Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ad orientem

from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 2002

299. The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the center toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns.116 The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.

desirable whenever possible!?
I thought the GIRM was a pretty high-ranking/authoritative document... I was just rather surprised to find this directive in it. Since I've recently been concerned with things like this, I've been under the impression that the idea of "facing the people" was just made up after Vatican II, not actually prescribed anywhere...

but here we have conflicting what the pope has been doing, with the GIRM. I guess I'm just then confused about the authority of this document.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

a very interesting weekend at St. P

40 Hours Devotion:

Tridentine Wedding:

(sorry, my camera takes pretty bad pictures.)

(this being particularaly significant b/c this form of the Mass hasn't happened publicly at St. P since before Vatican II)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I love the things that people search for online that my blog comes up for.

around this time of year I get a lot of people searching for "People Look East." (not sure what they're looking for...melody? lyrics? if anyone here is looking for that, the text is by Eleanor Farjeon, and it's a French tune called "Besancon" with a meter of 87 98 87, according to my Ritual Song hymnal published by GIA. Sorry I'm not going to bother typing out the lyrics. I'd rather not get sued by "David Higham Assoc. Ltd." They sound important...)

I wish I could respond to the people who come looking for things. To the person who searched, "Catholic psalm settings" I would have a lot to say, as to the person who searched, "instrumental recessional songs."
I'm sure I could also have a nice discussion with whoever looked for "hymns that match scripture" or "churches playing recorded music."

and then what about whoever searched for, "Catholic Mass processions entrance offertory communion recessional"?

Recently someone searched for "choir rehearsal panic"
(and they got MY blog?! hehe...)

Tridentine Wedding

Would you believe that there probably hasn't been a Tridentine Wedding in this city in 40 years, and now there are going to be TWO this Saturday! at the same time! so I have to miss one! But I am in charge of the music for the other...oh goodness. We rehearsed last night, and I think it should go pretty well, but say a prayer! (I have hired-or rather the couple getting married has-a quartet of music school singers, and I will also sing.)
Here's the plan:

Bride Procession: Tiento lleno de Pange Lingua de V Tono- J.B. Cabanilles
Introit: Deus Israel
Kyrie: Missa de Beata Virgine - Cristobal Morales
Gloria: chant (Mass VIII)
Gradual: Uxor tua
Offertory: In Te Speravi
Ave Maria - Tomás Luis de Victoria
Sanctus: Missa de Beata Virgine - Cristobal Morales
Benedictus: "
Agnus Dei: "
Communion: Ecce Sic Benedicetur
Ave Verum - William Byrd
Presentation to Mary: Regina Caeli - G. Aichinger
Recessional: Tiento Lleno de V Tono - J. B. Cabanilles

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

at 10:30: Introit in English, psalm tone
others: O Christ the Great Foundation (maybe to another tune)
Offertory: 10:30: offertory antiphon as response
others: Christ is made the Sure Foundation (Picardy)
Communion: Communion Proper
At that First Eucharist (Unde Et Memores)
Organ Recessional: Lobe den Herren (Cherwein)

EDIT: and the crowds went wild with appreciation!... (not...)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Most Beautiful Mass

I had the incredible opportunity to attend the most beautiful Mass I have ever witnessed last night.
Yesterday at 7 am, an ambitious group of 7 young people from this city piled into 2 cars and drove to St. John Cantius in Chicago, for their annual All Souls Extraordinary Form Requiem Mass, with Mozart's Requiem.
We made great time and arrived around 10:15am their time. A friend of mine who is in the Canons Regular (Brother R) obtained permission to spend some of the day with us, which was delightful. First he showed us around the church, then we heard the Canons chant mid-day prayer, following that one of the brothers played a short but neat piece on the organ for us. Then Brother R took us in their van for a little tour of Chicago.
First we stopped at a little cafe for a much-need lunch, then we went to three different churches all very nearby and all very neat. Mary of the Angels, St. Stan's, and Holy Trinity. Then Brother R drove us downtown, pointed out some of the big sights, and then dropped us off. Half of us went to the art museum, and the other half had their own adventures which they can tell you about. After eating some deep dish pizza, my group headed back via subway to the church, arriving a nice half an hour before the Mass began, in a quickly filling up church.
The moment the Mass began, my heart swelled with indescribable emotion. Having heard the opening bars of Mozart's Requiem so many times; for this one more time to then turn and witness the beautiful procession with the reverent altar servers solemnly carrying the cross and candles, followed by the deacon and subdeacon and priest, all dressed in beautiful, gilded vestments appropriate for the most sacred event on earth, I thought, "how appropriate. after all the times I've just been staring at a choir... Of course there ought to be a procession for this music!"
The Mass continued on, and I enjoyed every moment of it (although I was informed later by the MC that there were many flukes--I was not aware of anything not going perfectly!) Quickly into the service the familiar "Dies Irae" sequence was sung, the primary chunk of Mozart's Requiem. We sat and listened to a good 20 minutes of some of my favorite pieces of music, like the "Lacrymosa." We sat and listened, and prayed, and meditated, and our thoughts were carried to heaven through the experience of all our senses of things that are distinctly sacred. (for those who joke about "smells and bells," they don't know what they're missing--when your whole person is experiencing so many beautiful things!) Throughout the Mass, although of course I know intellectually where (for example) the "Offertory" is supposed to "go," it was absoloutely fascinating to witness the appropriate actions occuring with the music.
After a good 25 minute homily, (I was happy-I had heard he might preach up to 40 minutes!) Mass continued with fitting reverence and solemnity rarely seen elsewhere.
Following Communion, I was once more indescribably affected at the very end. I didn't think I had ever heard Barber's Adagio, which was played at the very end as the priest and servers processed back down the aisle. A very fitting anti-"closing hymn!" (If I die soon, make sure that's the "closing hymn" for my funeral!) While listening to those beautiful closing notes of the string instruments, we prayed for bit.
After saying our goodbyes and thanks to Brother R for taking time out of busy day for us, we departed right around 10pm (their time,) and arrived back at 3 am.
I can't wait til next year!