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Music Suggestions
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Liturgical Music

Official texts

Other liturgical music

Hymns

  • Before All Creation (CH #653)
  • Blest Are the Pure in Heart (CBW #719, CH #450, HH #257, HPSC #123, ICEL #182, CHB #208, EH #418, VII #320)
  • Canticle of Simeon (CBW #728)
  • Christ Is the World's Light (CBW #543, HPSC #130, WIII #543, CD #897, EH #258)
  • God of Mercy, God of Grace (HPSC #169, CH #636, VII #212)
  • Hail to the Lord Who Comes (WIII #692, ICEL #37, CHB #44, HH #258)
  • How Brightly Beams the Morning Star (CD #815, WIII #390, HH #55, CH #214, CHB #45, EH #329)
  • Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise (PMB #118, WIII #512, ICEL #233, HH #193, CH #566, CHB #225, SMH #363, EH #301)
  • In His Temple Now Behold Him (ICEL #38, HPSC #196, HH #259, SMH #364)
  • Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates! (AH #485, HH #19, HPSC #211, ICEL #7, WIII #363, SMH #399, EH #484, VII #211)
  • Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace (WIII #691, CH #439)
  • O Christ, the World's Salvation (Dennis DiPaolo)
  • O Lord of Light, by Love Inclined (CD #819)
  • O Lord of Light, Who Made the Stars (PMB #3)
  • O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright (HPSC #256)
  • O Word of God Incarnate (CH #657, SMH #469, EH #402)
  • Of the Father's Love Begotten (AH #331, CBW #470, CH #220, HH #44, HPSC #269, ICEL #25, WIII #398, CHB #28, SMH #473, EH #20, VII #332)
  • On Walls around Jerusalem from Hymns for the Liturgical Year (Kathleen Pluth)
  • Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens, Adore Him (WIII #529, ICEL #243, HPSC #282, PMB #662, CBW #656, CH #573, CHB #259)
  • Thanks Be to God (WIII #526, CBW #678)
  • The Lord Is King! Lift up Your Voice (CH #517, HPSC #326, CBW #422)
  • The Only Son from Heaven (HH #51, CD #817)
AH = The Adoremus Hymnal, Ignatius Press
CBW = Catholic Book of Worship II / Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
CD = Cantate Domino / Hymnal Supplement, GIA Publications, Inc.
CH = The Collegeville Hymnal, The Liturgical Press
CHB = The Catholic Hymn Book [London Oratory], Gracewing Publishers
EH = The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal), used by many Anglican Use Roman Catholic parishes
HH = Hymnal of the Hours, GIA Publications, Inc.
HPSC = Hymns, Psalms & Spiritual Canticles, out of print but excellent
ICEL = ICEL Resource Collection, GIA Publications, Inc.
PMB = People's Mass Book, World Library Publications, Inc.
SMH = The Saint Michael Hymnal – 3rd Edition 2003, Saint Boniface Church, Lafayette IN
VII = Vatican II Hymnal, Corpus Christi Watershed
WIII = Worship, 3rd Edition, GIA Publications, Inc.

Choral Music

  • Alma redemptoris mater (Stephen McManus)
  • Alma redemptoris mater (Palestrina/Angelini)
  • And He Shall Purify from Messiah (G.F. Handel)
  • Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning (Larkin)
  • Christ the Glory (Lallouette) [GIA Publications]
  • Gaudete, gaudete (Colin Brumby)
  • Great Is the Lord (Leo Sowerby) [H.W. Gray]
  • Haec Deum cæli (Jacob Obrecht)
  • Hodie Beata Virgo (Jacques Arcadelt, William Byrd, Fabio Costantini, Claudio Merulo, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Peter Philips, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck)
  • I Have Rejoiced (Antonio Vivaldi) [Augsburg]
  • I Was Glad (William Boyce) [Novello]
  • I Was Glad (C. Hubert Parry) [Novello]
  • I Was Glad (Daniel Pinkham) [AMP]
  • I Was Glad (Henry Purcell) [Novello]
  • I Was Glad; (Leo Sowerby) [H.W. Gray]
  • In the Breaking of the Bread (Austin Lovelace)
  • Jesus, Sun of Life, My Splendor (G.F. Handel)
  • King of Glory (Robert Powell) [GIA Publications]
  • Laetatus sum (M.A. Charpentier) [Concordia]
  • Laetatus sum (Claudio Monteverdi) [Mark Foster]
  • Laudate pueri Dominum (G.S. Geiger)
  • Lift Up Your Heads (Rev. Brian K. Muzas)
  • Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates from Messiah (G.F. Handel)
  • Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates (John Blow) [Novello]
  • Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates (William Croft) [Abingdon]
  • Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates (Orlando Gibbons) [Oxford]
  • Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates (Andreas Hammerschmidt) [Presser]
  • Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates (Healey Willan) [Concordia]
  • Lord of Life and King of Glory (Grancini) [GIA Publications]
  • Media vita (John Sheppard)
  • Mirabile misterium! (David Barton)
  • Ne timeas Maria (Tomas Luis de Victoria) [Broude]
  • Nunc dimittis Music from Taizé (Jacques Berthier) [GIA Publications]
  • Nunc dimittis (Sumison)
  • Nunc dimittis (Thomas Tomkins) [Presser]
  • O Splendor of God's Glory Bright (John Reese)
  • O Thou That Tellest from Messiah (G.F. Handel)
  • Of the Father's Love Begotten (Michael Cox)
  • Of the Father's Love Begotten (Andrew Motyka)
  • Presentation of Christ in the Temple (John Eccard) [Novello]
  • Reges Tharsis (Adam Taylor)
  • Song of Simeon (Claude Goudimel) [Presser]
  • Te Deum laudamus (Calvert Shenk)
  • The Glory of the Father (Egil Hovland)
  • The Lord Is King (Heinrich Schütz)
  • The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation (Eugene Englert) [GIA Publications]
  • The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation (Heinrich Schütz)) [Belwin]
  • Videte miraculum (Thomas Tallis)
  • When to the Temple Mary Went (Johannes Eccard)

