Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Music Sacred Catholic Liturgical and Chant’

Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle for All Souls

October 22nd, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

I received word that there will be a Mass held at St. Thomas the Apostle on Wednesday, November 2, at 6:30 PM. Please do your best to attend!

On a related note, the organizers of the Mass are currently looking for individuals who would like to assist with the music for the evening. Kindly send me an email ( and I’ll pass along your interest to the good folks at St. Thomas.

Reminder: Solemn Vespers This Sunday at St. John Fisher College

September 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

A brief reminder that this Sunday, the 25th, there will be Solemn Vespers in the Extraordinary Form offered at St. John Fisher College at 5:00PM. You can see previous events such as this here and here. The service will be held in the Coleman Chapel, attached to Murphy Hall. The entire service will be sung, alternating between Gregorian Chant and Renaissance polyphony.

The Rochester Vespers Choir will be singing for the college’s 9:00 PM Mass, as well.


On the Beauty of our Worship – Words from the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff

September 19th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

I stumbled upon this page at the Vatican website, and thought that we might all profit by it if I shared it here. Enjoy:

Beauty in Every Aspect of the Liturgical Rite


The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, at number 35 of the Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis writes:

This relationship between creed and worship is evidenced in a particular way by the rich theological and liturgical category of beauty. Like the rest of Christian Revelation, the liturgy is inherently linked to beauty: it is veritatis splendor. The liturgy is a radiant expression of the paschal mystery, in which Christ draws us to himself and calls us to communion.

The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery; it is a sublime expression of God’s glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse of heaven on earth. The memorial of Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice contains something of that beauty which Peter, James and John beheld when the Master, making his way to Jerusalem, was transfigured before their eyes (cf. Mk 9:2). Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed, if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendor.

The beauty of Christ is reflected above all in the saints and in faithful Christians of every age, but one should not forget or underestimate the spiritual value of the works of art that the Christian Faith knew how to produce in order to place them at the service of divine worship. The beauty of the Liturgy is manifested concretely through material objects and bodily gestures, of which man – a unity of soul and body – has need to elevate himself toward invisible realities and to be reinforced in his faith. The Council of Trent taught:

And since the nature of man is such that he cannot without external means be raised easily to meditation on divine things, holy mother Church has instituted certain rites. . . whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be emphasized and the minds of the faithful excited by those visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of those most sublime things which are hidden in this sacrifice. (Denziger-Schönmetzer, n. 1746)

Sacred art, sacred vestments and vessels, sacred architecture – all must come together to consolidate the sense of majesty and beauty, to make transparent the “noble simplicity” (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 34) of the Christian Liturgy, which is a liturgy of the true Beauty.

The Servant of God John Paul II recalled the Gospel account of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany in order to respond to the possible objection concerning the beauty of churches and of objects destined for divine worship, which could seem out of place if considered before the great mass of the earth’s poor people. He wrote:

A woman, whom John identifies as Mary the sister of Lazarus, pours a flask of costly ointment over Jesus’ head, which provokes from the disciples – and from Judas in particular (cf. Mt 26:8; Mk 14:4; Jn 12:4) – an indignant response, as if this act, in light of the needs of the poor, represented an intolerable “waste.” But Jesus’ own reaction is completely different. While in no way detracting from the duty of charity towards the needy, for whom the disciples must always show special care – “the poor you will always have with you” (Mt 26:11; Mk 14:7; cf. Jn 12:8) – he looks towards his imminent death and burial, and sees this act of anointing as an anticipation of the honor which his body will continue to merit even after his death, indissolubly bound as it is to the mystery of his person. (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 47, emphasis in original)

And he concluded:

Like the woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany, the Church has feared no “extravagance,” devoting the best of her resources to expressing her wonder and adoration before the unsurpassable gift of the Eucharist. . . . With this heightened sense of mystery, we understand how the faith of the Church in the mystery of the Eucharist has found historical expression not only in the demand for an interior disposition of devotion, but also in outward forms meant to evoke and emphasize the grandeur of the event being celebrated. . . . On this foundation a rich artistic heritage also developed. Architecture, sculpture, painting and music, moved by the Christian mystery, have found in the Eucharist, both directly and indirectly, a source of great inspiration. (Ibid., nn. 48-49, emphasis in original)

Therefore, it is necessary to exhibit all possible care and attention, so that the dignity of the Liturgy would shine forth even in the smallest details in the form of true beauty. It is necessary to recall that even those saints who lived poverty with a particular ascetical commitment always desired that the most beautiful and precious objects be used for divine worship. We mention here only one example, that of the Holy Curé d’Ars:

From the moment he saw it [the parish church of Ars], M. Vianney loved the old church as he had loved the paternal home. When he undertook its restoration he began with what holds the foremost place, the altar, which is the centre and raison d’être of the sanctuary. Out of reverence for the Holy Eucharist, he wished to secure as beautiful an altar as possible. . . . After these improvements, he undertook the task, to use his own picturesque and touching phrase, of adding to the household possessions of the good God – le ménage du bon Dieu. He went to Lyons to visit the workshops of embroiderers and goldsmiths. Whatever was most precious he purchased, so that the purveyors of church furniture would say with astonishment: “In this district there lives a little curé, lean, badly dressed, looking as if he had not a sou in his pocket, yet only the very best things are good enough for his church.”

Rosary for Vocations

September 15th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

My video from Tuesday evening’s Rosary for Vocations held at St. John Fisher College:

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My observations: The sacred music selections (see below) were awesome, the choir’s rendition of same was superb and Deacon Tom Jewell’s homily, which begins at the 4:02 mark, was excellent.

