Saturday, 3 December 2011

Singing the Mass - Update

The book is now available to purchase for €25 at the new Solesmes website.  There is a discount of 50% for orders of 50 or more.

For further details about the book see this previous post.

Guardian on new translation of Roman Missal

See here.

The relevant part of the article is extracted below:
The dialogue between clarity and opacity [one presumes they mean 1973 v 2010, though many would argue the opposite in fact holds, at least insofar as the Sacred Mysteries are able to be expressed in words - ed.], or accessibility and mystery, will be played out on a religious stage again today with the publication of the new English translation of the Roman missal [sic], the fruit of long gestation in the Catholic church. When the Second Vatican Council called for [sic] the use of the vernacular at mass [sic], the first translators of the missal [sic] employed the principle of "dynamic equivalence" – the spirit and meaning of the text rather than word-for-word translation. In the interests of simplicity, some prayers were reduced to short, declarative sentences. The new translation celebrates "formal equivalence", a more literal rendering of the text. In Roman Catholic churches across the English-speaking world, the new missal [sic] will no doubt provoke outrage [?! - ed.] among worshippers who have grown used to the 1960s [sic] translation.

Tidings from Ireland

A televised Mass from Ireland using the new translation of the Roman Missal.

See the video on the RTÉ website here or here.

Only available until 11 December 2011.

Rumination necessary.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Singing the Mass - New Chant Book from Solesmes in English and Latin

To coincide with the new English translation of the Roman Missal, Solesmes has published a new book containing all the chants of the Order of Mass in English and Latin on facing pages. Entitled Singing the Mass, it is for use by the people, and serves to encourage sung celebrations of the Vatican II Mass.  The book was compiled by the author of this blog. 

Features of Singing the Mass
+                   English and Latin on facing pages
To accommodate Vatican II Masses celebrated entirely English, entirely in Latin, or in English interspersed with Latin
+                   All the dialogues and acclamations in which the people are called to participate
+                   Solemn and simple tone
+                   The English Mass Setting from the Roman Missal
+                   A shorter Kyriale with 9 full Mass Settings in Greek/Latin
+                   Chants in English and Latin for the sprinkling of Holy Water
+                   Various alternative settings of the Lord’s Prayer
Including well-known settings from the US (Snow), the UK (Rimsky-Korsakov) and Australia
+                   Clear typesetting in the Solesmes style
+                   Text of Eucharistic Prayers I-IV

Table of Contents and Sample Pages

The table of contents and sample pages may be viewed at the Chant Cafe blog.  My thanks to Adam Bartlett and Jeffrey Tucker, amongst others, for their fine work in promoting high standards in sacred music for the liturgy.  

Ordering information will be available shortly.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

New CD from Westminster Cathedral

A new recording by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral always occasions great joy.  In July 2010 it was my very good fortune to have been in London when the choir sang Victoria's Missa de Beata Maria Virgine for the Solemn Mass.  A subsequent search for a recording of this beautiful setting was to no avail.  Little did I know that it was being preserved on disc by the very same choir for release in due course - and what a pleasant surprise!

Hear samples of the recording here and here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

St Mary's Choir Sings Byrd, Tallis in Rome

There was a veritable feast of polyphony in Rome recently when a cathedral choir from the Antipodes paid a visit and sang for the Pope (see previous posts below). 

In the video below the Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, sings Byrd's motet Civitas Sancti Tui (see from 0:54), and I'll wager that few choirs of any sort can sing it quite so well.
Civitas sancti tui facta est deserta. Sion deserta facta est. Jerusalem desolata est.
The city of thy sanctuary is become a desert. Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate.
ISAIAS 64:10

For a good comparison, see this performance of the same piece by the celebrated Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge - technically brilliant but perhaps lacking in something?  

Friday, 21 October 2011

Pope commends new translation of Missal to Australian bishops

From the Pope's address on the occasion of the Australian Bishops' ad limina visit to Rome:

"... as bishops, you are conscious of your special duty to care for the celebration of the liturgy. The new translation of the Roman Missal ... is intended to enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God by his people. Help your clergy to welcome and to appreciate what has been achieved, so that they in turn may assist the faithful as everyone adjusts to the new translation. ... Make every effort to help catechists and musicians in their respective preparations to render the celebration of the Roman Rite in your dioceses a moment of greater grace and beauty, worthy of the Lord and spiritually enriching for everyone. In this way, as in all your pastoral efforts, you will lead the Church in Australia towards her heavenly home under the sign of the Southern Cross."

