OHN VIANNEY had great difficulty learning Latin. I can sympathize, since I’ve studied Latin since the 1990s with virtually nothing to show for it. I do have some amazing friends whose Latin fluency is perfect. They’ve stressed that many online “Latin experts” are actually charlatans—so I console myself with that. In college, I studied with a Latin and Greek teacher (trained long ago by Jesuits) associated with the famous NORTON ANTHOLOGIES. His favorite phrase was: Verbum sat sapienti. That means: “A word to the wise is enough.”
A Word To The Wise? • Readers are doubtless aware of the sad state of education these days. We receive emails from all over the world. Many come from outstanding and inspiring Catholics, filling my soul with hope. On the other hand, we also receive messages—from supposedly educated people!—so garbled and betraying such limited grasp of the English language I scarcely know how to respond. This reality can make it dangerous to speak in any sort of “sophisticated” way for fear somebody will misunderstand.
Tricking My Friend • One of my friends is CORRINNE MAY, a platinum artist who lives in Singapore. I was able to trick her into recording plainsong sections of the Chabanel Mass. Sending her a text message, I justified my actions: “It’s okay to lie if you’re trying to accomplish something good.” Needless to say, that’s totally false (since ends do not justify means) but she knew I was kidding. I guess my point is, it’s cool to have friends you can goof around with. Best of all, I ended up with her dazzlingly beautiful voice singing the plainsong! (See below.)
Chabanel Mass • I have put together a Mass in Honor of Saint Noël Chabanel for the Ordinary Form. It involves your CONGREGATION, your CANTRIX, and your CHOIR. The Mass consists of seven movements. The other day I released the LAMB OF GOD. The other movements will most likely be released next week. We’re putting finishing touches on the rehearsal videos. Today I release the HOLY, HOLY, HOLY. The Mass setting was designed to be extremely brief and—since it’s vernacular—suitable for those whose priests have forbidden the traditional lingua sacra of the church:
Free rehearsal videos for each individual voice await you at #39167.
To freely download the PDF score, locate #39167.
Guessing The Priest • The polphonic “extension” never gets old, because it uses all the wonderful techniques we discussed during Sacred Music Symposium 2023. As if the canonic sections and points of imitation were insufficiently stupendous, the composer works in all kinds of stepwise ascending lines, while other voices sing melodies in augmentation (“oblique motion”). So far, nobody has guessed where the polyphony came from. I did reveal it was written by a priest who lived in the 16th century, but I won’t say more than that. Once you realize what the piece is based on, it seems so obvious! (By the way, using today’s hipster language, this Mass setting is very “based.”)