Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Music Sacred Catholic Liturgical and Chant’

Candlemas in East Bloomfield

February 9th, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie

collage_edited-1Here is a link to a video of portions of the Candlemas celebrated in Saint Bridget Church of Saint Benedict Parish, in East Bloomfield, the evening of February 2. The blessing of the candles was followed by a Mass in Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass). The Mass setting was William Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices. (See related post here.)

Follow this link to the video.

A Fundamental Misunderstanding of the Nature of Catholic Liturgy

February 2nd, 2015, Promulgated by Bernie


From the New Liturgical Movement

“Catholics today might sometimes be struck by the passionate conviction of the younger generation of Catholics who are fighting for the cause of the Sacred Liturgy. It is as if we are fighting for dear life, in a struggle to the bitter end, against our mortal enemies. The reason is simple: we are doing exactly that. It is no exaggeration to say that there is a fundamentally false view out there, very popular nowadays, as captured in this paragraph from Whispers from the Loggia of November 24:

‘The office’s [i.e., Congregation for Divine Worship’s] new mission is likely to hew closer to Francis’ own… ‘ ” READ MORE

Read the interesting follow-up post Is the Liturgy an End or a Means? Further Considerations

An Apostle, Not a Doubter

December 1st, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

The Inaugural Masses of the Latin Mass Community at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church

Here are a few video clips from last Sunday’s (English and Latin) Masses at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church of the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Irondequoit, New York. You have no doubt read of the amazing move of the Traditional Latin Mass Community into its new home at Saint Thomas the Apostle. The church has been effectively closed for four years. An English Novus Ordo Mass will also be celebrated each Sunday at 9 A.M. in addition to the Latin Extraordinary Form Mass at 11:15. The move was made last Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent.

Brief Video Clips: (Click on the Links)

Father Bonsignore’s Homily During the Novus Ordo English Mass at 9 A.M.

Entrance Procession at the Novus Ordo (English) Mass

Offertory Incensing at the Latin Extraordinary Form Mass at 11:15 A.M.

Preface, Sanctus, Agnus Dei of the Latin Mass

Consecration and Elevation at the Latin Mass

Holy, Holy, Holy – Lord I am not worthy – Final Blessing and Dismissal of Novus Ordo English Mass


The Loss of the Unifying

November 20th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

The deterioration, degradation, dumb-ing down, localizing and secularizing of Catholic liturgy over the last 45 years, in the Rochester diocese, in the United States, and indeed throughout much of the world, has removed the major unifying factor of the church. Some would say that the pope is the unifying factor of the Church, but that isn’t the case. The unifying factor is –or should be– the Eucharistic liturgy. This essential fact to appreciate came to mind this morning as I read the following paragraph in “Byzantine Theology: historical trends and doctrinal themes” by John Meyendorff.

In Eastern Christendom, the Eucharistic liturgy, more than anything else, is identified with the reality of the Church itself, for it manifests both the humiliation of God in assuming mortal flesh, and the mysterious presence among men of the eschatological kingdom. It points at the central realities of the faith not through concepts but through symbols and signs intelligible to the entire worshiping congregation. This centrality of the Eucharist is actually the real key to the Byzantine understanding of the church, both hierarchical and corporate; the Church is universal, but truly realized only in the local Eucharistic assembly, at which a group of sinful men and women becomes fully the people of God.

This Eucharistic-centered concept of the Church led the Byzantines to embellish and adorn the sacrament with an elaborate and sometimes cumbersome ceremonial, and with an extremely rich hymnography, in daily, weekly, paschal, and yearly cycle besides the sacramental ecclesiology implied by the Eucharist itself, these hymnographical cycles constitute a real source of theology. For centuries the Byzantines not only heard theological lesson and wrote and read theological treatises; they also sang and contemplated daily the Christian mystery in a liturgy, whose wealth of expression cannot be found elsewhere in the Christian world. Even after the fall of Byzantium, when Eastern Christians were deprived of schools, books, and all intellectual leadership, the liturgy remained the chief teacher and guide of Orthodoxy. Translated into the various vernacular languages of the Byzantine world–Slavic, Georgian, Arabic, and dozens of others–the liturgy was also a powerful expression of unity in faith and sacramental life.

