Saturday, January 29, 2005

Notes from the Music Guy XI

Oh, it's choiring time again...

The St. Clement Choir rehearses Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm. Sometimes we meet in the sanctuary, sometimes in the music room in the basement.

Do you like to sing? Can you carry a tune? Then join us! Ability to read music is helpful but NOT required.

We plan to start singing at Mass again on February 20th. During Lent, we'll sing at the scrutiny masses for the RCIA candidates and catechumens. For Holy Week, we'll be there for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Easter Vigil. Our ministry will continue through Easter Season and the feasts of Pentecost, the Body and Blood of Christ, and the Holy Trinity, rotating through the various mass times. Then we'll break for the summer.

We'll be accepting new members at rehearsal through February 23rd. Come for music, prayer, worship and fellowship. As always, the more the merrier.

May Christ be the song in your heart,


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Notes from the Music Guy X

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

This is one of the oldest Christmas songs that we still sing. Its Latin form, "Corde na­tus ex pa­ren­tis", dates to the 5th century. John Mason Neale, England's great translator of the 19th century, gave us the English words we know now.

The melody is a little newer than the Latin text: it's from the 11th century. We used it as our Sanctus (Holy Holy) for Advent, and we'll sing it again in Lent as our Memorial Acclamation and Great Amen.

O that birth forever blessèd, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bore the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

"Of the Father's Love" stands nearly alone among Christmas songs these days: no creche scene, no winter frost, no yule log, no shepherds or magi. Yet it contains stunning, powerful imagery, that brings home the importance of the coming of our Lord, reinforced all the more by the beautiful, simple chant melody that accompanies it.

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring, evermore and evermore!

May Christ be the song in your heart,