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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

Thoughts on Praise I
published 25 April 2012 by Fr. David Friel

My attention has been caught the last few days on the idea of praise. I intend to share with you two separate thoughts on praise—one below, and the second in a subsequent post.

This first thought arose from the second Matins reading on Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter. There we read from Saint Augustine:

“Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him Whom you love, but you ask me how to sing His praises. You have heard the words: Sing to the Lord a new song, and you wish to know what praises to sing. The answer is: His praise is in the assembly of the saints; it is in the singers themselves. If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express. Live good lives, and you yourselves will be His praise.”

What a marvelous thought and novel exegesis of a beloved psalmic refrain! “Singing to the Lord a new song” is understood here as a metaphor for the new life of a Christian who responds to grace in his or her daily witness. In Augustine’s view, the tuneful singing of that figurative song forges us into the praise of God.

Not only, therefore, are we called to praise God. Rather, we, ourselves, are to be the very praise of God. Could there be a higher honor?