Pope opens Domus Australia

Video reports about the Pope's visit to the centre:

Monday, 10 October 2011

Radio programme on new translation

If you want an American perspective on the new translation of the Roman Missal which is interesting and informative, I very much suggest that you listen to this radio broadcast of EWTN's Register Radio, hosted by one of the writer's for the National (American) Catholic Register. 

From the website:
This week on Register Radio, Tim Drake is interviewing two experts on the new translation of the Roman Missal. Beginning the first Sunday in Advent, changes will be taking place at Mass in what the priest will be saying, and our responses. Dr. Edward Sri, professor of theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute, and Catholic Answer’s apologist and National Catholic Register blogger Jimmy Akin are joining us to talk about the changes and why they’re taking place.
The Roman Missal for England & Wales, Scotland, and Australia

One of many US versions of the Roman Missal

Sydney's RC Cathedral Choir to Sing for Pope ... again

In what is surely a great honour, the Choir of St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, will sing for Pope Benedict in Rome next Wednesday.  The occasion is the opening of a new centre in the Eternal City for Australian pilgrims, Domus Australia, comprising accommodation and a fully restored chapel. 

According to The Australian, Cardinal Pell will dedicate the Chapel's new altar before the Pope officially opens the new centre.  The ceremony will be webcast

The choir, which sang at the Papal Mass in St. Mary's Cathedral in 2008 (during WYD), is made up of men and boys and sets an extremely high standard in sacred music, in the best traditions of the Roman Rite.  His Holiness will undoubtedly be enamoured of their singing. 

Domus Australia, Rome

Chapel, Domus Australia, Rome

Chapel, Domus Australia, Rome

Chapel, Domus Australia, Rome

St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney
St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney

John Henry Newman and Liturgical Reverence ...

... is the title of an interesting article in the National (American) Catholic Register.  The author makes some interesting observations about celebrations of the modern Roman Rite, and how the introduction of the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition on Advent Sunday might affect the same. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

O praise the Lord, all ye nations!

On a new CD from the Schola Cantorum of Downside Abbey is to be found a new setting of Laudate Dominum by Christopher Tambling, the Master of the Schola: 
Also on the CD is a Victoria motet, Ave Regina Caelorum: 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Two months to go

The Collect for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time:  
Father, you show your almighty power,
in your mercy and forgiveness. 
Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. 
Help us to hurry toward the eternal life you promise
and come to share in the joys of your kingdom. 
And from next year:  
O God, who manifest your almighty power
above all by pardoning and showing mercy,
bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us
and make those hastening to attain your promises
heirs to the treasures of heaven. 

Friday, 23 September 2011

Radio Interview with Director of Music at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney

The Director of Music at St. Mary's Cathedral, Thomas Wilson, was on 4 September interviewed on the ABC programme Sunday Nights.  The interviewer was Noel Debien, himself a choral music director at St. Francis of Assisi Paddington, an inner city parish run by the Franciscans.  The topics of discussion were generally confined to sacred music and its centrality to the celebration of the Roman Rite.  And for those who might be growing a little tired of the whole issue of the new English translation of the Roman Missal, not a word about it is mentioned. 

Click here to download the interview in mp3 format. 

Excerpts of pieces sung by the Cathedral Choir are interspersed throughout the programme, and here are some further excerpts from previous posts on this blog:


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Westminster Uses New Altar Missal

At last Sunday's Mass of Thanksgiving for the Papal visitation last year Westminster Cathedral was presented with the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition, published by the CTS, which of course contains the more edifying translation of the Latin Missale Romanum.  The pictures below are all © Mazur/  See more photos of the Mass here.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Missal website for England & Wales revamped

The Missal website for the dioceses of England and Wales has had a makeover, but a quick glance suggests that the content remains largely the same as before.  The website is devoted to the new translation of the Roman Missal and has some handy resources.  

