Dedications

Continuing my full circle post, I thought I’d share the dedications from Tomie dePaola books that I’ve found that reference the sisters at Abbey of Regina Laudis.

From The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris, illustrated by Tomie dePaola:

For the Benedictine communities of the Abbey of Regina Laudis and Weston Prioriy, especially Rt. Rev. Mother Benedict, Mother placid, Mother Dolores, Brother John and Brother Elias.

Also for Jack Shanhaar and in memory of Lauren Ford and Father Bede Scholz, who all taught me the Benedictine way: that my work is my prayer.

From Petook: An Easter Story by Caryll Houselander, illustrated by Tomie dePaola:

For Mother Placid, O.S.B., who knows about Easter.

And from The Song of Francis

For Mother Placid, O.S.B., who taught ME to sing,
and the Benedictine Community of the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut.

It’s All a Very Small Circle

Just filled with glee today thinking of all the connections!

Macbeth shared news item yesterday on Patricia Neal. I always knew she was Catholic and knew a little about her pro-life work, but this really filled in a bit of detail.

Macbeth said Roald Dahl wasn’t mentioned. Why Dahl? Where have I been? He was Patricia Neal’s husband. And we’ve been on a journey with Dahl these past few weeks, being introduced to James and the Giant Peach in a play. My son now has an insatiable appetite for all things Dahl. How thrilling to find that connection!

But also mentioned in the story is that Neal was brought back to her faith through the convent which actress Dolores Hart entered. That convent would be the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Mother Dolores’ uncle, by the way, was Mario Lanza, and she was close friends with Maria Cooper, Catholic daughter of Gary Cooper.

Mother Dolores is now the Abbess of Regina Laudis. These cloistered Benedictine sisters are well-known for their chanting Gregorian Chant. They have some recordings available for purchase which are just so beautiful. (Also their Gregorian Chant Master Class is super fabulous!).

But that gets me back to the full-circle to that Abbey in Connecticut–those wonderful contemplative nuns hidden behind the grille, but still so influential with those prayers! Within that full-circle is the connections of Sacred music and Gregorian Chant. I blogged last October about this wonderful picture book The Ageless Story by Lauren Ford, mapping all those wonderful connections with Ford, the Abbey, Justine Ward, and Gregorian Chant. (And how fun is it to see one’s article in print?)

Oh, and I found another connection this year that I keep forgetting to mention. Take a look at the dedications of some of Tomie DePaola’s books. The wonderful sisters at Regina Laudis have been super influential for him, also!

All this reminds me a bit of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, The Arrow and the Song:

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Published!

Although I’ve been writing a long time, it’s always a treat to get published in real print, not just the Internet.

The same day I mentioned being included in this article is the same day I received the Winter Issue of Sacred Music Magazine with my version of this post on Lauren Ford’s book, The Ageless Story.

I’m just a little excited and wanted to share my joy!

I’m Dreaming of Beautiful Advent Music…

Yesterday I roused myself to run an errand to a few craft stores. Our household is trying to recover from the swine flu but it’s been slow-going. I thought I had a bit of energy and wanted to use the opportunity of going solo, since dh was home. I emerged from our Quarantined Retreat and trudged out. I was seeking only a few items – a few birthday gifts for ds2 that were on sale and some materials for some Advent projects. I got the first item, but struck out on the rest.

It was my in these stores that I remembered how much I dislike piped-in Christmas carols when I’m shopping. Take note – it was only November 18 and the carols were playing. And I shouldn’t even use “carols” because most are not. Because we’re reduced to just “Happy Holidays” the songs in stores can’t mention the real meaning of “Christ-Mass”. It is just twaddly songs about Santa, Rudolf, being jolly, decking halls, getting everything I want. Yes, that last one is something I heard. Some male rock band was singing some song about making out a list, wanting everything, going to get everything.

If dragging myself out wasn’t going to cause a relapse, that song pushed me over the edge. Ugh.

And most of what I heard could be barely called “music”. I can’t even sing along to these pop artist renditions.

So, while I’m not opposed to Christmas carols in general before Christmas, I am opposed to being onslaught by what is I shall call “P.C. Holiday Listening” (P.C. standing for “Politically Correct”, for my non-American readers).

