Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the Church’s year. This program and the next three will focus on the music of Advent and how it can help us to prepare for Our Lord’s birth on Christmas Day.
This program will feature music for the feast of Christ the King. The feast itself is relatively new, as it was proclaimed only in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Music for this feast ranges from Gregorian chants newly composed to popular hymns in the vernacular languages.
November 22nd is the feast of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music. Today’s program will feature music associated with this virgin martyr. Her feast day has been very popular throughout the centuries, and much music has been composed in her honor.
Today’s program will focus on the feast of Saint Martin of Tours, which falls on November 11th, on both the traditional and the modern calendars. Saint Martin’s feast day has many Catholic customs associated with it. We will learn about this great saing and some of these customs, as well as listen to music for Saint Martin.
There is a rich repertoire of sacred music composed for these two great feasts which fall on November 1st and 2nd. Today’s program will feature music for the feasts.
October 25th is the feast of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales, who died for the Faith in the 16th century. This program will feature music associated with English Catholics during this period, and primarily the music of William Byrd. In addition, I will play some contemporary music composed in honor of these brave, holy martyrs.
On this program we will learn about this Polish saint whose feast day (on the Extraordinary Form calendar) is today, and we will hear sacred music sung by the choirs of Chicago’s Saint John Cantius Church. In 1988 this parish was almost ready to be closed down, but thanks to a remarkable transformation and renewal–in which sacred music played a major role–Saint John Cantius is a thriving parish whose liturgies draw people from all over Chicago and the suburbs.
This program–airing on the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel–will feature sacred music that focuses on the role of the angels in our lives.
The music of the sixteenth-century Roman composer, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, has often been held up as the pinnacle of Catholic sacred music. What is it about his music that is so spiritual, and that has caused the Church to mention Palestrina’s music as an ideal.
This program will explore sacred music by living Catholic composers such as Frank La Rocca, Kevin Allen, and others. We will be listening to recent works composed within the last ten years.
Outside of the words of the Mass, few sacred texts have been set to music as often as the Magnificat, the Canticle of Mary. These beautiful words of Our Lady from the Gospel of Saint Luke have inspired composers for hundreds of years, right up to our own time. This program will feature different musical settings of the Magnificat in Latin and in English from different historical eras, all programmed to honor Our Lady on the Feast of her Nativity.
When Spanish missionaries traveled to the New World, they brought with them the Church’s music, which they taught to the native American peoples. This program will explore some of the music that the Church used as part of the “Old Evangelization” in the Americas.
Many Catholics think of Ordinary Time as a rather dull time in the Church’s year–after all, there aren’t many important feast days. Nevertheless, there is a wealth of beautiful prayers and music for Ordinary Time.
Thanks to a 1994 CD by the Spanish monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, Gregorian chant hit the top of the charts worldwide, and has continued to be a listening favorite for many people, whether they are Catholic or not. So many listen to Gregorian chant for relaxation, yet Gregorian chant is meant for the liturgy. In this program Susan gives a basic introduction to the various types of Gregorian chant and how the Church has used them over the centuries. Susan focuses on the spirituality of chant, and how it can draw us closer to God.
August 15th, the Solemnity of the Assumption, is a Holy Day of Obligation, and one of the most important feasts in the Church year. In this program Susan features a variety of music, both from the Vigil of the Assumption and the Solemnity itself, in honor of Our Blessed Lady and her Assumption.
Of all the hours in the Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours, none has had such a wealth of music composed for it more than vespers. In this show Susan features music for Vespers including a range of music from Gregorian chant, work by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and some excerpts from modern settings of Vespers.
Thr Propers, which are those prayers and texts that are different for each Mass, are little known to most Catholics these days. In their 2007 document, Sing to the Lord, the Bishops of the U.S. wrote: “Proper antiphons from the liturgical books are to be esteemed and used especially because they are the very voice of God speaking to us in the Scriptures.” Susan plays recorded examples of the Propers, both in English and Latin, and both chant and polyphonic, and relates these examples to specific liturgical days and their spiritual significance.
The music program at The Cathedral of the Madeleine is exemplary. Not only does it have a fine adult choir and organist, it also has a full-time choir school for boys and girls. Susan plays music from the choir’s CDs, music that is beautiful and shows the range of their abilities. Susan especially emphasizes the choir school, as it is the only school of its kind in the United States.
Susan presents a general recap of the Church Music Association of America’a 2013 Sacred Music Colloquium, held at The Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake City, Utah. The structure of the program follows the liturgical services during the Colloquium, plus one organ recital. Susan plays 1-2 pieces each from all the Masses, the Friday night Vespers, and Charles Cole’s organ recital, as examples of what goes on at the Colloquium.
Sacred Liturgy / Sacred Music features a lively commentary and discussion, but the centerpiece is music from the sacred liturgy both vocal and instrumental. The program is designed to help listeners to grow in the spiritual life and in appreciation of our heritage of Catholic sacred music.