About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark has served since 1989 as Music Director and Organist at Saint Cecilia Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. For the Archdiocese of Boston, he directed the Office of Divine Worship Saint Cecilia Schola. His compositions have been performed on four continents.
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“Each Mass contains the slaying of the Victim, not repeated here in the West after centuries, made once only long ago in Palestine, yet part of the sacrifice offered throughout the world each morning. All Masses are one sacrifice, including the death of the cross, continuing through all time the act of offering then begun … Every time we hear Mass we look across that gulf of time, we are again before the cross, with his mother and St. John; we offer still that victim then slain, present here under the forms of bread and wine.”
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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“Priests of God, bless the Lord!” • Practice Video
published 4 May 2018 by Richard J. Clark

ITH MANY ordinations taking place this time of year, it is a blessed time for the entire Church.

The Introit chant for the ordination of priests from the Graduale Romanum is Sacerdotes Dei, benedicite (Mode VI). It is a beautiful way to begin the long procession of ordinandi and priests, perhaps followed up by a hymn and organ improvisation. (It doesn’t get any more fun that that.)

Below is a practice video with the Gregorian notation, which may be useful for Diocesan choirs that include additional amateur singers. This was recorded at the 2017 Presbyteral Ordination for the Archdiocese of Boston (audio was taken from the video feed—forgive the initial fade in). You’ll note the Alleluias are included which are sung during the Easter Season.

The text is a beautiful prayer for for all and for the ordinandi:

Daniel 3: 84, 8 • Priests of God, bless the Lord, praise the Lord all who are holy and humble of heart. Alleluia. Ps V 57: Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.

      * *  DOWNLOAD Sacerdotes Dei, benediciteGregorian notation

      * *  DOWNLOAD Sacerdotes Dei, benediciteModern notation

I chose to have men and women sing in unison for a brighter sound, to create a more energetic pronouncement, especially in a relatively dry acoustic. Marc Demille beautifully intoned the verses:


Please pray for all ordinandi! What we do is not simply “important” music for an “important” Mass. This is a day that the newly ordained will carry in their hearts for the rest of their lives. Not only what we sing, but how we sing will have spiritual impact beyond a nice memory. It will help shape their formation, and as such shape the Church.