So, here are some of my thoughts. I want to choose music that is good, true and beautiful. I’ll phrase it this way – to counteract the PC Holiday Listening I am going to be EXTREMELY selective and picky about the music we shall listen to in Advent and Christmas. The places I do have control (which I do in my home and car) on what we hear, I can choose good music for us. I find my choices run pretty traditional, but also most of my choices are calm and peaceful. I think I unconsciously wield a counterattack on the PC Holiday Listening and the Holiday Panic that ensues outside. Plus, I want to continue my strategy of contrasting the liturgical seasons. It is not Christmas until December 25.

Here’s my plan in a nutshell.

  1. Emphasize more Advent chants and hymns to sing and to hear during the Advent season so my domestic church will reflect the Church’s Advent Liturgy.
  2. Hold off on Christmas carols until Christmas, or closer to Christmas. (We generally start the Christmas carols around the 3rd Sunday of Advent.)
  3. The carols and Christmas music will be deliberate, beautiful choices.

I’ve always hoped for a cd totally dedicated to Advent the hymns, and I think this year I finally found some. I’m still working with the old-fashioned stereo, with physical cds and records. One of these days I’ll graduate to an .mp3 player, but I only want one if I can play it through my car speakers and have some decent speakers to play for the whole family to hear – which all costs more. So, I work with what I have. But I will say, with the .mp3 technology it is so easy to come up with an Advent playlist for the family. There is very little excuse to NOT have Advent music playing in the home.

I first want to start with the Sunday introits. I loved Jeffrey Tucker’s 2006 post Ad Te Levavi, making the point of having these so familiar. That is my aim — hearing the different chants will bring them into the spirit of the liturgy with the corresponding liturgical season. We might not be singing it this year, but we will become familiar by hearing them.

The Introits are the Entrance Antiphon of the Mass, part of the propers of the Mass. These are found both in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Traditionally the Sunday Mass was called by the first words of the Introit. While there are other propers, I thought just playing at least the Sunday Introits throughout the week would help gain the familiarity of the liturgy, and also keeping Sundays the focal point. I’ve included the text and translation of the four introits below.

  1. First Sunday of Advent: Missa Ad Te LevaviIntroit: To you, my God, I lift my soul, I trust in you; let me never come to shame. Do not let my enemies laugh at me. No one who waits for you is ever put to shame. Psalm 25:1-3 (Roman Missal)

    Ad te levavi animam meam: Deus meus in te confido, non erubescam: necque irrideant me inimici mei: etenim universi qui te exspectant, non confundentur.

    Ps. Vias tuas, Domine, demonstra mihi: et semitas tuas edoce me.(Graduale Romanum).

  2. Second Sunday of Advent: Missa Populus SionIntroit: People of Zion, the Lord will come to save all nations, and your hearts will exult to hear his majestic voice.(Based on Isaiah 30:19,30, Roman Missal)

    Populus Sion, ecce Dominus veniet ad salvandas gentes: et auditam faciet Dominus gloriam vocis suae, in laetitia cordis vestri.

    Ps. Qui regis Israel, intende: qui deducis velut ovem Ioseph.(Graduale Romanum)

  3. Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday): Missa GuadeteIntroit: I exult for joy in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God; for he has clothed me in the garment of salvation and robed me in the cloak of justice, like a bride adorned with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 (Roman Missal)

    Gaudens gaudebo in Domino et exsultabit anima mea in Deo meo: quia induit me vestimentis salutis, et indumento iustitiæ circumdedit me, quasi sponsam ornatam monilibus suis.

    Ps. Exaltabo te, Domine, quoniam suscepisti me: nec delecasti inimicos meos super me.(Graduale Romanum)

  4. Fourth Sunday of Advent: Missa Rorate CoeliIntroit: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near. Philippians 4:4-5 (Roman Missal)

    Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete: modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum.

    Ps. Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Iacob.(Graduale Romanum)

With some recommendations from members at Musica Sacra, I tracked down a few recordings that contain only Advent chants. There are multiple recordings, but these cover most of the introits and the few Advent chants I’d like to play. I’m offering a variety of choices, and I’m sure there are more out there:

Following the example from this post on Ad Te Levavi, there are many different YouTube recordings of the various introits, including the 2nd Sunday’s Populus Sion. Plus, there are loads of various recordings to find online of the chant.

For Advent hymns, here is my short list of favorites.

  • Veni, Veni, Emmanuel (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)
  • Rorate Coeli
  • Creator alme siderum (Creator of the Stars at Night)
  • Alma Redemptoris Mater
  • People Look East
  • On Jordan’s Bank
  • Lo, How a Rose ‘Er Blooming
  • Saviour of the Nations, Come
  • O Come Divine Messiah

Last year we sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel at the lighting of the Advent Wreath. I’d like the boys to learn “People Look East” and “Creator alme Siderum” this year. I’m not aiming for perfection with words, but familiarity with the tunes.

