Browsing Worship Blog


Dear Partners in Ministry,

Happy 2024! I hope that these first three days of the year have been kind to you and that you've been able to recuperate after the Advent/Christmas whirlwind! I'm afraid the next whirlwind is spinning its way to us rapidly... Ash Wednesday is Valentine's Day this year.

Rehearsals: Back in business tomorrow, turn-in next week

We are back to rehearsal tomorrow night! in addition to preparing for the weekend, we'll do a listen/read of our two anthems for Triduum, and maybe take a first look at a Lenten seasonal piece as well.

Next Thursday (January 11), we'll turn in music from Advent and Christmas, including:

  • 2.013 · Psalm 98: Complete Setting
  • 3.074 · Blest Be the Star
  • 3.075 · Jubilate Deo
  • 4.012 · Emmanuel
  • 4.014 · The Angel Gabriel
  • 5.015 · O Tidings
  • 5.022 · Child of the Poor/What Child Is This
  • 5.054 · O Magnum Mysterium
  • 5.100 · Advent and Christmas Hymns

You can recycle these temporary pieces as well:

  • Luke 1: My Soul Rejoices
  • Psalm 105: The Lord Remembers

About those anthems...

It wasn't until I woke up from my post-Christmas-Day-Mass nap that I learned of the passing of a choral giant overnight, 98-year-old Alice Parker. The body of work she created— on her own and with her mentor, Robert Shaw— is vast, profound, and cherished. If you've sung in any type of choral ensemble, you've likely encountered one of her/their arrangments of folk songs, hymns, settings of poetry, and more from a repertoire exceeding 250 pieces. Parker and Shaw gave us several Lent and Easter gems (perhaps some of you remember singing "'Tis Finished!" with one of my predecessors), and, in her honor, I've chosen two works as our anthems on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Wondrous Love, their dramatic and haunting arrangement of this time-honored Southern Harmony classic, is a somewhat chromatic and sonorous tug at the heartstrings that will echo in our assembly's hearts long after the cutoff. The following night, we'll sing Hark! I Hear the Harps Eternal, an exuberant and energetic folk piece that exemplifies Parker's own spirit and skill. I plan on handing scores for both pieces out tomorrow night, and giving them a listen together before parting ways. Before then, please enjoy two recordings by the legendary Robert Shaw Chorale, available by clicking the titles of the works above.

Praying with, not at

On a different topic: I have an assignment for each of you this weekend, one that I assign myself often during the year. When we reach the Our Father, I'd like you to pray it very quietly—if not silently— and focus on listening to the prayer of the assembly. Listen to their pace, their cadence, their volume. Is the collective tempo and timbre of the assembly reflected in your personal cadence, and how are the two different?

I ask this of you beacuse I have noticed (as have some parishioners who've spoken to me) that, sometimes, there are a few of you whose volume is much louder, or pace much slower, than that of the assembly. While each of us certainly reserve the right to pray according to our true selves, the prayer of the assembly is something we are all called to take part in, and to foster for each other. For liturgical ministers—especially those amplified by microphones— the self-giving act of praying with the assembly, not at the assembly, is crucial. Think about what it would be like for a cantor to belt the refrain of a responsorial psalm at a wildly different pitch or tempo from the choir and assembly. At best, you'd assume the cantor is just out of touch with their role and the people they serve. At worst, you might wonder whether the cantor had a purpose for this, perhaps to insist on their cadence over that of the people!

You are all excellent ministers and very much attuned to the role we fulfill in the liturgy as servant leaders of song. You're also very good at being aware of blending our voices into one choral sound through listening, voweling, and other good singing habits. Starting with this little listening exercise this weekend, I'd ask you to work toward applying that same wonderful disposition to spoken prayer as well. Pray with the people, at their pace, their tone, their cadence. You're part of "people" too, and equally a manifestation of Christ present in the liturgy... since we are praying as one body, let's make sure we're praying with one voice.


Pick up:

  • TEMP · Ps 147: The Brokenhearted (Ward), if I'm able to finish the score in time; stay tuned...
  • 7.032 · Wondrous Love (arr. Shaw/Parker)
  • 8.013 · Hark! I Hear the Harps Eternal (arr. Shaw/Parker)

Weekend Rep:

  • JS 59 · Ps 72: Justice Shall Flourish/Lord, Every Nation (Cooney)    
  • 5.100-1 · ACH 1 · Angels from the Realms of Glory (REGENT SQUARE)      
  • 5.100-5 · ACH 5 · Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn)      
  • 5.100-17 · ACH 17 · The First Nowell (English carol)
  • 3.074 · Blest Be the Star (Willcock)                        

Lent/Triduum Rep: listening and reading along with our two Triduum anthems...

  • 7.032 · Wondrous Love (arr. Shaw/Parker)   
  • 8.013 · Hark! I Hear the Harps Eternal (arr. Shaw/Parker)

And maybe a discussion about Lent and Holy Week music this year.




Glory to God: 1.001 · Mass of Creation, Marty Haugen

Gospel Acclamation: JS 261 · Christmas Season Gospel Acclamation, Barbara Bridge

Prayer of the Faithful: JS 268 · O God, Hear Us, Bob Hurd

Eucharistic Acclamations: JS 248–253 · Mass of Glory, Ken Canedo and Bob Hurd

JANUARY 7· The Epiphany of the Lord

Gathering: BB 111 · ACH 1 · Angels, from the Realms of Glory (REGENT SQUARE)

Responsorial Psalm: BB 789 · JS 59 · Ps 72: Justice Shall Flourish/Lord, Every Nation (Cooney)   

Preparation of the Gifts: BB 95 · 5.022 · Child of the Poor/What Child Is This (Soper) 

Communion: BB 112 · ACH 17 · The First Nowell (English carol)

Postcommunion: [Choral] · 3.074 · Blest Be the Star (Willcock)       

Sending Forth: BB 102 · ACH 5 · Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn)

LOOKING AHEAD                       



Glory to God: 1.001 · Mass of Creation (Haugen)

Gospel Acclamation: JS 264 · Celtic Alleluia (O'Carroll/C. Walker)

Eucharistic Acclamations: 1.001 · Mass of Creation (Haugen)

Lamb of God: JS 789 · Lamb of God (Kendzia)

JANUARY 14 · Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gathering: BB 310 · JS 768 · Gather Your People (Hurd)           

Responsorial Psalm:  BB 776 · JS 43 · Ps 40: Here I Am/God, My God, Come to My Aid (Cooney)           

Preparation of the Gifts: BB 389 · JS 818 · Here I Am, Lord (Schutte)           

Communion: BB 480 · 2.010 · Shepherd Me, O God (Haugen)           

Sending Forth: BB 391 · JS 813 · City of God (Schutte)           

JANUARY 21 · Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gathering: BB 554 · JS 598 · Sing a New Song (Schutte)  

Responsorial Psalm: BB 762 · JS 28 · Ps 25: To You, O Lord (Soper)    

Preparation of the Gifts: BB 416 · JS 640 · Christ Before Us (SUO GÁN/Whitaker) 

Communion: WA · 3.059 · I Received the Living God (French carol, arr. Ward) 

Sending Forth: BB 387 · 3.026 · The Summons (KELVINGROVE/Bell, arr. Fisher)             


MUSIC SELECTIONS: Advent and Christmas (December 3, 2023–January 7, 2024)

MUSIC SELECTIONS: Ordinary Time I (Winter: January 14–February 11, 2024)





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