable typeface, and are not small or smudged and faded scans.


There is a sizable number of hymns for all seasons, including Savior of the Nations Come, Creator of the Stars of Night, Adeste Fideles (both Latin and English), As with Gladness Men of Old, Come Holy Ghost, Holy God We Praise Thy Name, All Glory, Laud, and Honor, Immaculate Mary, Jesus Christ is Risen Today, as well as many other lesser known hymns, such as Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem, O Christ Who Mountest Up the Sky, When the Patriarch Was Returning, O Glorious Maid Exalted Far, and many others, including at eleven original hymn tunes by Kevin Allen, one of them paired to the poem by Blessed Cardinal Newman, Lead Kindly Light. All in all, there are over 150 solid, usable hymns that will serve any Extraordinary Form community well at either Low Masses with music or a High Mass with a limited hymns.

The numbering follows the same scheme as the Vatican II hymnal, namely, using page numbers in the hymn section, to ease the announcement of page numbers and the finding of hymns. While this is different than some publishers, it seems to me that it is the best way.


Following the hymn section, there is also a section of chants for the congregation, including Rorate Caeli, all of the Marian antiphons, Puer Natus, Jesu Dulcis Memoria, Adoremus in Aeternum, Attende Domine, Veni Creator, Adoro Te Devote, among others. There is also a section found at the back with several prayers for use before Holy Communion, before Mass, after Mass, etc.


This book contains many of the other small bits, such as the proper forms of the Communicantes for various feasts, and of course, the prefaces for various feasts. The inclusion of these items, in addition to the thoroughness of the ordinary section, opens up interesting possibilities. When I was discussing this missal with a seminarian I know, he asked me if it contained all of the private and proper prayers for the priest, for the purpose of even using it as an altar missal for a traveling priest. It appears that it does include the needed prayers, as well as many inline rubrics (such as mentions of kissing the altar, picking up the host, signs of the cross, or bowing the head), so that in the case of traveling, necessity, or even private Masses, it appears that this book could possibly be used in place of a copy of the Roman Missal (although it would be very wise to add ribbons in this case, as mentioned above). To that end, it lays flat fairly well, and I’m sure with some use, it will lay flat even more easily.

Wrap Up

All in all, this is a fantastic resource for both individuals attached to the Extraordinary Form, as well as for parishes that use the Extraordinary Form, but particularly those who only celebrate the Extraordinary Form. This is a extraordinary book that I’d highly recommend to anyone attending the Extraordinary Form looking for a beautiful, easy to use missal.

What’s Unique About This Hymnal and Missal?

It’s both a full Sunday Missal for the Extraordinary Form, as well as a full hymnal, containing all the music a congregation could need, including all eighteen Gregorian Masses, and many congregational chants. But more importantly, the book is very beautiful. The artwork and the typesetting give this book a very beautiful look and feel. Interestingly, it contains two sections for the ordinary (High Mass and Low Mass), easing congregational use.


Ben Yanke, 17, is the oldest of 9 and is a homeschooled highschool senior from Madison, Wisconsin. Next year, he will be attending Franciscan University at Steubenville for communication arts and computer science. Ben’s interests include liturgy, sacred music, cross country running, trumpet and french horn, as well as blogging, media production, and web design. He is currently in the process of writing propers for the ferial Masses of the year (Ferial English Propers), in the style of Simple English Propers, by Adam Bartlett. His blog also contains many of his resources, including Ferial English Propers. It also contains a listing of many resources for singing the propers of the Mass in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, as well as a listing of resources for the Liturgy of the Hours. You can visit his blog, From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary, at
Thanks to AML for helping me put together this review.

Music for the Papal Transition

Gary Penkala of CanticaNova Publications has put together a fantastic resources for music for the Papal transition, a list that actually reflects liturgical priorities.

