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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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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

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“Don't Cross Out Christ On Christmas” — Wrong!
published 24 December 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

OW MANY TIMES have you heard people warn against using the abbreviation Xmas for Christmas? They say things like, “Don’t cross out Christ on Christmas.” But it’s total nonsense! For more than a millenium, Christians have used an X to denote Christ. It comes from the Greek letter “Chi,” and even as late as the 19th century, Abbot Pothier used that abbreviation in the Solesmes books.

I could cite thousands of examples, but consider this one from the 14th century:

524 Christmas X


Did you see how the scribe wrote the word Christe in the KYRIE ELEYSON?

THOUSANDS, IF NOT MILLIONS MORE examples could be cited. Here’s one from a famous CHRISTMAS HYMN called Christe Redemptor Omnium:

415 Christe


Here’s one from the Litany of the saints:

557 Litany


In this next example, notice the beautiful passages from Sacred Scripture written in wherever they could be squeezed in:

551 Xste MSS