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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We sternly urge adherence to the established norms by those who raise an uproar or a challenge in the name of a misunderstood creative freedom, and thus inflict so much harm on the Church with their rash innovations, so vulgar, so frivolous—and sometimes even lamentably profane. Otherwise the essence of dogma and obviously of ecclesiastical discipline will be weakened, in line with the famous axiom: "lex orandi, lex credendi." We therefore call for absolute loyalty so that the rule of faith may remain safe.
— Pope Paul VI (27 June 1977)

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The Beauty Of Ancient Catholic Manuscripts
published 6 July 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

555 codex T WOULD BE DIFFICULT to speak too highly of the ancient Catholic manuscripts being made available on the internet. What stupendous treasures!  Those who damaged our liturgy in the 1960s are heartbroken to see such things accessible to anyone with a smart phone, because more and more young Catholics can easily discover our precious heritage—and this was not supposed to happen, according to some.

Some of these manuscripts were preserved only because of their beauty. (I speak of a time in history when people did not know how to read “neumatic” musical notation correctly.) Manuscripts were usually created by (at least) two monks. One drew the pictures, and the other wrote the words and/or musical notation.

What makes SAN GALL 546 so interesting is that hundreds of pages were left incomplete, as you can see:


Perhaps they never got around to finishing this manuscript? Or maybe some other cause interrupted this book’s creation, and they never finished it? Hopefully some genius out there can explain what happened by commenting on the CCW Facebook page:


In that same manuscript, I noticed a hymn called “Vita Sanctorum,” which I wrote about here:

553 vita sanctorum