Links, Radio and More...

DO Playing Keyboard

Practice and learn your chant on a virtual keyboard.


Singing at Communion

Ave Verum for Congregational Singing at Communion


Ward Method Sol Fa Gestures

A Beginner's Guide to Reading Gregorian Chant

The Parallel Mass Project

While the typical US Catholic congregation will have members who are not willing to sing the Mass Parts - Ordinary - in Latin...there is an additional difficulty to deal with, the issue of education.  Just like horses and water, you may offer classes and special rehearsals...but the people that come tend to be people that are already horses returning to the water holes they know, rather than searching out new ones...

The largest objection is that people do not understand the words they are singing.

Even so we have noticed that at our church:

1. Weakest singing is at Communion - people are not singing at all
2. Hymn singing shows lots of people standing there, waiting for it to be over
3. The strongest singing is on the Latin Sanctus and Agnus Dei and responses

The reason is repetition...the greatest number of people sing the Latin responses, after singing them week after week.

How do we get them  to sing the great Hymn of the Church, the Gloria...and later on the Credo?

Beauty and the Roman Liturgy

Top 10 Unknowns about Sacred Music

 By Jeffrey Tucker 

The music of the Mass is not of our choosing; it is not a matter of taste; it is not a glossy layer on top of a liturgy. Liturgical music is embedded within the structure of the liturgy itself: theologically, melodically, and historically.

            Hymns are not part of the structure of Mass. Nothing in the Mass says: it is now time to sing a hymn of your choice. Hymns are permitted as replacements for what should be sung but only with reservations.

            The sung parts of the Mass can be divided into three parts: the ordinary chants (which are stable from week to week), the proper chants (which change according the day), and the priests parts that include sung dialogues with the people.

            The music of for the Mass is found in three books: the Kyriale (for the people), the Graduale (for the schola), and the Missale (for the priest).

            To advocate Gregorian chant is not merely to favor Latin hymns over English ones, because chant hymns make up only a small portion of chant repertoire. It is to favor a sung Mass over a spoken one, and to favor the music of the Mass itself against substitutes.

The people, however, are always involved actively....

Redemptionis Sacramentum

[54.] The people, however, are always involved actively and never merely passively: for they “silently join themselves with the Priest in faith, as well as in their interventions during the course of the Eucharistic Prayer as prescribed, namely in the responses in the Preface dialogue, the Sanctus, the acclamation after the consecration and the “Amen” after the final doxology, and in other acclamations approved by the Conference of Bishops with the recognitio of the Holy See”.[133]

[57.] It is the right of the community of Christ’s faithful that especially in the Sunday celebration there should customarily be true and suitable sacred music, and that there should always be an altar, vestments and sacred linens that are dignified, proper, and clean, in accordance with the norms.


Divini Cultus

Divini Cultus
On Divine Worship
Pope Pius XI

    Encyclical promulgated on December 20, 1928

    Since the Church has received from Christ her Founder the office of safeguarding the sanctity of divine worship, it is certainly incumbent upon her, while leaving intact the substance of the Sacrifice and the sacraments, to prescribe ceremonies, rites, formulae, prayers and chant for the proper regulation of that august public ministry, whose special name is "Liturgy", as being the eminently sacred action/

    For the Liturgy is indeed a sacred thing, since by it we are raised to God and united to Him, thereby professing our faith and our deep obligation to Him for the benefits we have received and the help of which we stand in constant need. There is thus a close connection between dogma and the sacred Liturgy, and between Christian worship and the sanctification of the faithful. Hence Pope Celestine I saw the standard of faith expressed in the sacred formulae of the Liturgy. "The rule of our faith", he says, "is indicated by the law of our worship. When those who are set over the Christian people fulfill the function committed to them, they plead the cause of the human race in the sight of God's clemency, and pray and supplicate in conjunction with the whole Church".




1. This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church. The Council therefore sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy.

III. The Reform of the Sacred Liturgy

21. In order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of graces from the sacred liturgy, holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become unsuited to it.

US Bishops Advisory Music Document Released

bishop"Greetings from the bishops of the United States to priests, deacons, liturgists, music directors, composers, cantors, choirs, congregations, and faith communities throughout the United States. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”1 It is our duty and our joy as shepherds of the Church to guide and oversee liturgical song in each particular Church. Liturgy is the source of the Church’s prayer and action, and the summit by which our lives and all our ministries ascend to the Father. Full Text....

Chaldean Chant played by Mr. Mishu

Chant takes many at 11:00 Mass Mary Weaver sang the Gregorian Communion Chant for today's Feast of Christ the King...and Mr. Fuad Mishu then played a Chaldean Chant on the violin. A visit to the website of the Department of State of the United States of American video about daughter Susan Mishu Dakak also gives background on Mr. Mishu as a musician and is worth a viewing:

.In Their Own Words: Lives of Iraqi Americans - US Department of State

Gregorian Chant - Chaldean Chant the source?

"Now the name of Linus or Osiris, as the 'husband of his mother,' in Egypt, was Kamut. 

"When Gregory the great introduced into the church of Rome what are not called the Gregorian Chants, he got them from the Chaldean mysteries, which had long been established in Rome; for the Roman Catholic priest, Eustace, admits that these chants were largely composed of 'Lydian and Phrygian tunes.'

 Lydia and Phrygia being among the chief seats in later times of those mysteries of which the Egyptian mysteries were only a branch. These tunes were sacred--the music of the great god, and in introducing them Gregory introduced the music of Kamut. 

And thus, to all appearance, has it come to pass, that the name of Osiris or Kamut, 'the husband of the mother,' is in every day use among ourselves as the name of the musical scale; for what is the melody of Osiris, consisting of the 'seven vowels' formed into a hymn, but--the Gamut?" (Hislop, Alexander, The Two Babylons, p. 22, Loizeaux Brothers.)

Pope Benedict XVI on Sacred Music

Compiled by the St. Cecelia Schola Cantorum

Significant church documents on the liturgy and the indispensable role of sacred music

Vatican II and after


Vatican II, 1963

112. The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy.

116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30. [excerpted below]

130. To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence.]

Harmonia Vocal Quartet

Our New Musical Friends

Our new friends-in-music, the Harmonia Vocal Quartet, will be singing one Mass a month for us, as well as joining with us as a Quartet on some special occasions...and what is bigger than the DEDICATION OF A CHURCH!

Mary Weaver will be singing with us whenever possible, and other members are free to drop in, however, they all are quite might hear Maria cantoring at Sacred Heart on a bi-weekly schedule on Saturday that'd be worth hearing!

Remember that Harmonia is a professional group and that they are busy making their way in music and have other commitments to honor, so they will not be around all the time....but let's enjoy them when they are here.


Amen, Dico Vobis ~ HVQ at SJN

Harmonia Vocal Quartet sings Amen Dico Vobis at SJN Mass • Gregorian Chant

"Amen I say unto you, all things, whatsoever you ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive: and they shall come unto you.”