Music for Special Occasions
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Last Friday we had some fun with Chant. Our founding pastor came back to celebrate Mass in honor of the 20th anniversary of his ordination and had asked that the Schola be included in the music. A trio from our Schola sang the Jesu Rex Admirabilis at Communion. (Thank you, Jeffrey, for posting that awesome book of trios!)

    As a prelude to the Mass I arranged a simplified chant version of Ecce Sacerdos Magnus. It was somewhat tongue in cheek. The priest is indeed a great priest. But he was concelebrating with 5 other priests and the bishop was in attendance as well, so we figured they could all duke it out over who was the Magnus-est of them all! And that psalm itself comes from the Liturgy of the Hours for celebrations of Confessors of Bishops, so it fit our priest's current job description but also could be valid for several of the others in attendance. Lastly, the tone I used is that of the Hosanna, Filio David from Palm Sunday where we remember Christ's triumphant entry. It was simple enough for the schola to sing it very well. And it just seemed fitting to celebrate the return of a very beloved priest.

    Even at levels WAY beneath the dignified and scholarly discussions we often have around here, Gregorian Chant is an awesome tool.

    We also sang (in English) an old hymn, Soul of My Saviour (aka Anima Christi). Original copyright was in 1920. It has some harmonies that remind me of Civil War vintage folk tunes and was really rich and beautiful. I would dare say that we don't have to hearken back too many centuries to start identifying music that is appropriate for the Catholic Liturgy.

    I wonder if we could select one piece per century to set forth as the best of that era. What a fascinating view of Church history it might be.
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    That sounds really interesting. This past summer, in my choral methods class for a Music Ed Masters program, I was asked to make up theme programs. I asked the director if I could pretend it was a Catholic school, that was fine. So I had a concert called Catholic Music, which has music ranging from chant, polyphony, baroque, classical, romantic, modern 20th century (Durufle, not Schutte), as well as several congregational hymns (Hail Holy Queen, Holy God We Praise Thy Name, etc). Hopefully, someday I'll find a job I can actually do a concert like this. Doing a concert like this I think can really give people a clue to what the church's patrimony of sacred music really is, however, in reality it's only scratching the surface.