Musical Resources for Masses during
the Papal Transition

[For Pope
Benedict, for the Conclave, for the next Holy Father]


Dicit Dominus Petro, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.573
Dicit Dominus Petro, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.636
Misit Dominus Angelum suum, Graduale simplex (chant)
Now I know that the Lord, Simple English Propers
(Bartlett) p.378
Nunc scio vere, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.575
Nunc scio vere, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.641
Nunc scio vere, Liber usualis (chant) p.1518
Peter the Apostle, Lumen Christi Missal (Bartlett) p.964
The Lord Declared, Introit Hymns (Tietze) #79
The Lord said unto Peter, Simple English Propers
(Bartlett) p.373
The love of God has been poured out, Lumen Christi Missal
(Bartlett) p.985
These men, conquering all human frailty, Simple Choral
Gradual (Rice) p.278

Gradual / Responsorial Psalm

Constitues eos principes, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.576
Constitues eos principes, Graduale simplex (chant) p.283
Constitues eos principes, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.642
Constitues eos principes, Liber usualis (chant) p.1519
In omnem terram, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.427
In omnem terram, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.637
Lord, send out your Spirit, Lumen Christi Missal
(Bartlett) p.985
The angel of the Lord will rescue, Chabanel Psalmody
The angel of the Lord will rescue, Lumen Christi Missal
(Bartlett) p.757
The angel of the Lord will rescue, Parish Book of Psalms
The angel of the Lord will rescue, Vatican II Hymnal
(Ostrowski) p.692
Their message goes out, Vatican II Hymnal (Ostrowski)


But in my eyes your friends, Simple English Propers
(Bartlett) p.374
Confirm, O God, Lumen Christi Missal (Bartlett) p.985
Constitues eos principes, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.434
Constitues eos principes, Graduale simplex (chant) p.285
Constitues eos principes, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.644
Constitues eos principes, Liber usualis (chant) p.1520
Mihi autem nimis, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.435
Mihi autem nimis, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.639
You will make them princes, Lumen Christi Missal
(Bartlett) p.964
You will make them princes, Simple Choral Gradual (Rice)
You will make them princes, Simple English Propers
(Bartlett) p.379

Peter said: You are the Christ, Simple Choral Gradual
(Rice) p.280
Simon Ioannis, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.574
Simon Ioannis, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.640
Simon Joannis, Communio (Rice) p.250
Simon, son of John, Choral Communio (Rice) p.205
Simon, son of John, Simple English Propers (Bartlett)
The Spirit, whom I will send, Lumen Christi Missal
(Bartlett) p.986
Tu es Petrus, Communio (Rice) p.267
Tu es Petrus, Graduale Romanum (chant) p.577
Tu es Petrus, Graduale simplex (chant) p.286
Tu es Petrus, Gregorian Missal (chant) p.645
Tu es Petrus, Liber usualis (chant) p.1521
You are Peter, Choral Communio (Rice) p.207
You are Peter and upon this rock, Lumen Christi Missal
(Bartlett) p.965
You are Peter and upon this rock, Simple English Propers
(Bartlett, p.380

antiphons & hymns:
      Argentum et auram, Liber usualis (chant),
      Beate Pastor
Petre, Liber usualis (chant), p.1516
eos principes, Liber usualis (chant) p.1521
      Decora lux, Liber
usualis (chant) p.1522/1523
      Dixit angelus ad
Petrum, Liber usualis (chant), p.1515
      Hodie Simon
Petrus, Liber usualis (chant) p.1525
      In omnem terram,
Liber usualis (chant), p.1518
      Misit Dominus
angelum suum, Liber usualis (chant), p.1515
      Nimis honorati
sunt, Liber usualis (chanåt) p.1522
      Petrus et Joannes, Liber usualis (chant),
ligaveris, Liber usualis (chant), p.1517
      Tu es pastor
ovium, Liber usualis (chant), p.1516
      Tu es Petrus, Liber
usualis (chant), p.1515


