Dedication of Christ the Redeemer, Houston, TX
  • Hi everyone,

    My parish will dedicate a new church in under 9 days. The parish itself has been around since the early 80s, but we have built a new church to accommodate a (much!) larger number of parishioners (4,200 families) than they had at first.

    I thought I would post the music list here.

    Bear in mind that these selections were reached by consensus.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    Man! That is a lengthy program. With all those communion pieces, you're ready, even if all 4200 families attend the one Mass!

    Congratulations on the new church: I hope it will be beautiful. I might moan a bit at some of the pieces you had to incorporate in the program, but there certainly are some fine dignified works as well.

    I see that the list has been finalized, but just changing the order of some pieces would have a wonderful effect. For example, if "Locus Iste" and "All Are Welcome" could be swapped, so that the Haugen were the first prelude and the Bruckner were sung during the introit procession!
  • Locus Iste is the proper Gradual for the Dedication of a Church, I believe, so omit the Vernacular Responsorial Psalm and sing the Text that the church expects....HORRORS! WHAT WAS I THINKING!

    Sorry, the metal plate in my head installed to block the thoughts of musical purity in the church sometimes gets strange signals.

    Bruckner was a simple, humble church organist....

    I know of a parish that would LOVE your selections, if you first took out all the good music....

    Seriously, congratulations on a very important time in the life of your parish. May you have many more years there, get paid a living wage, not suffer the slings and arrows of the people who think that contemporary music means Peter, Paul and Mary...not the Saints of the Church, of course....
  • I figured “All are Welcome” would come under fire here. :) I do think it at least is one of the more “stately” Haugen tunes; it’s one that a Haugen-ophobe could learn to appreciate before the others. And hey, it made for a good exercise in arranging; I added wind, handbell, and string parts.

    The Bruckner is only the antiphon of the gradual. I guess you’d sing the motet and then chant the verse? Not sure how that would work. (Jeff T. or O., or someone else more savvy with that, are you reading? Care to enlighten?)

    Regardless, the vernacular responsorial psalm is very much “the text that the Church expects”. It’s there in the actual dedication rite, actually.

    I kind of lament that we’re not doing something with that wonderful offertory text given in the Dedication common. I mean, the David Hurd (not Bob Hurd!) Psalm 84 is a fantastic piece, but it’d still be nice to be using that other text, maybe in addition.

    I had hoped to squeeze in Berger “The Eyes of All” (Ps. 145, the Eucharistic verses) for the inauguration of the tabernacle, but it wasn’t going to come easily enough, and with all the other stuff (Charpentier has been a bear--joyful and worth it, but a bear), there wasn’t going to be time.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    I'm not even sure I've heard the Haugen tune more than a handful of times. The text is what puts me off it. For one thing, the text is cloying, with expressions such as "where all God's children dare to seek to dream God's reign anew."

    Also, since the church building is the symbol of the Church herself, it is worth asking:
    what idea of "church" does this song teach? What does it teach about where the church comes from? Does it teach anything about what important things happen there?

    Let me put those questions out for consideration.

    (Since I'm going to quote the lyric here, let me mention that this is a "fair use" for the purpose of critical interpretation and analysis.)

    1. Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace, here the love of Christ shall end divisions. ||: All are welcome (3 times) :|| in this place.

    2. Let us build a house where prophets speak, and words are strong and true, where all God's children dare to seek to dream God's reign anew. Here the cross shall stand as witness and as symbol of God's grace. Here as one we claim the faith of Jesus. ||: All are welcome (3 times) :|| in this place.

    3. Let us build a house where love is found in water, wine and wheat, a banquet hall on holy ground, where peace and justice meet. Here the love of God through Jesus is revealed in time and space, as we share in Christ the feast that frees us. ||: All are welcome (3 times) :|| in this place.

