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Year of Faith: A Musical Creed

edited by Gary Penkala

Pope Benedict's Motu proprio, Porta Fidei, calls the Church to commemorate two significant events in celebrating a Year of Faith.

A Year of Faith

Pope Benedict XVI On October 11, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI announced a Year of Faith, beginning on October 11, 2012, and ending on November 24, 2013. The opening of the Year of Faith coincides with anniversary celebrations of two important events in the faith life of the Church: the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of Vatican Council II by Blessed John XXIII [October 11, 1962] and the 20th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Blessed John Paul II [October 11, 1992]. The Year of Faith ends with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

In Porta Fidei, the Holy Father writes:

We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope. It will also be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, which is "the summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed; ... and also the source from which all its power flows."

Our most concise statement of our faith as Christian believers is the Nicene Creed, the Profession of Faith, which is a part of every Sunday Mass. As musicians, we can look to this Creed for musical inspiration during this special Year. Some ideas follow, linked to specific phrases from the Creed. Of course, singing the full Creed, in various forms by congregation and/or choir, would be quite appropriate.

Full settings of the Creed

The Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed

I believe in one God,
Praise Ye the Lord: Psalm 150 (Carrie Nixon)
Te Deum laudamus (Calvert Shenk)
Te Deum: We Praise You, O God (J. William Greene)
the Father almighty,
Concentus gaudii: Cantate Domino (J. William Greene)
Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott (Stephen McManus)[flute & organ]
maker of heaven and earth,
Adiutorium nostrum (Angelo Bertalotti / Rev. Gabriel Iróffy)
Behold My Servant (Robert W. Parker)
Creator alme siderum (arr. Rev. Thomas Buffer)
From All That Dwell (Colin Brumby)
of all things visible and invisible.
Creator alme siderum (Gregorian chant)
Creator alme siderum (Mark Siebert) [organ]
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
Anima Christi (Calvert Shenk)
Canticle of the Lamb (Rev. John-Mark Missio)
the Only Begotten Son of God,
Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes Sohn (Stephen McManus)[flute & organ]
In dulci jubilo (Colin Brumby) [organ]
Only-begotten Word of God (arr. Calvert Shenk)
Psallite / Sing, Rejoice (Prætorius / Vozzella)
born of the Father before all ages.
A solis ortus cardine (Mark Siebert) [organ]
Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (arr. Alan Smith) [hymn arrangement
For Love of Us (Lisa Stafford / Stephen McManus)
Of the Father's Love Begotten (Michael Cox)
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
Bravely On (Lisa Stafford) [hymn]
Dies sanctificatus (G.P. da Palestrina)
O Splendor of God's Glory Bright (John Reese)
Wake, Awake (Donna Robertson)
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
Rorate caeli desuper (Gregorian chant)
through him all things were made.
Lift Up Your Heads (Rev. Brian Muzas)
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
Comfort, Comfort Ye (arr. Donna Robertson)
Emmanuel: An Advent Processional (arr. Gary Penkala)
Joy to the World (arr. Gary Penkala) [hymn arrangement]
Lætentur cæli (David Joseph Gleba)
Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Stephen McManus) [flute & organ]
Two Altenburg Chorales (Michael Altenburg / William Tortolano)
Veni Domine (Aurelio Porfiri)
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
All My Heart This NIght Rejoices (John Sittard)
Angelus (Christopher Garton-Zavesky)
Ecce virgo concipiet (Colin Brumby)
Et incarnatus est (Calvert Shenk)
Hodie Christus natus est (Gregorian chant)
On This Day (arr. Lynn Arthur Koch)
There Is No Rose (Colin Brumby)
When Christ Was Born of Mary Free (J. William Greene)
and became man.
Alma Redemptoris Mater (G.P. da Palestrina)
Christmas Litany (J. William Greene)
Gaudete, gaudete (Colin Bumby)
Hodie Christus natus est (William Grabbe / Karl Henning)
