Palestrina 500
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,726
    This may be of interest,
    A Year-Long Jubilee Celebrating the quincentennial Birthday of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
    http://www.sacredheartgr.org/palestrina500

    I will have to think how we will celebrate!
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,775
    Into January 2026, at least!
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • The Palestrina 500...anything like the Daytona 500 or Indianapolis 500?
  • Fewer left turns, I'd imagine.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,204
    Since these events will occur within the context of a Mass, one ought to ask, “Are the groups involved well-known liturgical ensembles with many quality recordings to their names (similar to King’s College, or Westminster Cathedral), or, are they well-known performing groups who sing music of the Western liturgical tradition? Will people attend Mass because it’s Mass, or to hear a performance with a Mass wrapped around it? Is the motivation one of novelty, or is it thought that this will raise awareness of sacred music and its purpose?

    There is a danger that some will come not for a reverent Mass, but to hear a concert.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,775
    Dangerous folk indeed. Hence the wisdom of sticking to GIA, which affects them like garlic.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw GerardH
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    In (partial) answer to: "Is the motivation one of novelty, or is it thought that this will raise awareness of sacred music and its purpose?"
      • Motivation one of novelty ... methinks no.
      • But for the rest (from the announcement page) ...
    Music as it Was Meant to Be Heard
    About Palestrina 500

    In 2025, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Grand Rapids, MI will host a year-long choral festival called Palestrina 500, celebrating the quincentennial birthday of the great Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-94). This anniversary provides our parish a lens through which we can promote the good, true, and beautiful to our greater community.

    Do spectators at midnight Christmas Mass at the Vatican (or wherever) make it any less reverent for those who attend in earnest? Or the NY Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein playing at JFK's funeral? I don't know, but I have doubts, since I've heard and am personally aware of such outreach being at least part of a newly or renewly found faith.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,726
    @David Andrew We have had plenty of converts from those that came for the music, and the experience of the full Liturgy of the Catholic Church has converted them. Just this year we have had two adult baptisms with another two to come. They came to see and hear the Liturgy and it changed their hearts, and hopefully saved their souls.

    Why should we expect to hear the music of Palestrina, music that is recommended in the legislation on Sacred Music only in a concert hall and not as part of the Liturgy for which it was written?
  • All,

    I'm the director of music at Sacred Heart in Grand Rapids. In short, we're hoping to transcend this dichotomy between "performance" and "liturgical" ensemble...this is why each event has two parts: an hour long choral meditation (serving as a prelude), and then High Mass.
    The former provides non- or lapsed Catholics the ability to come and experience this music who normally would feel uncomfortable coming to a liturgy. However, it is not a concert--no applause, no presentations between pieces, and the choir will sing from the gallery. It's a holy hour, a time of intense prayer.

    I know that at least a few of these people will stay for the subsequent Mass--but our evangelical mission has not failed if they don't. In coming to the Holy Hour, they've experienced this music not only in its architectural context, but before its proper and intended audience: Our Eucharistic Lord (whether they realize it or not!). They've also experienced it as the handmaid of silence--in other words, as prayer.

    Also, we've had plenty of musicophiles drop in on our High Masses before with no issue whatsoever. In fact, many of them show up in RCIA soon thereafter (including me).

    Tallis, Gesualdo, and Schola Antiqua, what we may refer to as "performance" ensembles, have all expressed delight over being able to sing this music in its historic context. And I think the choral meditation prior to Mass, as this falls more into their wheelhouse, puts them at ease...and helps me get my money's worth :)

    I hope this helps. And I hope some of you are able to join us in 2025 for some of these evenings!