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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“There are no hymns, in this sense, till the fourth century; they were not admitted to the Roman office till the twelfth. No Eastern rite to this day knows this kind of hymn. Indeed, in our Roman rite we still have the archaic offices of the last days of Holy Week and of the Easter octave, which—just because they are archaic—have no hymns.”
— Adrian Fortescue (25 March 1916)

PDF Download • “Sunday Vespers”
published 7 August 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

87994 monk writes AST SUNDAY, we began singing Sunday Vespers. From now on, we will do this each week as a parish. Vespers is actually pretty complicated if one remembers to place in all the rubrics, starting pitches, parallel translations, and so forth. I find my solution fully adequate…but quite ugly.

Each week, I will think about how I can make the booklets more beautiful. After a year, I believe I will have found a layout I consider worth printing. Until then, if you want to get your parish singing Sunday Vespers, feel free to use our version:

    * *  PDF Download • SUNDAY VESPERS (Testing)

Everything except the Magnificat remains the same each week until Advent. Therefore, I had to create this sheet for 5 August 2018. 1 As time goes on, we will also add organ accompaniment. We will also employ special versions for the hymn.

    * *  Magnificat • 24th Sunday after Pentecost

    * *  Magnificat • 6th “resumed” Sunday after Epiphany

    * *  Magnificat • 5th “resumed” Sunday after Epiphany

    * *  Magnificat • 4th “resumed” Sunday after Epiphany

    * *  Magnificat • 16th Sunday after Pentecost

    * *  Magnificat • 17th Sunday after Pentecost

    * *  Magnificat • 18th Sunday after Pentecost

    * *  Magnificat • 19th Sunday after Pentecost

    * *  Magnificat • 20th Sunday after Pentecost

    * *  Magnificat • 21st Sunday after Pentecost

    * *  Magnificat • 22nd Sunday after Pentecost

ORRY TO SWITCH TOPICS, but if you look in the Summit Hymnal (published in 1983 by the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary) you will find on page 517 a “combination descant.” The editor says one can combine their harmony for HALTON HOLGATE with the popular hymn tune called MONKLAND. They provide both, so there’s no possibility of melody variants.

A member of the Brébeuf Hymnal editorial team first brought this to my attention, and we got excited. The Summit Hymnal is one of the better hymnals…but—alas!—this turned out to be a lie:

    * *  PDF Download • Copyrighted Descant “Fail”

But it doesn’t work. What a huge disappointment—it would have been spectacular if it worked. The Summit Hymnal editor even copyrighted what they call the “Tune-Descant combination.” But it’s a lie.

It just doesn’t work; they break all the rules of writing descants and several parts sound terrible.


1   Each week, I must create a similar sheet—unless I can successfully convince each choir member to purchase a copy of the Liber Usualis.