The GOOD Vibes Thread
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,852
    There's been concern recently about the atmosphere on the forum, so to try and dispel the opinion that we're a bunch of old sourpusses, I decided it was time to start a thread where people posted about all the good stuff - blessings that have happened in your life, shout-outs to one another, etc. You know - the old Platitude of Attitude of Gratitude.

    I'll start.

    ***

    This is a story I've waited to share for a long time until circumstances proved providential. In college, one of my fraternity brothers one day passed me some information about St. Louis de Montfort and the Total Consecration to Mary. I was Episcopalian at that point, so the Blessed Virgin wasn't really on my radar until that point. As soon as I started reading up on de Montfort, though, it was "a strange planet entering my ken". I decided to take a leap of faith and make the consecration. It really does change your whole life in good and bad ways (as someone later explained to me, "doing this consecration will put you in the Devil's crosshairs") but the good has far surpassed the bad, and I credit that with being the first step on my road to conversion.

    The fraternity brother who gave that to me is ServiamScores. I never got a chance to thank you for that, Serviam, so know that it was - and is - much appreciated.

    ***

    Okay, someon else's turn.
  • Composing music / texts really puts oneself out there in a way that feels exposed and vulnerable.

    So here's a shout-out, huzzah, and a pat on the back to @CHGiffen for his supportive, encouraging attitude towards the compositions and hymn texts, at whatever level of development, that are posted here on the Forum. We notice, and we appreciate you for it, Mr. Giffen!

    (and for a website you designed, I think... we kinda like that as well. some of us use it occasionally...)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    i have always been grateful for the free music that is available here. When the parish refuses to adequately fund the music program, it has been a life saver.

    Surely, we get the unrealistic who want to reestablish 1605 in all its glory. Also, the ones who want to do the Coronation Mass with 6 singers. But overall, there is plenty of "good stuff" here available to all.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    Stimson! Thank you so much for your kind words. Truth be told, I don't even remember that! (lo, it has been a decade...) I'm tickled to think I played a small part in your conversion. My memory being hazy, I presumed—as I began to read—that the name you would drop began with an 'A' (you know the fellow). At any rate, I'm glad to have yet another example of Our Lady's faithfulness!
    ____
    I have always been grateful for the free music that is available here. When the parish refuses to adequately fund the music program, it has been a life saver.

    I agree. Not only is the free music helpful, the fact of the matter is there are very many skilled composers who frequent this space and it's wonderful to share in their riches.

    Just last week we were once again rehearsing @liammcdonough's Humbly I Adore Thee which fast become a favorite of our choir. https://youtu.be/UngeApB2csQ

    I am also grateful for the tremendous wisdom of the forum members. I have 'gotten my degree', as it were, in liturgical music by reading the often erudite comments of those who frequent these pages. I have been pointed to more church documents, historical sources, etc. and learned more things about the liturgy (past and present) than I have ever picked up elsewhere. That is why I come back day after day. I don't comment on all the threads, but I love seeing everything that pops up.

    ____
    As for my happy story, I credit Our Lady with my ability to read music. Truly. I grew up playing piano by ear, and had little formal training until I was nearly a senior in high school. I had been plunked into lessons a few times as a child, but nothing worked. My natural ability to play outstripped the very basic things that were always shoved in front of me, and I even had one teacher quit on me. He told my parents in exasperation, "he's adding notes that aren't there!". (Something like stripped down Mozart pieces where I would play them as I heard them on recordings, rather than the modified version in children's books.) I don't say these things to brag; I don't consider myself to be anything extraordinary (my mother would beg to differ, but she views the whole thing through a mother's rose-colored glasses). I was simply never paired with a teacher who could actually foster what was going on in my little kid brain.

    At any rate, reading music never really clicked, and truth be told, I think I was rather lazy and undisciplined, so I was never much forced to actually synthesize what was actually on the page... I just heard it once or twice and went into auto-pilot / play-by-ear mode. Consequently, (and especially after that teacher refused to give me lessons anymore) I was left to languish, musically speaking, for years.

    Fast forward to around the time when I turned 16 and one day I randomly pulled an old score out of the piano bench that I had not touched for YEARS. By chance I flipped it open to the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria and instantly everything clicked. I sat there, truly reading and synthesizing the music on the page for the first time in my life; it was like a bolt of lightning. Suddenly rhythms made sense. Processing the whole grand stave... Obviously, I had an auditory reference for this very famous piece of music, so that undoubtedly came into play, but in the end I credit Our Lady with an extraordinary, momentary grace. I'm telling you, I went from 0–60 in a matter of moments, after flipping open to that random page in an old book I hadn't looked at in years. I consider it no coincidence that I flipped open to a page of music honoring Our Lady.

