Sunday, June 26, 2016

Colloquium, Last Day - Mozart!

The 2016 Colloquium drew to an end today, but not without one more spectacular Mass.  Today we were again at St. Joseph Shrine for a Solemn High Mass, with the Mozart choir singing his Sparrow Mass setting, complete with 10-piece orchestra.  Today was the feast of St. William of Naples, an 1th century saint, who is an inspiring saint for our musical work, as he was forced to leave his monastery and subsequently went on to found several more.  In his homily, Father remarked that St. William was probably pleasantly surprised that he had a solemn Mass for his feast day, since he probably had not had something that elaborate in quite a few centuries!  :)

The choir got to sing from the loft, always a treat since lofts are generally so few and far between.

Following lunch and a quick visit to st. Charles Borromeo parish and the Lewis and Clark Museum in St. Charles, MO, it was time to return home to implement what we have learned, until next year.... in Minnesota!

Mozart choir in the shrine loft

Solemn High Mass, feast of St. William

St. Charles Borromeo

Rose window, St. Charles Borromeo

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Colloquium Day Five - Palestrina!!

Could this week get any better?  Why, yes, yes it can!

Today we had a plenary talk by Bishop +Conley from the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, who spoke on the Via Pulchritudinis, or the Way of Beauty.  We, as transmitters of the sacred music tradition, are called to evangelize through our chant amd polyphony.  In our post-modern culture, truth and goodness are no longer valued, but beauty retains its power to inspire conversion, turning to God.  We are to let it transform our whole lives, leading by example.

A lovely addition to the week jas been the opportunity to meet two of my online Plurk friends in person.  We met Mark, from Rome of the West, and Tina, from Snup's View from the Back Pew, for lunch at Schlafly's Tap Room neat the Colloquium hotel.  I love it when my online friends turn into 'in real life' friends! :-)

After lunch was the final rehearsal for the evening Mass for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.  We were warned not to let our necks get stuck looking up so much at all the mosaics adorning the interior of the cathedral!  It would have been easy to do so, as it is covered from top to bottom, and then some!  Our 60 voice Palestrina choir had the awesome experience of singing the Missa Papae Marcelli in this magnificent space.  The reverberation time seemed to be almost nine seconds!  Following the Mass and supper, we returned t  the cathedral for an organ concert, which again filled the space.  I'm still trying to figure out how to pack some of that echo for home; even three seconds would make a world of difference in our home parish.

Tomorrow, the Mozart choir will provide his Sparrow Mass setting for our final Mass back at the Shrine of St. Joseph.

Bp. +Conley gives a plenary talk
 on the Via Pulchritudinis
Main altar
 containing a relic of St. Louis

Me with Mark and Tina,
in real life!

St. Louis is the patron
 of the Secular Franciscan Order

Lots and lots of angels!

Up in the baldachino
you can see the honeycomb.
The Motet choir sang Jesu Dulcis Memoria by Victoria

Friday, June 24, 2016

Colloquium Day Four - Requiem

Today we had the annual  Solemn Requiem Mass for the deceased members of CMAA.  We were back at the Shrine for the Mass, followed by Solemn Vespers and sung Compline.

Earlier in the day,  the Palestrina choir (the one I'm in) rehearsed the Missa Papae Marcelli, which we will sing at the Cathedral Basilica tomorrow.  If you have never been in the midst of 60 voices singing this Mass, I highly recommend that you do so.  It is breathtakingly beautiful.  

After all the liturgical events at the Shrine, I got to meet my Plurk friend Tina and her puppy pal Dug in person!  Dug showed off his cat-stalking and treat-eating skills, and Tina graciously played tour guide and gave me a driving tour of the city before dropping me back at the hotel.  Tomorrow, I get to meet another Plurk buddy, Mark from Rome of the West blog fame, in real life.  :-)

The Mass will be live-streamed on Friday at 5:30 Central, 6:30 Eastern here:


Solemn Requiem Mass

Fr. Pasley




Thursday, June 23, 2016

Colloquium Day Three

Today we visited the Shrine of St. Joseph and had our first of three Masses there.  This historic shrine has a miraculous history, and the altar was donated by those who had prayed to St. Joseph and were preserved from the cholera epidemic of 1849.  The shrine is also the site of a miraculous healing of a man who asked the intercession of then Blessed Peter Claver, which miracle was ine of the two miracles approved by Rome, leading to his canonization.  We were able to stand in the same spot and venerate the very same relic!

Original baptismal font from  the mid 1800s

Side altar

St. John Berchmanns, patron saint of altar boys

More angels in the architecture

St. Joseph stands vigil by the rectory parking

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Colloquium Day Two

After morning prayer and breakfast, all 240 colloquium attendees split off into their various chant groups.  There are seven, yes SEVEN, different chant groups this year.  Walking down the hallway past the rehearsal rooms was like passing by the rooms in the mansions of heaven;  each room producing one glorious sound after another!

Today's plenary talk was given by Dr. Mahrt, on the aesthetics of psalmody as a foundation for liturgy.

After lunch, it was time for a demo by a children's schola from Virginia, who were taught using the Ward Method, followed by our various polyphony choir practice.  There are four polyphonic choirs.  Each prepares selections for the daily sung Masses, whether ordinary or extraordinary form, in English or Latin, including the Ordinary, the Propers, and motets.

This afternoon's Mass was at the Pro-Cathedral of St. John, built in the mid-nineteenth century.  I love the acoustics in the old churches;  time to return to that architectural aesthetic!
After supper, we returned to the main ballroom on the 13th floor of our hotel for chanted Compline.

We shall do it all again tomorrow! :-)

David Cole conducts the advanced women's schola.

Dr. Mahrt

The Arch

Ward Method children's schola

Main altar and sanctuary,
ProCathedral of St. John

Angels in the architecture

Pipe organ in the loft

Prayer after Communion

Celtic cross outside the main entrance

Lots of cassocks to bee seen this week! :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Colloquium time again! St. Louis edition

Yes, we are in the Rome of the West this week for the 26th annual Musica Sacra Colloquium.  This year's event kicked off last evening with a concert given by Pro-Arte St. Louis, under the expert direction of cathedral conductor Horst Buckholst.  We will begin the full schedule of schola and polyphonic choir rehearsals this morning.

The great hall at St. Louis city center library

Owls around the ceiling