Two free downloadable books that can help children learn the Advent tunes are available from Musica Sacra

I have talked about these resources before. I also reviewed a beautiful old picture book that gives a message of why we choose Gregorian chant.

Since the Christmas season extends until January 10, we’re not at a loss for time to hear our favorite records and cds. We do compromise and play some Christmas carols before Christmas, but I try to wait until Gaudete Sunday, when liturgically we are given a glimpse that Christmas is near. Everyone’s taste is individual in music. I know mine runs a little more old-fashioned and traditional. Some of our favorite cds are by the Cambridge Singers, Deller Consort, the Chieftains, the Trapp Family Singers, Notre Dame Glee Club, and a bit of Bing Crosby. I also play versions of the Nutcracker Suite and The Messiah and lots of Christmas chant, too.

If you were to ask me my ultimate favorite cd it would be by the Deller Consort, “Hark Ye Shepherds”. Unfortunately the individual cd is not available, but the fabulous collection Complete Vanguard Classics: Music For The Christmas Season Alfred Deller has been reissued. Ask any of my 6 siblings – we LOVE the version of People Look East. None surpasses this.

Some other of our favorite recordings that we listen to over and over:

So that’s my music plan.

  1. Emphasize more Advent chants and hymns to sing and to hear during the Advent season, to more closely unite our domestic church with the Church’s Advent Liturgy.
  2. Hold off on Christmas carols until Christmas, or closer to Christmas.
  3. The carols and Christmas music will be deliberate, beautiful choices.

May your Advent and Christmas season be filled with beautiful music to help prepare your hearts for Christ’s coming..

The Ageless Story

FordNativityI recently acquired The Ageless Story: With Its Antiphons pictured by Lauren Ford, a slim children’s picture book on the boyhood of Christ, beginning with his grandmother, St. Anne. Printed in 1939 by Dodd, Mead, and Company, Inc., it was the Caldecott Honor Book in 1940 as the most distinguished American picture book for children for that year. I was enjoying other works by Lauren Ford and saw that a description of The Ageless Story mentioned Gregorian chant antiphons. Gregorian chant in a book with a secular award? This I had to see for myself.

FordAnnunciationThe book is rare, but it’s a gem. I have an ex-library copy, lacking a dustjacket and a little worn on the binding, but the pictures are gorgeous and full-color, and yes, there are Gregorian Chant antiphons. The music itself is also a work of art, with the chant hand-calligraphed, with gorgeous illuminated Initial Capitals. The Chant is Solesmes style, with the front matter explaining “Grateful Acknowledgement is made to Société de Saint Jean L’Evangeliste for permission to use rhythmic signs of Solesmes.” I couldn’t find any images of the chant, but did find a site that had a few of her illustrations from this book. My scanner isn’t working yet, so I couldn’t share any here.

However, I wasn’t excited only because of the illustrations in this book. It was the introductory letter that really grabbed me:

Dear Nina,

This book is dedicated to you because you are my goddaughter and godmothers are made to bring everything that there is about God to their godchildren as far as they are able.

Of course, you know the story of the boyhood of Christ in the Bible, the most beautiful story in the world. I have copied this music and painted these pictures because they make it come real.

The music is called Gregorian music. It is the true music of the church. It very nearly got lost and it pretty badly got spoiled and this is the reason why—

If you want to know, it is the reason why everything gets spoiled. It was pride that spoiled it. There came a time in the turning of this funny world when men became very pompous (that time is called the Renaissance), when men went back to what the Greeks had done, and the Greeks were worshipers of the body. After that, Church music that you could sing and I could sing, and painting and architecture and all the beautiful things to do with God, lost their spirituality and became humanistic. That is why a Fra Angelico Blessed Virgin looks to be a Heavenly Soul and the Boy is all pure and kingly, while a Raphael one is just a good human mother with a good, fat baby boy.

Now the music again. That is why they wove patterns all around the simple music—because they thought it needed to be more grand. It was beautiful music but it all became so complicated that they had to have special singers to sing it and, just like the Raphael Madonnas, it became good, human music and gradually lost its spiritual quality. And it became so difficult that it moved upstairs into the organ loft and that is why you and I just sit downstairs and listen.

Don’t think that Gregorian music wasn’t sung any more. It was still sung in the Convents but the copyists became careless and forgot to put in the rhythmic signs so that it was wrongly sung and it all had to be discovered again.

