About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“Oh, the happy choir director who is hired to start work on a brand new choir, or who walks into his first rehearsal a total stranger to the existing group—what a fortunate man he is! The new choir director who is a former member of the choir, or a member of the congregation, or the nephew of the alto soloist, or a former altar boy, or otherwise well acquainted with the choir, is in for a few headaches.”
— Paul Hume (1956)

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Beautiful Vestments Vs. Ugly Vestments
published 16 October 2013 by Jeff Ostrowski

327 Vestments SOMEONE HAS GIVEN me a beautiful gift. It’s a big, thick book with color images of a Catholic parish I used to belong to as a child. This book traces the history of the parish going back more than 120 years.

The image on the right hand side was taken in the sacristy where I used to put on my cassock and surplice to serve Mass. Once, when I was acting as M.C. for Fr. Joseph Bisig, FSSP, I asked him if we could pray the Angelus (since it was noon). He replied, “That’s fine, but I know it in Latin only.” Boy, was I glad I had it memorized in Latin! (This may seem insignificant, but these things meant a lot to a small boy!)

ONE THING STRIKES ME again and again as I look through this book. In the days before the Second Vatican Council, the priestly vestments used to be so beautiful. Even in the days when the parish had absolutely no money — not a cent! — the priests always wore edifying vestments. Then, following the Council, it seems like folks made a conscious decision to wear only ugly vestments (the ones that look like cheap bed sheets). Has anyone else noticed this?