Vocal Music:

  • Ad offertorium (Wesley /Schwarz)
  • But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming from Messiah (G.F. Handel)
  • O Thou That Tellest from Messiah (G.F. Handel)

Organ Music

  • Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr (J.G. Walther)
  • Chaconne for Violin/Flute, Cello, and Organ (André Campra / arr. Gary D. Penkala)
  • Divinum mysterium (Richard Purvis) [Leeds Music Corp]
  • Divinum mysterium (Dorothy Howell Sheets) [Organist's Companion, November 1992]
  • Fanfare (Jean Mouret)
  • Fantasia and Fugue in g minor (J.S. Bach)
  • Four Preludes on Chant Hymns (Mark Siebert)
  • God of Grace and God of Glory (Paul Manz)
  • How Lovely Shines the Morning Star (Jan Bender) [Parish Organist, Part 9: Wedding Music - Concordia]
  • How Lovely Shines the Morning Star (Paul Manz) [Improvisations for the Christmas Season, Set III - Morning Star Music Publ 10-102]
  • How Lovely Shines the Morning Star (Flor Peeters) [Thirty Chorale Preludes, Book 1 - Peters 6023]
  • How Lovely Shines the Morning Star (Max Reger) [Chorale Preludes for the Church Year - Carl Fischer]
  • Immortal, Invisible (Harold Rohlig) [Parish Organist XII - Concordia]
  • Lift Up Your Heads (Ewald Weiss) [Parish Organist XII - Concordia]
  • Maestoso: Five Processionals (Calvert Shenk)
  • Music for a Festive Occasion (Tim Knight)
  • Of the Father's Love Begotten (Wilbur Held) [Six Carol Settings - Concordia 97-4985]
  • Of the Father's Love Begotten (David N. Johnson) [Augsburg 11-841]
  • Prelude and Postlude on Jesu Redemptor omnium (Jonathan Hellerman)
  • Psalm XIX (Benedetto Marcello)
  • Suite for Worship on Truro and Duke Street (G. Winston Cassler) [Organist's Companion, April 1985]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Andreas Amrsdorff) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury III - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (J.C. Bach) [Eighty Chorale Preludes - Peters 4448]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (J.S. Bach) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury III - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern from Five Chorale Preludes (Colin Brumby)
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Dieterich Buxtehude) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury III - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Victor Klauss) [Organist's Companion, November 1989] [Organist's Companion, November 1997]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Johann Pachelbel) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury III - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Flor Peeters) [Thirty Chorale Preludes]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Max Reger) [Thirty Chorale Preludes - Peters 3980] [Joyce Jones Christmas Collection - Bradley Publ]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Stephen Rohde) [Organist's Companion, December 1985]
  • Wie schön leuchet der Morgenstern (Russell Schulz-Widmar) [Organist's Companion, December 1980]

Liturgical Hints & Ideas

This feast of the Presentation of the Lord was earlier known by other titles: The Purification of the Blessed Virgin, Candlemas, and in the Greek Church, Hypapante, meaning "meeting," which is alluded to in the Roman Rite in the Greeting the celebrant uses before blessing the candles. The commemoration of this event can be traced back as far as the fourth century, where the ritually-important fortieth day after Christ's birth was celebrated with a procession and Mass.

Candles are traditionally blessed before Mass in a place apart from the nave, recalling the Gospel text of Simeon's canticle: "A light for revelation to the Gentiles." A solemn procession then enters the church, all bearing candles, as the "Light of Christ" comes to his temple.

Music plays a vital role in this blessing and procession. Look for settings of the antiphons, or adapt known music to fit the proper texts given above. The procession should be accompanied by the Nunc dimittis with its antiphon, perhaps extended with verses of Psalms 24, 27 and 48. A festive Gloria should ring out in the church, and other music, choral and congregational, should explore the themes of light, splendor and glory.

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