One day a little boy, smaller than Denise, was walking along the river bank in Solesmes with his nurse. Every day he walked that way. And he saw the ruins of the great old Benedictine Monastery reflected in the river. Gradually the ruins became built up again in his mind until he grew up and became a monk, Dom Guéranger, and started to rebuild those ancient ruins. He found something else necessary, too. He began to rebuild the ancient music. It was hard work. Dom Pothier and others came to help him—and then Dom Mocquereau. The monks at Solesmes are still working on it. They found the old illuminated manuscripts—the very oldest ones. They had to compare them all. They sent the monks all over the world to copy them. An American lady that your Aunt Lauren knows came there. She studied very hard and she has made it possible for many children to learn it in Europe. Soon children in America will be singing it, too. You won’t be able to sit down at the piano and play it. You won’t be able to sing it yourself now either—but some day all the children will.

Gregorian music is not like the music you know. Even the scales are different. This isn’t the book to teach you how to sing them. You can get other books for that. This book will make you accustomed to seeing this music.

It hasn’t any chords and the words are very important. They can’t be translated because translation makes the words get out of place. This music is like the flight of a bird—on important words, like God or Mary, it will rise and hover in the air a minute as though it were holding its breath—and then come quietly down and slip off peacefully before you know it.

Now I want to tell you why I made the pictures as I did. You will see landscapes that you know, roads that you have taken, the Baby Jesus is born in the barn down the hill. It is because He belongs to you and me. He is living inside you and me. He is living inside our hearts, just as the barn is. A stable is a stable. If it isn’t the kind of stable we know, it doesn’t look like a stable to us. The barn that Jesus was born in would look like a cave to us but it looked like a stable to Him. If Jesus doesn’t look like a little boy, like the boy next door, He won’t seem like a boy to you and He won’t look real. He really wore a woolen dress, you know—like a girl to us, but a real boy’s suit to Him. But there is something an artist can do to keep him from looking just like a good, fat, little boy, and Christian artists have always done this thing. An artist can try to think about Him all the time. He can keep on thinking about his being God, and how God lends us everything we have—our talent, our paint brush, our life—how He gave us His own life, every bit of it, because He loved us. If an artist will try to do this, the Little Boy in the picture will look all pure and kingly and His Mother will look like a Heavenly Soul.

God bless your darling Heart.
Auntie Lauren

Bethlehem, Connecticut

Interesting notes on the humanistic Renaissance, and I would have to agree with that shift of focus. Raphael created beautiful works of art, but the focus was definitely different than Fra Angelico. While so much was so much good that came out the Renaissance, I do tend to prefer the medieval mind. (She has such wonderful thoughts on how to keep pride out of being an artist—all for the honor and love of God!)

I love the way she describes the chant; her words paint brilliant sketches that enable the reader to understand just how chant should sound. But it’s her account of the monks at Solesmes and the American Lady that surprised me most. How wonderfully she describes those monks at Solesmes and their sacred work. The “American lady” she mentions—it has to be Justine Ward. (More on her at Wikipedia.) These people are among the Who’s Who in Sacred Music and the Liturgical Movement! Years ago I was introduced to Justine Ward through the Ward Method (and have talked about it here several times), and here is Ms. Ward in a children’s picture book. Amazing!

Bethlehem, Connecticut, is the home of Regina Laudis, a Benedictine Abbey of contemplative nuns, and they are known for their art and for Gregorian chant. Was Lauren Ford influenced by these sisters? With a little searching found the artist took the founding sisters in her home before the abbey was built. Ever watch the movie Come to the Stable with Loretta Young? is the cinematic rendition of the foundation of that abbey! More information found in the book Mother Benedict: Foundress of the Abbey of Regina Laudis by Antoinette Bosco.

From the aforementioned book Mother Benedict I found that Lauren Ford was an Oblate of the Benedictine Abbey of Solesmes and had been to the Abbey in France several times. Since the book was published in 1939, seven years before Mother Benedict came to America and founded the abbey, the connections with Solesmes and Justine Ward were formed before she met the sisters. In fact, that is how the artist came to host the sisters. Justine Ward was a friend of Lauren Ford, and she also helped establish the abbey. And if I had read Mother Benedict (it’s on my shelf), I would have learned this earlier.