    Shortly thereafter, an anonymous benefactor at my high school heard me playing piano, made inquiries and learned that I was not in lessons. He arranged, via intermediaries at my high school, to pay for me to resume lessons, which I promptly did. That teacher happened to also play organ for a lutheran church, and I asked him to switch to teaching me organ (without asking my parents' or the benefactor's permission, lol) and he agreed. After only 3-4 months of lessons, I began auditioning at music schools and the rest is history.

    And it all started with a grace from, I believe, Our Lady. (She would again confer great favors upon me in undergrad when I WON a free pilgrimage to Zaragosa, Garabandal, Lourdes, Fatima, and Santiago de Campostela, among others. We toured around Portugal, Spain, and France for 21 days and it was profoundly life-changing, to say the least. I saw a bleeding Host; I led mass music from the ambo of the outdoor chapel in Fatima (mere feet from the original statue), and was even able to make it inside the basilica at SdC on the feast day of St. James (my namesake) and witness the marvelous spectacle that is the giant thurible that swings through the transept.)
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 614
    I've had moderate success with my hymn collection to St. Joseph since I published in March of last year. I've advertised in several prominent newspapers like NCR and magazine's like the Angelus as well as Catholic websites. I would like to get some nice recordings of the hymns to offer on my website instead of the computer generated mp3s. You can learn more on my website www.motherofmercycatholichymns.com
  • francis
    Posts: 10,081
    Well, my dear colleagues... this virtual community of like minded, passionate, head-over-heels bunch is one that I can't imagine I would ever have done without through the years. I have greatly valued this forum and the CMAA for hosting it as it certainly aids me in living out my 'calling', 'mission', 'charism' or whatever word best fits.

    Your presence here demonstrates to us that there are those who are willing to battle to live and promote the Faith and I know it helps all of us press on in that regard.

    Of course I will always give a shout out to the BVM as she is certainly the most significant 'worshiper in Spirit and in Truth' that ever lived... the perfect example to we who are called to lead the praises of the Almighty... To her I owe all and divest of all that I am to her service.
  • mikevp
    Posts: 16
    This forum has been incredible for access to SMEs on all sorts of things that are otherwise inaccessible on the internet. I appreciate our ability to have well informed discussions with all sorts of details of various rites and traditions.

    I will say though that I especially appreciate the efforts those who are composing and sharing their work widely here.

    And a special shout out to @32ContraBombarde and his excellent chant accompaniment videos on YouTube, which I discovered through the forum.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,106
    Well, the only really good news I have is of the non-musical variety. On January 22, my step-daughter had her first child! A boy!
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,897
    In 2 days, I will officially be received into the Church.

    This is something that should have happened at least a decade ago, but was blocked for a long time by issues surrounding annulments, and then recently by some personnel changes. But it's happening now, praise God.
  • Carol
    Posts: 774
    Blessings to you, Jeffrey! Many of the best educated Catholics are the converts, including my mother. I am thinking of her today particularly because I spoke with her for the last time (in this life) a year ago today. Her last words to me were, "I love you, Carol." What a blessing.

    I am grateful to those who are here often! Those here who have prayed for my concerns and those for whom I have prayed.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    I'm traveling, and last night found a nearby parish Mass, in case I ended up missing all the Sunday times while on the road. I was so very touched by something very ordinary: the elderly ladies in front singing the ordinary and some hymns in the local vernacular way. Nothing YouTube-worthy, nothing imitating trends in pop music. Just a simple sincerity and local custom. Much as I love excellent music I really appreciated the sincerity of the moment.
  • jcr
    Posts: 116
    Having heard some issues related to out of control singers in choirs I felt that this story might be of interest. Quite a few years ago I was a soloist/section leader in a large protestant church. This was a very upscale community and congregation. I had sung there off and on over a period of 10 or 12 years and had become acquainted with a very charming and interesting older gentleman who was in his early 80's when I first met him. We frequently sat next to one another and at that time he sang pretty well. After ten years or so, however, his pitch perception began to suffer and he occasionally deviated fairly far from the assigned pitches. He was aware of it and quieted his singing. He loved to come (his daughter, a choir member, brought him every week and he especially enjoyed conversations with the other men). One day, the inevitable occurred. The complainers assailed the choirmaster regarding his singing. The choirmaster didn't miss a beat. "Charlie has never hurt me," he said. Charlie continued to sing for a few months longer, but his health was failing and he was taken from us not long after.

