Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

For Your Sunday Chuckle: Low Churchman’s Guide to Byrd

Ritualists begin indoctrinating their children at an early age. Any child brought up in a High Church household will remember being taught church music through Byrd’s graded series of masses, beginning with the Mass for Three Voices and advancing through the four- and five-voice masses until mastering the famous Mass for Seventeen Voices. The colourful covers of Byrd’s masses are a familiar sight in Ritualist parishes, captivating children who do not realize until too late that they are being ensnared by anti-English subversives. Byrd’s attractive illustrations and insidiously catchy melodies are used to induct the young into Ritualist dogma: by singing the superficially attractive melodies of the masses, children are taught to believe in the Preemptive Supererogation of Mary Immaculate, the Conditional Rebaptism of the Lesser Heathen, and other superstitious doctrines. Loyal churchmen must search their children’s rooms diligently to ensure that none of the music of Byrd is in their possession, for a child who sings Byrd masses at the age of eight will be ready for armed rebellion against the Crown by eleven.

Although best known for his famous masses, Byrd wrote other works as well. Among his most famous motets must be named “Quodcunque ligaveris,” “Quotiescunque manducaveris,” and “Quandocumque praecipitis,” works whose unpronounceable texts do not prevent them from being sung in Ritualist parishes on a weekly basis. Byrd’s motet “Domine praestolamur” is better known to modern-day churchmen under the title “Sister, let me be your servant,” which despite its rather loose translation of the original Latin and surface differences from Byrd’s music is a remarkably faithful adaption of Byrd’s original.

A musician of the seventeenth-century Chapel Royal, William Byrd was expelled from the court of Elizabeth I in 1625 as the result of an incense-related scandal. Byrd later settled in Virginia, where he gave aid and comfort to colonial revolutionaries in their fight against the British Empire.

Have a blessed Sunday!

From the hilarious blog, The Low Churchman’s Guide to the Solemn High Mass.

Thanking God for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family

The Synod has just wrapped up its work, with a positive message, and although there is obviously a lot more ink to be spilled, I personally believe its greatest work has been accomplished.At the time of the midterm report, an attempt was made to draft …

Kevin Allen’s New Requiem – Missa pro Defunctis Quinque vocum

Of timely interest to those currently preparing for their All Souls Day Requiem Masses, one of my favorite modern composers, Kevin Allen, has recently released his own setting of the Requiem Mass, including both the propers and the ordinary. I’d like t…

Extraordinary Confirmation

A Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool was recently celebrated at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota. This likely marks a first in 50 years!Prior to Holy Mass, His Excellency, +Bishop Andrew Cozzens confirmed about 40 teenagers in the Extra…

A Welcome Correction

 Declaration of the Director of the Holy See Press Office on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Synod: The General Secretariat of the Synod, in response to reactions and discussions following the publication of the Relatio post discepta…

The sky won’t fall because of our songs

In the first portion of fellow contributor Nathan Knutson’s article “Renewal” commentor Jacob Flaherty addended to Nathan’s litany of anthrocentric hymn/song titles the Paulist Father Ricky Manalo’s “In these days of Lenten journey.” Mr. Flaherty quote…

Magnificat Monday: Tallis

Thanks too Matt Roth for finding this one! As always, feel free to send in suggestions by clicking here and sending me an email.

Another Great Lecture in DC: Church Architecture since Vatican II

The School of Canon Law at The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., has announced that this year’s Frederick R. McManus Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Duncan Stroik on the subject of ‘Church Architecture since Vatican II’. The…

Update on Jernberg’s "Mass of St. Philip Neri"

Some readers were interested to find out when scores and CDs will be available for Paul Jernberg’s Mass of St. Philip Neri, which I mentioned on this site a few weeks ago, along with an audio sample.   Paul writes:Many heartfelt thanks to those wh…

Renewal: Part II

The word RENEWAL in conjunction with Catholic Sacred music may likely include three definitions:

 1) “the action of extending the period of validity of a license, subscription, or contract.”
 2) “an instance of resuming an activity or state after an interruption.”
 3) “the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken.”


In our modern age, we are constantly bombarded with licensing, a vast majority of American parishes subscribing to annual or quarterly liturgical resources for the pew and choir.   Perhaps it is the allure of having something new, year after year, that leads many to think that this form of Sacred Music is ‘renewal’?  Yet, the notion of Sacred music as property to be purchased, often yearly, to fulfill a legal contract is certainly at the heart of our present state of liturgical music and its need for improvement.

With a mind toward restoration, we find that the music of the past several decades has done more to divide, causing a deep-rooted selfishness, especially with the insertion of popular secular styles into Sacred space.

Rather than extend our yearly contract to pay for church music, we should make a renewal of the mind, in constant conversion to our Father’s Divine Will, following Mother Church.

Finally, upon recognizing our need for spiritual rejuvenation, we can mend our broken “pleasing-ourselves-mentality”, and sing with the Saints and Angels in the Heavenly and timeless Banquet, the source and summit of our faith: the Sacred Liturgy.

“Gregorian chant, as proper to the Roman liturgy, should be given pride of place…”

Does your choir/schola chant?  Use a Graduale?  Do they even know it exists?  

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