More translation news from the Emerald Isle

The Irish translation of parts of the Roman Missal: 

faoi mo dhíon = under my roof
trí mo choir féin, trí mo choir féin, trí mo mhórchoir féin = through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault

Sound familiar?

See the article by Susan Gately on the Catholic Ireland website.

And see the whole Order of Mass in Irish Gaelic here.  My Gaelic isn't what it used to be (I now now eight words!) so the use of an electronic translator came in quite handy to test the veracity of the claims in the article.  Apparently, the Irish Gaelic was translated directly from the Latin.  It would be most illuminating to fiund out whether that occurred prior to or after 2001 (significance of that date is assumed knowledge).

"Restoring the centurion’s roof"

is the title of an interesting article about the new translation of the Roman Missal in last Friday's edition of the (London) Daily Telegraph.

The Cardinal, the Archbishop and the Oratorian

Cardinal Newman was an Oratorian in Birmingham, but was not a bishop.  Archbishop Longley is prelate of Birmingham, but is not an Oratorian.  Fr. Guy Nicholls is an Oratorian in Birmingham but is neither a Cardinal nor a bishop.  But they all share two things in common.  First, they all place/placed much importance on high quality sacred music as being necessary for the enrichment of the Mass.  And they have/had an association with the Birmingham Oratory, where tomorrow at 11am His Grace, Archbishop Longley will celebrate a Mass at said Oratory, formally to mark the opening of the Newman Institute of Liturgical Music, whose director is Fr. Nicholls.  Saturday 17 September happens to be the first anniversary of Cardinal Newman's beatification.

Find out about the Institute's raison d'etre by clicking here.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Aunty's Recording of Cambridge Mass Using the New Translation

Last Sunday's broadcast of BBC Radio 4's programme Sunday Worship was recorded at the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge on the occasion of the introduction in England and Wales of the new translation of the Roman Missal.  This recording is only available until Sunday 11 September 2011.

In brief:
  • Sung greeting, solemn tone (celebrant Mgr. Peter Leeming)
  • Kyrie - Mass XVI (Greek)
    Gloria - Mass XV (English)
  • Gospel - Sung introduction and conclusion, simple tone
  • Homily (given by precentor of Westminster Cathedral, Fr Alexander Master)
  • Credo - Apostles' Creed (said)
  • Prayer of the Faithful -  Petitions announced by reader, then "Be pleased to hear us" intoned by cantor, with the people responding "Lord, we ask you, hear our prayer" - as provided for in the Missal - excellent!!
  • Sung Preface Dialogue
  • Sanctus - Mass XVIII (English)
  • Eucharistic Prayer II (new translation)
  • Acclamation at the Mystery of Faith - We proclaim ... (Missal tone)
  • Sung Doxology
  • Sung Lord's Prayer (English, Missal tone)
  • Agnus Dei - Mass XVIII (English)
  • Final Blessing (said)
  • Dismissal (sung, "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life")
It seems there was some editing by the BBC, which is understandable, but the illuminating parts are retained.

Well done all concerned!

Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge
Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge

(Pictures taken by the author of this blog after a Mass in July 2010, not after yesterday's service)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

All things have their season

Collect for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: 
God our Father,
you redeem us,
and make us your children in Christ. 
Look upon us,
give us true freedom
and bring us to the inheritance you promised. 

O God, by whom we are redeemed and receive adoption,
look graciously upon your beloved sons and daughters,
that those who believe in Christ
may receive true freedom
and an everlasting inheritance. 

And So It Begins (in the Northern Hemisphere)

In a reversal of the normal order of things, parishes in the Northern Hemisphere have started to use the new, more edifying translation of the Order of Mass, from the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition.  At the Saturday Vigil Mass at a certain red brick church in London, which may or may not have a well known choir, the congregation was told that it was an historic day for Catholics in the UK, that the new translation of the Missale Romanum was not change for change's sake, and that it ought to be embraced gladly (to which I'm sure the gathered faithful, filled with the Holy Spirit, silently responded "hear hear!")  The new texts were proclaimed with precision and, unsuprisingly for an Englishman, perfect diction.  This all helps immeasurably in the transition from old to new.

