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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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"The Consilium is merely an assembly of people, many of them incompetent, and others well advanced on the road to novelty. The discussions are extremely hurried. Discussions are based on impressions and the voting is chaotic. […] Many of those who have influenced the reform […] have no love, and no veneration of that which has been handed down to us. They begin by despising everything that is actually there. This negative mentality is unjust and pernicious, and unfortunately, Paul VI tends a little to this side. They have all the best intentions, but with this mentality they have only been able to demolish and not to restore."
— Contemporary account of the Consilium by Cardinal Antonelli

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Which Masses Would You Choose?
published 3 April 2016 by Fr. David Friel

PRIEST I KNOW is pastor of a small parish (roughly 150 families). He is working to introduce the beauty of sacred music and has arranged for musicians from local symphonies to provide music at the parish’s Christmas Midnight Mass and the Easter Vigil. In addition to SATB vocalists, the instrumentalists have included an organist, cellist, violinist, horn player, and trumpeter.

Such a project, of course, is limited by funding. At this point, the pastor would like to expand the number of Masses throughout the year at which these musicians play. He has set up two options.

Option 1: Bring in the musicians for the official Vigils of the Church. These Vigils include:

1. Easter
2. Christmas
3. Pentecost
4. Ascension
5. Nativity of St. John the Baptist
6. Saints Peter & Paul

Option 2: Arrange for the more festive music for certain Holy Days of Obligation. These feasts include:

1. Mary, Mother of God
2. Ascension
3. Assumption
4. All Saints
5. Immaculate Conception
6. Christmas

The goal of both options would be to help catechize the congregation about progressive solemnity and to reinforce the importance of either the Vigils or the Holy Days.

If you were this pastor, which option would you choose? If you were his music director, what recommendation would you give him? If you had the funding to add music to 2 or 3 more Masses in addition to Christmas at midnight and the Easter Vigil, which Masses would they be?