An Organist's Dream Come True: Playing for another organist's first Mass
  • I have the distinct honor and joy of playing for a dear friend's First Mass (FSSP) at the end of this month. I've played for quite a few ordinations and first Masses, but this one will be particularly grand for me, as the man being ordained is a stunningly talented organist with fine tastes in organ music. That means at least this once, I will be able to "pull out all the stops," literally and figuratively, in my playing for the Mass (AMDG, of course!). French Cathedral style, with every space filled (between Asperges & Introit, post-Gospel, post-sermon, Last Gospel, etc.), with all responses accompanied, and with a phenomenally fun repertoire lineup. I'll be playing the Hauptwerk organ I built for the seminary, which will bring back lots of good memories, and provide all the resources I could need. 3M/P, built around the Cavaille-Coll Caen, FR sample set, and the Krzeszow Polish instrument. Definitely looking forward to this one!

    Toccata and Fugue in Dm (Bach)
    Gigue Fugue (attr. Bach)
    Finale from Widor's 6th

    Allegro from Widor's 6th

    Chant Veni Creator Spiritus (alternatum)
    Chant Asperges

    Chant, all accompanied

    Vierne's Messe Solennelle

    Organ Improv

    Organ Improv, or maybe Cantabile from Widor's 6th (if practice time and Communion time permit)

    Last Gospel
    Polyphony, or maybe the 3rd movement of the Bach G Major Concerto

    Te Deum
    Alternatum voices/organ, Pierre Cochereau style! Oh yeah! (

    Toccata from Widor's 5th

    Postlude during First Blessings
    G Major Toccata (and maybe Grand Choeur) by Dubois

    Pray that all goes well, to the greater honor and glory of God!
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Sounds heavenly, 32CB, and like quite a mental and physical workout for you! Thoughts and prayers headed your way as you prepare. Will this be in Denver?
    Thanked by 132ContraBombarde
  • Thanks, JulieColl! This will be in Lincoln, NE.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    What a grand occasion! It looks like you're a skier from what I can tell on your YouTube channel so this must be like the skier's equivalent to the Giant Slalom in the Winter Olympics. : )

    Where did you get your training as an organist if I may ask? At what age did you begin?
  • Indeed, Julie! The ski resort business is my "real job," so the analogy is well-taken.

    I began the organ at age 8. I took organ-specific private lessons for 4 years, followed by two years of piano instruction (focused primarily on improvisation). Under my last organ instructor, Dr. J.T. Masullo, I began to work on serious organ literature. However, most of my study of organ literature has been what would be called "private study." As for my chant and liturgical studies, all were completed at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary of the FSSP. My mentors were Professor Lemme, Fr. Robert Ferguson, FSSP, and soon-to-be-ordained Rev. Mr. Ian Verrier, FSSP, whose first Mass this post is about.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    French cathedral style is good, very good. Go for it and the best of luck and good fortune for you. It sounds like it will be memorable.
    Thanked by 132ContraBombarde
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    I'm happy to hear that Fr. Ferguson is teaching music at the Seminary. He was a friend of my parents and a great piano artist. I remember him playing my mother's Steinway beautifully on one very memorable occasion.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    We went with that style for a recent vespers celebration during the easter octave. It was grand.
  • elemme
    Posts: 1
    And what a beautiful Mass it was, on all levels! I have a few questions. 1. What was it you played for the little procession after the Gospel reading, before the sermon? 2. Did you happen to record anything from the Mass? 3. Where might one find a score for the organ Te Deum you played? I found the YouTube video of Pierre Cochereau, but was unable to find a score on IMSLP. Thank you!

    With those bookends of the Widor processional at the beginning and the Organ Te Deum at the end, and the silence of the Canon in between, this First Mass truly hit every extreme of our Christian prayer life. May God reward you! A.M.D.G.
  • Glad you found it edifying!

    To answer in order:

    1. It was as much of David German's "Festive Trumpet Tune" as I could remember at the moment! (

    2. I did get a video recording of the Mass. Unfortunately, the audio did not turn out great. I am working on it now, and if it is acceptable, I'll let you know.

    3. Te Deum was improvised, in the Pierre Cochereau tradition.

    In Christo per Mariam,

    Thanked by 1elemme
  • Here is the video. Audio is iffy, but acceptable. Please forgive all of my mistakes... Our Lord always makes sure that I make enough to stay humble!