About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark is the Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. His compositions have been performed worldwide.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
Essentially the Missal of St. Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise “De Sacramentis” and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

ABOUT US  |  OUR HEADER  |  ARCHIVE
“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.