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 know that originally the offertories of the repertoire included a series of verses, just like the introit and the communion, but generally more ornate. Many of these are musical compositions of great beauty. They quickly fell into disuse, and we find them only in the most ancient manuscripts. The only remaining trace of this older arrangement in our present-day liturgy is that of the offertory of the Requiem Mass.”
— Dom Joseph Gajard (1956)

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PDF Download • Booklet for St. Joseph (19 March)
published 20 March 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

OMETIMES OUR PARISH adds High Masses at the last second, and we usually use plainsong only. What is the quickest and best way to get starting pitches? Simply visit ccwatershed.org/nova and search for the first few words of the title in question. On Apple computers, “search” is COMMAND + F. For those using Windows, it’s CONTROL + F. Whatever you do, don’t sit there scrolling down—the search function is 100 billion times faster and better.

Here’s the booklet I put together for tonight, since the feast of Saint Joseph was transferred to 20 March this year:

    * *  PDF Download • Saint Joseph (19 March) During Lent

It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done. I took starting pitches in the exact way I just described. You could also use the Liber Usualis in Modern Notation for this same purpose—but that takes a lot longer to search.

The hymn chosen for Offertory is lovely. I like this verse very much:

O happiest of the happy, abounding in excess of joy, he whom—in his last hour—Christ (and the Virgin watching by him) did assist with countenance serene.

Fr. Connelly translates that verse as follows:

How singularly fortunate and blessed he was, for at his last hour Christ and the Virgin stood side by side to watch over him, their faces full of peace and comfort.