The arrival and proliferation of ‘liturgy committees’ with their silliness of the week programs has done much damage to the unifying nature of the liturgy. I remember a visiting priest in a parish I belonged to being asked by the reader and announcer “What is the theme today?” The priest asked “What theme?” The person explained “The theme of your sermon and Mass”. The priest answered “What it always is, The life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ”.

The typical Catholic Mass in the United States always seems to be about something else.

Four voices will sing Septuagesima Sunday Mass this weekend

February 15th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie



Healey Willan

The Fellowship of Saint Alban will celebrate Holy Mass this Sunday using Missa brevis No. 2 in F minor, by Healey Willan, sung by 4 voices (3:00 P.M., Church of the Good Shepherd, 3318 East Henrietta Road). The Fellowship Mass is celebrated Ad Orientem. (Click HERE to see a video clip of last month’s choral Mass at the Fellowship.)

Good Shepherd church, Henrietta

Church of the Good Shepherd

The order of service will be:

Asperges: anonymous polyphonic setting, c. 1450

Processional:  “We sing the praise of him who died” (Breslau)

Sequence: “The great creator of the worlds” (Tallis’s Ordinal)

Offertory: “O love, how deep, how broad, how high” (Deus tuorum militum)

Communion motet: “O sacred feast” (Healey Willan)

Recessional: “O Jesus, I have promised” (Llanfyllin)

Organ voluntary: Final, from Symphony No. 1 (Louis Vierne)

Reminder: Mass for Priestly Vocations – Friday, August 16

August 10th, 2013, Promulgated by Gen

This is just a reminder that on Friday, August 16th, at 6:30 PM, there will be a Mass offered at the Carmelite Monastery on Jefferson Road. The intention of the Mass is for an increase of priestly vocations. Fr. Michael Mayer will be presiding. Holy Mass will conclude with Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Vespers 6

These events are wonderful opportunities to practice what we preach. We need priests badly, and if we gather together to pray for this intention, just imagine how much more efficacious our prayers will be!


Reminder: Mass for Vocations, Tomorrow, 7:00 PM at St. Anne

April 25th, 2013, Promulgated by Gen


Just a brief reminder that tomorrow is the Mass for Vocations held at St. Anne, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council 11411.

Friday, April 26, 2013, 7:00 PM

St. Anne Church

1600 Mt. Hope Avenue

Fr. John Colacino presiding, Deacon Tom Jewell preaching

Refreshments to follow Mass.

Mass for Vocations – Friday, April 26, 7:00 PM at St. Anne

April 9th, 2013, Promulgated by Gen

228770_10150197073126842_5645585_nWe have received word that Knights of Columbus St. Damien of Moloka’i Council #11411 will be sponsoring another vocations-awareness event, this time a Mass for Vocations to be offered on Friday, April 26, at 7:00 PM at St. Anne Church. Mark your calendars, and do your best to attend!

On a related note, I recently found this poem which seems particularly suited for a young person’s desire to found his or her vocation in life:


Bishop of Marquette issues pastoral letter on sacred music

February 15th, 2013, Promulgated by Bernie

This from in today’s New Oxford Review Newsfeed

Bishop Alexander Sample has issued a pastoral letter on sacred music in which he emphasizes the importance of Gregorian chant, the pipe organ, and the singing of the ordinary and propers of the Mass.

“Given all of this strong teaching from…

Read the entire post/article HERE

“It Spoke To My Soul…I Don’t Know How”

January 24th, 2013, Promulgated by Gen

As Roman Catholics, a large part of our mission to “spread the Good News” takes the form of liturgical celebration. It could be said that the liturgy of the Church is the vessel of Her teachings; it carries and communicates them with the dual function of forming the intellect and nourishing the soul. And this is not accidental. Indeed, this is why liturgy exists. We don’t devote time and effort in discussing, living, and defending it for our own gratification. Rather, we do so devote ourselves to it because to forsake it is to abandon part of the Christian ethos. Christian worship serves to elevate us (at least, it ought to). It lifts up our voices, our hearts, our souls, and brings them all to a higher plane, to a place where, for an hour on Sunday, Heaven and Earth seem to meet upon our altars.

