Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Encountering Our Past Through Music

Just a quick quote from Thomas Forrest Kelly of Harvard University. In the Winter 2014 edition of EMAg, he writes: For me, one of the special joys is holding in my hands a thousand-year-old book and singing from the same music that fellow musicians sa…

St. Dominic Church in DC Hosts Advent Stations

The Dominican Parish of St. Dominic in Washington, DC is having its first annual Advent Stations on Saturday, December 13, at 7:00pm. Similar to an evening of lessons and carols, the night of Advent Stations will include both songs and scriptural readings relevant to Christ’s coming.

Br. Athanasius Murphy, OP, who is helping initiate this seasonal celebration, commented on the event: “This is one attempt to help Christians participate in the Church’s celebration of the Lord’s coming at a local level. We hope the night helps to prepare those coming for their celebration of Christmas.”

The setting of the Advent Stations will be in a dark church with many candles near the sanctuary. Readings and short preaching will alternate with hymns, chant, and polyphony music traditional to the Advent season. The night will conclude with a candlelit procession to a Marian altar in the church to venerate a piece of the original manger of Christ’s nativity in Bethlehem.

For a night of light
With wax candles all burning
For types and figures of Christ
Worth their lessons in learning

Come to St. Dominic’s
On the thirteenth of December
To hear songs and short readings
That tie the Season together

If you will be in the DC area on the 13th, don’t miss the opportunity to prepare for Christmas with the Dominicans…

Here is a sneak preview of one of the “O” antiphons that will be used:

It’s certainly not a job or adventure. Maybe a calling…

These thoughts have weighed heavily on my mind for years, particularly since I’ve hitched my philosophical wagon to CMAA. However, what follows may affirm the suspicions that I’ve remained a stealth outlier since my joining up. Well, to thy own self…..

Open Metrical Psalm project and Beginners Guide to GitHub

It has been a little too long since I launched CMAA’s GitHub presence, and since then there has not been as much activity as I would have hoped. We’re all busy people, and I know it isn’t exactly apparent to everyone why or how GitHub (specifically) or…

“Simply Catholicism in All Its Fullness”

The answer is simply Catholicism, in all its fullness and depth, a faith able to distinguish itself from any cultures and yet able to engage and transform them all, a faith joyful in all the gifts Christ wants to give us and open to the whole world he …

Organists: The Next Generation

An article about the Church’s young organists.

Event Announcement: Monteverdi 1610 Vespers in DC

Next Saturday, November 15, Third Practice will perform Claudio Monteverdi’s exquisite 1610 Vespro della Beata Vergine in the context of the sacred liturgy in Washington, D.C.. The work will be performed alongside a new setting of the Litany of the Saints by Baltimore-based composer, Joshua Bornfield. This rare liturgical celebration of Monteverdi’s epic work has been made possible by a recent Kickstarter campaign.

Solemn Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be celebrated at 7.00 p.m. at Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian, 1357 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. Free parking is available at Public Charter School, 1503 East Capitol Street SE. A retiring collection will be taken.

More information is available at the Facebook event here.

Magnificat Monday: Gibbons

Workshop and Retreat – Ramona, CA

On Saturday, November 29, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Ramona, CA will offer a day-long workshop and retreat called Adventus Dona – Gifts of the Advent.The workshop will be divided into two parts – adult, taught by Dr. John Naples, and youth …

The New Evangelization in 3 Ways at Catholic University

Earlier this week I attended a wonderful lecture by Cardinal Müller, the Prefect of the CDF. It was a rhetorically beautiful lecture in an Augustinian style, repeating important points at intervals, in slightly varied ways, and with a certain development of thought.

My takeaway, based on these repeated points, was as follows:

  • Evangelization should have these four characteristics: it should focus on what is necessary, beautiful, grand, and persuasive. This framework is taken directly from the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, paragraph 35: “When we adopt a pastoral goal and a missionary style which would actually reach everyone without exception or exclusion, the message has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary.”
  • The work of the Magisterium should not be seen as extrinsic and above the communion of the faithful, but as one aspect of that communion and within it.

As I’ve mentioned before, there is another, ongoing series of lectures that might interest our readers, and that is the School of Philosophy’s annual fall series, which this particular year is devoted to philosophy and music. On a personal level, this series is important to me, not only because it combines two of my dearest interests, but because my undergraduate alma mater is considerably involved. The videos below show the first two lectures. The first is by a fellow alum of St. John’s College, who is now on the faculty of CUA’s School of Philosophy, and the second is by a faculty member of St. John’s.

By the end of both lectures, I was pretty well convinced that the very fact of polyphony has not yet been honestly faced as an ecclesial problem. It seems to me that as soon as our voices divide, there is an aspect of our song to God that is referred not only directly to Him, but also in reference to the others.

I don’t think that this is an insurmountable problem, but it does divide the directionality of liturgical, musical prayer. The question for me is whether that division must always be a distraction. Are we–or were we at Trent–sufficiently mature as a Church to sing with a voice that is divided but one? Are we, in fact, ready for communio?

I hope you enjoy the lectures. More to come.

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