As for how the congregation coped - at first better with the responses when said than when sung, but that is to be expected.  By the time the Preface Dialogue came around, most were able to respond in song with confidence.  The cantor led the Missal chant settings of the Ordinary superbly. 

Perhaps fittingly, the Mass was concelebrated by two quite newly ordained priests from the Archdiocese of Sydney, to whom the new translation is old hat, the bishops in Australia having allowed a gradual implementation since January this year. 

With any luck the example of (what may or may not have been) the mother church of England and Wales will be followed by parishes both there and across the pond, where at present only the new translation of the Ordinary may be used, if sung (which means, effectively, the new Gloria, Creed and Sanctus). 

Interesting times. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Yet more examples

The internet is awash with examples of the new English translation of the Roman Missal, the full implementation of which is nigh.  Once more, then, let one remind one's self of what the English-speaking Church used for nearly 40 years, and what it will be using henceforth: the Collect from the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary time this year: 
Almighty God,
every good thing comes from you. 
Fill our hearts with love for you,
increase our faith,
and by your constant care
protect the good you have given us. 
And from next year:  
God of might, giver of every good gift,
put into our hearts the love of your name,
so that, by deepening our sense of reverence,
you may nurture in us what is good
and, by your watchful care,
keep safe what you have nurtured. 

Exciting times ...

... as England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the US prepare to start the implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Typcial Edition, joining Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  And here is a new article from the Catholic press which rings true (and supports anecdotal evidence filtering through from Australia) regarding the success of the implementation so far in the last mentioned countries.  

A full list of past news articles about the new translation may be found here

Another hope shared by many

A priest opines in the Catholic Herald (UK) that there ought to be a greater prevalence of sung Masses (to which the Roman Rite naturally lends itself).  Bear in mind that this is not an article as such and that some of the statements he makes are based more on his intuition than solid research.  I think it is an honest, frank and realistic portrayal of the current state of affairs.

I should also like to take this opportuinity to refer readers once again to a televised example of a Mass which comes very close to the ideal sung Vatican II Mass.  The video was made in June of an Episcopal ordination at St Patrick's RC Cathedral in Melbourne.  Furthermore, it uses many of the new sung dialogues from the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition (as well as Gloria XV and Sanctus XVIII in English, and the new translation of the Nicene Creed which was said).  Those predisposed to Mozart's music will also approve of the setting of the Kyrie and Agnus Dei - from his Spatzenmesse, K220.  On the eve of the implementation of various sung parts of the new translation of the Order of Mass in England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Canada this may make timely viewing.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A Bit Late But ...

... This is why, in addition to satisfying one's obligation on the Feast of the Assumption by attending Mass, one should attend the First Vespers on Assumption Eve:  

(And of course one should attend Second Vespers too - which, like First Vespers, shall be sung, according to the Ordo Cantus Officii)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

More on the Canadian Missal - Sample Pages

Sample pages have been available for some time now of the Missals for use in Australia, England and Wales, Scotland and the United States.  Canada and Ireland lagged behind.  However, Canada has now issued several pages for use during Advent, which will be of significant interest to Canadian priests and lay faithful.

Putting to one side issues of artwork (there is no artwork in the sample pages on which to base an opinion), and subject to the colour of the rubrics (they appear pink in the pdf, but may look different when printed), the layout seems dignified and well planned. 

Canadians Must Use Canadian Missal

As I had anticpated, parishes in Canada, like those Australia, England and Wales and Scotland (and probably Ireland too) will be required to use on the altar only those Missals approved by the local Bishops conference.  This position was clarified in a press release from the Canadian Bishops' Conference.  See here for a full list of the Missals for use in the different English-speaking juridictions.

Canadian Missal

Of visions and revisions

The decades long wait for a new English translation of the Missal is almost over.  For the 21st Sunday in Ordinary time this year the Collect read: 
help us to seek the values
that will bring us lasting joy
in this changing world. 
In our desire for what you promise
make us one in mind and heart."
From next year it will read:
"O God, who cause the minds of the faithful
to unite in a single purpose,
grant your people to love what you command
and to desire what you promise,
that, amid the uncertainties of this world,
our hearts may be fixed on that place
where true gladness is found."

