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April 2009

Vol. XV, No. 2

News and Views

Anthology: Chants and Polyphony from St. Michael’s Abbey | Liturgy Conference in Ireland | Sacred Music Study Sessions Scheduled | Italy Returns Church to Russian Orthodox

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Anthology: Chants and Polyphony from St. Michael’s Abbey

More good news on the sacred music front — this time a new chant CD, the second album recorded by the Norbertine Fathers in their small church in Silverado, California. The new album includes chants from the liturgy as well as Renaissance-era motets that are often sung at Easter, Pentecost, Christmas and other great liturgical feasts. Their earlier album, Christmas at St. Michael’s Abbey — Chants for the Three Masses of Christmas, was widely acclaimed.

The recording was done by Jade Music of Los Angeles, the record label of the choir of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, in Spain, whose CD famously topped the pop charts in the 1990s.

Daily classes in chant are a feature of the formation of the novices at St. Michael’s Abbey. Members of the abbey sing the choral office and Mass every day. The principal apostolate of the Norbertine Fathers is a preparatory school for boys. They are also involved in parish work, retreats, and writing and translating spiritual books.

All royalties received from the sale of this album are donated to the abbey’s expansion project — a major fund-raising project to construct a new abbey, prep school and housing, as the current complex has been found to be on geographically unstable ground.

For more information about the Norbertine monks and their recording, visit their web site: http://abbeynews.com/ Abbey-Store.html.

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Liturgy Conference in Ireland

“Benedict XVI on Beauty: Issues in the Tradition of Christian Aesthetics” is the title of the international conference to take place July 12-13, 2009 at the Sheraton Hotel on Fota Island, Cork, Ireland, sponsored by St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy.

The conference will be opened by Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, who will also deliver the principal address. The conference, chaired by Professor D. Vincent Twomey, SVD, will include speakers from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Among the speakers and their topics are: Ethan Anthony — “The Third Revival: New Gothic and Romanesque Catholic Architecture in North America”; Helen Ratner Dietz — “The Nuptial Meaning of Classic Church Architecture”; Father Daniel Gallagher — “The Liturgical Consequences of Thomistic Aesthetics”; Father Uwe Michael Lang — “Louis Bouyer and Church Architecture”; Joseph Murphy —“The Fairest and the Formless: The Face of Christ as Criterion for Christian Beauty”; Alcuin Reid — “‘Noble Simplicity’ Revisited”; Father Neil J. Roy —“The Galilee Chapel: A Medieval Notion Comes of Age”; Janet Rutherford — “Eastern Iconoclasm and the Defense of Divine Beauty”; and Duncan G. Stroik — “Image of Eternity: the Church Building as Anagogical”.

Further information and registration details are available by e-mailing colman.liturgy@yahoo.co.uk.

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Sacred Music Study Sessions Scheduled

Seminar for Priests, Seminarians on Missa Cantata

A seminar for priests and seminarians to learn the Missa Cantata (sung Mass) in the “extraordinary form” (1962 Missal) will take place at St. John the Evangelist Church in Stamford, Connecticut on April 28-30. Faculty for the seminar will be Father Scott Haynes, SJC, St. John Cantius in Chicago, and Scott Turkington, who is organist and choir director at St. John the Evangelist.

The seminar fee, which includes all sessions, course materials, morning coffee, catered lunches on Wednesday and Thursday, and cocktail receptions on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, is $155.

Details and registration form are available on the Church Music Association of America (CMAA) web site: http://www.musicasacra.com/stamford/

“Chant Intensive” Week

For a full week, June 15-19, a “Chant Intensive” workshop will take place on the campus of Loyola University, Chicago.

Chant expert Scott Turkington will instruct participants in study of the basics of Gregorian chant, then a detailed exploration of chant modes, interpretation of neumes (Gregorian notation), rhythm, and the style required by chant. Special evenings sessions cover chironomy (conducting) and the fine art of pointing and singing the psalms.

Details and schedule on the CMAA web site: http://www.musicasacra.com/intensive/

Sacred Music Colloquium

The week following the “Chant Intensive”, CMAA’s annual Sacred Music Colloquium will take place at Loyola University, Chicago, June 22-28.

The primary focus of the colloquium is instruction and experience in chant and the Catholic sacred music tradition, participation in chant and polyphonic choirs, nightly lectures and performances and daily celebrations of liturgies in both English and Latin. Participants will sing choral music that is integral to the Catholic faith.

Lectures and instruction will feature noted Church musicians including William Mahrt, Stanford University, president of CMAA; Horst Buchholz, choirmaster of the Denver cathedral, and conductor of the Denver Philharmonic; and Wilko Brouwers, director of the musical institute Ward Center Holland, and conductor of the Monteverdi Kamerkoor Utrecht. Chicago Cardinal Francis George will be the celebrant at the 10:00 a.m. Mass.

Attendance is open to anyone interested in improving the quality of music in Catholic worship — professional musicians, volunteer singers and beginners new to chant.

Info, registration on CMAA web site: http://www.musicasacra.com/colloquium/

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Italy Returns Church to Russian Orthodox

The Russian Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas in the Italian city of Bari was returned to the custody of the Patriarchate of Moscow at a March 1 ceremony. The keys to the church were presented by the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, to the president of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev.

A message from Pope Benedict XVI for the occasion was read by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop emeritus of Palermo. The message noted the history of this church, and the hope for unity among Christians. Pope Benedict stressed the ecumenical nature of the ceremony, saying that “this beautiful church awakens within us a nostalgia for full unity, and upholds our commitment to work for full union among all Christ’s disciples”.

The ceremony was originally scheduled for December 6, the Feast of Saint Nicholas, but was delayed by the death of Patriarch Alexis II. The new Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch Kirill, was elected January 27, and installed February 1, 2009.

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