  • By All Your Saints Still Striving (WIII #706, HH #284, SMH #247)
  • Christ Is the King (WIII #500, CH #540, HH #286, CBW #546, EH #543)
  • Christian, Do You Hear the Lord? (WIII #594, CH #448, SMH #262)
  • Faith of Our Fathers (WIII #571, ICEL #186, HPSC #152, CH #634, PMB #149, 
         CBW #603, AH #603, CHB #183, SMH #294, EH #393)
  • Father, We Thank Thee, Who Hast Planted (WIII #558, HPSC #156, CH #374,
         PMB #121, CBW #676, AH #515, CHB #116, SMH #295, EH #195)
  • Fight the Good Fight (ICEL #187, EH #560)
  • From All Thy Saints in Warfare (AH #592)
  • Give Me the Wings of Faith (CHB #167)
  • God, We Praise You (WIII #535, SMH #317)
  • Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (WIII #524, ICEL #134, HPSC #180, CBW
         #631, PMB #127, AH #461, CH #568, CHB #222, SMH #345, EH #273)
  • Jesus Shall Reign (ICEL #101, WIII #492, HH #253, PMB #107, CH #508, CHB
         #231, SMH #381, EH #542)
  • Let All on Earth Their Voices Raise (WIII #716, CHB #168)
  • Let All the World with Songs Rejoice (CH #338, ICEL #195, HH #299, SMH
  • O Christ, the World's Salvation (Dennis DiPaolo) [CanticaNOVA]
  • O Taste and See (HPSC #265, PMB #193)
  • Tell His Praise in Song and Story (HPSC #310)
  • The Beauteous Light of God's Eternal Majesty (CHB #172)
  • The Church Triumphant in Thy Love (HPSC #314)
  • The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King (HPSC #317, ICEL #203, HH #300, CH
         #343, SMH #556, EH #132)
  • The Father's Holy Ones, the Blest (HH #293)
  • The Son of Man Has Come to Save from Hymns for the Liturgical Year (Kathleen Pluth)  [CanticaNOVA]
     Two Noble Saints (WIII #699)
  • Wouldst Thou A Patron See? (CHB #173)
  • Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim (CD #911, CH #519, HPSC #357)
  • Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones (HPSC #359, WIII #707, AH #416, HH #275,
          PMB #71, CH #578, CHB #275, SMH #617, EH #599)
AH = The Adoremus Hymnal, Ignatius
CBW = Catholic Book of Worship II /
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
CD = Cantate Domino / Hymnal
Supplement, GIA Publications, Inc.
CH = The Collegeville Hymnal, The
Liturgical Press
CHB = The Catholic Hymn Book [London
Oratory], Gracewing Publishers
EH = The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal),
used by many Anglican Use Roman Catholic parishes
HH = Hymnal of the Hours, GIA
Publications, Inc.
HPSC = Hymns, Psalms &
Spiritual Canticles, out of print but excellent
ICEL = ICEL Resource Collection,
GIA Publications, Inc.
PMB = People's Mass Book, World
Library Publications, Inc.
SMH = The Saint Michael Hymnal, 3rd
Edition, Saint Boniface Church, Lafayette IN
WIII = Worship, 3rd Edition, GIA
Publications, Inc.


·  Christus vinvit (chant) [St. Gregory Hymnal]
·  Constitues eos principes (Jean de Bonmarché,
William Byrd, José Maurício Nunes
·  Feed My Lambs (Natalie Sleeth) [Carl Fischer]
·  Fight the Good Fight (Austin Lovelace) [GIA
·  From All That
(Colin Brumby) [CanticaNOVA]

·  Mihi autem nimis honorati (Giovanni Pierluigi
da Palestrina, Thomas Tallis)
·  Nunc scio vere (William Byrd)
·  Quodcunque ligaveris (William Byrd)
·  Sancti Dei omnes (J.M. Haydn/Proulx) [GIA
·  Simon, Son of
(Michael Starke) [CanticaNOVA]

·  Te Deum laudamus (Haydn, Mozart, Langlais)
·  Te Deum laudamus
(Calvert Shenk) [CanticaNOVA]
·  The Heavens Are Telling from The
(F.J. Haydn)
·  The Heavens Declare (William Billings)
·  The Heavens Declare the Glory of God (Thomas
Tomkins) [Concordia]
·  Their Sound Is Gone Out from Messiah
(G.F. Handel)
·  Their Sound Is Gone Out (Arthur Wills)
·  Tu es Petrus (William Byrd, Jacobus Clemens
non Papa, Gabriel Fauré, Hans Leo
      Hassler, Cristóbal de Morales,
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Lorenzo Perosi, Peter
      Philips. Tomás Luis de Victoria )


  • Cantilene from Symphonie romane (Charles-Marie Widor)
  • Festive Processionals for Brass and Organ (Calvert Shenk) [CanticaNOVA]
  • Messa apostolorum (Andrea Gabrieli)
  • Messa degli apostoli (Girolamo Cavazzoni)
  • Music for a Festive Occasion (Tim Knight) [CanticaNOVA]
  • Prelude to Te Deum (Marc-Antoine Charpentier)
  • Psalm XIX (Benedetto Marcello)
  • Ricercare (Fabrizio Fontana)
  • Toccata II tono (Bernardo Pasquini)
  • Tu es petra from Esquisses byzantines (Henri Mulet) [Durand]

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Aquinas and More Closing Down

Fantastic deals on books and things at Aquinas and More.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Papal Election: What the Markets Say

You can follow the market predictions here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Petrus beatus catenarum laqueos--a hymn for the Feast of the Chair of Peter

Here is a translation of the office hymn Petrus beatus, which appears in the Liturgy of the Hours for the Feast of the Chair of Peter, February 22.

