An announcement from my colleague Heath Morber on our latest project:
I’m very excited to announce the follow-up to my first project (Bread from Heaven, available here) with the arrival of English Motets for the Church Year. I scoured two-and three-part excerpts from the Mass Ordinary settings of the Renaissance masters, and fit them with English texts from the liturgical seasons and various feast days. Each season/feast has a two and a three-part setting of a text relevant to the occasion (e.g. “Drop down dew from above” for Advent, “You are Peter” for Peter and Paul, etc.), and each motet has been transposed for various voicings. All in all, the collection has 40 motets in two voicings, and a bonus motet for weddings comes to 81 different settings! In addition, I’ll have other transpositions and voicings (including SAB versions!) in a website that my colleague, Ben Yanke, has set up. I’ll be adding settings to that site regularly. The password for the site is in the hard copy of EMCY itself, so you’ll want to grab at least one book to take advantage of the full gamut of resources!
The book can be purchased at lulu.com, paperback (Link) or coil-bound (Link). An extensive sample of the collection can be found here. Recordings are already rolling in; a couple examples are below to get a sense of the collection.
These can be done with as few as two or three skilled singers! I hope this will be a great resource for your parish community!
The proclamation of the date of Easter and the other moveable feasts on Epiphany is one of the many things that was a practical necessity in time of old, but is kept within liturgical use (similar to candles providing light at Mass). It is something that any parish can use Epiphany Sunday after the gospel (in the ordinary form).
There are two scores in the file, depending on which day your Diocese celebrates the Ascension.
Edit (12:39pm CST): Thanks to Veronica Brandt for the EF score as well.
Edit (2:29pm CST): Thanks to Andrew Motyka for the OF modern notation score.
This advent, join the church in the fantastic tradition of Rorate Masses. Typically they are celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, but don’t forget that these beautiful candlelit Masses are not only for the Extraordinary Form but also can be celebrated in the Ordinary Form! By making use of the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin which is found in the new Roman Missal. Below you can find all the music needed to celebrate this Mass! I’d encourage you to consider asking your pastor to try one this Advent.
Rorate Caeli Chant for before Mass Sung in the style of a responsorial psalm PDF | Recording English proper chants for the choir or cantor Simple English Propers (Bartlett) PDF | recordings: in, of, co Communion Antiphon Project (Motyka) PDF | mp3
Just digging up an old post from my personal site, from my pilgrimage to DC for the 2013 March for Life. Enjoy!
The mosaic behind St. Cecilia’s altar in the crypt church at the National Shrine, with a beautiful antiphon from lauds on her feast day: Whilst musicians made music, Cecilia sang unto the Lord, saying: O let my heart be sound in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed.
As I mentioned in my previous post, assisting at Mass at the National Shrine was amazing, not only because of the beauty of the church we were privileged to worship in, but also the music. I will say without reservation that the shrine’s professional choir is the best choir I have ever heard. But on an even more important note, they are not only singing plain old standard music well, they sing sacred music well.
As I walked into the church on Saturday afternoon, the choir and congregation were singing Kyrie VIII, which a friend and I instantly and happily joined in on. After they finished the kyrie gracefully, the cantor intoned Gloria VIII and the massive organ filled the church as the congregation began: “et in terra pax homínibus.” I was intensely joyful, only having heard the gloria in Latin one other time in the Ordinary Form, and marveling at the grand sound of the massive organ filling the beautiful shrine with the praises of God.
Glória in excélsis Deo et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntátis.
But as they reached “Laudamus te,” the organ fell silent, and I realized they were singing the Gloria in alternatim, as they often do at Papal Masses, and some larger churches on important feasts, and the choir broke out into fantastic polyphony. That’s when I just about lost it.
I went weak in the knees. My jaw literally hung open. I felt chills straight up my spine as I mouthed along with the prayers the schola was singing in such a sublime manner. The beauty of the church, combined with the stunning beauty of the music, had quite literally sucked me into the liturgy unfolding before me. It was almost a form of ecstasy.
Did I stay for the rest of Mass? You betcha. And the music was just as good throughout the rest of the Mass as well, as they sang the propers, Victoria motets, and fantastic organ interludes. It was one of the most prayerful Masses I had ever been to.
That’s what sacred music needs to do. I felt physically weak, and had a deep feeling of peace and joy after hearing what I will call one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.
Imagine if I had been an atheist walking off the street, not sure of the direction of my life, not appreciating the beauty in life, and that music had that same effect on me, causing me to stay, and come the truth, and be baptized the following Easter. Somehow I doubt that guy screeching away “Here I am Lord” on a guitar would have the same effect on me.
Our liturgies should be filled with the good, the true and the beautiful, but we need to focus especially on the aspect of beauty. We can reach the people through beauty. Sometimes it’s the only way. When people have their minds closed to the truth, sometimes the only way to reach them is through their emotions and their heart, as I was reached last Saturday.
Pastors, hire sacred musicians who know their stuff, and pay them well. Music directors, know your stuff, and do it well. When done well, you will affect more souls than you will ever know.
And while you’re at it, send a donation to the CMAA.
Here’s a recording of the gloria (and some other music from the Mass, starting at about 0:48), so you can hear what I heard. The recording isn’t the best, but at least you can hear what I’m talking about. It begins with the congregational verse of the gloria, and then when the organ stops (on Jesu Christe), the polyphony verse (Domine Deus…). Keep in mind the sound of both the choir and the organ are filling the entire church the whole time. After the gloria, it contains part of the responsorial psalm, offertory motet, and organ improvisation after that.
Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, over at One Peter Five, has been working on a multi-part series on gregorian chant and it’s role in the liturgy. I’d encourage you to check it out, and continue to watch 1P5 as the final parts of the series are posted.
Looking to outfit your parish with books that are containing the liturgical music of the Roman Rite? Paraclete Press is offering bulk discounts on the Gregorian Missal (the gregorian propers for Sundays, as well as all the gregorian ordinaries) as well as the second edition of the Parish Book of Chant through the end of August. Interested? Contact Jim Jordan at Paraclete Press (800-451-5006 x 335).
We have another great testimony about the importance of the Colloquium, and how it affected Dr. Peter Kwasniewski as he attended this year.
Recently my son and I participated in the Sacred Music Colloquium XXV of the Church Music Association of America, held at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. As with the Sacra Liturgia 2015 Conference, a large portion of the participants were young adults who love beautiful music that is obviously sacred in its stylistic qualities, cultural associations, and avowed liturgical purpose.
At Sacra Liturgia 2015 and Colloquium XXV, one sees ample evidence that we are turning a corner. The rebels of yesteryear look embarrassingly old-fashioned, and the youth who still want to practice their Faith need more, desire more, and deserve more than the Church’s hierarchy has been willing (or even able?) to give them until now. And these young men and women are figuring out how to find their way back to the Tradition, in spite of all obstacles, detours, traps, and poor signage. This movement—this hunger for Catholic Tradition—cannot be stopped. But it can be somewhat delayed by obstructionists or actively promoted by shepherds who care for the eternal destiny of their sheep.