Opening Hymn: The Royal Banners Forward Go
Sermon: by Dcn. Tom Jewell – “Nothing is Sacred Anymore”
Procession to the tabernacle: Christus Factus Est (Gradual for Holy Thursday)
Exposition: O Salutaris Hostia
Rosary: Salve Regina (chant)
Adoration: Jesu Dulcis Memoria (chant) with Jesu Rex Admirabilis (Palestrina polyphony) interspersed
Benediction: Tantum Ergo (chant, Pange Lingua melody)
Reposition: Adoremus in Aeternum (chant)
Recessional Hymn: Rejoice the Lord is King

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

September 15th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Today’s sequence for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows:

STABAT Mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.
AT, the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.
Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!
O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.
Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?
Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?
Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with scourges rent:
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.
For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:
Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.
Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:
Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.
By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.
Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.
Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.
Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.
Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;
Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;
Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.
While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

In the mid-1900’s, French Composer Francis Poulenc wrote a new setting of this hymn. It was one of his last major compositions before his death. Poulenc is known for being one of the first openly homosexual composers in history, and is often seized upon by some as a great champion of the LGBT movement. Indeed, he once said “You know that I am as sincere in my faith, without any messianic screamings, as I am in my Parisian sexuality.” However, as he matured, he saw the burdens and pains that come with the homosexual lifestyle, and after the death of a close friend in the 1920’s, he had a conversion. His music turned away from purely secular aims, and began to focus on God and the Church. Even his operas began to reflect a Godly focus (see Dialogues of the Carmelites). He finished the Stabat Mater in 1950, and died in 1963 after having written “Sept Répons des Ténèbres.”

“Sit on my right”

August 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

Psalm 110

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
“Sit on my right:
your foes I will put beneath your feet.”

The Lord will wield from Zion
your scepter of power:
rule in the midst of all your foes.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

The Master standing at your right hand
will shatter kings in the day of his great wrath.

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Cathedral of Cefalù, Sicily, the apsidal mosaic: Christ Pantocrator.

Picture Source

What are appropriate images for the chancel areas of Catholic churches? I have explored that question in a number of posts (see “Chancel Images” under archives; also, “Catholic Images?”). There are several possiblities that I think are proper for today’s world. There are many more if we survey all of the history of Christian liturgical art, but let me suggest one that we couldn’t go wrong with that comes to mind when I recite Psalm 110, which is sung/prayed at Vespers every Sunday.

Below is a quote concering Psalm 110 that I like from Praying the Psalms: A Commentary by Stanley L. Jaki.

“Those not tuned to the great lessons of apologetics about Christ might take a lesson or two about Him from art history. …Far more than anyone He inspired the greatest masterpieces, such as the mosaics of Christ the Pantokrator (the Almighty Ruler of the universe) in Romanesque basilicas. Few are fortunate to see the huge image of Christ gazing down from the apse of the Norman cathedral in Cefalu, Sicily, as the Sunday vespers are being chanted.  …Future began with Him and all future belongs to Him.  …There is no ‘Common Era’ except the one in communion with Him.

“Nor is there a cosmos without Him in whom God created everything. The Lord’s words to David’s Master should resound in our ears as crossing through the entire cosmos, which today looms incomparably larger in its countless galaxies than a cosmic tent covered with a firmament. In a truly cosmic sense, Christ is the Alpha and Omega, comparable with whom the gigantic cosmos looks puny indeed, to say nothing of a ‘fundamental particle’ called omega, which, like other such particles, is anything but fundamental.”

Interior of Cefalu Cathedral, Sicily.

Picture Source

Supplement as of 10:45 PM August 21: A reader has sent us a link to a polyphonic setting of this psalm, as sung at Solemn Vespers at St. Anne Church this past May. Enjoy!

Requiem Mass for Otto von Habsburg

July 17th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Otto von Habsburg, the last Crown Prince of Austria (heir to the throne after the Emperor), died ealier this month. He was a tireless defender of Catholicism and the Church, and was a lion in European politics. These videos are from his Requiem Mass offered by Cardinal Schönborn, and . . . well, just watch. It’s amazing, and words cannot convey the magnitude and majesty of this Requiem.

Kindergartners Defending Latin in the Liturgy

July 5th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

If only our Diocesan officials and occasional commenter would reach the level of these dear children . . .

Well, I can dream, can’t I?

“Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise, because of thy enemies, that thou mayst destroy the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:3)

On the Cusp of a Liturgical Revolution

June 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Since the often-sloppy implementation of the Second Vatican Council’s decrees regarding sacred liturgy, the English-speaking world has been subjected to a Mass devoid of any depth of language and vocabulary. Many nations and peoples adopted vernacular Masses, but did so with proper attention to the original language of the Roman Missal, and wrote their own orders of worship using appropriate language. Indeed, when considering all the languages in which the Mass is offered, it is baffling to see that English stands out as being the most poorly-translated of all of them. There is no possible way that “et cum spiritu tuo” can be translated as “and also with you.” Whenever I say that response, all I can imagine is some slovenly wretch with a chili-dog in his hand saying “and wit’ you too, fadda.”

However, thanks be to God, the USCCB has decided that we may embrace the new translation of the Roman Missal two months earlier than originally thought. The following comes from their website:

BELLEVUE, Washington—Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Divine Worship, announced that diocesan bishops may permit the gradual introduction of the musical settings of the people’s parts of the Mass from the new Roman Missal in September. Primarily this affects the  the Gloria, the Holy, Holy, Holy and the Memorial Acclamations.