Ecumenical Evensong - Update

This post is by way of update to an earlier post Ecumenical Evensong - More Victoria at (Another) St James.  The service included settings by Victoria of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, videos of which have now surfaced on Youtube.  The service was held at the Anglican Church of St. James, King Street, and was sung jointly with the choir of St Mary's RC Cathedral. 
Nunc Dimittis

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A Ray of Sol

When browsing recently in one of Madrid's best shopping districts - Sol - I came across a series of recordings (ten in total) of Victoria's music commissioned by a Spanish organisation and released on one of the major classical record labels (see here and here and here).  The group of singers is called Ensemble Plus Ultra, whose director is Michael Noone (as the name suggests, the group is English).  A series of video extracts of the choir singing Victoria is available on their website.  For example:

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fifth Avenue to be Renamed

New York, Tuesday 23 August 2011

It was today announced that Fifth Avenue – one of the most recognisable street names in the world – will from next year be called Dan Schutte Avenue.  The news comes just two days after a hymn written by Schutte – an American Catholic music composer – was sung at the Final Mass of World Youth Day in Madrid celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.  A spokesperson for the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg (not himself a Catholic) said that the street will be renamed in honour of the composer in much the same way that other countries recognise their great artists.  The spokesperson gave the example – in Madrid, the host city of WYD – of Calle del Maestro Victoria (pictured below), a reference to the Spanish Renaissance polyphonist considered by many as the greatest composer of Catholic music ever to have lived, with the possible exception of the Italian maestro Palestrina.  

Yet, unlike Schutte, the music of T. L. de Victoria, the 400th anniversary of whose death is celebrated this very year, was not featured in the Final Mass of World Youth Day.  Unconfirmed reports suggest that one WYD official defended the use of Schutte’s music saying that it was ‘specially suited’ to the Roman Rite.  According to a source close to the event, another official, exercising a greater degree of circumspection, likened Schutte’s music to American fast food which is now ubiquitous outside the country of origin – known to be of questionable benefit but readily consumed nevertheless.  Yet another official, when asked why Victoria’s music was not sung at the Mass despite him being perhaps the finest composer of Catholic music Spain has ever produced, and it being the anniversary of his death, and Madrid (the host city of WYD) being the capital of Spain (and a place where the maestro wrote much of his music), is reputed to have said “Que?” (It is not known whether the official hailed from Barcelona).   

When contacted for comment, an official official, on condition of anonymity, said that there was no cause for complaint as other cities, such as Sydney and London, had adequately covered the anniversary of Victoria’s death with Masses and music concerts and that those disappointed at the dearth of Victoria’s music at WYD in Spain should simply make plans to travel to these other countries for satisfaction.  (He then also mentioned that another reason Victoria’s music was not sung was that the Mass was not a concert and any resemblance that the WYD Final Mass bore to one was simply coincidental.  He then also murmured something about active participation by the faithful but failed to expatiate on the point when pressed).  

It is not known what reaction there will be from New Yorkers and from others to the news that Fifth Avenue is imminently to be renamed.   

2011 TIC Media and agencies.  

Maestro Victoria Street, Madrid (sign c. 1941)
* Date of birth and death now known to be 1548 and 1611 respectively

Monday, 22 August 2011

World Youth Day 2011 - Sunday Mass

The Vatican (?!) has uploaded to youtube the full video of the Mass:
Particularly noteworthy is the Gloria: 
I was reminded, when listening to said Gloria, of another setting in Latin, equally festive in tone:
The former, however, seems better suited to the context in which it was sung.
Also listen out for the peculiarly Spanish pronunciation of the word gratias (sung as gracias, with a 'th' sound) - and also deprecationem. 
The version sung at the WYD Final Mass is altogether to be preferred to this one:
Incidentally, one of the three composers who wrote the WYD Mass setting is called Guerrero. 
And here is the Sanctus: 
For the sake of comparison, here is setting by Portuguese composer João Domingos Bomtempo (1775-1842) from his Requiem in C minor:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Update to Blog Page

My blog page on Publishers of the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition, has been updated to take into account the developments with the Canadian version of the Missal.  I have also added another video from the CTS about their Chapel Edition, suitable for use at the chair. 

