On Wednesday, July 3, liturgical scholar Dom Alcuin Reid, prior of the Monastère Saint-Benoît in the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, France, gave the second plenary lecture at CMAA’s Sacred Music Colloquium, at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. His talk on authority in liturgy recalls the teaching of Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei that
“Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.” The liturgy, the liturgical rites themselves, are an intrinsic part of the handing on of the faith received from the apostles. They are not mere decoration or ornament. The rites and prayers that have developed in the life of the Church are sacred vessels which bring apostolic tradition to us. Thus they are privileged sacramentals worthy of profound respect.
That is why Catholic liturgy is sacred. That is why Catholic liturgy is not that which any individual or group ‘likes’ to do, but is what we do ecclesially, in accordance with what is handed on to us in tradition. That is why the Sacred Liturgy enjoys a theological objectivity and cannot be altered without the greatest of prudence and due proportionality.
Against a subjectivism that would make the liturgy depend on “whatever the priest wants” or whatever this or that particular pope wants, according to personal opinions, Reid proposes principles of “liturgical integrity”. A text of his lecture appears in Catholic World Report.
Tuesday afternoon, after the first rehearsals of the various choirs that formed for the week, a votive Mass of the Holy Angels was celebrated in English. Here are a few excerpts (please note that these are my amateur recordings, so there is incidental noise):
Procession (improvisation by Michael Olbash, organ):
Introit (plainchant by Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB):
Responsorial Psalm (George Elvey, arr. Mahrt):
Communion (plainchant by Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB):
Motet (Richard Farrant: “Call to Remembrance”):
Motet (Richard Terry: “Richard de Castre’s prayer to Jesus”):
The Sacred Music Colloquium is underway at the cathedral in Philadelphia, and today had the most splendid event of the week, a sung Mass with a performance of the Requiem, the Missa pro defuncto archiepiscopo Sigismundo by Michael Haydn (1737-1806), the younger brother of F.J. Haydn.
The various portions of the Mass were performed by three choirs under the direction of Charles Cole, David Hughes, and Timothy McDonnell. For the occasion, a generous donor made it possible for CMAA to include an orchestra with numerous performers from the Baltimore Symphony.
Charles Cole, choir, and orchestra rehearsing for the Requiem
Here is one portion of the Mass, the Tract Absolve, Domine, performed by the women’s schola composed of colloquium participants under the direction of Mary Ann Carr Wilson:
The Ukrainian Catholic Church’s liturgical commission is offering a training event for cantors and choir directors this coming September, to be held at the seminary in Stamford. The first “SingCon” practicum was held in 2018, and you can find out more about it, including viewing scores and videos from the services, at the event’s web site.
Still making plans for the summer? Here are some of the educational opportunities being offered in sacred music and liturgy:
The Sacred Music Colloquium of the Church Music Association of America: a six-day program including fully sung Masses in English, Latin, and Spanish, providing an experience of the liturgy with its full ceremonial and sacred music. Participants join choirs under expert instructors to learn and sing Gregorian chant and choral polyphony. This year the Colloquium Masses will be held at the cathedral in Philadelphia July 1-6, and the polyphony choirs will be directed by Timothy O’Donnell, Charles Cole, David Hughes, and MeeAe Cecilia Nam.
Chant courses sponsored by the Church Music Association of America: in the week preceding the Colloquium, two chant programs will be presented on the campus of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh: our “Chant Intensive” program under conductor Jeffrey Morse, and the first level of the “Laus in Ecclesia” cantor training program under Br. Mark Bachmann OSB of Clear Creek Abbey. Graduate credit is available for both programs through Duquesne.
Michael Alan Anderson is directing a week-long workshop on chant and polyphony presented by Eastman School of Music, to be held in New York City June 10-14.
Janet Coxwell, David Woodcock, and Andrew Carwood will be directing the Early Music Academy Boston program July 27-Aug 2, to be held at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., studying works of Palestrina, Clemens, and Guerrero.
A retreat for church musicians will be offered August 16-20 in Sleepy Eve, MN: a description of the program with liturgies offered according to the Usus Antiquior of the Roman rite is offered in this PDF file, and registration information is at the event’s Facebook page.
Schola Cantus Angelorum is presenting its seventh summer liturgy conference in Spokane May 28-31 on the campus of Gonzaga University. Speakers include Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop Thomas Daly, Bishop Robert Vasa, Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Nathan Schmiedicke, Msgr. Richard Huneger, Canon Lawyer Magdalen Ross, Rev. Theodore Lange, Rev. Gabriel Mosher OP, Douglas Schneider, Alex Begin and Enzo Selvaggi. More information is at https://sacredliturgyconference.org/
The Monastère Saint-Benoît of the Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon is presenting the sixth annual Sacra Liturgia Summer School, in English, at La Garde-Freinet in France, August 3-16.
St. Vitus Parish (FSSP) in Los Angeles is presenting its Sacred Music Symposium June 24-28 under the direction of Jeffrey Ostrowski.
Daniel Saulnier, former director of the paleography workshop at Solesmes, is presenting an introductory workshop on Gregorian chant August 6-9 as part of the Choralies festival at Vaison-la-Romaine.
The Gregorian Institute of Canada will present its summer conference August 8-11 at the Abbey of St.-Benoit-du-Lac in Quebec, with musicologist Juan Carlos Asensio Palacios presenting on Hispanic (“Mozarabic”) plainchant.