From a gallery biography, I learned a little more about the artist/author/illustrator. Lauren Ford was sent to France with her uncle at the age of 9 to study painting. “Uncle Lawrence’s tutelage, the medieval art of France, and the magic of the liturgy and Gregorian chant of the monks of Solesmes, began to shape young Lauren’s artistic and spiritual development. She would eventually become a Catholic, taking simple vows as a Benedictine Oblate, and an aesthetic and spiritual force for good through her art and philanthropy.”

After reading so much by Justine Ward and other writers in the early Liturgical Movement about the primacy of Gregorian Chant, seeing the music texts that were used in all the parochial schools, I can’t help but wonder what happened? Lauren Ford was sharing a vision of so many others in the Liturgical Movement, that “Soon children in America will be singing it, too. You won’t be able to sit down at the piano and play it. You won’t be able to sing it yourself now either—but some day all the children will.” Were they close? Where did it fail?

I do pray and have high hopes that Justine Ward’s vision “That All May Sing”—especially “all the children”—will happen now with our new liturgical movement. One child at a time. And I’ll start with mine.

Before I finish, I thought I would list the antiphons contained in the book:

I Hodie egressa — Antiphon at the Magnificat, Second Vespers, December 8 (From the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

II Nativitas – Antiphon 2, Vespers, September 8. (From the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

III Virgo prudentissima — Antiphon Magnificat, First Vespers, August 15. (From the Assumption)

IV Ave Maria — Antiphon 2, Vespers, March 25. (From the Annunciation)

V Intravit — Antiphon 2, Vespers, July 2. (From the Visitation)

VI Hodie Christus — Antiphon Magnificat, Second Vespers, December 25. (From the Nativity of Our Lord)

VII Hodie beata — Antiphon Magnificat, Second Vespers, February 2. (From the Purification)

VIII Vidimus — Antiphon Communion at Mass, January 6. (From the Epiphany)

IX Crudelis Herodes — First verse Hymn, Vespers, January 6. (From the Epiphany)

X Puer Jesus — Antiphon Magnificat, Second Vespers. (Sunday within the Octave of Christmas)

XI Post triduum — Antiphon 1, Second Vespers, Holy Family. (Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany)

XII Descendit Jesus — Antiphon 3, Second Vespers, Holy Family. (Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany)

I know this book is expensive, so I’m not advocating running out and buying a used copy. But do see if you can borrow a copy from your library, even through Inter Library Loan. It’s a treasure to see how the Liturgical Movement was extended to all of culture of society—even to a beautiful child’s picture book.

St. Pius X and Sacred Music — Where are we now?

Today is the memorial of Pope St. Pius X, who was pope from 1903 to 1914. Two notables from his papacy: changing the age of reception of First Communion from 12 or 14 to the age of reason, around the age of 7. He also issued the Motu Proprio Tra le sollecitudini which gave directives on sacred music, and also the first time the pope used the term actuosa participatio (active participation) of the people during the celebration of Mass. This document really launched the Liturgical Reform movement.

Over the years I’ve been really influenced by many wonderful writers of the Movement, such as Dom Gueranger, Virgil Michel, Martin Hellriegel, Gerald Ellard, Justine Ward, Therese Mueller, Florence Berger, Romano Guardini, and many more. See this wonderful Hillenbrand Exhibit to see a little summary of the Liturgical Movement (HT: Sacred Miscellany).

Rereading some of the directives by Pius X, I can’t help but groan.

3. These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently, the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries…

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for the Church approaches the Gregorian form in its movement, inspiration and savor the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.

The Church hasn’t veered from holding up chant as the ideal. But over 100 years later it seems that we stepped even further back from the ideal of sacred music. (See Liturgical Music Documents and music articles. I do see that chant is making a “comeback”, as seen just through the work of Musica Sacra, Church Music Association of America. It is a slow process, but not hopeless.

And I’m not powerless. I can make a difference, starting at home. Just baby steps will work — playing chant recordings, especially parts of the Mass, so then there can be the active participation. And then how about teaching how to read and sing chant properly? Musica Sacrais a goldmine of chant treasures. Justine Ward gave such a gift on teaching children music through Gregorian Chant. I don’t have the time to wax eloquently or intelligently on chant, but I did want to pass on these particular resources. I’ve passed on quite a few of my personal copies to help Musica Sacra scan and share these treasures.

Many of these books can be purchased online.

I think Gregorian Chant Masterclasstaught by Theodore Marier with book and cd is one of the best instructions. It is also available here.

And the Parish Book of Chant is the perfect, inexpensive chant hymnal for any parish or family. And some of these chants have been put on YouTube for further aid!

