Hello, new friends from my UNIV presentation!

St. Peter statue outside St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter statue outside St. Peter's Basilica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank you so much for your interest in Gregorian Chant in the Liturgy!  It makes me truly glad to see so many people of our generation drawn towards the chant and the heightened sense of the sacred that it lends to the Mass.  Bis Orat Qui Bene Cantat was a labor of love, and I’m eternally grateful to my benefactors Dr. Kathleen Glenister Roberts of the Duquesne University Honors College, Fr. James McCloskey of the Office of Mission and Identity, and Dean Edward Kocher of the Mary Pappert School of Music, without which my presentation to you would not have been possible.
Below I have posted, for your convenience, a link to the full text of my paper, the new and innovative chant resource The Simple English Propers, the congregational pew resource The Parish Book of Chant, and the website of the Church Music Association of America (CMAA).  I received several questions about how to go about introducing chant to a group that is unfamiliar with it.  If you are interested in making Gregorian Chant more available in your parish or diocese, these resources will take you far.  Nota bene: All Gregorian Chant and most of sacred polyphony is in the public domain, so downloading copies of it is always, always free.  Just like the rest of the best things in life.  If you’re really passionate about learning chant and how to teach it, I recommend attending the CMAA’s annual Colloquium.  I went last summer, and there I learned to read Solesmes notation (the most common chant notation, standardized in 1888) well, I learned about the different genres within chant and their position and function in the Liturgy, I learned how to conduct chant (very, very different from standard conducting), and I networked with people from across the USA and the UK who were much better educated about traditional Catholic music than I was.
I didn’t mean for this to turn into an advertisement for the CMAA.  But, it is what it is.  Without further ado, dear reader, your links:

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One thing I beg of the Lord, one thing will I ask: that I may live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Obviously, I didn’t stick to the original schedule of blog posting that I intended to.  I apologize for that.  After Sunday, my daily itinerary in Rome became very, very busy.  Due to our fast-paced schedule that involved walking/running almost everywhere on tough cobblestone streets, by the time I returned back to the hotel each evening I wanted to do nothing but to shower, take care of my poor feet, and go quickly to sleep.  Also I stopped having much of an Internet connection after the first few days.  While I could not remain digitally connected with you, dear friends and family, you were certainly with me in my thoughts and prayers.  At the end of this post I’ll let you know when and where I remembered your intentions, beginning on Monday where I left off.
Intentions:
Nota bene–These are the intentions I purposely listed for each day to not forget them.  I thought about and prayed for all of them at least twice, I’m sure, spontaneously at other times.  Your prayer requests really helped me to strengthen my faith, and my connection with all of you specifically and humanity in general as brothers and sisters.  Each and every one of you is so important in the eyes of God, and so is everyone you meet.  So thank you very much for allowing me to remember you on my pilgrimage.
Monday, April 2
Mass at the Catacombs of St. Callixtus
RCM, LEB, LR, MR, AR, MPR, AR, TFM, TM, NJM, ZTM, JEJ, ABJ, MIJ, GS, KMT, CM, BJL, SL, PL, RL, AJDS, Deacon MV, AC, JMW, AN, BSD, MCM(D)
Tuesday, April 3
Mass at Argogrande, a center of Opus Dei
MCG & mother, VPL, KM, Br. DDB and intentions, LD and intentions, Women of Grandevue (EM, LC, A, AA, L, GC), CAL, EL, FM, JMR, MM
Wednesday, April 4
Mass at Fraterna Domus (our hotel) and the Audience with our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI
AM, LK, ER, KM, SRM, PV, EW, LP and intentions, DD, MCG
Holy Thursday, April 5 and Good Friday, April 6
Focused on meditation of the day’s feasts/fasts and general intentions for the Pope, the Church, the world, and all souls.
Holy Saturday, April 7
AO, LET, ES, CF, JG, AR and intentions, JM, AJM and intentions, KSBS

Lord, I love the house where you dwell, the place where your glory resides.

