About this blogger:
Andrew Leung is a seminarian for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. He has served as Director of Music at St. Pius X Church (Atlanta) and taught Gregorian chant at the Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Georgia). For two years, he will be studying in Macau, China.
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The Vatican Gradual cheered our hearts by restoring the authentic form of the hymns therein. But there are very few hymns in the Gradual. We looked forward to the continuation of the same work, where it was so much more needed, in the Vesperal, and then in the new Breviary. Alas, the movement, for the present, has stopped. The new Vesperal and then the Breviary contain Urban VIII’s versions. So at present we have the odd situation that in the Gradual the old form of the hymns is restored; but when the same hymn (for instance “Vexilia regis”) comes again in the Vesperal, we must sing the seventeenth-century mangling.
— Adrian Fortescue (25 March 1916)

New Season! New Beginning!
published 6 September 2018 by Andrew Leung

CTL New Season New Beginning Y NOW, I think the summer break is over for most of the church choirs around the world. This is the time when choir rehearsals and choral liturgies resume. Now is the beginning of a new season! And it is very important to start a season correctly.

First of all, PRAYER!!! Prayer should be the nature of all music in a church. It is important that we acknowledge spiritual aspect of sacred music. Say a quick prayer before the choir rehearsal, and then pray the music throughout the rehearsal or liturgy. Some church choirs would even have a commission ceremony to stress the importance of the role and responsibility of a liturgical choir.

The beginning of a season is also a good time to set some goals, perhaps some challenging pieces that the choir would learn or some methods that would help raise the musical standard of the choir. This is also the time to review some of the old repertoire and basic choral techniques, as some choir members might have left and new choir members are just starting. Many things can be sorted out now, before the “chaotic” Advent and Christmas.

Now is also a time for some laughter and sharing. Maybe share about what we have done over the summer. Relax and no need to get stressed out at the first week of choir practice! Here is something fun, but also serves as a good reminder for all:

Prayer of Confession for Choir Members:

Almighty and most merciful Conductor,
We have erred and strayed from thy beat like lost sheep;
We have followed too much the intonations and tempi of our own hearts.
We have offended against thy dynamic markings.
We have left unsung those notes that we ought to have sung,
And we have sung those notes that we ought not to have sung.
And there is no support in us.

But thou, O Conductor, have mercy upon us, miserable singers;
Succor the chorally challenged;
Restore them that need sectionals;
Spare thou them that have no pencils.
Pardon our mistakes, and have faith that hereafter we will follow
Thy directions and sing together in perfect harmony.

On a more serious note, a friend of mine sent me this link on “Choir etiquette” and I think it is very practical and would be helpful to many of our readers. May we continue to glorify God with our voices!

Soli Deo Gloria!