    4. Let us build a house where hands will reach beyond the wood and stone to heal and strengthen, serve and teach and live the Word they've known. Here the outcast and the stranger bear the image of God's face. Let us bring an end to fear and danger. ||: All are welcome (3 times) :|| in this place.

    5. Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard and loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word. Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayer of faith and songs of grace, let this house proclaim from floor to rafter: ||: All are welcome (3 times) :|| in this place.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I once turned down a job as accompanist because I saw "All Are Welcome" was frequently used. However, I agree that as music goes the tune is as close to chorale/hymn writing as you get in Haugen's works. I'd question whether anyone's defending the text as appropriate for Mass; as I once said, "It's not a hymn. It's a nice ditty about people being welcome, but it's not a hymn and it doesn't belong at Mass." Of course, if that's what you have to do, then by all means write a nice arrangement!

    The program looks awesome to me. I reject the idea of using the Bruckner as the Gradual: #1 the Responsorial Psalm is the first choice for the OF Mass (as much as those of us who Know Better Than the Church may disagree), and #2 those who know you can't just sing "Awesome God" at the R.Psalm time WOULDN'T likely know the Gradual is an equally valid selection, so it would give scandal to those people.
  • I should add that most of the pieces on the list above have been arranged for an orchestra of winds, brass, strings, timpani, percussion, and 3 octaves of handbells.

    Musically, at least, I think this will be very much worth attending for anyone in the area.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    Congratulations on all your hard work Felipe!!!
  • What's so bad about "All Are Welcome"? I'll tell you . . .

    Let us build . . .

    Let US build . . .

    Let US build . . .

    Let US build . . .

    Get it? It's all about US building an edifice that includes God as some kind of part of the accoutrements. Look at the text! God had nothing to do with it, we simply call him to be a part of what WE'VE built, what WE'LL do in it after we've built it.

    Aint it grand?!?

    Compare it to the text of Locus iste. And then wonder how we got from God being the principal resident of the sacred space to us being the landlords.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Locus iste... LocUs iste... LocUS iste... LocUS Iste...??

    It's all about US! This is fun!

    No seriously, your rationale is off but you're dead on. I turned down a job on the sole basis that they use this at Mass. And not just for Lateran. The issue isn't the presence of the word "us", it's the ABSENCE of any action of God in the hymn. What action happens in it? People build a house.. where others are welcomed... apparently at one point they have intercommunion. Where is God in this? "Here the love of Christ will end division." Well fine if that's a BASIS for a text, then you've got Ubi Caritas. Unfortunately, that's just a passing reference in this Song to Ourselves. I'm always saying that we need to realize that these texts don't always mean to everyone what we think they mean. But there's no way to view this as much more than a moralistic Hymn to Diversity and Ego. Stop telling me I have to do things that have nothing to do with scripture or the teachings of the Church. I don't want to build your d*** house, I want to praise God.

    As I said to a more moderate church musician, "It doesn't belong at Mass. It's not a hymn. It's a nice song about people being welcomed, but it's not a hymn."
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    At the table of the world, some have plenty, some have none.
    At the table of our God, all are plentifully fed.

    R. Blow among us, Spirit of God,
    fill us with your courage and care!
    Hurricane and Breath, take us on a journey of love!

    At the table of the world, some have honor, some have scorn.
    At the table of our God, all are welcomed and acclaimed.

    R. Blow among us, Spirit of God,
    fill us with your courage and care!
    Hurricane and Breath, take us on a journey of love!

    Set the table of our God in the Church and in the world,
    Till the children, fed and loved, taste and see that life is good.

    In the old days, hymns used to be about praising God and asking for mercy.

    This hymn seems more to be about saying, "Hey, everybody: no matter what you think or do, you are wonderful. Chill out: Life is good!"

    It uses a poetic style that would be very good for Sesame Street.

    (Am I wrong?)
  • Pes
    Posts: 623

    Hurricane and Breath, take us on a journey of love!