This has been a very long day, and breakfast tomorrow is at 6:30, so I’ll try to make this as brief as possible.  Here is a small selection of the 74 photos I took today in Rome.  My flight landed at 8:30am, and I didn’t sleep very well on the plane, so I’ve pretty much been awake for three days.  But I got a second (or third or fourth…) wind when I beheld the beauty and vitality of this city.  A short description of the pictures, in gallery order:

  1. Looking up at the columns and statues that line the sides of St. Peter’s Square.  Note the exceptionally beautiful weather.
  2. The stairs and outdoor altar area of St. Peter’s, where we will be at Palm Sunday Mass tomorrow!  It will probably be decorated more at that time.
  3. I can’t believe my camera captured this gorgeous lighting decently.  I don’t need to describe to you how beautiful that view was, except to say that it took my breath away, as it was my first glance at the interior of St. Peter’s.
  4. A photo that does no justice to the Holy Spirit stained glass window behind the back altar.
  5. Another photo of the same stained glass window, with a better view of the surrounding area, but still no definition on the window itself.  I kept trying to get that shot right because it’s my favorite thing in the world, probably.
  6. “I saw water flowing from the right side of the temple,” and a mosaic of Pope John Paul II’s episcopal heraldry, on the drinking fountain.
  7. My Camelbak capturing the water from the right side of the temple!  I never knew plain water could taste so smooth and sweet as the water does here in Rome.  I half expected it to be dirty city water, but it tastes so fresh.
  8. Another shot of the outside of St. Peter’s.
  9. This is where the Pope lives!
Some of my favorite experiences of today were unphotographable — especially the tomb of St. Josemaría, where we had Mass, the tombs of Sts. Peter, Andrew, Paul, Bl. John Paul II, and other various Popes.  Enjoy the photos!  I will begin praying for all the intentions you’ve requested tomorrow morning at Mass.  Until tomorrow, good night!

The World is Quiet Here

Phase One of the jet-lag prevention strategy is underway.  I’m staying up all night and during my first flight in hopes that I will be able to sleep on the second, longer flight and wake up when we land in Rome in the morning.  It’s 5am EST, so the sun should be rising soon.  I actually love this part of all-nighters, when the whole world seems to be asleep–even on a busy college campus.  There’s a gentle hush over the city, with just the sounds of the trains and the few cars of commuters going to their crack-of-dawn jobs or home from night shifts.  In a few hours, I’ll go to the early morning Mass on campus (because why not?) and stop at the store for a few last-minute items before heading out to the airport.  Even though all my bags are packed, and I’m ready to go (name that song!), this trip doesn’t seem real to me yet.  I suspect it won’t seem real until I’m on the plane, or until I step onto Rome’s cobblestone streets amid the structures both ancient and modern, and breathe the Mediterranean air.

P.S. I’m still taking prayer requests.  The list is sizable, but I have an organization strategy by which I hope to give as much attention and prayer as I can to each individual intention.

Bis Orat Qui Bene Cantat

Illuminated Manuscript With Chant Neumes

Photo Credit: ffom.org

Good news, Internet people!  I received an email earlier this evening informing me that the paper I submitted to this year’s UNIV Congress in Rome has been selected to be presented at the conference!  So not only am I going to the Eternal City during the holiest week of the year, I also get to talk to some sort of audience there about one of my favorite things ever, Gregorian chant!  So now I guess I have to figure out what to say.  I heard a speaker once (the philosopher Alastair McIntyre) read an essay of his out loud to us, pausing every so often to engage us in discussion about the content.  I think that format could work for my paper, and I’m more than happy to get feedback so that I can really get to the issues my audience wants to hear about.  I’d love to hear what you think about that format, or if you have any other ideas.

The title of this post is the title of my paper.  It is a quote from St. Augustine and translates “He who chants well prays twice”.  You can read the whole paper here.  If you’re thinking, “I want to know what you wrote about, but I don’t want to read NINE WHOLE PAGES”, no problem!  Just read my abstract, posted below.  I’ll keep you all updated on my trip and such.  There will be plenty to write about.

Abstract
This essay by Kerri Sullivan seeks to make the reader aware that Gregorian chant is–and always has been–the cornerstone of Catholic music for worship.  It describes briefly the history of Gregorian chant and the Liturgy, then discusses the ways in which the chant is most befitting of the Mass.  This discussion is modeled on the description of the Mass’s meaning and purpose in the Second Vatican Council document Sacrosanctum Concilium.  The essay concludes with some practical suggestions for using music, especially chant, to re-invigorate Catholic liturgical worship today.  As the Mass is the “source, center, and summit of Christian life” (CCC 1324), Catholics have a solemn responsibility to ensure that it is celebrated properly according to the mission of the Church.  To safeguard this heavenly treasure for the benefit of souls, it is fitting to incorporate that music which has served the Mass so well for twenty centuries: Gregorian chant.
UPDATE: (Mar 6, 7pm)
I only have ten minutes to present this.  Guess it’s going to be another boring powerpoint without discussion, or perhaps a Prezi.