This variation to the implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, set to take place all at once on November 27, was authorized by USCCB president, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, and adopted by the committee to allow parish communities to learn the various parts of the new translation “in a timely fashion and an even pace.”

The Committee on Divine Worship made the decision in response to requests from several bishops, echoed by the National Advisory Council. Some suggested that the various acclamations could be more effectively introduced throughout the fall, so that when the full Missal is implemented on the First Sunday of Advent, the congregation will have already become familiar with the prayers that are sung.
“I ask you to encourage this as a means of preparing our people and helping them embrace the new translation,” Archbishop Gregory told the bishops. The announcement took place June 16, during the U.S. bishops Spring Assembly near Seattle.

This is a very wise decision. One reason is that the Gloria, one of the “ordinaries” of the Mass (along with the Kyrie, Sanctus, Credo, and Agnus Dei) will now be experienced before Advent’s arrival and the dropping of the Gloria until Christmas. By granting permission to implement the new translation this early, the United States joins several other areas in the English-speaking world that have already begun to use it. England and Wales have also decided on the September start date, as opposed to the Advent one.

Something that will be seen in the new Roman Missal is increased attention paid to the “propers” of the Mass. “Propers” are scriptural extracts that are proper (thus the name) to the specific weekend or feast on which they ought to be recited. There are several different places where propers are to be used:

  • Introit – basically an entrance song, chanted or sung as the priest and other ministers enter the sanctuary
  • Gradual – this was the predecessor of the Responsorial Psalm. The option exists to chant this in lieu of the Responsorial Psalm, something wholly advisable given the fact that many psalm settings are abusive to the ear and the soul.
  • Alleluia – if using the propers, as found in the Graduale Romanum, you will note that every Sunday has its own setting of the Alleluia.
  • Offertorio – oddly enough, sung during the Offertory of the Mass when the gifts are prepared.
  • Communio – sung during the distribution of Communion. Baffling naming system, isn’t it?

The use of propers is encouraged by the Holy Father and the documents of Vatican II. Unfortunately, most parishes opted for communally-sung hymns instead of the specified propers of the Mass, seeing as how Gregorian Chant is seldom something that one can pick up with ease. Also, the use of hymns was allowed in order to draw the faithful into a more active and conscious participation at Mass. But ask yourself the following questions: 1. At your church, does the entire congregation actually sing the hymns? 2. Do your hymns actually reflect the total message of the Mass on any particular weekend? 3. What do you take away from singing a “hymn sandwich,” with a processional, an offertory hymn, a communion hymn, and a recessional? 4. While singing these hymns (doubtless they’ve been picked by your parish’s liturgy committee), do you actually feel edified and prayerful, or does it strike you as liturgical busy-work?

The use of propers answers all of these questions, seeing as how for the vast majority of the Church’s 2,000 year history, the propers were sung at Mass instead of hymns. They have their roots, not in some Medieval or Renaissance council or synod, but in the songs sung in the Temple in Jerusalem, songs sung by Our Lord Himself. The richness of these propers is really quite stunning, and I firmly believe that if they are reintroduced into our Masses, we will find ourselves tremendously more engaged in the Sacred Mysteries. After all, no matter how well you sing “All Creatures of Our God and King,” it’s still just a hymn that may or may not have a similar theme to the readings of the day. I am not denying that hymns can mirror and magnify the prayerfulness of Mass through interpreting the readings, but they will always be the option less-preferred in the eyes of the Church. Indeed, Vatican II asked for a revival of Gregorian Chant (see here).

But, alas, the propers are probably too daunting for any parish to just pick up and start singing this Sunday. After all, they’re in Latin, and have all these dots and squiggles and zigzags that don’t seem to make much sense. If only there was a simpler option, one that would couple nicely and naturally with the new translation of the Roman Missal . . .

Oh, that’s right. There is!

The Church Music Association of America has just published a book called “Simple English Propers,” which contains the propers of the entire year in English. The Catholic Phoenix reports on this publication:

A parish music director in Phoenix has recently completed a major project in the renewal of sacred music, one that could have a revolutionary impact upon the celebration of the Ordinary form of the Mass all over the English-speaking world, as the latter prepares for the renewal of sacred language on its way this winter, courtesy of the new translation of the OF Roman Missal.

Adam Bartlett, director of music at St. Joan of Arc parish, is the composer and compiler of the Simple English Propers, an anthology of music for the Mass that is unlike anything else available in English today.  The book, a 500-page hardback, has just been published by the Church Music Association of America (CMAA); in keeping with the radical and principled open-source, creative-commons intellectual-property-libertarianism of the CMAA and its tutelary genius Jeffrey Tucker, the entire “Simple English Propers” corpus is also available for free download.

In order for readers to understand why the Simple English Propers are so important, a brief introduction to some technical aspects of music in the Catholic Mass is in order.

The experience of most  Sunday massgoers in America has for decades been one of music as something added to the Mass but not integral or essential to it—so while the words of the liturgy itself are prescribed by the Missal, and the psalms and readings for every day of the three-year cycle are dictated by the Lectionary, one generally gets the sense that when it comes to music, the Catholic Mass is a blank canvas, an empty decorative space to be filled up by the wits and talents of the parish music ministry.