    I was reminded of what one of my HS choir directors said to me. "Sometimes there are choir members who need the choir more than the choir needs them."
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    "Sometimes there are choir members who need the choir more than the choir needs them."
    I’m going to squirrel away this line. It is so true.
  • KARU27
    Posts: 184
    ...
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    Just to add another: I sing in a mixed schola, and it's not uncommon to hear men's groups singing Gregorian chant (at monasteries or seminaries, and often at TLMs). And I love the rich sound of an all male group. But the other week I was visiting a church that had two women singing the propers and some polyphony, with great musical excellence and what seemed to me a perfect sensitivity to prayer and the liturgy. I must say it was amazing to hear, and I would love to hear it more often!
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    But the other week I was visiting a church that had two women singing the propers and some polyphony, with great musical excellence and what seemed to me a perfect sensitivity to prayer and the liturgy. I must say it was amazing to hear, and I would love to hear it more often!
    I regularly have my ladies sing the psalm verses when we chant because the sound of women singing together is every bit as monastic as the sound of men singing. We alternate verses between each sub group and then have the mixed ensemble do the responsory together. It works very well and sounds positively lovely. I have, on occasion, also split them at the asterisk if the verses are particularly long.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,852
    Kind of a cross-over with an earlier thread of mine . . . my friend wanted me to thank all of you for getting him in touch with Robert Nicholls for organ lessons. He said he feels challenged and encouraged by Mr. Nicholls, which is a sign of a great teacher. Even if he is a cat person!
  • I'd like to thank @CCooze for her tremendous work transcribing the works of Heinrich Isaac onto CPDL. I can imagine how much effort has been spent there, and it's greatly appreciated!
  • The recessional hymn today at the cathedral was “O God, Beyond All Praising.” Now, at this cathedral, each weekend we sing an opening hymn and closing hymn; those are the only two hymns we do. We also sing all verses of both. So, the congregation usually holds out for the closing hymn, but a number of people begin to bolt for the exits after the first verse. Well, today, with the glorious THAXTED, almost everyone stayed for all three verses. It was amazing. I never see that except for when we sing “America the Beautiful” as the closing hymn on the Sunday nearest July 4. It was just amazing how virtually no one moved until the organist wrapped-up. I had chills up my spine with “And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill…” We’ve all been through some tough times in these last two years, and the lyrics to that hymn came across especially powerfully today (and it seemed to be that way with most congregants).
  • Elmar
    Posts: 466
    Same topic:
    During the very cordial meeting, they recalled the origins of the Fraternity in 1988, the Pope expressed that he was very impressed by the approach taken by its founders, their desire to remain faithful to the Roman Pontiff and their trust in the Church. He said that this gesture should be “preserved, protected and encouraged”.

    In the course of the audience, the Pope made it clear that institutes such as the Fraternity of St. Peter are not affected by the general provisions of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, since the use of the ancient liturgical books was at the origin of their existence and is provided for in their constitutions.

    https://www.fssp.org/en/official-communique-of-the-priestly-fraternity-of-st-peter/
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • I want to uncork the champagne, but I find myself reluctant to do so.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,075
    I think you could cautiously pour a glass of Canada Dry, at least.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    They’re affected in the sense that he wants them to keep to themselves and not celebrate the Traditional Mass anywhere besides those places to which they’ve been confined… right?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    I've often said that some bishops who allow the TLM do so to get all those folks in one place. It's easier to keep an eye on them. LOL.

    So how many FSSP places are there in this country? I didn't think there were all that many.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,007
    I heard earlier today that there are apparently only 350 parishes world-wide. That's not very many. And there is no provision in this new document about setting up new parishes which still seems forbidden under TC. There are still many questions, although it's better than nothing. There are also rumors that the ordinariate is on the chopping block next.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • So the question is - do the ex-Ecclesia Dei communities start setting up "oratories" instead of parish, as part of their ongoing growth, as a loophole to the conditions set in TC?

    I've often said that some bishops who allow the TLM do so to get all those folks in one place.


