Prayers before schola practice
  • LenaH
    Posts: 31
    Before every schola practice, I like to begin the rehearsal by reciting a couple of prayers, a musician's prayer and a prayer to St. Cecilia, Patroness of Musicians.

    Musician's Prayer:

    "Oh Lord, please bless this music that it might glorify Your Name. May the talent that You have bestowed upon me (us) be used only to serve You. Let this music be a witness to Your majesty and love, and remind us that You are always watching and listening from Your throne above. May Your presence and beauty be found in every note and may the words that are sung reach the hearts of Your people so they will draw closer to You. May Your Spirit guide us through every measure so that we might be the instruments of Your peace and proclaim Your glory with glad voices. Amen."

    Prayer to St. Cecilia:

    "Saint Cecilia, heroic martyr who stayed faithful to Jesus your divine bridegroom, give us faith to rise above our persecutors and to see in them the image of Our Lord. We know that you were a musician and we are told that you heard angels sing. Inspire musicians to gladden the hearts of people by filling the air with God's gift of music and reminding them of the Divine Musician who created all beauty."

    These two beautiful prayers help us to focus on the reasons why we sing for the Lord (not to mention that it stops the before practice chatter!)

    At the conclusion of the rehearsal, I chant a simple "Benedicamus Domino," and the schola responds "Deo gracias" in kind.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,677
    Nice prayers, although mine usually take the form of, "Lord, who will deliver me from these troublesome people?"
    Thanked by 2LenaH Spriggo
  • ...although mine usually...

    Um, isn't this one of the petitions in the BCP litany?? -
    V. From all troublesome people, irksome souls, horrible and nasty choristers:
    R. Good Lord deliver us.

    and -

    V. That all our choirs may be filled with pleasurable songsters, and good men and women of an helpful and felicitous spirit:
    R. We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,356
    In Plainsong for Schools is a special prayer, recommended to be sung, I will post the chant and prayer here, EDIT see below,
  • I use the following, which I learned from my first schola director. It's based on one of the collects at the end of the Rogation Day litany:

    Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, all our actions by Thy holy inspiration, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance, so that every work and prayer of ours may always begin from Thee, and through Thee be happily ended. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
    St Cecilia, pray for us. St Gregory, pray for us. St N. (parish patron), pray for us.

    One nice thing about this, is after a few times of my saying prayer, the schola members start learning it and joining in. I like the idea of using prayers that are part of the liturgy.

    I like the Benedicamus Domino at the end.
  • Hugh
    Posts: 194
    Here's one we've often been using with my choir over recent years. I've prepared this edition to be placed at front of a hymnbook I'm compiling.

    Not sure of its provenance, but I think the late Dr Mary Berry might have introduced it to us in Australia when she visited a few decades ago.
  • Nice idea! We also pray before our choir rehearsals. I think that's actually one of my favorite parts of being a church musician. I've often imagined how things would be if we could pray together before other things, seeing what prayer does for my group, but the government won't let us. Sad.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,356
    Here is the scan from 'Plainsong for schools, Pt. 2, Desclee, 1934'


    Hugh, I see that it is the same as the one you posted above,
  • Hugh
    Posts: 194
    Thanks, Tomjaw: I've now corrected my pdf version accordingly. (ero/fuero).

    Thanked by 2tomjaw Jes
  • WGS
    Posts: 279
    I have used the attached prayers from the Royal School of Church Music. By the way, there is a 1-2-or perhaps 3 part setting of the Chorister's Prayer by Martin How.
  • BGP
    Posts: 215
    Yes, 'Repleatur' which Tomjaw and Hugh have both posted. I was introduced to it by the Franciscans of the Immaculate and have been trying to track down information on it's history or origin... there is an article in one of the old Cecilia magazines archived, I believed it was indulgenced, though like I say I have had trouble finding information.
    Thanked by 2canadash tomjaw
  • BGP
    Posts: 215
    I've attached my version, the English translation is the one I received, the postulant who gave it to me said he got it from "one of our prayer books" but didn't know what book.
    Thanked by 2canadash CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,356
    The only book I have found with it is in the front of 'Plainsong for Schools pt.2' , it does not seem to ever have appeared in pt. 1.

    I do not remember seeing it in the Raccolta, but it may be indulgenced, I will check.

    I suspect it was something the bishop / compilers of the book liked and so added it.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen BGP
  • BGP
    Posts: 215
    Well, the article I referred to is page 9 here
    The author speaks as in a way opaque to me at least (I feel like I'm missing an introduction to the article) footnoted references are given to things I mostly don't have access to and don't know how to track down, which only makes it more intriguing.

    "It must be stated here that these are the official
    hymns of the A.I.S.C.ll requested from, the monks
    of Solesmes for that purpose and enriched by an
    indulgence of 300 days of Pope Saint Pius Tenth."

    AISC is Associazione Italiana di S. Cecilia which appears to still exist, at least there is a website ... but since I can only scratch out a little Italian I'm in the dark.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ossian1898ossian1898
    Posts: 142
    We use a modified version of the Chorister's prayer.

    Bless O Lord, us thy servants who minister in thy temple. Through the intercession of Sts. Gregory of Nicholas, grant that what we sing with our lips, we may believe in our hearts, Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 536
    These two books of "Plainsong for Schools" - are there any other obscure chants which can only be found in these books?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,356
    These two books of "Plainsong for Schools" - are there any other obscure chants which can only be found in these books?

    Yes, I will dig out a copy and post the contents list. Will add it to the useful books list.
    Thanked by 1JonathanKK