Monday, January 28, 2013


Just think!!! There are only two Sundays left of Ordinary Time.  Lent is coming very quickly.  For those less familiar with moveable dates, because Easter is early this year (March 31), a number of other feasts are earlier this year:
- Ash Wednesday
- Palm Sunday
- The Triduum (Maundy/Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday)
- Divine Mercy Sunday (Sunday II of Easter, traditionally known as Low Sunday)
- The Ascension
- Pentecost
- Post-Pentecost Solemnities (Most Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart)

This also means that there will be a few more numbered Sundays of Ordinary Time between Corpus Christi and Christ the King, just as there are less numbered Sundays this year between the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday.

And now, without further ado...

Music for Holy Mass

Hymn numbers for this day will be in the Red Worship hymnal.  Feel free to take advantage of the "Listen" links to familiarize yourself with a hymn, and, by all means, FEEL FREE TO SING OUT at Mass.  Even if you're still not sure of a tune, it will come to you.  Ever notice that the organ is usually "louder" (or at least "stronger") at certain points (excluding fanfares and postludes)?  Those louder points are usually to support (help, encourage, boost) the congregation's singing.  In the words of Jesus, "Have no fear, little flock". :)

Entrance hymn: 588 Love divine, all loves excelling (tune is the same as Alleluia! Sing to Jesus)
- (Listen)

Gloria (if sung): Mass VIII (in Latin)

Responsorial Psalm: I will sing of your salvation, music by Owen Alstott (missalette, page 55)

Alleluia: same as Sunday II

Offertory hymn: 617 Christ is made the sure foundation (Listen)

Sanctus through Agnus Dei: same as Sunday II

Communion anthem: 598 Ubi Caritas (We're singing this as an anthem, but the number is here if you would like to join in the refrain during Communion).  (Listen)

Meditation hymn: 605 O Jesus, joy of loving hearts (Listen)

Recessional hymn: 492 Jesus shall reign (Listen)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Music for Holy Mass

The numbers for today's hymn selections come from the Maroon hymnal.

Entrance hymn: 545 Hail to the Lord's Anointed.
- This hymn has two tunes.  However, we are using neither.  Instead we will use this more familiar tune, the same tune that we use for such hymns as The Day of Resurrection and Go, Make of All Disciples.  You will still want to refer to the hymnal for the sake of the words.  Just ignore the music.

Gloria: (if sung) Mass VIII, chant

Responsorial Psalm: Your words, Lord, are spirit and life, music by yours truly

Alleluia: music by Theodore Marier. (same as last Sunday)

Offertory hymn: 477 God himself is with us (Listen)
- We will be using verses 1, 3, and 4.  Verse 2 will be omitted.

Sanctus through Agnus Dei: same as last Sunday

Communion anthem: In thee is gladness, music by Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi
- Although the composer is Italian, the original title for this piece was in German: In der ist Freude.

Meditation hymn: 199 (First tune) Now, my tongue, the mystery telling
- The text here is a translation of the Latin classic Pange lingua gloriosi that was penned by Saint Thomas Aquinas.  The tune is the familiar Mode III chant, with a couple of very minor alterations. (Listen to the tune.  The Latin text is sung in the video linked here)

Recessional hymn: 537 Christ for the world, we sing (Listen)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Music for Holy Mass

You will notice three Marian hymns that are being sung this weekend.  The Gospel reading for today mentions the wedding feast at Cana, at which Mary (referred to by the evangelist John not by name, but as the "mother of Jesus") was present, and told the waiters to do whatever her Son tells them.

The numbers of today's selections come from the Worship hymnal.

Entrance hymn: 410 Songs of thankfulness and praise (which we sang as the recessional hymn last Sunday)

Gloria: (if sung) Mass VIII, chant

Responsorial Psalm: Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations, music by Royce Nickel

Alleluia: music by Theodore Marier.  (Listen)  (We sang this for a while about this time last year!)

- Side note: Theodore Marier was the founding headmaster of the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School, located at St. Paul's Church in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Dr. Marier was a great contributor to the Pius X Hymnal, published in 1953, and to the hymnal Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles, which started out as a parish hymnal, but copies were also sold to a handful of parishes (only a handful???) across the country.  Dr. Marier retired in 1986 and died in 2001, but his beloved Choir School and his musical legacy at St. Paul's and beyond lives to this day.

Offertory hymn: 404 Sing of Mary, pure and lowly (Listen)

Sanctus: Mass for Christian Unity, music by Jan Vermulst.  You'll recognize this one also, from about this time last year.

