HEN THE CIVIL WAR began, Ulysses S. Grant was at his lowest ebb, having failed miserably at everything he’d ever attempted in life. He was a depressed drunkard who had been thrown out of the military, and—having ruined every business venture he ever touched—was working for his father selling ladies’ hats in Galena, Illinois. Just a few years later, however, Grant would accept the surrender of the legendary Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. The lesson? Things can turn around very quickly in life. I may be crazy, but I feel that soon the world of sacred music will come roaring back! I feel that Catholics are sick of irreverent, goofy, secular music at Mass. The only thing stopping such a revolution—in my humble opinion—is that we are still divided, “tending our own gardens.” But that won’t last much longer. The internet is putting good people in touch with one another.
Accompaniment Booklet • I prepared this ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT BOOKLET (25 pages) for tomorrow’s Vespers (Second Sunday after Epiphany). I thought you might like to see it. By releasing things like this, we hope to provide other church musicians with inspiration and ideas:
* PDF Download • ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT (25 Pages)
—Vespers: “2nd Sunday after Epiphany” • Organ Accompaniment Booklet.
Tempus Epiphaniæ • Speaking of EPIPHANIA DOMINI, Ms. Eleanor Parker has posted an English “Book of Hours” (circa 1350AD) with exquisite illustrations depicting the entire narrative of the Magi and King Herod, in a series of pictures running across the bottom:
We begin with one king:
…plus two kings:
…equals three kings:
The Magi encounter the shepherds, who point the way to Bethlehem:
When we turn the page, they are arriving at Herod’s castle:
They tell Herod the purpose of their quest:
Troubled by what the Magi have told him, Herod sends letters gathering the “chief priests and scribes of the people”:
And they point out to him the prophecies which tell that Christ is to be born in Bethlehem:
Meanwhile, the Magi find the child and present their gifts, but are quickly warned by an angel—while sleeping still wearing their crowns!—to flee:
“They departed into their own country by another way,” and that’s the last we see of them. But Joseph is also warned by an angel:
…and takes his family to Egypt:
Learning that the Magi set sail from Tarsus, Herod orders the ships there to be burnt:
Having failed in his pursuit, he sends out his knights to kill children under two years old:
Katérva matrum pérsonat
conlísa deflens pígnora,
quorum tyránnus mília
Christo sacrávit víctimam.
And we see the massacre of the children, their mothers struggling against the soldiers:
This story is told on the very first pages of the Brébeuf hymnal—in Latin with a literal English translation—by the ABECEDARIUS, which is a very important Alphabetical Hymn by Caelius Sedulius, a Christian Poet who lived in the 5th century.