In discussing liturgy, there is always the risk (or perhaps “certainty”?) of having an errant commenter spreading the Gospel of Misinformation, crying aloud “You worship the rubrics, not God!” Well, naturally, we could say this person is worshipping weak arguments, deifying his lack of critical thought, but that’s beside the point. What is important, though, is that we demonstrate that care for the liturgy is, in fact, care for God. We adorn our altars with fine linens just as we would dress our Lord in choicest fabrics. We sweep our aisles and vestibules just as Mary and Martha doubtless scoured their house before Our Lord visited them. Since we have Christ among us sacramentally, we must take the same care that those who had Him in the flesh took. It is the very least that we can do.

But, building upon this “very least we can do,” we must realize, each of us, that we can do so much more. Put your sentiments into action: join the choir, volunteer to wash altar linens, sign up for the night-watch at perpetual adoration! All of these things, in their own ways, build up the Church. And notice, they each have a liturgical dimension to them. When you join the choir, you actively beautify the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. When you wash altar linens, you facilitate the proper treatment of Christ’s Body and Blood. When you kneel in silent prayer at St. John’s or St. Thomas the Apostle into the late hours of the night, you are guarding Our Lord like an ever-vigilant angel.

We must take care to engage in these ministries well and often. For just think what a disservice it would be to encounter lackluster devotion in any of these areas. A first-time adorer comes into the Adoration Chapel and sees you sleeping, just as Our Lord saw His dearest Apostles sleeping in Gethsemane. The altar linens are wrinkled, sullied, and yet still must be used to purify the sacred vessels. You join the choir, and prefer to sing music to your liking, not the repertoire given us by the Church. Just because we say we are offering our time and talent as a sacrifice, it does not mean that it necessarily is a sacrifice. Would one really feel like his soul is being linked to the Holy Mass when singing in the choir is more like a social-hour or Bible Camp sing-along? No, there is no sense of sacrifice there, and sacrifice is what makes our liturgies holy. The Mass is called the “Holy Sacrifice” because Christ poured out His Blood for us; He did not take the easy way out, so to speak. He gave wholly of himself, in absolute humility.

And it is this humility that must be reflected in our interaction with the sacred, especially through the Church’s liturgies. Recently, I encountered a gentleman who was comparing two Christmastime liturgical functions. They were both “Lessons and Carols,” one offered at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and the other at St. Thomas the Apostle. Naturally, these are not on the same level of solemnity as a Mass, as reciting the Divine Office, etc. However, they both should serve, as we first said, as vessels which convey the Truth of our Faith. The man said to me:

“The one at Sacred Heart was not…holy. It was fun, yeah…but it wasn’t in keeping with the setting. You’re in the cathedral, but you don’t act like it. That’s a shame. The music seemed to reflect the tastes of the people in charge, and didn’t really make me feel ‘Christmasy.’ Okay, we’re talking about Creation and Baby Jesus, and Mary. Great. But then what? I’m sorry, but there was no sense of dignity at all. But the St. Thomas one…it was subdued, but so much more joyful! It conveyed a sense of the mystery of Christmas. ‘Why did He choose this?’ I may not have known what the Latin chant meant, but I didn’t need to know the exact words. It spoke to my soul…I don’t know how. But it did.”

This man is about as “non-partisan” as one can be. He is unbiased in every sense, and is a good Catholic. Not knowing anything about the “Liturgy Wars” that rage about us, in our sanctuaries and in our comment boxes, he summarized the difference between Progressive and Traditional liturgy. The former talks down to you, presuming you can’t understanding the deep Truths of our Faith. It spoon-feeds you mashed-up doctrine, making airplane noises so as to get you to open your mouth, er, “hanger.” Traditional liturgy treats you as an adult, as someone capable of thought. It brings you to a place that stands outside of time. Try snapping your fingers to a piece of chant – it won’t work. That’s because it’s not supposed to. Songs like “Gather Us In” are fun, sure, and appeal to people of all ages. That’s because they’re fun…not because they’re sacred. They blur the lines between what is sacred and profane, and lead people to think that because something is fun, because something feels good, makes us happy, it must, then, be okay for church use.

