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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Music for the Year of the Priest

A very timely article from Gary Penkala at CanticaNova:

Choral music relating to the priesthood

  • Behold My Servant An ordination anthem in distinctly British "cathedral" style, written for SATB choir and organ, with a part for Treble choir that can be taken variously by sopranos and tenors if no trebles are singing. The text is from Isaiah 42.
  • Bone Pastor, Panis Vere The last two stanzas of the Corpus Christ sequence, Lauda Sion set for SATB choir, a cappella. The music is mostly homophonic in texture and well within the grasp of any good church choir.
  • Complete Thy Work A beautiful 19th century text by the great English Catholic theologian John Henry Cardinal Newman, set in Edwardian style. This unaccompanied anthem for SATB voices, show superb voice-leading in a style reminiscent of Edward Elgar or Charles Villiers Stanford.
  • How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings Fair Psalm 84 ["How lovely are thy dwellings fair! O Lord of Hosts, how dear Thy pleasant tabernacles are, Where thou dost dwell so near."] is used in the Lectionary for the Dedication of a Church or Altar, for Holy Orders, for the Profession of Religious, and for the Mass for Vocations. Any of these occasions would be a perfect opportunity for this setting, as would any Mass or service with a vocations theme.
  • Pastoral Processional An effective opening for any celebration of priestly service (ordinations, anniversaries). It has traditional elements (Latin verses, eloquent English verses, themes from Gregorian chant) but is crafted in a responsorial idiom so as to be useful in modern liturgies.
  • Simon, Son of John An interesting setting of the dialogue between Christ and Saint Peter found in John's Gospel. Particularly appropriate on the Third Sunday of Easter (C) where this passage of John's Gospel is read, Simon, Son of John may also be used for ordinations, on any feasts celebrating Peter or the apostles, Masses for the pope or the bishop, or liturgies with the theme of service and dedication.
  • Serve God in Love A processional inspired by one of the Roman Pilgrimage Churches, with appropriate texts in English, Italian and Latin. Serve God in Love was inspired by the Basilica of Saint-Lawrence-outside-the-Walls.

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