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:
Hello again! It’s currently late at night on Palm Sunday, April 1 here in Roma. This morning (after a light breakfast and the best coffee I have ever tasted), we departed early for 9:30am Mass at St. Peter’s square. I didn’t take many pictures of the Mass, of course, because I wanted to absorb as much of it as I could, spiritually. Looking at the world through a camera is no way to do that. Although, picture number four in the gallery below was pretty exciting to take! After the Mass, we walked around a bit before arriving at our lunch at Rossopomodoro, which was excellent. Then we made our way to the crypt of St. Josemaría, where there is no photography allowed. In other news, my broken Italian-Spanish language combo is improving, and has been useful when I need things like a restroom or some gelati.
My view at Mass in St. Peter’s this morning for Palm Sunday.
The ever-stylish Swiss guard uniform.
Swiss Guard shoes.
This is how close I was to my beloved Papa! Must have been five feet away when he processed through the aisle after Mass. I got to see his kind, grandfatherly smile as he reached out his hand to us as he was passing by, just seconds before I took the shot.
The Museo Nazionale di Castel Saint’Angelo
Just the friendly neighborhood Roman Centurion. (Rory?)
Me, down by the river in front of the Angelus bridge.
One of those cool exterior wall art display things that are all over the city.
Street sign on the way to the Villa Sacchetti (the women’s residence, above the crypt of St. Josemaria)
A puppy we passed by on the way! He was so nice, and very eager to say hi to me!
The exterior of Santa Maria del Popolo, which looks like it is kind of falling apart, but is an absolute treasure trove on the inside.
The main altar at S. Maria del Popolo, which was gorgeous, but is kind of outdone by its left side altar, where there was no photography allowed (but here’s one I found online), because it is home to two original Caravaggio paintings! (The Crucifixion of St. Peter, and the Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus)
The obelisk with heiroglyphics in the center of the Piazza del Popolo
Closer look at the Latin text at the base of the obelisk
Entrance to the Piazza del Popolo, as seen from the center.
The cobblestone streets, which are pretty, but kill your feet, and are probably slippery when it rains.
Initials of specific intentions I prayed for at the papal Mass and various chapels today: TLS, KJS, SMS, LEB, DAF, JCF, SLS, JLS, AL, BSL, TL, CSJ, and all my deceased family members.
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:
Looking up at the columns and statues that line the sides of St. Peter’s Square. Note the exceptionally beautiful weather.
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.
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.
A photo that does no justice to the Holy Spirit stained glass window behind the back altar.
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.
“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.
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.
Another shot of the outside of St. Peter’s.
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!
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.
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.