Saturday, March 29, 2008

Divine Mercy Sunday

Well... soon I'll be heading off to another schola practice. Tomorrow is a big day for our little group. One year ago (according to the liturgical calendar, that is) on Divine Mercy Sunday, our schola sang for Mass for the first time. It was a Novus Ordo Latin Mass, complete with most propers and all ordinaries. When I think back about how large an undertaking it was, I am amazed.

We started about the end of February last year. We had a couple of members who had sung Gregorian chant in their youth and who were somewhat familiar with the notation. The rest of us were complete novices. We began learning with the Jubilate Deo booklet that is available online. I had bought a book about learning Gregorian chant a couple of years before, so had a basic idea of the various clefs and how to figure out where the half-steps were in the music. Our pastor, Father Peter, had the most practical knowledge from singing in the seminary. As such, he was our director initially.

Our progress has been good over the past months. One year later, the entire group is pretty good at singing solfege (although our weekly exercises do always still require concentration). We have a number of chant hymns that we are all very familiar with... for the various seasons of the church year. We have learned not only the ordinaries from the Jubilate Deo booklet, but also the Mass XVII ordinaries and the extra Mass VIII ordinaries that weren't part of the booklet. We have learned a number of propers for the various times we have sung for Mass over the past year... revisiting those propers is like meeting up with an old friend...

Tomorrow we will sing for two Latin Masses. We'll sing for the Novus Ordo Latin Mass at the 5:30 pm time. Then, we'll also be singing for an Extraordinary Form Missa Cantata later on. It will be our first time to do so, and we hope it goes as it should. Prayers on our behalf would be much appreciated.

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