I’ve run out of time. I’m trying to work out a plan to teach my son in our daily schedule a bit of chant instruction. Having done it before in group or classroom settings this will take some adjustments and tweaks. But I’m looking forward to it. We’ll implement reform one neum at a time.

Saint Pius X, pray for us!

All Souls’ Day

Today is the feast of All Souls, or the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. We had a beautiful Sunday (Novus Ordo) Mass which included the priest wearing Fiddleback Black vestments, liberal use of incense, and the choir singing the chants to the Introit (Requiem) and Communion (Lux Aeterna). I don’t attend Mass to “feel fulfilled” but it’s always nice to have a beautiful Liturgy that nourishes all the senses.

Our parish always hangs scrolls with the name of the parishioners that have died in the past year. This year is particularly hard to read without tears, as beautiful souls from our Seton community are listed there: Michael Pennefather, Thomas Vander Woude, and Carol Jones.

I’d love to attend tomorrow evening’s Mass of All Souls from the 1962 Missal which will include chant. A sung Tridentine Mass is something our church has not witnessed in 40 years! But it’s at 6:00, not a good time for our family.

I love November and the focus on praying and offering sacrifices for the Poor Souls. It’s the time of year I feel more closely united with the Mystical Body. For November 1 through the 8th we try to add daily Mass and a visit to the cemetery to gain a plenary indulgence for the Poor Souls. I wrote this summary of Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November to remember all that we can do to help the Poor Souls. There is also from the Book of Blessings Visiting a Cemetery on All Souls Day, Memorial Day, or on the Anniversary of Death or Burial.

I mentioned before the Requiem music we are listening to this month. I just added a new cd because of this review. Chant: Music for the Soul is sublimely beautiful, and a wonderful addition to our November listening. I am still looking for a good recording of the Dies Irae, though.

Eternal Rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Requiem

When a friend of mine asked me to recommend a recording of a Requiem Mass, I was at first puzzled by her question, and asked her for specifics. There are all sorts of Requiem Masses, did she mean one by a composer or a Gregorian Chant recording?

Now I know why she asked the question. I finally had time to open up my Good News Planner. The Gregorian Chant Requiem Mass is the project for November, the month of All Souls.

I did notice there are a few missing pieces of information on these pages, so it might be harder to track down examples of the chant (as per the instructions “Obtain a recording of the Gregorian Chant Requiem Mass.”)

First of all, the Requiem Mass is also called Missa Pro Defunctis, or Mass XVIII, with Kyrie B being used. The Requiem is the Introit, or Entrance Antiphon of the Mass, and the Lux Aeterna is the Communion Antiphon.

Some of these parts of the Mass chants were collected and used in the Masses called Jubilate Deo and Missa Primitiva. Lucy E. Carroll explains: “In the wake of the [Vatican] Council, certain chants were culled from the great repertoire and put into a little book called Jubilate Deo. The easiest Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus were put together into a Missa Jubilate Deo. The same Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus, with a different Gloria, became known as the Missa Primitiva.” This was to bring back Gregorian Chant, and give a mininum repetoire of chant every Catholic should know.

Jubilate Deo contains:
Kyrie from Mass XVI
Gloria from Mass VIII
Credo III
Sanctus from Mass XVIII
Agnus Dei from Mass XVI

Missa Primitiva contains:
Kyrie from Mass XVI
Gloria from Mass XV
Credo I
Sanctus from Mass XVIII
Agnus Dei from Mass XVI

The Mass numbers are from the Liber Usualis. This is hard to find, so a 1961 version can be downloaded here. The Liber Usualis is really overwhelming for a beginner starting chant, so that’s the reason for these masses.

I found two good recordings of the entire Requiem Mass:

Gregorian Requiem by Gloriæ Dei Cantores Schola. You can preview the cd at Amazon.

The second is an older but very beautiful recording by the Monastic Choir of St. Peter’s Abbey, Solesmes, Requiem Mass. You can’t go wrong picking anything by the the Monks of Solesmes!

If you already have the Adoremus Hymnal 4 cd set the only chant missing is the Communion antiphon, Lux aeterna.

I also found Gregorian Chant – Requiem Mass which sounds wonderful, but I’ve never heard of this site, so I’m a little hesitant.

There are free recordings in .mp3, this page has the various masses from the Kyriale and these are the masses for the Liturgical Year. Choose either Mass XVIII or All Souls Day mass. But again, the communion antiphon isn’t included.

If I find the Lux Aeterna online, I will post the link. Or if someone else finds one, please let me know!

Hope this helps, Marilyn!