Traditional liturgy hinged on humility, on realizing the sacred. There is nothing humble about what we see at most Masses. Through the demeanor of those in the sanctuary, the tone of the music, the sentiments of the congregation, it’s as if the Mass becomes solely about us. It is not. It is about Him, and His sacrifice for us. But this isn’t the fault of any of those people. Liturgy has been watered-down for two or three generations, and these are the fruits. We are brought to church, to Calvary, by the joy and liberation of the empty tomb. But this does not mitigate the solemnity which must be observed when we remember Christ’s unbloody immolation. If we simply do what the Church asks of us, and leave our personal tastes out of it, a pure offering will be made, one not stained by partisan bickering, by personality, by ability or lack thereof. The rubrics are there, not to be worshipped, but to be followed for the edification of the faithful. If you are a priest, the words given to you by the Church in the Roman Missal are not there because it made someone happy to translate “pro multis” as “for many.” Happiness has nothing to do with what is right. (St. Thomas More can doubtless explain that better than I.) Things come to us, not as the work of self-motivated individuals, but rather, as the cultural and religious condensation of centuries of prayer, of refinement, of a striving towards perfection.

Personal opinions undoubtedly exist. We all have doubts, problems, pet-peeves. But the Mass, the liturgical life of the Church, is not the venue to share them with others, to inflict and enforce them on the body of Christ’s believers. I personally enjoy many things that have no place at Mass. They are not sacred, and doing, hearing them at Mass does not make them so. Rather, that would diminish the sacredness of the celebration for those who do not share my individual tastes. The fact that I do enjoy traditional worship is just as irrelevant and ancillary to the nature of sacrifice as is one’s enjoyment of bongo drums and electric guitars. One’s tastes are for oneself. The Mass is for all. Therefore, to let it be tainted by this cult of individuality is to reduce by a great degree the sacred nature of the universal Sacrifice. Let the authentic nature of Roman liturgy speak to your soul. Listen. Breathe it in. Let it wash over you, and transport you from this transient world into an eternal one.

Lessons and Carols at St. Thomas the Apostle – Friday, December 14, 7:00 PM

December 6th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen


Next Friday, December 14th, at 7:00 PM, there will be a candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, part of the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish. Fr. Frank Lioi will be presiding over the ceremony, which was a tremendous success last year. The organizers of the event have included with the lessons and carols several Gregorian Chants and Renaissance motets which capture and convey the beauty of the Advent and Christmas Seasons.

The Anglican Ordinariate community in Rochester, the Fellowship of St. Alban, will be assisting with the liturgy, along with members from several area parishes. Readers for the service include Classical 91.5 afternoon host Mona Seghatoleslami, Hon. William Polito, Dcn. John Cornelius of St. Alban’s, and Art Harris, State Deputy of the Knights of Columbus for New York.

The Diocesan website has publicized the event, as quoted below:

The Msgr. Burns Knights of Columbus Council are sponsoring Lessons and Carols on Friday, December 14 at 7 p.m. at St. Kateri Tekakwitha at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 4536 St. Paul Blvd.  

This beautiful service of Scripture and song dates back to the late 19th century.  Nine Scripture lessons recount the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News. Each lesson is followed by a carol or other song that reflects on the lesson’s message.
Light refreshments will follow.

Please do your best to attend what is bound to be a beautiful evening of sacred song and Scripture! Eastman musicians will be joining with members of several local choirs to offer such beautiful carols as “Once in Royal David’s City,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” along with Victoria’s “Ave Maria” and Hans Leo Hassler’s “Dixit Maria.”

