HEN THE SANCTUS is sung in polyphony, it is divided thus: the SANCTUS & HOSANNA before the Consecration, the BENEDICTUS & HOSANNA after the Consecration. When sung in plainsong, it is not to be divided. These rules are according to the 1958 legislation. Today, I present the second part of the “Missa Beata Mater” SANCTUS by Francisco Guerrero, who died in 1599AD.
I recorded the voice parts, but please pardon the high notes: I’m a baritone!
REHEARSAL VIDEOS :
NE OF MY FRIENDS was in charge of picking the music for papal Masses at St. Peter’s Basilica during the 1980s. The pope does not offer Mass there as frequently as one might guess; normally he offers Mass in a private chapel. On one of the occasions when the (young) John Paul II was scheduled to sing Mass in the basilica, my friend chose a setting by Morales, the teacher of Guerrero. The proper way to do it—and remember, this was a Novus Ordo liturgy—is to split the Sanctus & Benedictus.
So, the Sanctus went really well. Then, after the Consecration, Pope John Paul II intoned the “Mystérium fídei.” Now it was time for the Benedictus, and my friend says he began to sweat a little—fearing the pope might be annoyed or confused. But then a wonderful thing happened: Pope John Paul II bent over the altar and started praying as the choir continued singing the Benedictus! According to my friend, the effect was marvelous. Everyone in the basilica, including the cardinals, suddenly realized they also should be praying—so they all closed their eyes and began. What Pope St. John Paul II did is called being a leader!