Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tridentine Community News - Diocese of Marquette, MI, issues new norms for Sacred Music; BBC Radio on demand recording of EF Vespers at London Oratory; TLM Mass times

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (January31, 2016):
January 31, 2016 – Sexagésima Sunday

Diocese of Marquette, Michigan Issues New Norms for Sacred Music

Former Diocese of Marquette, Michigan Ordinary, [Arch]bishop Alexander Sample, now Archbishop of Portland, Oregon, is well-known for his devotion to the Sacred Liturgy in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. One of his most significant acts as bishop of that diocese was the publication on January 21, 2013 of “Rejoice in the Lord Always”, a pastoral letter on Sacred Music which explained the sorts of music that are appropriate for Holy Mass.

Current Marquette Ordinary, Bishop John Doerfler has expanded upon that work with the publication this past Tuesday, January 26 of “Sing to the Lord, All the Earth! An Instruction on Sacred Music in Divine Worship”. Targeted at celebrations of the Ordinary Form, the document directs that all parishes in the diocese will, by December 31, 2020, implement a series of norms, highlights of which follow:
  • All parishes and schools will learn to chant the Ordinary parts of the Mass in English that are found in the Roman Missal, and they will be sung by the congregation some of the time throughout the year.
  • All parishes and schools will learn to chant the [Latin] Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei from the Missa Jubiláte Deo, and they will be sung by the congregation some of the time throughout the year.
  • All parishes and schools will learn to chant the Communion Antiphon in English to a very simple tone that everyone can sing, and the Communion Antiphon will be sung at every Sunday Mass. A hymn may be sung after the Communion Antiphon while the congregation is receiving the Blessed Sacrament.
  • A Diocesan Hymnal will be used to ensure the musical quality and doctrinal integrity of the Sacred Music. The hymnal will include a broad repertoire of hymns from classical to contemporary.
  • Once the diocesan hymnal is implemented, no other hymnal may be used.
Overall this is quite a commendable initiative, with the possible exception of the mandated hymnal. No one hymnal can ever hope to include all of the hymns suitable for the entire liturgical year. However, if the effort is to set a baseline standard to eliminate inappropriate music currently being used, then it is an understandable step. Poor quality sacred music is one of the main turn-offs and causes of desacralization of Catholic worship today. Conversely, requiring reverent and doctrinally sound music can only help to improve the Sensus Cathólicus of the faithful.

BBC Radio On Demand Recording of Extraordinary Form Vespers at the London Oratory

This column has many times made mention of the truly exceptional liturgical experience that is Vespers at the Brompton Oratory in London, England. A paid professional choir – among the best in the world – sings Vespers in the Extraordinary Form every Sunday at 3:30 PM, accompanied by a polyphonic Office Hymn and Magníficat. A gaggle of priests and brothers tend to the ceremonies in the sanctuary. The service concludes with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament [omitted in this particular broadcast], followed by a procession to a massive Side Altar dedicated to the Blessed Mother [photo below by Oratory Assistant Music Director Charles Cole], at which a polyphonic setting of the seasonal Marian antiphon is sung.

You now have the opportunity to listen to one of these magnificent Vespers services on-line: Through Sunday, February 21, 2016 a London Oratory Vespers broadcast is available at: If you appreciate sacred music, you will find much to enjoy in this recording. It’s the gold standard to which every other choir serving traditional liturgy can aspire.

The broadcast is part of the BBC’s Choral Evensong series, which features similar services from Catholic and Anglican churches across the U.K.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 02/01 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr)
  • Tue. 02/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
  • Tue. 02/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary) – Blessing of Candles and Procession precedes Mass
  • Fri. 02/05 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Sacred Heart of Jesus) [First Friday]
  • Sun. 02/07: No Mass at OCLMA/Academy of the Sacred Heart – Mass resumes at 9:45 AM the following Sunday, February 14
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for January 31, 2016. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

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