O Come, All Ye Faithful (arr. Angela Birkhead-Flight) [hymn arrangement]
Puer natus in Bethlehem (Gregorian chant)
Tell Me, Shepherds (arr. Gary Penkala)
Unto Us A Boy Is Born! (Colin Brumby)
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
Ah, Holy Jesus (arr. Stephen DeCesare)
At the Cross Her Station Keeping (Christopher Bord) [organ]
Crucifixus (Angelo Bertalotti / Rev. Gabriel Iróffy)
Crucifixus (Glenn Wonacott)
Herzliebster Jesu (Donna Robertson) [organ]
Seven Last Words of Christ (Gary Penkala)
Vexilla Regis prodeunt (Gregorian chant)
We Should Glory in the Cross (Rev. Thomas Buffer)
We Should Glory in the Cross (Gary Penkala)
he suffered death and was buried,
Ecce lignum Crucis (John Sittard)
Herzlich tut mich verlangen (Colin Brumby) [organ]
Prayer of Saint Richard (Alan Smith)
Salvator mundi (Thomas Tallis)
What Wondrous Love Is This? (Adam Taylor) [handbells]
What Wondrous Love (Rev. Brian Muzas) [organ]
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
Angelus Domini (Richard J. Clark)
Easter Psalm (Gary Penkala)
Ershienen ist der herrliche Tag (Colin Brumby) [organ]
Et resurrexit (Angelo Bertalotti / Rev. Gabriel Iróffy)
Good Christian Men, Rejoice and Sing (Donna Robertson)
Prelude on Victimæ paschali laudes (John Reese) [organ]
Prelude on Victimæ paschali laudes (Mark Siebert) [organ]
Sequence for Easter (Alex Hill)
Two Easter Anthems (Colin Brumby)
Victimæ paschali laudes (Gregorian chant)
He ascended into heaven
Song of Christ's Glory (Alan Smith)
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Diademata (Donna Robertson) [organ]
O Jesus, My Savior (André Campra / R.H. Clark)
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
Give Judgment for Me, O Lord (Colin Brumby)
and his kingdom will have no end.
Laudate pueri Dominum (G.S. Geiger)
O How Glorious Is the Kingdom (Harold Owen)
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
Factus est repente (Gregor Aichinger)
Veni Creator Spiritus (Derek Fry)
Veni Creator Spiritus (Gregorian chant)
the Lord, the giver of life,
Come Down, O Love Divine (Tim Knight)
Prelude on Veni Sancte Spiritus (Mark Siebert) [organ]
Veni Sancte Spiritus (Gregorian chant)
Veni Sancte Spiritus (Bernard Kirkpatrick)
Veni Sancte Spiritus (Lisa Stafford)
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
Pentecost Sequence (J. William Greene)
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
Trinity Fugues (Stephen McManus) [organ]
Tu solus sanctus (Angelo Bertalotti / Rev. Gabriel Iróffy)
who has spoken through the prophets.
Pentecost Toccata (John Reese)
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
Christian People, Here Assembled (Rev. Albert Ledoux / Gary Penkala) [hymn]
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
Christ Is the Vine (Gary Penkala)
The New Lambs of Christ (Gary Penkala)
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
Around the Throne a Glorious Band (Brian Michael Page) [hymn]
Iusorum animæ (Colin Brumby)
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Bone Pastor, panis vere (Jonathan Kregor)
Iustus ut palma florebit (Angelo Bertalotti / Rev. Gabriel Iróffy)
O sacrum convivium (Colin Brumby)
O sacrum convivium (Eugene Englert)
O sacrum convivium (Michael Lawrence)
Search Me, Lord: Psalm 139 (Alex Hill)
The Master's Rejoicing (James Stanley)

Pope Benedict explains that though the Second Vatican Council occurred half a century ago it remains "the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century" that is "a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning."

The Holy Father is also convinced that the Second Vatican Council, if interpreted and implemented according to the mind of the Church stretching back to the Apostles, "can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church" (Porta Fidei, 5).

Blessed John Paul II declared that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is "a sure norm for teaching the faith." It was his hope that it would "serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom!"

Pope Benedict XVI sees the Catechism as "a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council" (Porta Fidei, 11).

This is why an important component of the Year of Faith will involve a "concerted effort by every Catholic to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church."

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