Traditional Requiem High Mass at OLOV/SJ

November 5th, 2012, Promulgated by Bernie

(See excerpts from the All Souls Day Mass HERE)

(Click on pictures to see clearer images.)

A requiem high Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated last Friday, All Souls Day, at Our Lady of Victory/Saint Joseph Church in downtown Rochester.

The Mass, as my mother would have said, was “beautiful”. Mom certainly had some aesthetic sensibilities –she loved decorating the home- but she had no real formal training in design or knowledge of fine art. I don’t recall her having much knowledge of classical music, either, but she did enjoy familiar classical selections. But, I doubt she had in her mind the elements and principles of design when she referred to a Mass as beautiful.

We have discussed this idea of beauty regarding liturgical art in several past posts. Mom, I don’t think, ever tried to conceptualize what she meant by a “beautiful Mass”. She never explained it but I think the family always knew what she meant; the Mass was Catholic in its fullest sense; it was full of grace –of beautiful sounds, movements, smells, reverence, and infused with a sense of the sacred; it was uplifting; it was as if you were in heaven with the angels. It was Catholic; it was beautiful! Not necessarily elaborate and rich in ceremonial, but Catholic.

The All Souls Day Mass at Our Lady of Victory/Saint Joseph, however, was rich in ceremonial and music.

We can discuss the theology and doctrines of the Mass and explain this and that aspect of the liturgical celebration -the symbolism and typological constructions. Those things are part of a full understanding of the meaning of the Mass. But, the Mass is not really understood to our spiritual benefit unless it is also “enjoyed”. I don’t mean enjoyed as in “entertained” but rather “in-joyed” as in lifted up and filled with spiritual joy and transcendent happiness. That can happen at a very simple reverent celebration of daily Mass as well as at a “pull out all the stops” high feast day Liturgy. And, to a certain extent, is dependent on the predisposition of the individual participant, I suppose.

But, it is the elaborated ceremonial that most often results in the exclamation, beautiful!

I was talking with a man on Sunday who, as a member of the congregation, participated in the All Souls Day Mass on Friday. There were several times during the Mass, he recounted, when he was nearly reduced to tears. The Beautiful is profound and moves deeply; it draws us in and engages us at a very deep level. Can there be any doubt the man was actively participating even though, for the most part, he and the rest of the congregation were only, except for some responses, watching and listening (and sitting, standing and kneeling)?

The musical setting of the Mass was Gabriel Faure’s Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 performed by the parish’s choir and student singers and instrumentalists from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. Probably the most popular or familiar selection from Faure’s Mass setting is the Pie Jesu. The music, alone, of Faure’s Mass can bring tears to a listener’s eyes but when combined with the ritual of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the context of All Souls Day, well… it is almost overwhelming.

The Requiem High Mass on All Souls Day at Victory was profound and, as my mother would have said, beautiful!

Mom was devastated when the Traditional Latin Mass was ripped away from her and replaced by hootenanny Masses. I’m sure she was part of last Friday’s All Souls Day Mass at Our Lady of Victory/Saint Joseph Church –as a joy filled beneficiary.

Incidentally, it was a packed church at Victory last Friday night.

(See excerpts from the All Souls Day Mass HERE)

Photos and Video From September 28th Rosary for Vocations

October 9th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

Here are some beautiful photos and videos of the recent Rosary for Priestly Vocations that was held at St. Thomas More Church. Fr. Coffas, rector of Becket Hall, led the congregation in a reverent holy hour, wherein was recited the Holy Rosary, and which concluded with Solemn Benediction. If you were in attendance and would like to offer your thoughts on the service, please feel free to do so. 


Rosary for Priestly Vocations – Friday, September 28, 7:00PM at St. Thomas More

September 19th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

We have received word that there will be a Rosary for Priestly Vocations offered at St. Thomas More on Friday, September 28th, at 7:00 PM. Fr. William Coffas will be presiding, and offering his thoughts on the subject. Many of you may note that he is the director of our Diocese’s house of discernment, Becket Hall. The service will include Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and will end with Solemn Benediction.

Please do your best to attend!

