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Tag: Music

Training for Testimony is Missing in Many Parishes

August 2, 2017 4 Comments
Training for Testimony is Missing in Many Parishes

Catholicism has glorious liturgical and intellectual traditions, but because we have not excelled in training Catholics to give joyful witness to wonder of the Lord and our faith, they are among the best kept secrets around. In certain denominations, giving witness is a major focus, and congregants are well-trained for it both through personal testimony […]

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Finding the Church in a Bach Fugue

July 31, 2017
Finding the Church in a Bach Fugue

Many of you have likely read the classic description of the Church from the 1951 novel Dan England and the Noonday Devil, by Myles Connolly. It is a wonderful reminder that the Church is not an institution, but a Body, made up of members who, each in his own unique way, give witness to the […]

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What is Sacred Music? The History Is More Complex Than You Might Think

June 19, 2017 4 Comments
What is Sacred Music? The History Is More Complex Than You Might Think

Note to readers: The following article is long (3500 words). This is because I have been adding to it over the years as my research has continued. I am by avocation a church musician. Before my ordination, I was a Choir director and an organist. Like most of you, I have my preferences in the […]

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An Image of Grace in a Paul Simon Song

October 30, 2015 3 Comments
An Image of Grace in a Paul Simon Song

I’ve got my Gospel glasses on and my holy hearing aids in; I’m seeing and hearing God in strange places. There are several Paul Simon songs that bring holy thoughts to me, even if he didn’t mean them that way. One them is this one (followed by my commentary): When I was a little boy, […]

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For All the Saints – Reflecting on a Great Hymn of the Church

October 29, 2015 5 Comments
For All the Saints – Reflecting on a Great Hymn of the Church

As we approach the Feast of All Saints this Sunday, we do well to meditate on one of the great English hymns, “For All the Saints.” It is a wide and sweeping vision of the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. Its imagery is regal and joyful, its poetry majestic and masterful. A vivid picture […]

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The Sanctus – A Far More Remarkable Prayer than You Might Imagine. A Reflection on a Teaching of Joseph Ratzinger

September 13, 2015 3 Comments
The Sanctus – A Far More Remarkable Prayer than You Might Imagine. A Reflection on a Teaching of Joseph Ratzinger

What we call the Sanctus, or the Holy, Holy, Holy of the Mass is not one prayer or one acclamation, but two. And this fact presents a teachable moment for us as well as providing a defense of a practice that is often scorned by modern liturgists. The two parts of the Sanctus are as […]

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I Hear Music in the Air! – A Homily for Christmas

December 24, 2014 13 Comments
I Hear Music in the Air! – A Homily for Christmas

The mysteries of Christmas are many. Among them is the mystery of the music heard that night. The angels shouted the great declaration, “Glory to God in the Highest,” and creation takes it up as a song. But why this music? Is it merely window dressing, or does it disclose a mystery to us? Is it merely […]

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What is Sacred Music? Historically it’s a bit more complex than you may think.

December 9, 2013 55 Comments
What is Sacred Music? Historically it’s a bit more complex than you may think.

Recently  there was a discussion on my Facebook page about Church music. My parish, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, here in Washington DC, was featured on EWTN’s nightly news (video is below), and discussion centered on that report. Among the many forms of music we use here the parish, gospel music is predominant at our 11:00 AM […]

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