With four such hymn “slots” to be filled each Sunday—from the entrance and offertory, through the communion to the recessional—American Catholics’ experience is that songs at Mass are something freely chosen by the music director.  From choir-and-organ arrangements of “Soul of My Savior” to rockin’ Matt Maher tunes to “Gather Us In” to “God Bless America” or other special numbers on holidays, what we get week in and week out can be, like radio programming, interesting, varied, eclectic, coherent, or not.  This programming model of music as a freely chosen, extraneous addition to worship is nearly universal, and, from what authorities like Thomas Day, author of Why Catholics Can’t Sing, tell us, it is deeply rooted in pre-Vatican II American Catholicism.  We might have a lot more choices now than we did in 1959, but the model is the same—picking tunes off the nickel jukebox, downloading the playlist.

If American Catholics have had any Sunday experience of Gregorian chant, outside of chanted “ordinary” texts like the Sanctus or Agnus Dei, that experience has likely been within the same model of freely chosen music inserted into the liturgy, as one option selected from among others: perhaps one special week out of twenty, the choir chants an unaccompanied Regina coeli for the “meditation” piece after communion; or, if it’s Pentecost, maybe Veni Sancte Spiritus in the same slot.  But not too much chant: back to “Faith of Our Fathers” or something else rousing for the recessional.

While the music-as-choice model is ubiquitous, and technically “allowed” according to the General Instruction for the Roman Missal, a different and much older model of Catholic sacred music is the ideal, described and advocated in all Roman magisterial documents on liturgy in the 20th century, including Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium. The model is simple: just sing the integral proper chants of the Mass, the prescribed Latin texts and ancient Gregorian melodies contained in the official music book of the Catholic Church, the Graduale Romanum, or “Roman Gradual.”  No choices needed:  4 different Gregorian chants for every single Mass of the entire year, with words and music compiled in a normative Roman liturgical book.

Most lay Catholics, not to mention parish musicians and clergy, are not even aware of the existence of the Roman Gradual—but even if there were two dozen copies of it in every choir loft (or “musicians’ space” at the front of more progressive churches), learning to sing these ancient Latin texts and intricate, exotic melodies would be an extremely daunting task for even the most healthy of parish music programs.  There is simply no living tradition of Gregorian chant to be found anywhere near all but a handful of our parish churches.  Without it, the Roman ideal remains a dream for some and simply inconceivable for most.  Wishing it were otherwise—that there was a culture of Latin chant in our parishes just as vibrant as you’d find in a French Benedictine monastery—isn’t enough to conjure it up.  What, then, is to be done?

This is where the Simple English Propers come in.  This revolutionary anthology, the first of its kind, contains English-language translations of all the ancient Latin liturgical chants of the Roman Gradual, set to simplified melodies adapted from the originals; unlike the daunting, technically complex lines of the Gregorian chants, a week’s worth of these adapted melodies can be easily mastered by a parish choir of average competence in a week’s time, and new ones sung with confidence and clarity in the assembly Sunday after Sunday.

What is most revolutionary about the Simple English Propers anthology is that it offers a way to a different model of sacred music, one in which there are no “songs”, no extraneous, independent musical compositions stuck into the silent slots in the liturgy, no need for a music director to program the week’s playlist according to his wits or whims.  Instead of our own choices and preferences, the SEP gives us a way to sing the Roman Church’s ancient songs, texts that have been fully integrated into the Roman Mass for centuries–unlike, say, “Amazing Grace,” “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” or “America the Beautiful.”

As one liturgist recently put it: truly sacred music means not singing “at” Mass, but singing the Mass itself. The Simple English Propers present a comprehensible and technically feasible way for the average American parish to move off the beaches, where previously there had existed only the sheer cliffs of the Graduale Romanum. Thanks to Adam Bartlett and the CMAA for making this possible.

A Tale of Two Masses – Part II: Good Liturgy Done Poorly

June 14th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Part I here.

Most of the time, when we discuss liturgy here at Cleansing Fire, it’s in reference to a certain abuse, a particularly tasteless occasion at Mass, or some irreverent incident taking place within the sanctuary, regardless as to whether it’s a part of Mass or not. We have devoted hundreds of posts on these matters, exposing countless acts of sacrilege and profanation alongside abuses that were more akin to one-time mistakes than malevolent and intentional disobedience. However, chronicling these events of the City of Bad Liturgy Done Well is only half (or even less than that) of what we, as Catholics, ought to be doing. And I don’t mean simply as a blog, as a parish, or even as a diocese – I mean universally.

While bad liturgy done well customarily betrays some political agenda (i.e. massive gender-neutral/race-neutral foam puppets at the Call to Action “Mass”), good liturgy done poorly betrays the exact opposite. Rather than the people of the parish having a clear mission, the inhabitants of this second city are complacent, knowing that they’re doing what is asked of them . . . nothing more, nothing less. While the abuses we witness in far too many places thrust the lance ever deeper into Our Lord’s Sacred Heart, those who are apathetic custodians of Truth are like those “disciples” who simply walked away from Calvary thinking to themselves, “Well, that was a wretched end.” It is regrettable that many of those who defend dignified worship simply give up on their mission when they bring about change in one Mass, one parish, or one priest. No, the mission before us to restore the liturgy to something beautiful is something which never wanes, never goes away in its pressing and undying necessity. Good for you, you have your Latin Mass. But does it have life and energy? Wonderful, you’re starting to sing Gregorian chant. Are you actually going to pursue its use at Mass? You should be commended for your piety at Mass, but does your catechesis end when you genuflect and walk out of church?

