Epiphany Proclamation 2014

Andrew Motyka and I recently typeset the versions for the 2014 Epiphany Proclamation for your use on the Feast of the Epiphany. There are two versions in the file, depending on which day your Diocese celebrates the Ascension, and the file also includes both modern notation and chant notation (neumes).

Just one of the many great things coming out of the CMAA forum!

Click here for PDF | Practice Recording (from NPM)

Additionally, Veronica Brandt has provided us for an edition for use in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite HERE.

Eucharistic Procession for the Feast of Christ the King – Steubenville

Altar boys prepared for
the cold in procession

Recently at Franciscan University of Steubenville, a group of students organized a Eucharistic procession for the Feast of Christ the King (OF) this past Sunday.

Despite the cold, there was a good turn out of over 500 people (mostly college students). The schola, made up of the music students at the college, was singing chants throughout the procession, including: Adoro te devote, Ave Verum Corpus, Credo III (for the closing of the Year of Faith), Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Veni Jesu, Salve Regina, and also Kevin Allen’s Panis Angelicus.

However, here’s the best part: virtually the entire congregation was singing many of the chants along with the schola, which is very encouraging. It’s encouraging to see fellow young people doing something like this with such success, both in the congregation singing the music of the church, as well as the massive turnout. In the pictures, we can see there’s even some younger boys assisting in the procession as well.

It’s fantastic to see other young people taking up the traditions of our church joyfully!

Schola chanting in procession
Students kneeling as the procession passes

Simple English Propers Accompaniments – Fundraising needed

As I’m sure almost every one of you knows, back in 2011, the Church Music Association of America released a book called Simple English Propers, which has ended up introducing the proper chants of the Mass to more English speaking Catholics than was ever expected. Copies are still selling, and many people and parishes are still just learning what the proper chants are.
Thanks to Ryan Dingess, organ accompaniments for the entire book have been completed, but he currently doesn’t have a computer to typeset them on (he has been writing them out by hand right now), and he needs funds to purchase a computer for engraving the music as well as covering some additional costs related to the production of this book.
If you would like to see an accompaniment book for SEP released, please consider donating to the crowd funding effort to get this book off the ground, and click the link below to support this book.

Proper Chants for Thanksgiving (Roman Missal Antiphons)

Though it is not strictly a liturgical event to be observed, many parishes in the US still like to have music at their Thanksgiving morning Masses, and the new Roman Missal provides a set of prayers and antiphons for this day that many priests use.

That being said, the music books of the Roman Rite do not provide proper chants for that day, leaving parishes regularly singing propers without them. However, in the USA, the GIRM provides us the option of having the antiphons from the missal chanted as proper chants.

For those who use Simple English Propers, I’ve adapted the missal antiphons to the melodies found in SEP. You can find the entrance and communion antiphons below:

While the missal does not contain the offertory antiphon (therefore, this PDF does not either), you could chant any offertory antiphon you wish under. One antiphon I would put forward for consideration is the offertory from the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, In te speravi, which seems appropriate thematically appropriate.

In you have I put my trust, O Lord;
I said: “You are my God,
my destiny is in your hands.”

For those of you working in parishes with sung Masses or Masses with music on Thanksgiving morning, what are you planning on using?

Latin texts of the Ordinary Form now Online

While it is well known that most of the liturgical texts and books of the extraordinary form are available online (many through our parent site, the CMAA, as well as other useful sites, such as that of the Canons of St. John Cantius), the latin texts of the Ordinary Form are often quite difficult to find, due to their lack of common use.

Now, thanks to Jeff Ostrowski at Corpus Christi Watershed, these Latin texts seem to be all available, including readings. More significantly, it appears thanks to OCR technology, all the texts are ready to be copied and pasted into your own documents, for the most part. Of course, they may not be perfect, but from what I could tell, it was fairly accurate. This could be very useful when creating worship aid leaflets, where you could include the collect, preface, and other changing parts for the congregation. Overall, I really like this development.

This could be useful for MCs, priests, musicians, or anyone assisting with the Ordinary Form. I know it will be helpful to me, if for nothing else than being able to follow along with the prayers during Mass, so that I can be ready in the loft at appropriate moments.

Due to the obvious size of this document, each of the 4 volumes it is split into 3 files, amounting to a total of 12 files. Click here to download these files from Watershed.

The Liturgy and our Senses

The human mind is an amazing thing, as is the sacred liturgy.

When I got home yesterday, I found that the power was out. We grabbed every candle we could find from stove-top, the little shrine on the bookshelf, the Divine Mercy votive candle on the mantle, those decorative ones from above the cabinets, every candle. We lit them up around the house on the counter, on top of the piano, on my desk, and continued with our evening. After a little while, we were able to spend the rest of the evening more-or-less normally, bathed in the light of candles all over the place.
Then, all of a sudden, as our electricity came back on, and the ceiling lights with it, I was hit by a flood of emotions. I felt happy. I felt like I could jump for joy. And it had nothing to do with the power being restored. I honestly couldn’t tell you why, for a second. But then it clicked: Entire rooms lit only with candles for extended periods of time. Relative quiet, compared to normal life. Not a lick of artificial light. The smell of burning candle wax permeating through the whole room. The crucifix and Marian icon on the wall above my desk, lit clearly by the candle on my desk. Everything around me was telling brain I was at the Easter vigil, and that we’re about to sing the gloria for the first time in months! And to be honest, I was moved to prayer because of it.
This is such a great example of how the liturgy uses all of our emotions and senses, from the smell of wax, to the sight of entire rooms lit only by candlelight, to the feeling of wax in our hands and the taste of our Lord’s precious body, blood, soul and divinity, under the taste and appearance of bread. In His infinite wisdom, he knew that we would be able to best worship Him and be drawn to Him would be through the integration of all of our senses and emotions through the sacred liturgy. All those emotions I had yesterday evening were thanks to the amazing power of a truly beautiful liturgy.
He uses the incense, the sound of the priest’s prayers being sung, the other music of the organ and the choir, the taste of the bread on our tongues, the sight of beautiful artwork and architecture all around, and the sights of the clergy and servers in their beautiful venture, moving gracefully throughout the sanctuary and the the whole church.
“The earthly liturgy we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, no 8). The liturgy is something beyond our understanding. It is not something we do, it is given to us by God. It is something given to us for our salvation, something of supreme importance. Let’s always make it the most beautiful that it can be. We never know how it may touch someone, in small ways or in large ways.
Save the Liturgy, Save the world.