Friday, December 26, 2008

Piqua Christmas

I hope you are having a merry Christmas!

As some may have inferred, this year I did not get sick, Deo gratias, as in past years. I had a very fine Christmas Eve and Day, and everything seems to have come together.

Kudos to our musicians all, who did very well at all the Masses I was part of. At 4 pm, we had the children, and they sang very strongly, and were a blessing; at Midnight, the music was transcendent. We had some lovely pieces before Mass; then, at the stroke of midnight, the schola sang the proper Introit for Midnight, in Latin:

A: Dominus dixit ad me: Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.
V. Quare fremuerunt gentes: et populi meditate sunt inania?
A. Dominus . . .
V. Astiterunt reges terræ, et principes convenerunt in unum adversus Dominum, et adversus Christum eius.
A. Dominus . . .
V. Postula a me, et dabo tibi gentes hereditatum tuam, et possessionem tuam terminus terræ.
A. Dominus . . .

This is from Psalm 2 (not Ps. 110 as I vainly imagined). My rough English translation:
Ant: The Lord said to me, 'You are my son; this day I have begotten you.
V. Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
V. Kings on earth rise up and princes plot together against the LORD and his anointed:
V. Ask it of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, and your possession the ends of the earth.

If memory serves, the schola chanted but the antiphon; I'm not sure; I was loading up the incense at that point.
Then we sang "O, Come, All Ye Faithful," and then after the altar, cross and crib were incensed, and after the Sign of the Cross (sung), I sang the Christmas proclamation from the Roman Martyrology: "On the 25th day of December..." I chanted the Gospel (and I would love to have cantors chant the first and second readings someday--it would help people realize the psalm response is not merely another song, but a proclamation of the Word of God); I chanted the Roman Canon etc.; the schola also sang the proper communion chant, "In Splendoribus":

Ant. In splendoribus sanctorum, ex utero ante luciferum genui te.
V. Dixit Dominus Domino meo: Sede a dextris meis: donec ponam inimicos tuos scabellum pedum tuorum.

This is Psalm 110: "In the splendor of holiness, from the womb, before the dawn I begot you. The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right, your foes I put beneath your feet."

I hope you can see why this psalm--and psalm 2--are so important to use at this point; and why our music director and I think it is so good to use them. If there were a really suitable English version, that would be good to use as well.

Christmas, 9 am Mass came early for me, as I didn't get to bed until almost 3 am; I'm always keyed up after Midnight Mass. After the morning Mass, I sat down for breakfast, and as I was finishing up, I got a call to the hospital for someone dying. After I got back from the hospital--and a side trip to the jail to visit someone there--I was happy not to have anything else I needed to do.

One point of Mass, last night, moved me more than I expected. Before we began the Creed, I explained that we kneel for the words, "and became Man," and so when that time came, and we all knelt--and I heard everyone kneeling--it really hit me; I hope others found it as moving as I did.

Today--back to work: a funeral this afternoon, a wedding rehearsal tonight, plus I got sad news about another death in the parish this morning and had a visit to make to that family.

But that is the world into which God chose to be born!


Anonymous said...

God Bless You Father, and Merry Christmas! It sounds like it was marvelous in Piqua. Thanks for being a good Dad!

Father Schnippel said...

glad the bug missed you this week, hit me overnight while staying at my folks up in Botkins. ugh

Vicki aka Diva Mom said...

Your music sounds BEAUTIFUL! I cantor for our diocese's Shrine (which is such a blessing) but I'd love to be part of a parish that had schola. And I'd love to learn how to chant.
Merry Christmas and thank you for the gift of your blog!

Anonymous said...

Jim Said:

Dear Father and thank you for your post and your point regarding the kneeling during the Creed has touched many people. In a talk at an Anglican Use conference at the Catholic University in Washington a couple of years ago, Father Peter Geldard (from the UK) said that seeing the congregation kneeling together in unison during the Creed led him on a journey from being a non-Catholic to a Catholic priest with a vibrant Chaplaincy.

I thought might be of interest to you with respect to this issue.

Thanks for your blog and a Very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to you and your Parish.

Jim in Nova Scotia