Music at the Pontifical North American College
How does one adapt, coming from a suburban parish with a fine SATB choir, and working at a seminary in Italy with an all-male ensemble?
There's a lesson for all of us. Whatever our situation, whether we're facing 35 talented, music-reading singers every week, or whether our "choir" is two women and a grandpa, there is excellent, appropriate music to be made within the Catholic liturgy.
The secret is finding the right repertoire; understanding that whatever the performing group, there is appropriate and beautiful music for them.
Future articles in this series will address options for various-sized choral groups.
This article looks at my own solutions, stemming from my time as Director of Liturgical Music at the Pontifical North American College.
This "college" is actually the American bishops' seminary in Rome, and just like any parish back in the States, has its own limitations (musically and otherwise) as to what works and what doesn't in liturgy.
Here are two examples; one is a Mass in Ordinary Time, the other is a "special Mass" that occurs from time to time in the formation of priests.
Both were celebrated in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at the college.
The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
- Prelude: Trio Sonata I, movement 3 (J.S. Bach)
- Opening Song: God Is Here! As We His People [Worship III, #667]
tune: Abbot's Leigh
- Greeting & Penitential Rite
- Gloria: setting by Theodore Marier
In this setting, the text is chanted on one note throughout, with interesting harmonies provided in the organ accompaniment
- Opening Prayer
- First Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-10
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19 (Chrysogonus Waddell) [Worship III #873]
- Second Reading: I Corinthians 12:12-30
- Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
- Gospel: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
- Profession of Faith
- General Intercessions
- Music During the Preparation of the Gifts: Chorale Prelude on Wer nur den lieben Gott (Max Reger) translation: He Who Submits to the Loving God
- Prayer Over the Gifts
- Eucharistic Prayer:
- Dialogue & Preface
- Sanctus: from New Plainsong Mass (David Hurd) [Worship III #266]
- Memorial Acclamation: from New Plainsong Mass (David Hurd) [Worship III #267]
- Amen: from New Plainsong Mass (David Hurd) [Worship III #268]
- Lord's Prayer, Embolism & Doxology
- Rite of Peace
- Agnus Dei: from New Plainsong Mass (David Hurd) [Worship III #269]
- Invitation to Communion
- Music During the Communion Procession: Chorale Prelude on Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (David Polley) translation: Blessed Jesus, We Are Here
- Communion Hymn: Gift of Finest Wheat [Worship III #736] tune: Bicentennial
- Prayer after Communion
- Blessing & Dismissal
- Closing Song: The Voice of God Goes Out [Worship III #358] tune: Toulon
- Postlude: Concerto I, movement 1 (J.S. Bach)