Good liturgy means absolutely nothing if we do not seek to find God in it, through the ceremony and devotion unfolding before us at Holy Mass. However, when good liturgy is done with the right spirit, not one of arrogance or conceit, but of praise and singular devotion to Our Lord and Our Lady, that is the pinnacle of human achievement. Seeing as how the Mass is the one place where humankind comes into contact in such a physical, undeniable way with God, it is our duty to make it seem that special. This being said, there is one caveat: make it special, yes, but do not make it special in our sight alone, but also in God’s. In a recent post at the Chant Cafe, Fr. Wadsworth says the following:

Another example may serve to illustrate how far we have deviated from the path (of genuine worship): I have deliberately removed any details which will enable you to identify where this Mass took place. Suffice to say, that it could reasonably have been witnessed in just about any large city in the English-speaking world. The occasion was a youth Mass involving a large number of young people of school and college age. The nature of the occasion meant that it would be reasonable to assume that the majority of those present were what could be described as practicing Catholics, at least in relation to the frequency of their liturgical life.

As the entrance procession began, so did the entrance song. It was sung by a male singer who accompanied himself on the guitar and he was joined by a female singer with a very nice voice. I did not know the song (something I have come to expect) but neither, it would seem, did anyone else and despite the text of the song being reproduced in the participation aid, the only ones singing were the two singers I have already described. The song was certainly religious in content without being noticeably liturgical or scriptural in its text. Musically it was entirely secular in character but skillfully sung and played in genuinely affecting manner. As this beginning to the liturgy unfolded, it became more and more obvious that this was a performance and we were cast in the role of the audience. This intimation was further confirmed as the song ended and it was greeted with enthusiastic and prolonged applause, curtailed only by the celebrant beginning the Sign of the Cross.

This experience was repeated at several subsequent moments in the Mass and notably during the Liturgy of the Word, at the Preparation of the Gifts and during the distribution of Holy Communion. Each time, the dynamics were those of performance and the liturgical assembly slid perceptibly into another mode but one clearly familiar to these young Catholics, that of the concert. At each subsequent moment, the pattern was repeated and the performance was recognized by applause. Am I the only person who is profoundly ill at ease with this, or can we identify that style, content and delivery all determine whether our music is truly liturgical or not? Once again, it would be a mistake to identify this difficulty with purely contemporary musical styles, I have witnessed much the same phenomenon with traditional liturgical music in some of our great churches and cathedrals.

This concert-mentality described by Fr. Wadsworth is exactly what we see in the City of Bad Liturgy Done Well. It’s catchy, it’s fun, it’s stimulating, but it’s not suitable for Mass. To reduce the Mass, the summit of human achievement, to a mere show, wherein the congregation has no life and no awareness of the Sacred Mysteries, is to lose touch with the immensity of the occasion.

And here we see the commonality between these two cities: there is a fundamental lack of understanding of the Holy Mass. On the one hand, the Mass is not some celebration of community – that’s what parades and festivals are for. On the other hand, the Mass is not just having a mastery of liturgical functions. Good Liturgy Done Poorly has lost just as many souls as Bad Liturgy Done Well, because the inhabitants of both cities are forced by their lords to thrive on a diet of gruel. It pains me just as much to see a “traditional” parish act with indifference as it does for me to see a parish act in blatant opposition to the will of the Church and Her Mystical Spouse. A lack of understanding is a lack of understanding, whether it’s trimmed in lace or festooned with rainbow ribbons. What the Church calls for, and what is demanded of us by God, is genuine devotion, as made manifest through dignified liturgy.

However, we ought to consider also the spirit in which these two liturgies are, for lack of a better word, “put on.” Both are unsuitable, for in the one is irreverence, and in the other is lukewarmness. But in the City of Bad Liturgy Done Well, there is a sense of unbridled arrogance. “This is what we want to do, so we’re going to do it.” This is, in my opinion, much more sinister than the mindset of inhabitants of the City of Good Liturgy Done Poorly. “Well, it’s good enough.” Nothing we can do is ever “good enough” for God, and the fact that some people are content simply to do the minimum is shameful indeed. Naturally, sometimes the bare minimum is all that’s possible. Maybe there’s not enough people. Maybe there’s not enough money or patrons. Maybe there’s just not enough “young blood” to get things done. That’s fine, and God knows that these people are doing their absolute best, much like how the woman who gave her last penny in the Gospel is praised by Our Lord, whereas the rich man who withheld his maximum donation was admonished. This can and ought to be applied to the liturgy.

When we have the ability to do great things for the glory of God, in humble obedience to the norms of Holy Mother Church, we are obligated by God and all that is decent and good in His world to render our greatest efforts to His people through dignified, reverent, and majestic liturgy. Apathy and complacency are not virtues, nor are they gifts or fruits of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, to see parishes sitting back without any care to excel “for the greater glory of God” is appalling. Is God not worth our every thought? Is He not worthy to receive our attention for all eternity? Can we not give Him His due for just one hour, and to do so in a way pleasing to Him and pleasing to His Church?

(Part III will be coming along shortly.)


June 12th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

VENI, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
COME, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.

A Tale of Two Masses – Part I:The City of Bad Liturgy Done Well

June 11th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

While Charles Dickens was most definitely not writing of Rochester when he published A Tale of Two Cities, there are certainly a great amount of parallels to be had, even in that oft-quoted first paragraph. Indeed, while Dickens was speaking of London and Paris as the “two cities” in his novel, we have two different “cities” before us. The first city is Bad Liturgy Done Well, and the second is Good Liturgy Done Poorly. Naturally, the “golden city,” that “heavenly Salem” I call Good Liturgy Done Well, needs no real discussion in this post. After all, it is the predominant theme of this site.