    I rarely post anything negative, but this demands it. I was in Louisiana during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Both were, obviously, utterly devastating. To use "hurricane" as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit is not only ridiculous but obscene.

    It is also completely indicative of the kind of anarchic literary libertinism that appears to reign in certain quarters: if I just "feel" enthusiastic enough, then it must be the Holy Spirit, so it doesn't matter what metaphors I use! How dare you criticize my sincerity! I'm feelin' the Spirit! Etc.

    At the table of our God, all are welcomed and acclaimed.

    Even unrepentant sinners, presumably.

    Absolute rubbish. It would be a pleasure to throw this forcibly into the wastebasket where it belongs. It's not like we're not swimming already in a sea of alternatives.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592

    Are you suggesting that these modern "poets" ("and I use the term loosely," to quote Fearless Leader on Rocky and Bullwinkle) should not have replaced the great Catholic poetry of the ages (like St. Thomas Quinas) with their own works? Are you making a "value-judgment" to the effect that it would be better to sing liturgical poetry by Bonaventure instead of Haugen?

  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I'm with Pes, I took a look at "hurricane" and laughed at how dated and insensitive it is. Then again, the idea that Catholic liturgical poetry was good before this is typical conservative hogwash. I have an old St. Basil's hymnal, I may use it to heat my apartment when I run out of Glory & Praises. It includes such classics as "full in the panting heart of Rome" and "To Jesus's Heart all burning". Come to think of it, we can throw on the trash heap any vernacular (and some Latin) hymns for the following devotions: BVM, Sacred Heart, Eastern European saints. When it comes to Catholic hymnody, the only good stuff is that written before Trent, by Aquinas, and Cardinal Newman. The rest is sappy drivel and the modern "songwriters" are just following in the tradition of overly emotive meaningless texts.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    My former MD who was a great organist, but not a catholic, wasn't too happy with this song "All are Welcome." because we sing all are welcome but he is not allowed to go to the communion.
    (He worked at catholic churches as an organist and MD for over 40 years before he retired last year. Somehow he never wanted to be a catholic after all that years. We were good friends, but when I suggested this to him one time, very nicely, he got very mad at me. )
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    That's a fair point too, Mia. I read a protestant blogger who is a Baptist minister whose wife converted to Catholicism. He's very open to and appreciative of Catholicism, but he always expresses anger now that when he goes to Mass with his wife the priest makes a big deal out of "welcoming our brother in Christ" but then won't let him receive communion. It's offensive to pretend divisions don't exist or to pretend that if we group-hug enough they'll magically disappear. If a protestant is at Mass, he's not there to pretend that he's at a protestant service - this is very simple!!
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    I'm going to side-step discussion of the Haugen because it's one of the most annoying pieces I know. It sounds like the intro to Romper Room or a spirit team tune for a pep rally. I comfort myself thinking that people generally remember the music at the end rather than the beginning.

    Congratulations, Felipe! That's a honking lot of music - not to mention all the ceremonial that's required, even with the Ordinary Form. And there's a lot of good music in there as well. Let us know how the whole liturgy goes.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623

    Gavin, if you run out of fuel, I have quite a few pages from the Gather hymnal that might be useful for toasting marshmallows.


    I am making a very robust and full-throated value judgment, yes. In fact, I feel rather spirit-filled in doing so. Was not the Christ filled with the Holy Spirit, with "zeal for my house," when he drove the moneychangers from the Temple? It's with the same combination of zeal and chagrin that I write these words.

    All this said, I can hear some wounded soul retorting with the story of the widow's mite. Would God disdain my poor but sincere lyric?, etc. This is asking the wrong question. No, of course God does not disdain it. But do you have to thrust yourself forward with it and offer it on all our behalf? What justifies the presumption that such an offering truly represents us?

    Nothing. We need a proper understanding of what is at issue. The hurricane lyric is the equivalent of the servant coming forward with the single coin he had buried in the field. The reception he got from his master was very clear: "Thou wicked and slothful servant!" He probably got a kick in the posterior, and I hope it did some good.

