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Orate fratres CD

by Gary D. Penkala

The CD Orate fratres is a guide and tutorial for priests, deacons and seminarians in how to sing the Mass in Latin according to the Missale romanum editio typica tertia 2002. The Latin Liturgy Association included the following message from their president, William J. Leininger, in the Spring 2004 edition:

It is with great pride that I announce that our sister organization in England, the Association for Latin Liturgy, has just released their first CD, Orate fratres, in collaboration with the musical group, The Music Makers. The Association for Latin Liturgy was inspired to produce this wonderful CD by the promulgation of the third edition of the Missale romanum. The purpose of this CD is to ensure that nobody, whether seminarian, priest or lay person, could ever complain about the lack of an accurate gide to pronouncing, singing or saying the Latin text of the Novus Ordo Missæ. Indeed, Cardinal Arinze, the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, has written to the Association for Latin Liturgy as follows: "Your Association merits encouragement and gratitude for all you do to promote beauty and reverence in the sacred liturgy and more frequent celebrations in Latin." I wish to give a hearty multa bene to our friends at the Association for Latin Liturgy who have brought this CD about! For those who would like to order it, you can [find it at] CanticaNOVA Publications, and order it online. I believe that the publication of this CD will enable all who want to learn how to chant at Mass and at the Divine Office to do so in an effective and practical manner!

The CD sleeve notes read:

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium (1964), the blueprint for our worship today, assures us (Chapter VI, 112/113) that "a liturgical service takes on a nobler aspect when the rites are celebrated with singing, the sacred ministers take their parts in them, and the faithful actively participate." It commends sacred music for "adding delight to the prayer, fostering oneness of spirit, and investing the rites with greater solemnity."

Earlier in the same document (54) it is stressed that, despite widespread use of the vernacular languages, "steps should be taken enabling the faithful to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Mass belonging to them." Clearly this presupposes that the celebrant himself is able to lead his flock convincingly when proclaiming the Latin texts. If he can give a strong lead in singing the chants of the Missal, the faithful will surely respond joyfully in their turn. In 2003, Pope John Paul II again expressed the wish that "the beauty of music and song will return increasingly to the liturgy." New impetus is provided with the promulgation in 2002 of the Missale romanum editio typica tertia, a handsome volume for use at the altar, in which music has been prominently included at every stage of the Mass, with the evident intention that whenever possible the celebrant will wish to chant rather than simply recite his part.

Few people indeed cannot sing given suitable guidance. This CD has been carefully compiled in order to fulfill the demand for an accurate guide both to the pronunciation of Church Latin and to the singing of the chant. As it may seem daunting to contemplate chanting the whole of the Mass, individual priests will be wise to begin by singing the parts they feel comfortable with, while their confidence grows. They may wish to play the CD over and over until particular chants are firmly fixed in their minds. It will also be a valuable reference when uncertainties arise. In addition to the standard Latin texts of the Mass, plus a useful selection of important prefaces, the historic chants of Holy Week are also included and will undoubtedly be welcomed.

This recording is offered in the hope that celebrants may be helped to find greater fulfilment in their priesthood as they lead the faithful forward to ever more joyful sung celebrations of the Holy Mass.

The Latin Liturgy Association was founded in 1975 to promote the more frequent celebration of the Mass in the Latin language. The organization supports both Tridentine Rite celebrations and Novus Ordo celebrations; its current Treasurer, Jane Errera, was the 2001 recipient of CNP's Palestrina Award. The Association's National Convention will be held June 25-27, 2004, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Information is available at the LLA website or by contacting Treasurer Jane Errera, PO Box 3017, Bethlehem PA 18017-0017.

A similar CD, And With Your Spirit, is available for help in chanting the priest's and deacon's parts of the Mass in English [Roman Missal 2010].

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