So what is this City of Bad Liturgy Done Well? It sounds like some kind of misnomer, maybe even an oxymoron. Alas, is is not. In truth, it seems that this is the city towards which the powers-that-be in the Diocese of Rochester constantly strive. Anyone who had the privilege to attend this morning’s ordination Mass at Sacred Heart can surely agree that no expense was spared to enhance the worship experience. A magnificent Festival Choir, a top-notch organist, stellar instrumentalists, and rhythmically-gifted bell-ringers all demonstrated that those in positions of authority at the Cathedral Community have a very clear vision of the liturgy. They recognize it as something special and set-apart, something deserving of a great deal of thought and effort.

Unfortunately, much of this thought and effort is misdirected. Rather turning liturgy into something both horizontal (the community of believers) and vertical (addressing the Divine), the liturgy stays flat, hugging the ground and afraid to soar beyond the realm of being, quite simply, a good musical performance. No one is debating that the music or general mood of the Mass was disingenuous or hollow. On the contrary, the Mass embodied the yearnings, strivings, and labors of many people whose lives are dedicated to the service of God and His Church. However, what Catholics must realize is that just because something sounds beautiful, or looks majestic, or makes us feel enriched or spiritually nourished, it doesn’t make it worthy of use at Mass. The Mass is not about our tastes or aesthetic inclinations. It transcends those, leaving all these personal desires and ideas within ourselves, and uniting them all under the vast and permanent mantle of the Church’s liturgical heritage.

So, quite simply, we must not treat the Mass as something dependent on us. On the contrary, we depend wholly on the Mass and, thus, on the priesthood. When we bend the Mass into a celebration of community, into a mere commemoration of a meal, we lose the richness of what the Church has built into the Mass for us. We may belt out beautiful hymns with gusto, and we may have fleets of well-trained servers, deacons, priests, etc., and we may have great numbers of professionals “making a joyful noise unto God,” but if we allow the Mass to reflect our desires, our opinions, and our inclinations, we lose focus. We gather at the table of the Lord, not because it’s an opportunity to have a parish meet-and-greet, or because it’s a chance to show off our Halloran All Saints pipe organ, but because He commanded us to do so. “Do this in memory of Me.” Notice, Our Lord commended us to do this, not to do something. The “this” to which He referred was the Passover seder, a highly ritualized ceremony in which there was no clapping, no dancing, no showing off of mortal capabilities. It was a profoundly intense service in which the presider left his personality at the door, a service wherein the participants do what is asked of them, not what they feel “called” to do.

The city of Bad Liturgy Done Well is one that looks beautiful, but whose foundations are rotten, and whose buildings are only shells whose elaborate exteriors mask the lifeless faith of the inhabitants whose only desire is to feel good and pull God down to our level, rather than aspire to raise ourselves to His. The citizens of this city are good, loving, Christian people, but they approach the liturgy from a flawed understanding of it. When we enter a church, we should be silent, in respect for the God who dwells in our tabernacles at His desire to do so. We are nothing, and no matter how glorious our celebrations may appear, they are nothing compared to the unrivaled splendor of the heavenly liturgy, of which even our most elaborate and solemn occasion is but a shadow.

This being said, the major flaw of this city is its lack of humility, its presumptions as to what is right and wrong. Again, just because something looks beautiful does not mean it actually is so in God’s sight. “He that rejects instruction, despises his own soul: but he that yields to reproof, possesses understanding. The fear of the Lord is the lesson of wisdom: and humility goes before glory” (Proverbs 15:33). It is humble to obey, and to obey is to endear oneself to God. Vainglory is not something that serves us well in the sanctuary. It serves only to divert our praise from Our Lord and redirect it to some perverted worship of our own abilities. Anything that draws attention to individuals as opposed to God should be re-evaluated as to its prayerfulness. That is one of the many benefits of having Mass “ad orientem,” with the priest and people facing the same direction. Even the most rubrically-unsound of our readers will have to admit that it is far less distracting to look at the back of someone’s head than the front. That isn’t high liturgy, folks, it’s just common sense.

(Part II should follow within the next few days.)


Solemn Vespers at St. Anne Church – Rochester, NY

May 26th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Here is a video of the recent Solemn Vespers service held at St. Anne Church on May 22. It certainly looks and sounds like an amazing event, one which I hope to see emulated in other parishes around the Diocese. Remember, the laity are called by the Church to participate fully in Her Liturgy of the Hours (or Divine Office, etc.) – by praying Vespers, or Lauds, or any of the other hours of the Office, you are linking yourself, not only to the entire Church on Earth, but the Church in Heaven as well.

(Video courtesy of Bernie.)

Solemn Vespers – Tomorrow at 5:00 PM

May 21st, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

I promised a reminder a few days ago, so here it is:

Solemn Vespers tomorrow, Sunday May 22, at 5:00 PM at St. Anne Church. Fr. Alexander Bradshaw will be presiding, with Fr.’s Michael Mayer and Edison Tayag assisting. The service will include Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, so please do avail yourselves of this extremely special event! The evening will feature Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony, along with an organ repertoire spanning five centuries. Our very own Mike was present for the last service, and took the photos you see here.

So, if you’re free tomorrow evening and haven’t been raptured, go to St. Anne Church for Solemn Vespers. Something tells me you’ll be glad you did.