Happy Birthday to His Excellency, soon-to-be-retired Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester!

July 15th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

“Come, come, ye sons of art! Come, come away! Tune all your voices and instruments play, to celebrate, to celebrate this triumphant day!”


Rosary for Vocations – May 29th, 6:30 PM at Carmel

May 22nd, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

All – I wanted to convey to you an invitation we received. There will be another Rosary for Priestly Vocations, to be held this coming Tuesday, May 29th, at 6:30 PM at the Carmelite Monastery on Jefferson Road. Evidently, the event was originally going to be hosted at St. Thomas the Apostle, but was deemed “redundant” and turned down. However, the gracious sisters at our Carmel understand the value of prayer, and have thus opened their doors to the faithful of Rochester, that we might pray together for an increase in fervent and holy vocations to our diocesan priesthood.

If you are a Facebook user, you may find the event here:

Fr. Dennis Bonsignore will be presiding, with several diocesan seminarians attending and assisting. This promises to be a beautiful service, with volunteers from several local parishes providing servers and singers. Please do your best to attend what is bound to be a memorable evening at Carmel!

Some selections from the musical program include: a setting of the Tantum Ergo by Victoria, William Byrd’s “Ave Verum,” Gregor Aichinger’s “Regina Caeli,” and other precious gems from our patrimony of sacred liturgical music.


High Mass – Sunday, March 18, at St. Stanislaus

March 16th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

Here is a reminder that this Sunday, “Laetare Sunday,” there will be a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form at St. Stanislaus, with Gregorian Chant propers, a polyphonic ordinary, and a resplendent showing of reverence and devotion. If you’re looking for a mid-Lent “pick-me-up,” be sure to come and pray the Mass! Fr. Bonsignore will be saying the Mass.

Time: 1:30 PM

Place: St. Stanislaus Church, 1124 Hudson Avenue  Rochester, NY 14621

The Extraordinary Form (of Priestly Petulance)

February 27th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

Sometimes I wonder how and why some people loathe the Traditional Latin Mass with such vehemence. And then I read things like this. This priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter might mean well, but his actions and words undoubtedly wound souls and turn countless others away from the beauty of the Extraordinary Form. The fellow actually equates singing at Mass with liturgical abuse! If only we had the luxury of complaining about singing congregants, rather than heretical she-priests and a lack-lustre bishop.

Evidently, this priest, as well-intentioned as he might be, would rather devote time to ostracizing his parishioners than foster a sense of active participation on their part. We mustn’t act like the Council didn’t happen – it said, quite explicitly, that Gregorian Chant is a treasure which must be opened up to and sung by the laity. Sacrosanctum Concillium clearly states in Chapter VI, “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.  Religious singing by the people is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out according to the norms and requirements of the rubrics.”

The following presentation of the matter, and its accompanying commentary, come from the Chant Cafe, penned by Jeffrey Tucker. A nod of the miter to him.

I never imagined that I would find a Catholic parish where the pastor actually discourages the people from singing. But here we have it happening at a parish that offer the extraordinary form exclusive. It strikes as almost as a caricature of traditionalism.

While there is no reason anyone cannot joyfully sing along in their pew in a subdued and harmonious fashion the Ordinary parts of the Mass, they must take care [in charity] not to project their voices over the choir [or noticeably above the rest of the congregation] and become a distraction for their pewmates or the ministers in the sanctuary, all trying to authentically pray the living liturgy unfolding before them – Eternity manifest in Time. The Entrance and Recessional Hymns are usually meant for the congregation properly, led by the choir.
Contrast with the Popes, as nicely presented by The Cross Reference:

Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times. (Tra le sollecitudini, Pius X, 1903)

In order that the faithful may more actively participate in divine worship, let them be made once more to sing the Gregorian Chant, so far as it belongs to them to take part in it. It is most important that when the faithful assist at the sacred ceremonies, or when pious sodalities take part with the clergy in a procession, they should not be merely detached and silent spectators, but, filled with a deep sense of the beauty of the Liturgy, they should sing alternately with the clergy or the choir, as it is prescribed. If this is done, then it will no longer happen that the people either make no answer at all to the public prayers — whether in the language of the Liturgy or in the vernacular — or at best utter the responses in a low and subdued manner. (Divini Cultus, Pius XI, 1928)

