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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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“In my capacity as the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I continue to remind all that the celebration toward the East (versus orientem) is authorized by the rubrics of the missal, which specify the moments when the celebrant must turn toward the people. A particular authorization is, therefore, not needed to celebrate Mass facing the Lord.”
— Robert Cardinal Sarah, 23 May 2016

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In Defense of the Organ Postlude
published 30 January 2017 by Fr. David Friel

HE SECOND issue of the new magazine, Altare Dei, from Choralife has just been published. Subtitled “A Magazine on Liturgy and Sacred Music,” this publication will be of interest to many of our readers here at CCW.

The lead story in this latest issue is a well-argued piece by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski (known to our readers as a past contributor): “In Defense of the Organ Postlude.” Against those who are disturbed by this practice, which has been common since the late Renaissance, Kwasniewski makes a case that the organ postlude should not be viewed as a distraction to the act of thanksgiving. It should be appreciated, rather, for its ability to create “a sonic image of angelic choirs, a wordless transcendent proclamation of God’s glory.” Thus, the author’s fundamental claim is that the organ postlude has the spiritual benefit of immersing its hearers in the glory of God. Want to read more? Click here to download.

Included with this issue of Altare Dei is a hefty insert with seven pieces of sheet music. Among the compositions included are an Ave Maria, an Easter Alleluia, and an organ interlude from composers such as Colin Mawby, Mauro Visconti, and Valentinus Miserachs.

A new article of mine appears in this installment. Entitled, “The Earliest Catholic Choir School,” my article explores the roots of the choir school tradition in the Roman schola of the seventh century. Fascinating pieces on a variety of liturgical and musical subjects have also been contributed by David Fagerberg (theology professor, University of Notre Dame), Rev. Thomas Kocik (priest of the Diocese of Fall River, MA), Rev. Enrico Finotti (Italian liturgist), Fulvio Rampi (Gregorian chant scholar), and others.

Altare Dei is the handiwork of Maestro Aurelio Porfiri (another past contributor to these pages). Porfiri’s experience as a choir master, conductor, organist, and music theorist has prepared him well to serve as editor of this new publication.

The magazine is distributed strictly in digital format, on a bi-monthly basis. The first issue is still available for download.

Download the latest edition here for only €6.00, and see the excellent content for yourself!