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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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)

PDF Download • Booklet for Congregation
published 10 April 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

HAT WE REFER TO as “progress” is not always true progress. For example, the creation of television—where producers supply all the sights and sounds—has led to a society incapable of listening carefully. We no longer appreciate beautiful language or powerful sermons, and the fact that we don’t close our eyes and listen has harmed our imaginations. How sad we no longer make believe!

Many churches are installing “movie screens” into church, for people to follow the liturgy. This will fail, just as the “YouTube news” effort failed. People like to read (or skim) at their own pace, and that’s why missals and booklets are so wonderful for prayer.

Here’s a page from a booklet I produced ten years ago, for my wedding:

263 Latin Booklets

I think you’ll agree the booklet I created for last year’s Sacred Music Symposium is more professional, although far from perfect:

    * *  PDF Download • 2016 SYMPOSIUM BOOKLET (47 pages)

The wedding booklet I mentioned contained sketches of the Mass expertly drawn by my mother. Getting the Solemn Pontifical Mass just right required research:

260 Mother Sketch

Each person was sketched “true to life.” For example, the Deacon has a tonsure and hood, because he’s Franciscan. My father and uncle served as Acolytes, so one Acolyte (shown on the right) was drawn with a beard because my uncle has a beard in real life, as this photograph from the 2007 wedding shows. 1

I hope to improve when it comes to making Mass booklets, because I believe this is what Vatican II wanted: helping Catholics enter more deeply into the sacrifice of the Mass. May I share with you a secret? The best way to make booklets is to just start making them. With each booklet you create, you’ll get better and better.


I scanned into PDF seven sketches I was able to locate.


1   Many have asked why I always wear the Filipino “Barong Tagalog” when I conduct. I do this because I was so impressed seeing all the members of my wife’s family dressed in the Barong. Here’s my wife’s brother at the wedding: very impressive, no?