Therefore, they are to be praised who, with the idea of getting the Christian people to take part more easily and more fruitfully in the Mass, strive to make them familiar with the “Roman Missal,” so that the faithful, united with the priest, may pray together in the very words and sentiments of the Church. They also are to be commended who strive to make the liturgy even in an external way a sacred act in which all who are present may share. This can be done […] in high Masses when they answer the prayers of the minister of Jesus Christ and also sing the liturgical chant. (Mediator Dei, Pius XII, 1947)

It is the duty of all those to whom Christ the Lord has entrusted the task of guarding and dispensing the Church’s riches to preserve this precious treasure of Gregorian chant diligently and to impart it generously to the Christian people. […] May it thus come about that the Christian people begin even on this earth to sing that song of praise it will sing forever in heaven. (Musicae Sacrae, Pius XII, 1955)

In solemn Mass there are three degrees of the participation of the faithful: a) First, the congregation can sing the liturgical responses. These are: Amen; Et cum spiritu tuo; Gloria tibi, Domine; Habemus ad Dominum; Dignum et justum est; Sed libera nos a malo; Deo gratias. Every effort must be made that the faithful of the entire world learn to sing these responses. b) Secondly, the congregation can sing the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass: Kyrie, eleison; Gloria in excelsis Deo; Credo; Sanctus-Benedictus; Agnus Dei. Every effort must be made that the faithful learn to sing these parts, particularly according to the simpler Gregorian melodies. But if they are unable to sing all these parts, there is no reason why they cannot sing the easier ones: Kyrie, eleison; Sanctus-Benedictus; Agnus Dei; the choir, then, can sing the Gloria, and Credo. In connection with this, the following Gregorian melodies, because of their simplicity, should be learned by the faithful throughout the world: the Kyrie, eleison; Sanctus-Benedictus; Agnus Dei of Mass XVI from the Roman Gradual; the Gloria in excelsis Deo, and Ite, missa est-Deo gratias of Mass XV; and either Credo I or Credo III. In this way it will be possible to achieve that most highly desirable goal of having the Christian faithful throughout the world manifest their common faith by active participation in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and by common and joyful song. c) Thirdly, if those present are well trained in Gregorian chant, they can sing the parts of the Proper of the Mass. This form of participation should be carried out particularly in religious congregations and seminaries. (De Musica Sacra, Sacred Congregation for Rites (during Pius XII), 1958)

Perhaps Fr. Parrinello ought to realize that, as a priest, he has a duty to minister to all of his congregation, and not just the boys’ club that occupies his choir loft.

Lessons and Carols – St. Thomas the Apostle, Sunday at 3:00 PM

January 6th, 2012, Promulgated by Gen

We would like to announce that there will be a service of Lessons and Carols this Sunday, the Feast of the Epiphany, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church at 3:00 PM. Please do your utmost to attend what is sure to be a beautiful service, offered by the parish and presided over by Fr. Frank Lioi. The service, which has its illustrious roots in the Anglican tradition, has been “Catholicized,” and features many Gregorian chants particular to Christmas and the Epiphany. If you are looking for a beautiful, traditional, and sacred way to end your holiday season, this is your chance!


Upcoming Event: Rosary for Priestly Vocations – December 2 at Mother of Sorrows

November 18th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Many of you have doubtless attended the Rosaries for Priestly Vocations over the past few years. These events, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council 11411, always manage to be uplifting and spiritually beneficial to those who attend. The next service in this series will be at Mother of Sorrows Church on December 2, a Friday, at 7:30 PM. Fr. Alexander Bradshaw will be presiding, with Fr. Kellner assisting. Thank you to our readers, who keep us informed of such things!

Previous Vocations Rosaries:

St. Margaret Mary –

St. Anne –

St. John Fisher College –

St. Thomas the Apostle –