    What some people simply do not understand are the full liturgical implications of the truth that we are a Corporate Body of Christ. When we worship God, we are not only individuals coming before God with our individual gifts. We are coming before God as a complete Body, and I dare say this complete Body is manifestly loaded with talent and certainly capable of more than lyrics like the "hurricane" bit quoted above.

    The body of Christ is a culture. As such, it is capable of offering much, much more than a "mite." We are an entire City of God. Act like it! Make the great stuff! Where are the people who embody all our musical knowledge, who represent our most skillful hands, and who know from top to bottom what our culture is capable of, musically speaking? Let them come forward, let them multiply their talents, increase our Church's liturgical riches and power, and the rest of us will say THANK GOD there are such people among us!

    This has nothing to do with pride. It has to do with the humility of understanding that real talent offered back to God is the best gift of all. That is pleasing in God's sight. That is the Church resplendent in her pilgrim glory.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Pes, thank you! My new apartment does not have heat included, although I'm finding the gas bills reasonable here.

    I should add to your note to Jeff that someone here wrote an excellent line that I forgot to praise. They said, in essence, that one of the big problems in the liturgy is the notion that merely because someone has something to say, we should all listen.
  • The dedication music went very well overall.

    I find myself regretting that I didn’t get to do the Berger “The eyes of all”, but hey. I also wish I had gotten Bairstow “Blessed City, Heavenly Salem” in there, too. The former was a rehearsal time constraint, while the latter just didn’t fit anywhere. (It’s a fairly long anthem...)

    I didn’t actually get to teach the melodies indicated before the Mass. Still, there was enough repetition of those that I think anyone who made even a cursory effort to sing was easily able to do so.

    We ended up needing more time at the incensation; we sang through all the verses of the Haas twice, and even did an instrumental-only verse.

    My orchestration of Hurd “O how amiable” worked well, but a few counting mishaps (maybe they were cuing mishaps?) marred it. Still, it came out well.

    We didn’t get to Joncas “Take and Eat” or the Taizé.

    I only wish I could have the choir that I had for this Mass on normal Sundays! Each section had several very experienced and capable singers, so I was able to do some pithy stuff.

    The Te Deum turned out well; there were definitely things I wish had gone better, but hey. It’s a fabulous piece...but I strongly recommend using a purchased edition for the parts rather than the online one off CPDL. There are so many mistakes in that edition that it takes almost as much time to fix everything there as it would take to make one’s own edition!

    Having the orchestra, I think, made a big difference and really elevated the music. People just gushed to me about the dedication music for quite a while afterward, which I think was largely a reflection of the impact of hearing tunes they knew accompanied by an orchestra rather than just an organ.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Thanks for the update Felipe! It sounds like a wonderful liturgical event. Who was the celebrant?

    Hopefully these archives will stand the test of time and we can look this up when our own new church is dedicated. After it's built. After it's designed. After we pay off the $6m we still owe on the parish hall which itself is the future gymnasium for the school that comes after the church!
  • Cardinal DiNardo was the celebrant, with the pastor, vicar, and several former priests of the parish concelebrating.
  • Oh yes, and another minor regret is that we didn’t have Liturgy of the Hours for the dedication. I was looking forward to singing the translation of “Urbs beata Jerusalem” from the Mundelein Psalter, but alas.

    (“Urbs”, by the way, is the source for the hymn “Blessed City, Heavenly Salem”, the text Bairstow used in the anthem I mentioned above.)
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    You folks are hilarious. If I need some entertainment, I just turn to the ol' Musica Sacra forum!
    Felipe, congrats again for what you have accomplished!
    I would like to amplify the point you made about orchestrating the Haugen number.
    Many a poor hymn can be greatly improved by a creative orchestration. Bad harmony can be improved and poor voicing can be changed.
    When you have lemons....
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,606

    The link to your program is gone, any possibility if getting a copy? My email is
  • Hi all,

    Apologies to Noel: I didn’t notice the request for re-post of the music here until I was just now messaged about it privately.