Leeding by Example (It Had to be Done)

His Lordship Arthur Roche, bishop of Leeds, speaks about the new translation of the Roman Missal in an interview conducted by (one thinks) a representative of the Catholic Communications Network of England & Wales (10 mins long).  As chairman (nota bene interviewer - the bishop is clearly of that sex and to my knowledge has not taken on the form of a piece of furniture) of ICEL he is more hopeful than most that the new translation will yield the promised harvest.

When asked about whether the introduction of the newly translated Missal would result in more sung Masses, His Lordship was optimistic.  The newly translated Missal with its excellent offering of chants and vastly improved layout is unquestionably a necessary step in the process of moving towards more sung Masses. 

His Lordship also alludes to paragraph 8 of Sacrosanctum Concilium when he states that the celebration of Holy Mass should be a foretaste of heaven. 

Finally, the bishop states his desire that parishes in the diocese of Leeds introduce the Missal chants of the Ordinary during the period of September to November this year.

Bishop Arthur Roche, prelate of the diocese of Leeds

Ecumenical Evensong - Round 2

The choirs of the Anglican Church of St James, King Steet, and the RC Cathedral of St Mary, are this Sunday (14 August) at 5 pm o'clock to sing the First Vespers for the Assumption of the BVM at the aforementioned cathedral.  The men of the Cathedral Choir (and for the major feasts, as would appear to be the case in this instance, the Full Choir) sing Solemn Choral Vespers & Benediction at 5 pm almost every Sunday, with the whole service being in Latin except for the Scripture Reading, the intercessions and the Lord's Prayer.

The order of service has not been released, but as the Vespers is part of the Sydney Victoria Festival, celebrating the 400th anniversary of that composer's death, it is a fair bet that his music will pervade the service. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Ecumenical Evensong - More Victoria at (Another) St James

On the same day that I posted information about the celebration of Victoria's music at St James Spanish Place Evensong was being celebrated at another St James - in the Antipodes.  St James, King Street, is situated in Sydney's CBD, contiguous to Queens's Square and in the shadows of St Mary's RC Cathedral, and at 3pm o'clock the service of choral Evensong commenced, sung jointly by the Choir of St James and the Choir of said cathedral.  The Order of Service comprised Victoria's Magnificat primi toni & Nunc Dimittis tertii toni, and Let All the World & Te Deum in G by Vaughan Williams.  The hymn Tristes erant Apostoli was also sung. 

The Choir of St James, King Street, has made a recording of Victoria's Missa Ascendens Christus, and is available for purchase from their website.  They have made the recording of the Mass available on youtube, and extract of which follows:  

More extracts appear on their youtube site.  King Street is also known for its orchestral Masses in January and February, almost always including a sumptuous setting by F. J. Haydn, and well worth further investigation if you happen to be in Sydney around that time of the year. 

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Younger Haydn

Many other blogs and news sites have covered the funeral Mass of Archduke Otto von Habsburg which took place in Vienna on Saturday 16 July.  The blogs in particular tend to point to particular points of interest regarding the liturgy itself, and I shall briefly do the same.  The first thing that struck me was the aptness of the entrance procession - slow, solemn and stately.  One thing which is often the source of angst when attending Mass is the sloppy manner in which the entrance procession is carried out.  Servers should study this video carefully.  

The only other thing which I would point out relates to the setting of the Requiem - that of Michael Haydn, the younger sibling of the celebrated Franz Joseph Haydn (though it is clear that musical talent ran in the family).  This setting has seldom been recorded, so it is a joy to have it preserved on film.  

See further extracts of the Mass here

Spanish Master at Spanish Place for Patron Saint of Spain

For the feast of St James (celebrated on Sunday 24 July) at the wonderful church of St James, Spanish Place, Victoria's Missa Laetatus Sum was sung.  The choir of St James has been singing Victoria's Mass settings throughout the year in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the great composer's death.