    "Utinam populus Romanus unam cervicem haberet!" - Some Famous Roman Emperor
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    In good news I was gifted with a relic of Saint Blaise, which is a huge honor and quite unexpected. May he intercede for all of us who sing!
  • May I give some good news not related to music and parishes and similar stuff?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    May he intercede for all of us who sing!


    And may he intercede for those of us who have aged out of singing.
  • Carol
    Posts: 774
    CGZ, please do...

    On the topic of St. Blaise, my mother says that my oldest brother was afraid to go to kindergarten because he thought when he would be getting his throat blessed at school that day, with candles that were blazing.
  • There are also rumors that the ordinariate is on the chopping block next.


    Care to elaborate there? I don't like the sound of that.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    If we can share non music joys, great joy for a friend who never thought she'd marry and have a child, who is now successfully in her ninth month of pregnancy, due any day. (We're working on the marriage part, but it looks promising).
    And a very poor friend has finally, at age 60, managed to find a nice apartment in a safer community much closer to work, and it's lovely to share her relief and feeling of success.
    Also very happy for a family member who seems to have recovered from a bad bout of anxiety and is back to her happy self again.
  • May I give some good news not related to music and parishes and similar stuff?


    Go for it!
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 614
    I thought I let you folks know that I launched a Facebook page and a "Hymn of the Month" feature for my Mother of Mercy Catholic Hymns website. If you get a chance check it out.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen bhcordova
  • This morning, my wife and I purchased a replacement car for the one we damaged a week before Christmas. I'm going to be very old fashioned, perhaps, if I say that I am immeasurably grateful that we were able to buy the car outright, pay cash, and drive it home.

    We had been praying our monthly novena to the Infant of Prague.
    Given how much I drive, in my line of work, a properly functioning car is essential. This 20 yr old car has 48K on the odometer.

    Benedicamus Domino!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,081
    Presently praying rosaries for a newer vehicle too. Gonna miss my 1998 Expedition which has been limping for a couple of years now.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    Still driving my 2003 Corolla with 86K miles. The dealer keeps it in excellent mechanical shape but I think I will have to get it repainted eventually. I could probably drive this car for another 10-15 years. Too cheap to buy a new one.

    Chris, for your "new" car, may you drive it many years in health and happiness.
  • We're getting it blessed on Sunday.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,744
    Blessing of Fiery Chariots.

    Below is the Prayer for the Blessing of Cars and any kind of Vehicle:

    Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

    People: Lord, have mercy.

    O Lord our God, Who make the clouds your conveyance and walk on the wings of the wind. Who sent to your servant Elijah a chariot of fire, Who have guided man to invent this Car (Truck. etc.) which is as fast as the wind, we render thanks to You; for You have provided your servants with this Car to serve in their different needs. Therefore, O Master, pour now upon it your heavenly blessings; assign to it a guardian angel to preserve it against all evil. And as You have granted faith and grace by your deacon, Philip, to the man from Ethiopia who was sitting in his chariot and reading holy Scripture. show the way of salvation to your servants, so that, helped by your grace and always intent on doing good works, they may, after all the trials of their pilgrimage and life on earth, attain to everlasting joys, through the intercession of our Lady, the most holy and ever-Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, through the power of the honorable and life-giving Cross; through the prayers of the holy Angels and of all the Saints: For You are the Provider and the Sanctifier of all things, and we give glory to You, and to your only-begotten Son, and to your all-holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

    People: Amen.

    Priest: This Car (Truck etc.) is blessed by the sprinkling of this holy water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    That's brilliant!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 614
    Last month I started a HYMN OF THE MONTH feature on my website Mother of Mercy Catholic Hymns. These are short stories about traditional Catholic devotional hymns. Last month was a short story about the hymn Dear Guardian of Mary and the composer Brother Bonitus, FSC.

    This month's hymn is Ave Maria, Bright and Pure. It was written by a 19th century woman who converted to Catholicism and was considered Queen Victoria's favorite poet. One hundred years later another woman would share her mothers-heart to win first place in a hymn contest. Please take a few moments to read about these two wonderful women and the story of the ten most popular traditional Catholic hymns.

    https://www.motherofmercycatholichymns.com/ave-maria-bright-and-pure/

    https://www.motherofmercycatholichymns.com/hymn-of-the-month/

    You can also follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MotherofMercyCatholicHymns
    Thanked by 2oldhymns CHGiffen