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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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

How Many Syllables Does The Word "Catholic" Have?
published 4 March 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

756 Hep HE ENGLISH LANGUAGE is pronounced differently in the various English-speaking countries: Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, and so forth. I have been receiving emails from my friends in England. They are unhappy with the way I set the word CATHOLIC.

I was taught by professors of Choral Methods a dictum similar to Franz Xavier Haberl’s famous one: Sing as you speak.

For example, when you sing ANGEL, don’t sing “ain-JELL.” Sing it how you say it: “AIN-juhll.”

I recently composed this setting of the Creed:

      * *  St. Felix Musical Creed — An easy setting for Choir & Congregation

To my ear, words like EVERY are only two syllables ( EV- 'RY ) not three. The same holds true for “Catholic,” as you can see here:

WHILE WE’RE ON THIS SUBJECT, certain words in English cause problems when they come at the end of a Psalm tone because they have an accented syllable followed by three (or even four!) unaccented syllables. Here are some examples:













If you have a word like GLORIOUSLY you can “cheat” by making it three syllables instead of four. The same can be done with HEAVEN — it can be two syllables or one.


I heard a professional group sing “See – lebrity” for Celebrity. Frightful!

I heard a professional singers sing “Cruella Dee – vill” for Cruella de Vil. Terrible!