Sacred Music

Articles from Vol. 136, No. 2, Summer

An Unusual Chain of Thirds: The Introit Miserere Mihi, Domine
The chain of thirds is a phenomenon of the basic Gregorian repertory--that body of the Propers of the Mass found in the earliest manuscripts with musical notation. (1) Although no medieval theorist identifies this principle, it is quite clearly observable...
Chanting as a Form of Life
PSALLAM DEO MEO QUAMDIU FUERO THE MUSIC OF LISTENING The monk seeks God by listening. He "inclines the ear of his heart" (1) to the Word of his Master. It is only by listening to the Word of God and keeping it in one's heart as Mary did (cf....
Chant in Texas
Over seventy-five people gathered in a South Houston suburb over St. Valentine's Day weekend to experience the joy of singing chant. The workshop, entitled Rediscovering the Sacred: A Workshop in Gregorian Chant was taught by the well-known chant master,...
English, Music, and the Liturgy
"So now, with the new translation of the Mass, composers will finally be able to settle down and write the great English liturgical music for our generation." ... or words to that effect are what I heard from someone at a gathering of liturgical...
Handel in Italia
RECORD REVIEW: Handel: Six Concertos for Organ, Op. 4. La Divina Armonia Ensemble, Lorenzo Ghielmi, conductor & organist. (Organ: Pradella/Santuario del Divin Prigioniero, Valle de Colorina, Italy, 2007). Passacaille CD-944. Handel seems...
Listening and Singing
Participation in the music of the liturgy involves two complementary processes: listening and singing. In recent years, the singing of the congregation has been taken for granted (sometimes even as mandatory, to the exclusion of music sung by the choir),...
Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference
On Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7, over thirty participants and three faculty members gathered for the inaugural Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference, co-sponsored by the Florida chapter of the Church Music Association of America...
The Divine Office: Joining in the Song of the Holy Spirit
Isn't the claim implicit in my title a bit too much? Can we really say that in the Divine Office we join our voices to that of the Holy Spirit? A well known legend from the life of Pope St. Gregory the Great can begin to shed light on this idea. The...
The Proper Place of Mass Propers
I sometimes wish that I could be released from my continuing focus on the question of what went wrong with Catholic music in the 1960s and 1970s. Somehow, however, I can't get past the suspicion that in these years we might find the answer to why it...
The Year of English Chant Propers
There are parishes where the pastor has said to the schola or choir: no Latin under any circumstances, not even for the propers that the schola aspires to sing. They can chafe and complain about this edict, or they can find a workaround, still using...
Toward a Definition of Liturgical Chant
SUNG THEOLOGY Liturgical theology, insofar as it springs from the "proletarian, communitarian and quotidian" (1) enactment of the liturgy, is indissociable from sacred song. (2) It is only natural that the worship of God is to be expressed in...
To Welcome, Encourage, Teach, and Praise: Working with New Chant Singers
A recent experience with my schola painfully reminded me once again that singers can teach directors important truths. After spending the day producing a brilliant explanation of modes, I proudly showed it to a schola member, who handed it back after...
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