    Anyway, here is the quondam menu:

    Bruckner “Locus iste” (choir)
    Shepard (arr.) “We Gather Together” (handbells)
    M. A. Charpentier “Te Deum” (H. 146) - had the kids’ choir sing “Te ergo”!
    TEACH: Gasper “Springs of Water”, Chepponis “O Redeemer”, Haas “Fragrance of Christ”

    Entrance: Haugen “All Are Welcome”
    Sprinkling rite: Gasper “Springs of Water” (congregation)
    Gloria: A Community Mass (choir/congregation)
    Responsorial psalm: Gelineau (same as 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, year C)
    Alleluia: Chepponis “Festival Alleluia”
    Litany of the Saints: traditional/Sacramentary version
    Anointing of altar and walls: Chepponis “O Redeemer”
    Incensing of altar & people, cleaning of altar:
    Harris “Behold the Tabernacle”
    Haas “The Fragrance of Christ”
    Lighting of church/candles : Farrell “Christ, Be Our Light”
    Offertory: Hurd “O How Amiable”

    Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen, Agnus Dei: Mass of Creation

    Communion: “Domus mea” Gregorian communion antiphon
    Hillert “Festival Canticle: Worthy is Christ”
    Dean “Taste and See”
    Rawsthorne “Behold, O God our defender”
    Joncas “Take and Eat”
    LEAVE TIME FOR: Berthier/Taizé “Laudate Dominum”

    Inauguration of the Blessed Sacrament chapel: paraphrase of Ps. 147:12-20 sung to NEW BRITAIN (“Amazing Grace”)
    text from Christopher Webber “A New Metrical Psalter” (altered to match meter better)

    Recessional: Rutter “Now Thank We All Our God”

    Postlude: “Toccata” (mvt. 5) from Widor Organ Symphony #5


    Note that I orchestrated almost everything above. It took a long time but taught me a lot. The strings didn’t play the Rutter (which I also had to futz with a bit given instrumentation), NEW BRITAIN, or the Widor. The Hurd especially orchestrated beautifully.

    The choir was about 40 people, which included a lot of folks who came out of the woodwork for this.
    Thanked by 1donr
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,777
    I strongly recommend using a purchased edition for the parts rather than the online one off CPDL. There are so many mistakes in that edition that it takes almost as much time to fix everything there as it would take to make one’s own edition!
    Sometimes you get what you pay for, but even then it's wise to check carefully. CPDL depends on volunteerism, and might benefit from a proofreading-rating: in the meantime you can help improve things by adding to the Edition notes: the code {{ScoreError|details}} or {{ScoreError|see list of errata on talk}}. Or even adding something like this.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Felipe,

    I'm obviously late to this discussion --- 7 years late, but who's counting.

    It strikes me that the music is a mishmash, probably on purpose, since you said it was composed by consensus. Widor and Harris and Bruckner might belong in the same Mass, acknowledging that they're very different from each other. Taize and Farrell may belong together.

    Orchestrations can go only so far: lipstick on a pig doesn't make a Belle.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,305
    Seems to me he did the very best he could while being beholden to a number of stakeholders with varying levels of liturgical education. I've seen much, much worse! Cheers to Felipe for an ambitious program!
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Heath
  • Irish Tenor,

    Felipe wasn't the object of my criticism. Music organized by committee was. Music organized by "stakeholders" or "constituencies" or "cultural groups" was.

    I've attended worse.

    God bless,

  • Cantus67Cantus67
    Posts: 207
    Oh pooh, I wish I could have gotten this to you much earlier.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,305
    Well, I'm certainly with you on that, CGZ!
  • donr
    Posts: 971
    Filipe, thank you for posting. I am in the process of programming our new dedication church.