Some of you might be asking yourselves, “So what exactly are ‘Solemn Vespers?'” Essentially, it’s the Church’s official time for evening prayer. Indeed, for those of you who pray the current Liturgy of the Hours, many of your editions probably use the words “Evening Prayer” instead of Vespers, just to make things a little less complicated should the laity pray this beautiful treasure of the Church. Vespers in this case are a little different from what you may have experienced in your own parishes or prayer groups. For instance, there are five psalms in the Extraordinary Form, whereas in the Ordinary Form there are three. However, aside from the number of psalms and the locations of different prayers, the old and the new forms of Vespers are pretty much the same.

At the Second Vatican Council, the Church stated that praying the Divine Office (or Liturgy of the Hours, etc.) is wholly commendable and desirable, that it “may pervade and penetrate the whole of Christian prayer, giving it life, direction and expression and effectively nourishing the spiritual life of the people of God .” Pope Paul VI was speaking here specifically about the reformed prayer of the Church after Vatican II. However, through His Holiness Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, it was been made clear that both the old and new versions of the Divine Office are precious and integral to the life of the Church. For this reason, it is the duty of our clerics and the prerogative of our laity to participate actively, fully, and reverently in this aspect of the Church’s liturgical life. So do your best to attend what is sure to be a beautiful service.

Solemn Vespers – May 22, 5:00 PM – St. Anne Church, Rochester, NY 14620

On a side note, St. Anne is also hosting a flower show and barbeque dinner that evening. It might be worth it to attend, seeing as how you would nourish your souls and your stomachs!

(Thank you to our readers who keep us informed about such things. We’re all very grateful.)

Solemn Vespers – May 22nd, 5:00 PM at St. Anne

May 11th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

A reader alerts us to an upcoming Vespers service to be held at St. Anne Church on May 22nd at 5:00 PM. Do your best to go! Mark your calendars! Fr. Alexander Bradshaw is scheduled to be the presider, with Fr.’s Mayer and Tayag serving as the two assistants. The evening will feature a mix of Gregorian Chant, Renaissance Polyphony, and some congregational hymns. The service will conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

We will remind you of this again between now and then.

“How Gregorian Chant Can Change the World”

May 10th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

A nod of the miter goes to Roma Locuta Est for the following article, which expresses in a succinct and articulate manner the correct end of the liturgical music debate.

Last week National Public Radio ran a story called “Narcissism on Rise in Pop Music Lyrics.” It opened up with,

“On this very day in 1985, the number one song on the Billboard Top 100 was…’We Are the World’ (‘We are the world. We are the children.’) Fast-forward to 2007 when Timbaland’s ‘Give It to Me’ featuring Nelly Furtado topped the charts: ‘…love my a$$ and my abs in the video for “Promiscuous.” My style is ridiculous.’
“So more than two decades ago, we were holding hands and swaying to a song of unity, and these days, we’re bouncing to pop stars singing about how fabulous they are. Psychologist Nathan DeWall has had the pleasure of listening to it all for research, and he found that lyrics in pop music from 1980 to 2007 reflect increasing narcissism in society. And DeWall is an associate psychology professor at the University of Kentucky.”

Dr. DeWall proceeded to explain:

“I was listening to a song that, really, one of my favorite bands, Weezer, had on one of their albums recently, and it’s called ‘The Greatest Man That Ever Lived,’ and I kept wondering, who would actually say that out loud? ‘I am the greatest man that ever lived. I was born to give and give and give.’
“The ironic thing is it’s a song about how I’m the greatest person in the world, but it’s to the tune of ‘Tis A Gift To Be Simple,’ which is a song about humility. And so what I wanted to do, instead of relying on self-report measures of personality like narcissism, I wanted to actually go into our culture, our cultural products, which are tangible artifacts of our cultural environment. And so, for that, I thought maybe song lyrics would be a very good jumping-off spot.
“What we found over time is that there’s an increasing focus on me and my instead of we and our and us. So, for example, instead of talking about love being between we and us and us finding new things together, it’s mostly about how, you know, for example, Justin Timberlake in 2006 said, ‘I’m bringing sexy back. Yeah. Them other boys don’t know how to act. Yeah.’”

There is no doubt that DeWall is correct. Pop music is becoming more narcissistic. The broader, age old question is: Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? The answer is probably some of both. Our culture is increasingly narcissistic. In the spirit of the NPR article, which was about music, I wish to propose a possible antidote for narcissism: the liturgy, specifically liturgical music.

Unfortunately, we must first distinguish between music that might be heard in any given liturgy and liturgical music, properly speaking. While the Catholic Church has been plagued with bad versions of the four-hymn sandwich for decades, the fact remains that Holy Mother Church has given us a liturgical hymnbook: The Graduale Romanum, In this book, one will find the ancient Gregorian chants. But what many will be surprised to find is that the Church has given us specific chants for every Sunday of the year in the places that we currently sing “hymns.” For any given Mass, there are prescribed chants for the Introit (think here of the “Opening Hymn” you are used to hearing), the Gradual (“Responsorial Psalm”), the Offertorio (“Offertory”), and the Communio (“Communion Song”). Most of these date back more than a thousand years. Of course, in the Graduale Romanum, one will find the chant written in Latin. However, vernacular versions of these exist. What is key is that the liturgical rubrics, while they permit hymns, call for a preference given to these chants. Vatican II itself held that the Gregorian chant tradition should enjoy a “pride of place” in our liturgies.