It just so happened that the main celebrant, at the invitation of the clergy of St James, was Archbishop Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain.  Here are a couple of photos of His Excellence travelling to Buckingham Palace on 2 March this year to present his papers to Her Majesty: 

Photo: Diocese of Westminster
Photo: Diocese of Westminster
And from the Mass (extraordinarily held at 11am instead of 10.30 am):

As for the Order of Service, it was typical of the liturgies at Spanish Place:

ENTRANCE OF THE NUNCIO - Ecce Sacerdos (Elgar)
HYMN - O what their joy and their glory must be
KYRIE & GLORIA - Missa Laetatus Sum (T. L. de Victoria)
Short extract from Gloria:
COLLECT (for the Feast of St James) but for the sake of comparison, the collect for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary time:
God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy,
nothing has value. 
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world (1973). 

O God, protector of those who hope in you,
without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy,
bestow in abundance your mercy upon us
and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may use the good things that pass
in such a way as to hold fast even now
to those that ever endure (from 2012). 
READINGS (Gradual Constitues eos principes - translation provided)
ALLELUIA (Ego vos elegi - translation provided)
OFFERTORY (In omnem terram, G. P. da Palestrina - translation provided)
SANCTUS & BENEDICTUS - Missa Laetatus Sum (T. L. de Victoria)
AGNUS DEI (Mass VIII - De Angelis & Missa Laetatus Sum by T. L. de Victoria during Communion)
PONTIFICAL BLESSING (the Nuncio celebrated Mass)
FINAL HYMN - Jerusalem the golden

Friday, 15 July 2011

ICEL/Vox Clara Bishop Explains New Translation

Below are a series of videos from a concise and well expressed lecture on the new translation of the Roman Missal given by the Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, Bishop of Patterson, New Jersey.  


Art of Translation Part 1

Art of Translation Part 2

More to follow. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Update to New Mass Settings

Over at Pray Tell, Chris Ángel has helpfully compiled a list of new Mass settings which are available freely (or with certain licences) to be downloaded.  Most seem to be American but some appear to be from Australia or the UK.

Recall also that:  
Remember always that:  
  • The Missal chants should always be learnt alongside (and ideally prior to) any other Mass settings; 
  • It is up to local bishops to 'approve of' or 'recommend' Mass settings for their region; 
  • I do not vouch for the quality or suitability of any of the listed Mass settings, but merely bring them to my readers' attention.  

More Palestrina

This post is by way of update to an earlier post about Palestrina at St Peter's.  I have come across this video of the Bavarian Radio Choir singing the motet Tu Es Petrus, showing a different approach to singing Palestrina with a large choir:  
And then there is this gem from a professional choir hitherto unknown to me, Vox Coelestis, singing the same motet but with smaller forces, permitting greater clarity and vocal dexterity. According to their website:  
"[The singers who comprise Vox Coelestis are] drawn from the top choirs in the UK, such as the Gabrieli Consort, Royal Opera House Chorus, Joyful Company of Singers, Chorus of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and some of the top cathedral choirs in the country.  All our singers very generously give their time free of charge, which helps us to maximise the income for the charities we perform for."
The high altar is that of the stunning Anglican Abbey at St Albans, situated just north of London, having formerly been the site of the Roman town Verulamium.  Perhaps it's time that Britain repaid the favour and launched a choral invasion of Rome (forgive the facetiousness)

Monday, 11 July 2011

More News from Australia about New Translation

In one of my previous posts I listed a typical order of Mass from St Mary's Cathedral, suggesting that its musical/liturgical programme exemplifies an ideal celebration of the modern Roman Rite.  It also provided an opportunity to show how (smoothly and effectively) the new translation is being implemented in Australia.

Well, not to be outdone is Parramatta's Cathedral of St Patrick.  The Parramatta Diocese borders the Sydney Archdiocese and was once part of it - the latter being divided up into three dioceses in the 1980s.  Encompassing much of Greater Sydney, its Catholic population is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse in Australia - English is a second language for a large number of the faithful there.  They seem to be picking up the new translation with relative ease, assisted by the same pew cards which were issued to every other parish in the country.  The responses are being said/sung with confidence and even gusto, with few mistakes noticeable. 

The building that became the cathedral - a lovely stone church - was burnt down in the 1990s.  Happily, the exterior was saved and now constitutes the Blessed Sacrament Chapel (and full immersion font), with a new, bigger addition being built in a modern style.  The altar is at the centre of the cathedral and the pews arranged in choir formation.