Memorial Acclamation: We proclaim your death, O Lord from Holy Angels Mass, music by yours truly.  Another one you'll recognize.  (Listen)

- Side note:  Holy Angels Mass is a Mass setting I wrote between the summer of 2010 and the spring of 2011, using the text with the most current Roman Missal translation which all parishes began on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011.  The music I used is a metrical adaptation of Mass VIII and the Jubilate Deo collection of Mass chants issued by Pope Paul VI in 1974.  If you go into YouTube and  type either "Holy Angels Mass" or my full name ("Brian Michael Page") in the search bar, you'll find three instances the Gloria from this Mass sung by the choir and congregation of St. Michael's Church in Stillwater, Minnesota.  If all goes right, I may introduce it here at Sacred Heart sometime. :)

Amen: the short two-fold Dresden Amen, which we sang at Advent, and at non-choral Masses during the Christmas season as well.

Agnus Dei: Mass for Christian Unity, music by Jan Vermulst.

(Click here to listen to Mass for Christian Unity.  The Sanctus is at the 2:34 mark, and the Agnus Dei is at the 3:53 mark.  You'll say, "Oh yeah!  I remember this!"  This will be the set for the next four weeks.)  ;)

Communion anthemCantate Domino Canticum Novum, by Vincent d'Indy (sung by trio).  Based on Psalm 96 (Vulgate 95), which is also this day's responsorial Psalm.  The chorus "Cantate Domino canticum novum; Cantate Domino, omnis terra", translates "Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth!"

Meditation hymn: 713 Ave Maria, chant, Mode I (Listen)

Recessional hymn: 702 Hail, holy Queen enthroned above



First in a series

That first hymn we sing - is it...
A) An opening hymn
B) A gathering hymn
C) An entrance hymn

If you answered "C", you are correct.  Traditionally known as the "Introit" (which is still the proper chant that begins the Mass), the "Cantus Introitus" translates as the "Entrance song", or more literally, the "Entrance chant".  It accompanies the procession of the celebrant (not "presider", that term may be a future topic) and the ministers.  In addition, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the edition that accompanies the current form of the Mass, calls it the "Entrance chant".  Think of this passage from Psalm 43 (Vulgate: Psalm 42) which reads in Latin: "Introibo ad altare Dei".  This translates to "I will enter unto the altar of God".  Some may remember this as part of the "Prayers at the foot of the altar" in the 1962 Roman Missal.

At one time, many were using choice "A", the "Opening hymn".  This could be partially correct, as it does open the Mass, but it doesn't have that effect that the "Entrance hymn" would have.

The choice farthest from the truth (and unfortunately a very popular term in many mainstream parishes and their "musicians") is "B", the "gathering hymn".  There is just no such thing.  First of all, realize the shift of focus here.  While the "Entrance hymn" refers to the entrance of the priest and ministers, the "gathering hymn" shifts the focus on the person in the pew.  In addition, if you're gathering while this hymn is being sung, you're most likely late for Mass.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


13 January 2013

Once again, a Sunday feast that falls on its traditional date!  Yes, in the traditional liturgical calendar (which, incidentally, is still observed when Mass is said in the Extraordinary Form), the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ is on the fixed date of January 13, which, well... just happens to fall on a Sunday this year.


So, without further ado, the music list for this final day of the Christmas Season (numbers refer to the red Worship hymnal):

Entrance hymn: 356 On Jordan's bank
- Although this familiar hymn falls in the Advent section of many hymnals, it's still very much appropriate for this feast.  After all, it echoes passages from the Gospel you heard a month ago, on the Third Sunday of Advent: "One mightier than I is to come....I am not fit to loosen the thongs of his sandals," spake John the Baptist.

Gloria: same as Holy Family

Responsorial Psalm: O bless the Lord, my soul (setting by Royce Nickel)
Alleluia: same as Holy Family

Offertory hymn: 412 When John baptized by Jordan's river
- Many of you who come to Mass at Sacred Heart regularly will recognize the tune.  It's the same tune that is used for the Eucharistic hymn Father, we thank thee who hast planted.  (Listen)

Sanctus through Agnus Dei: same as Holy Family.

Communion anthem: Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel (Psalm Tone 7c with alternating polyphony by yours truly.

Meditation hymn: 488 Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All

Recessional hymn: 410 Songs of thankfulness and praise
- Once again, you'll recognize the tune with another hymn.  This is the same tune as Easter hymn At the Lamb's High Feast we sing.  (Listen)


Thursday, January 3, 2013


First Friday - 4 January 2013 at 6 PM

Memorial: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Hymn numbers refer to the red Worship hymnal.

Entrance hymn: 376 Angels we have heard on high

Responsorial Psalm: All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God, music written by yours truly.

Alleluia: see Holy Family post

Offertory hymn: 392 Adeste Fideles (in Latin)

Sanctus: Mass XVIII

Mysterium Fidei: Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, et tuam resurrectionem confitemur, donec venias.  (See Holy Family post for translation, etc.)

AmenDresden Amen

Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII

Communion anthem: Puer natus in Bethlehem (Chant, Mode I)

Recessional hymn: 387 Hark! the herald angels sing

Peace, BMP