Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Long Ride, FDLC, and the Catechumenate

Wednesday greetings from Chicago.

My apologies for not having posted recently; so much going on here!

I was one of the unfortunate ones who needed to fly into Chicago this past Friday. My plane from Memphis was actually speeding down the runway there at 5:50 A.M. when it suddenly slowed down and returned to the gate. When it became apparent that there was no way I could fly into Chicago for many, many hours (which actually turned into days), I decided to rent a car. So I drove the nine hours back home. I can tell you at least one thing. Illinois grows lots of corn and soy beans!

I am preparing to leave shortly for the annual meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, which is being held here in the Chicago area. This year's conference is a consulation on the development of new national statutes for the RCIA here in the United States. I am greatly looking forward to this meeting and to sharing with you the findings of a recent CARA study on the implementation of the RCIA here in the United States.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Recognizing the Ministry of John Angotti

Thursday greetings from Midway Airport here in Chicago. Landed at O'Hare last night on a flight from Los Angeles.

I am headed to Memphis for tonight's Dominican Gala at which the work and ministry of John Angotti will be recognized and celebrated. Looking forward to honoring John.

Off I go.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Interesting Times

Tuesday greetings from Southern California. I will be leading a WLP Sing the Seasons choral reading session tonight at Loyola Marymount University.

It has been fascinating reading all the reports about Bishop Cupich. I received words of congratulations from priests, deacons, and lay people from all over the world, all pointing to signs of hope for us Chicago Catholics. The last few times I have heard Cardinal George speak I noticed how defeated he seemed in his demeanor. His struggles with cancer have seemed to taken a toll on him. Reading his latest columns, I have found little "joy of the Gospel" and very little hope. Frankly, it has dragged my own spirits down. I pray for him daily, for the healing of his body as well as a lifting of his own spirit.

These will continue to be interesting times for the Church of Chicago and for he Church in general.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blase Cupich, Our Bishop

For Francis, our pope and Blase, our bishop.

Grateful heart here in Chicago tonight.

Many prayers for our beloved Cardinal George.

Many prayers for Blase Cupich, our new shepherd.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cool New Web Site Feature for WLP Customers

Greetings from beautiful Franklin Park, Illinois.

Have I told you recently how wonderful our staff is here at World Library Publications? They are always thinking up new ways to help our customers.

Very recently, we have begun to add a new feature to our WLP web site, which some of you may have noticed.

We have recorded some of our instrumental music and, for people browsing on our web site, we now offer a little video showing the sheet music while the recording plays. It is so simple, but so totally cool and hopefully helpful to our customers.

Kathleen Basi's Come to the Manger: Christmas Carols for Flute and Piano now has this feature on our web site. Once on the page, just click either "View Sample Video" or "Watch." For my musician friends, I hope this is helpful for you. By the way, Come to the Manger is a great collection, one of those "must-haves."

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How and Why?

Wednesday greetings from the sunny Midwest.

I attended Mass recently at a parish. There was something that struck me as odd. When I inquired about it, I was told that when the pastor arrived at this particular parish, he insisted that his wishes be carried out.

This concerns music during the communion procession. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal has this to say:

86. While the Priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion Chant is begun, its purpose being to express the spiritual union of the communicants by means of the unity of their voices, to show gladness of heart, and to bring out more clearly the “communitarian” character of the procession to receive the Eucharist. The singing is prolonged for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful. However, if there is to be a hymn after Communion, the Communion Chant should be ended in a timely manner. Care should be taken that singers, too, can receive Communion with ease.

87. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for singing at Communion: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum, as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the antiphon with Psalm from the Graduale Simplex of the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collectionof Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) some other suitable liturgical chant (cf. no. 86) approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. This is sung either by the choir alone or by the choir or a cantor with the people.

When communion time arrived at this particular parish, the excellent violinist and pianist played three solo pieces, without any singing: Let There Be Peace on Earth, Panis Angelicus, and another piece I cannot recall. The distribution of communion took somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes. It all just felt so strange to me. Why were we not invited to sing?

I made some inquiries and found out that the pastor of this particular parish, who is well-liked and is a marvelous pastor, feels that singing during communion is "distracting." Therefore, he doesn't allow it.

How does this happen and why is it allowed to happen? Do any of you have similar experiences to share?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Living the Word in Advent and Christmas

Tuesday, September 16. Wasn't it just June 16? Amazing how the summer months have just zipped by.

And soon it will be Advent. And speaking of Advent, I have a little commercial for you today. If you are someone who spends the Advent/Christmas Cycle focusing more on the scriptures, WLP has a neat new little resource for you. We have taken the Advent/Christmas section out of our much large Living the Word and created Living the Word in Advent and Christmas.

For each Sunday, the readings are included and are followed by four sections: Understanding the Word; Reflecting on the Word; Consider/Discuss; and Praying with the Word. This year's authors are Laurie Brink, O.P, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago) and Frederick Bauerschmidt (Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland).

This little book is perfect for personal meditation and for small groups that might meet during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Thanks for listening.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.