The previous prelate, the Most Rev Kevin Manning, acquiesced in the formation of a cathedral schola, greatly enhancing the musical repertoire sung at the cathedral.  That tradition has continued under the new bishop, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher, previously auxiliary bishop of Sydney, and senior organiser of World Youth Day in that city in 2008. 

Here is the Order of Mass for the fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (no excerpts this time):

INTROIT - Ego autem ... (translation provided)
ENTRANCE HYMN - God has spoken by his prophets
GREETING - New translation (Peace be with you/And with your spirit)
PENITENTIAL RITE - Confiteor (new translation)
KYRIE - (Mass XI - Orbis Factor)
GLORIA - Palestrina, Missa Tu Es Petrus (translation provided)
God our Father,
your light of truth
guides us to the way of Christ. 
May all who follow him
reject what is contrary to the gospel (1973). 

O God, who show the light of your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honour (from 2012).  
READINGS (Responsorial Psalm - The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest)
ALLELUIA (Proper alleluia sung by all, English verse, proper alleluia repeated)
GOSPEL - New translation
CREED (New translation, said)
OFFERTORY MOTET - Faure, Cantique de Jean Racine
PREFACE DIALOGUE - New translation
SANCTUS - Proulx, A Community Mass
MYSTERY OF FAITH - Acclamation A, Missal tone
COMMUNION RITE - New translation
AGNUS DEI - Palestrina, Missa Tu Es Petrus (translation provided)
ECCE AGNUS DEI - New translation
COMMUNION ANTIPHON - Passer invenit sibi domum (translation provided)
COMMUNION HYMN - For the fruits of all creation
CONCLUDING RITES - New translation, Pontifical blessing (Blessed be the name of the Lord ... )
DISMISSAL - First option
POSTLUDE (improvisation?)

Shows what you can achieve with the right attitude.

Diocese in Illinois Encourages Missal Chants and New Mass Setting, but Avoids Revised Settings

An interesting article by Jennifer Willems in The Catholic Post of the Peoria Diocese in Illinois.  Apparently:
"To assist the parishes, schools and Newman Centers of the Diocese of Peoria in making the transition to the new Mass texts, Bishop Jenky asked a committee of musicians to make recommendations for Mass settings and hymns that would give everyone a 'common language.'
Musicians around the diocese met with Msgr. Deptula and Dr. Sherry Seckler, diocesan director of sacred music, to sing through the new Mass settings and suggested two of them for use in central Illinois. The first is the chant setting that will appear in the new Roman Missal and likely be published in missalettes.
The second is the 'Mass of Wisdom' by Steven R. Janco. Published by World Library Publications, it was written for organ, brass and handbells as well as piano, woodwinds and guitar. (To listen to it, go to Sing the New Mass and click on New Musical Settings.)
'It is, in theory, rather elastic,' Msgr. Deptula said. “It will fit many different situations, many different styles of celebration.”
Revised settings of Masses currently in use, such as the 'Mass of Creation,' are available, but the committee opted against recommending one of these. Msgr. Deptula said they felt it would be more difficult for people to put new words to a well-known tune.
Parishes may want to learn other settings and are encouraged to do so, but Msgr. Deptula said Bishop Jenky is asking pastoral musicians to make people familiar with the chant setting and “Mass of Wisdom” as a starting point.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops helped the faithful last week by approving use of musical settings for the new Roman Missal beginning in September [rather than all at once on the first Sunday of Advent]" (emphasis added).  
As I have previously suggested, this seems to me to be the most appropriate way to go about introducing new settings of the Ordinary - by strongly encouraging the use of the new Missal setting, so that it becomes the default setting known across the diocese (and the English speaking world), and the use of a robust new setting (which Mass of Wisdom seems happily to be), and then permitting and encouraging the adoption of further Mass settings at will.  Credit ought to go to the bishop for his policy and his pastorally sensitive (but resolute) method of implementing it.

This is one of many newspaper articles that I have seen fit to post on my blog for being either interesting or particularly useful to people trying to understand the new translation and the process of its implementation.  Here is a full list, and bear in mind that new articles are added to the relevant page on the right hand side of this blog: