Thursday, July 10, 2014




Has anyone noticed that since the new translation of Holy Mass began (Fall 2011) that you have not been singing the first line of the Gloria ("Gloria in excelsis Deo"/"Glory to God in the highest")?  That is no mistake.  In a well-written Gloria, the first line is an intonation, reserved for a cantor, or (preferred) the celebrant.  Thus the singing by the congregation starts with "Et in terra pax..."/"And on earth peace...".

Another habit by many parishes and composers is the use of a "responsorial Gloria", where the first line or two serves as a refrain for the people.  The Gloria settings we use, and will continue to use, are through-composed, that is, straight through, the way the Gloria was intended to be sung.

A typical musical structure of the Gloria is like a small suite of sorts.  It begins with the celebrant's intonation, and is sung joyously over a well-registered organ.  After all, the first section praises God the Father and his only-begotten Son.  When you reach "Qui tollis peccata mundi..."/"You take away the sins of the world", you'll notice a softening of the organ, and a much more legato (broader) sound.  That section is your "petition", asking the Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, to have mercy on us, to "receive our prayer".  Finally, the pompous "Quoniam tu solus Sanctus..."/"For you alone are the Holy One", where the organ and singing reach joyous levels, and increasing as we add the Holy Spirit into the mix and finalizing it with a grand AMEN!


- For the first time in a few weeks, we'll be working from the maroon hymnal.
- The people who attended the 7:30 and 11:15 Masses last Sunday got a taste of the new Gloria (Holy Angels Mass, written by yours truly in 2011) for the first time.  That, along with the rest of the sung Ordinary of the Mass (the Sanctus, Amen, and Agnus from Heritage Mass, by Owen Alstott, the Memorial Acclamation "We proclaim your death, O Lord..." from my aforementioned Holy Angels Mass) will remain the same throughout July and August (with the exception of the Fornelli Saints' Feast on August 16 at 5 PM).  The Alleluia (music by Owen Alstott) will also remain the same.

And now, the rest of the story (with all due respect to the late great Paul Harvey):

Entrance hymn: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, Maroon #279
Psalm 65: The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest, music by Owen Alstott
- music as written in the missalette for July 13.
Offertory hymn: Behold a Sower! from afar, Maroon #401 (Listen)
Communion anthem: Jesu, joy of man's desiring, music by Johann Sebastian Bach
- J.S. Bach's arrangement of an earlier German hymn tune, Werde Munter, that was written by Johann Schop, which we have sung with the hymn Come with us, O blessed Jesus.
Meditation hymn: Fairest Lord Jesus, Maroon #346, second tune (Listen)
Recessional hymn: O worship the King, Maroon #288 (Listen)