The original, below, is in a meter not often used nowadays (, so I've rendered it in a parish-friendly D. Matching tunes include Hyfrydol, Ode to Joy, and Nettleton. Most congregations could sing this text to one of those tunes on sight--though the word "wonderfully" in verse 1, line 1, works best with Ode to Joy. Besides that, I think they would all sound ok.

The striking imagery of starlight in verse 2 is in the original.

There are polyphonic settings of this text, so please consider those as well.

Blessed Peter, at Christ’s order, wonderfully breaks our chains,
Shattering the snares that bind us till no slavery remains.
Gate of sheepfold, Church’s teacher, and good shepherd of the sheep,
Savage wolves will never harm us, in the flock you safely keep.

For whatever bonds you tighten here upon the earth below,
Are held bound in heav’nly orbits, high within the starry glow,
And all things you loose in this world, they are loosed above the skies.
You shall judge the endless ages when the age of this world dies.

Glory be to God the Father through the great eternity.
And to You, born of the Virgin, may all praise and kingship be.
Pow’r and honor to the Spirit. To the Triune, ever-One,
Through the everlasting ages may unending praise be done.
Petrus beatus catenarum laqueos Christo iubente rupit mirabiliter; custos ovilis et doctor Ecclesiæ, pastorque gregis, conservator ovium arcet luporum truculentam rabiem.
Quodcumque vinclis super terram strinxeris, erit in astris religatum fortiter, et quod resolvis in terris arbitrio, erit solutum super coeli radium; in fine mundi iudex eris sæculi.
Gloria Patri per immensa sæcula, sit tibi, Nate, decus et imperium, honor, potestas Sanctoque Spiritui; sit Trinitati salus individua per infinita sæculorum sæcula.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The USCCB List for the Resignation and Election of the Pope

The USCCB has put out a document of music resources for the resignation and election of the Pope. There's a big drum roll here but once you get to the resources you get...a bunch of song/hymns, stuff you encounter in most mainline parishes every week. As Daniel Page summarizes: "The list of music in this document is profoundly disappointing and unworthy of the sacred liturgy."

I really do wish that the USCCB would get with the times and stop pretending to ignore the radical changes that have been pushed by Benedict XVI. History will come around. The USCCB can lead or follow.

The England-Rome Reapproachment Continues

Charles Cole's schola spent some time in Rome singing with the St. Peter's schola. And next Sunday

Next Sunday (24 February) at St Peter’s, Rome, The Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School will join the Basilica’s own choir, the Cappella Giulia, to sing Capitular Mass and Vespers. 2013 marks the 500th anniversary of the Cappella Giulia’s foundation and during the course of the year, this venerable choir will be joined by others from around the world to sing at St Peter’s. Next Sunday is the first such collaboration. At Mass, the Ordinary will be sung by both choirs and the Propers will be sung by the Cappella Giulia. The Motets, by Spanish renaissance composer Cristobal de Morales and the English Tudor composer William Byrd, will be sung by the Schola Cantorum. At the end of Mass, both choirs, situated opposite each other in the two transepts of the Altar of the Chair, will sing the sublime double-choir motet Adoramus te, Christe by the late renaissance Slovenian composer Jacob Handl.

At Vespers, the Hymn, Psalms and Magnificat will be sung to Gregorian Chant with polyphonic alternatims by Ingegneri, Cima and Lassus. At the close of Vespers, the Schola will sing Ave Maria by the English Tudor composer Robert Parsons. The full music list is as follows:

Full Post

Another Papal Hymn

Some of our readers have probably been tasked with programming hymns for the Feast of the Chair of Peter this coming Friday, or for another celebration honoring Pope Benedict or praying for guidance for the upcoming conclave. Since this text came to my mind, I thought I would offer it, in case it's more useful than, say, Pescador de Hombres.

Verse 3 focuses on a relatively neglected scripture reference for the Petrine ministry. We all know "Tu es Petrus," but this other expression, the mission of "confirming the brethren," is also very important. Peter is responsible for strengthening the faith of his brother bishops.