Why do I see this as an antidote for narcissism? The surest way to deal with this problem is to give people the sense that they are not the center of reality, nor are they the source. The Cartesian turn to the subject has flipped classical metaphysics on its head so that people come to view reality as what is in their own minds rather than what their minds encounter on the outside. The liturgy is a reality that is given to us, not one that is created by us. In fact, it is in the liturgy itself that we find our own fulfillment. When we go to Mass, we participate in reality itself, something that is much bigger than us. If we see the Liturgy as something that we fit into rather than something that fits into our lives, we can come to understand that we are not the center of reality: God is.

The problem is, as has been observed on several observations over the past decade, there is an increasing narcissism even within the liturgy itself: both priests and people come to think that the liturgy is something that can be created and recreated with the fickle winds of changing culture. In fact, the lack of narcissistic language in the new translation of the Roman Missal has been pointed out in comparison with the current, defective translation. Currently, there are several places in the texts that seem to order God to do certain things and to give a primacy to the people over the divine. The new translation, being more faithful to the Latin, has sought to correct many of these errors. What remains to be fixed is the same problem in the hymns that are often chosen for Sunday worship. Many of the modern hymns focus on man rather than God (think here of “Gather Us In,” or the ever-elusive “Sing a New Church Into Being”). Quite simply, these hymns are self-centered rather than God-centered.

Contrast this with the use of the Graduale Romanum. These chants have been given to us by the Church, each carefully constructed around sacred texts in order to serve as a sort of lectio divina for the readings of the day. Indeed, when Gregorian chant is properly performed, it seems as if it is not of this world. Part of that is due to the inherent structure of the music, for chant lacks a strict meter (though it has an internal rhythm of its own). Unlike a hymn, which marches forward towards a climactic conclusion, chant allows the listener to rest in contemplation, a mirror of the eternity which we, God willing, will experience someday. But another part is due to the words, which become primary (unlike modern pop music, where the words are often a later add-on to an already existing rhythm/chord structure).

Perhaps the most important point, however, is the fact that the music of the Mass inevitably (forgive the pun) sets the tone of the entire celebration. It stands to reason, then, if we employ a music that is provided for us by the Church (not to mention encouraged by the rubrics), then the people will better understand that the liturgy itself is given and not created. If they come to understand the liturgy, which is the objective center of reality, in this manner, then they will come to see that they are not the center of reality. Thus, my rapid fire, probably incomplete, but hopefully coherent, argument that an antidote for the rise in narcissism is Gregorian Chant. Save the liturgy, save the world.

Gather Us In, A Bad Song Is Playing

May 7th, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

From The American Catholic

by Paul Zummo

A reader writes in to Fr. Z to ask why Gregorian Chant is to be preferred at Mass to hymns like “Gather Us In” which the reader, a newly minted Catholic, happens to like.  Fr. Z responds here, and the commentators also chime in with responses that hit the mark.

Read more

Rosary for Priestly Vocations – May 3, 7:30PM, at St. Anne Church

May 2nd, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

As a few readers have reminded us, there will be a Rosary for Priestly Vocations at St. Anne Church on Tuesday, May 3rd, at 7:30 PM. The last one was a stunningly beautiful event, with a well-trained fleet of altar boys, a wonderful schola, and even a Knights of Columbus color guard. Please do your best to attend this upcoming event, the theme of which is “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” What more appropriate theme could there be, when praying for vocations to our diocesan priesthood?

Fr. Jack Healy, OCarm. will be presiding at this prayer service.

Iudas, Mercator Pessimus

April 20th, 2011, Promulgated by Gen

Today is Wednesday of Holy Week, also called “Spy Wednesday.” The reason behind this is that this is the day on which Judas first transpired with the chief priests and the elders to hand Jesus over to their desires. He acted deviously and secretly, thus “spy” Wednesday. There is a beautiful motet sung during Holy Week which is called “Iudas, Mercator Pessimus.” The translation and original text are below, along with a video for your viewing pleasure.

Judas, the vile merchant,
required a kiss from the Lord
who, like an innocent lamb,
did not deny the kiss to Judas.
For a large amount of dinarii,
he betrayed Christ to the Jews.
It would have been better for him,
had he not been born.
Iudas mercator pessimus
osculo petiit Dominum
ille ut agnus innocens
non negavit Iudae osculum.
Denariorum numero
Christum Iudaeis tradidit.
Melius illi erat
si natus non fuisset.


Upcoming Music Events

March 29th, 2011, Promulgated by Nerina

This Spring promises to be a tremendous time for the Diocese of Rochester. Several parishes are going to be hosting events focusing on Gregorian Chant and Renaissance polyphony. Below is a schedule of these upcoming events, as reported by you, the readers.

  • Saturday, April 2, 2011 – 4:30 PM Chant Mass at St. Francis in Geneva.
  • Sunday, April 3, 2011 – 1:30 PM High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Stanislaus.
  • Thursday, April 14, 2011 – 5:00 PM Chant Mass at Mother of Sorrows.
  • Sunday, April 17, 2011 – 1:30 PM Missa Cantata in the EF at St. Stanislaus.
  • Sunday, April 24, 2011 – 1:30 PM Missa Cantata in the EF at St. Stanislaus.
  • Sunday, May 1, 2011 – 1:30 PM High Mass in the EF at St. Stanislaus.
  • Tuesday, May 3, 2011 – 7:30 PM Rosary for Priestly Vocations at St. Anne.
  • Sunday, May 22, 2011 – 5:00 PM Solemn Vespers in the Extraordinary Form at St. Anne.

In the eyes of this humble blogger, it looks as if we’re standing on the edge of a liturgical renaissance in Rochester. Deo gratias!