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Renowned as composer, conductor, theorist, author, pedagogue, and organist, Aurelio Porfiri has served the Church on multiple continents at the highest levels. Born and raised in Italy, he currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Composer in Residence for Santa Rosa de Lima School (Macao, China).
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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)

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Don't Add Me, Please
published 19 August 2014 by Aurelio Porfiri

937 John XXIII 23 AM SURE that something similar has happened to you, also. One billion people are on Facebook, and without question it’s an interesting way to connect with people around the world. But there are downsides. Sometimes I receive a notification saying that some unknown person has “added you to the irritable bowel syndrome fans group.” Now, being very emotional, I may be familiar with this syndrome; but I’m not really a fan. And why would someone add me?

But even worse is to consider other scenarios. Sometimes, somebody adds you (without your consent) to a group for those appreciating something in which you don’t have the slightest interest. Then—inside the newsfeed—everyone receiving the news of your new affiliation will think that maybe they didn’t know you so well after all…

But, indeed, things are not so easy in this life. Even liturgically-speaking, we must decide where we wish to stand. It cannot be merely some priest (fresh out of seminary) adding you to the VATICAN II GROUP, implying you accept his version of the Vatican II fancies.

No, we need to decide where we want to be: and indeed the choice is compulsory. We must be with the Church, in the entirety of her history and tradition. We cannot follow the ideas of this or that priest—the pastoral revolution of this or that bishop—if they are saying goodbye to what the church should be about. Of course changes are always necessary, but we cannot live at the rhythm of revolutions. Change should grow organically from what was before, not deny the past for something new at any cost.

If someone tells you “Vatican II wants such-and-such,” ask him where this was said. Don’t be surprised when the answer comes back that it’s the “spirit of the council.” It is true: the Spirit blows where He wants, not where they want. But, they will not listen… and so perhaps it would make sense for you also to join me in the “irritable bowel syndrome” fans group…


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