Verse 4 paraphrases a Gospel dialogue between Jesus and Peter, quite relevant to the willing sacrifices made by Pope Benedict.

Please feel free to use this during the coming weeks. I would recommend the tune Iste Confessor.

Saint Peter lives! The gatekeeper of heaven,
Once young and free, once bound for crucifixion,
Now crowned in splendor, prince among the elders.
Pray for your people.

Saint Peter lives! The binding and the loosing,
Bridging the earth unto the highest heavens,
Servant of servants, bishop of that city
Where Peter witnessed.

 Hell shall not win. The Church will stand forever.
“Peter, I prayed that your faith will not fail you.
And when the time comes, and you have converted,
Strengthen your brethren.”

All those who give up fam'ly or possessions,
They shall inherit, in that endless Kingdom,
And in the present, many times the blessings
With persecution.

Praise to the Father who sent us Christ Jesus.
Praise to the Son, who came as the Messiah.
Praise to the Spirit, Guardian of the teaching,
Trinity blessed.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Three Hymns for the Transition

In hymnody as in iconography, Sts. Peter and Paul usually appear together. This is true of the three hymns provided below for use in the papal transition and/or to honor the Petrine ministry of Pope Benedict.

The first two are my translations of office hymns from the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Both may be sung to any Long Meter or iambic melody.

Aurea luce, from the 8th or 9th century, calls St. Peter the "janitor"--the keeper of the keys--and St. Paul is as always the teacher of the whole world. The hymn plays continually upon the idea of doubling. These two great saints are both like, and equal, and yet unlike. They are equal in dignity, irreducible to one another, and always "at work" together for the good of the Church.

O light of dawn, O rosy glow,
O Light from Light, all ages show
Your beauty, and the martyrs fame,
That gain us pardon from our blame.

The heavens' porter, and earth’s sage,
The world’s bright lights who judge the age.
One wins by cross, and one by sword,
And life on high is their reward.

These are your princes, happy Rome!
Their precious blood clothes you, their home.
We praise not you, but praise their worth,
Beyond all beauty of the earth.

One love, one faith, twin olive trees,
One great strong hope filled both of these.
Full fonts, in your matched charity,
Pray that we may in heaven be.

Give glory to the Trinity
And honor to the Unity,
And joy and pow’r, for their reign stays
Today and through all endless days.

Apostolorum passio is usually attributed to St. Ambrose of Milan, though we are not entirely sure that he wrote it. It is certainly a rich, theologically dense poem. Like Aurea luce above, it attributes the dignity of Rome to these two saints, pre-eminently in their martyrs' blood.

Blest day by suff’ring sanctified:
Christ’s chosen high apostles died.
Today St. Peter wins renown.
Today St. Paul accepts the crown.

Together, equally, they bled:
Together: the victorious dead.
They followed God and sacrificed
And now their faith is crowned by Christ.

St. Peter holds the highest place,
Yet Paul is not the less by grace.
An equal faith was giv’n to Paul:
The chosen vessel of God’s call.

St. Peter, downward crucified—
To honor God in how he died—
Securely tied, he sees unfold
The death his Shepherd once foretold.

On such foundations Rome may claim
The highest service of God’s name.
His noble blood has dignified
The city where this prophet died.

Let all the world, then, run to Rome.
Let families of nations come!
The head of nations teaches there
Beside the nations’ teacher's chair.

O Lord, we ask that we may be
In their exalted company,
And with our princes sing Your praise
Forever, to unending days.

And last let me offer a hymn published by CanticaNOVA Publications and printed here with their kind permission to be used by anyone during this special time of papal transition. It was sung as below at the CMAA Colloquium this past year on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, and this setting may be found on page 151 of the Colloquium music packet. The outstanding organist is Jonathan Ryan.

The Son of Man has come to save
The lost and dark of mind.
All men and women bound in chains
In Him their freedom find.

In Him the blind shall come to see,
The deaf shall understand,
For Jesus guides the erring soul
With His redeeming hand.

So Peter learned to call Him Christ,
And Paul to call Him Lord;
So Peter died upon a cross,
And Paul beneath a sword.

And on their martyrs’ witness grows
The Church of endless days.
Its rock no more denies the Lord
Its foe now leads His praise.

The Son of Man has come to serve
To seek and save the lost.
Blest be the Lord whose saints reveal
The triumph of His Cross.

 Copyright © 2005 CanticaNOVA Publications. Duplication restricted.