JUNE IS THE MONTH OF THE SACRED HEART
THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
CHANT DAY at ST THOMAS MORE.
Singing is good for the soul , no more so than when we sing in praise of God. Join us at St Thomas More with Fr Guy, a priest from the Birmingham Oratory , who will guide us in singing the praise of God with the most catholic music of all: Gregorian Chant. We are concentrating on the mass setting for Our Lady and antiphons and hymns in her honour. The day begins with Holy Mass at 10.00 a.m. and includes coffee and a three-course lunch. It would be helpful if you could to book on the website of the Association for Latin in the Liturgy. Cost for the day and meal £20.00. Click buy now.
If however you would prefer to make a donation on the day, please just let me know by Monday and I’ll include you in our numbers.
If you would like to know more about Gregorian Chant, the following piece is largely drawn from a longer article by Fr Noah Carter.
Why does Gregorian Chant have “First Place” in the Liturgy?
The Second Vatican Council published its agreement on Roman Catholic worship in 1963, under the name Sacrosanctum Concilium. On the music in catholic worship, the Council Fathers stated:
“The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place (‘principem locum’) in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action.”
The phrase holding pride of place, or ‘first place’ (in the Latin text ‘principum locus’) does not introduce a novelty to the Church’s liturgical tradition. Gregorian chant was born from the Roman liturgy and will always be fitting to the Roman liturgy. During liturgical services, then, Gregorian chant should be the first choice for the principal parts of the liturgy, if this is possible and does not detract from the congregation’s participation.
Why did Vatican II give first place to Gregorian chant in catholic liturgy?
In the history leading up to the Second Vatican Council, many popes wrote concerning the importance of Gregorian chant. These papal documents, addresses, and letters refer back to the significant leadership of Pius X in his directive ‘Tra le sollecitudini. In this the Holy Father wrote that Gregorian chant—and indeed all music considered sacred and used in the liturgy—shares in the same ends as the sacred liturgy and by ornamenting the sacred texts so that they are more easily understood by the faithful and move all to greater devotion and piety. Pope Pius X stated the general principles which should guide the selection and composition of sacred music: holiness, excellence of forms, and universality. These are the qualities which would guide the church’s teaching on sacred music then and now. Pius X’s description of sacred music would set the standard for all future instruction by our popes and bishops.
As the modernising 20th Century Liturgical Movement gained momentum in the Church, scholars began calling for liturgical reform. In response, Pope Pius XII re-asserted some of the cautions against replacing Gregorian chant with other forms of music in his Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei et hominum:
“Gregorian chant, which the Roman Church considers her own as handed down from antiquity and kept under her close tutelage, is proposed to the faithful as belonging to them also. In certain parts of the liturgy the Church definitely prescribes it; it makes the celebration of the sacred mysteries not only more dignified and solemn but helps very much to increase the faith and devotion of the congregation.”
Gregorian chant, then, does not belong to the priest or the choir alone, but to all those who participate in the liturgy. It was born from the Roman Church’s celebration of the sacred mysteries and evolved with the rites themselves throughout history. It fosters the participation of all and, therefore, aides the devotion and sanctification of all. Gregorian chant is universal in time and place as it ornaments the universal texts and prayers of the Church.(e.g. the entrance and communion antiphons, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei)
Almost a decade later, Pius XII again drew attention to Gregorian chant being the prime example of holiness in music in a further directive:
“Chants and sacred music must be holy. It must not allow within itself anything that savours of the profane nor allow any such thing to slip into the melodies in which it is expressed. The Gregorian chant which has been used in the Church over the course of so many centuries.., is gloriously outstanding for this holiness.”
The holiness here is not an added characteristic, but the purity of faith and worship by the centuries-old decoration of the texts, which the priest and people pray. For Pope Pius XII, this holiness can resound in every church in the world:
‘And if in Catholic churches throughout the entire world Gregorian chant sounds forth without corruption or diminution, the chant itself, like the sacred Roman liturgy, will have a characteristic of universality, so that the faithful, wherever they may be, will hear music that is familiar to them and a part of their own home. In this way, they may experience, with much spiritual consolation, the wonderful unity of the Church. This is one of the most important reasons why the Church so greatly desires that the Gregorian chant traditionally associated with the Latin words of the sacred liturgy be used’
With these words, Pope Pius XII has highlighted the one-to-one correspondence between the Roman liturgy (i.e. the mass) and the Roman chants. Guided by the teaching of the popes before them and the practice of the church through the ages, the Bishops of Vatican II found no need to elaborate further once they expressed that Gregorian chant should be given first place in worship.
Since Vatican II.. what actually happened?
It cannot be denied that the exterior celebration of the Church’s worship changed dramatically [and in some places catastrophically] after the Council, although this had not been its intention. Much change may be attributed to the reform of liturgical books, and some can be attributed to the illicit introduction of cultural expressions which do not agree with the Church’s liturgical spirit.
Many celebrations saw the introduction of worldly (secular) music, familiar to people in their culture, rather than a continuation of the sacred music of ages past. Officially, the Church, as will be seen, continued to teach the same message regarding the use of Gregorian chant and true sacred music in her celebrations. She continued defending—both in word as well as in deed—the primacy of Gregorian chant’s place in the liturgy, despite decades of objections.
For example, some had questioned how the faithful could participate with texts which were in Latin, even though by the grace of God, the church had spread over the whole Globe for nearly two millenia with mass said in our sacred language. Cardinal Arinze, responding to this objection, said,
“Good music helps to promote prayer, to raise the minds of people to God and to give people a taste of the goodness of God. Gregorian Chant touches the depths of the soul. It shows joy, sorrow, repentance, petition, hope, praise or thanksgiving, as the particular feast, part of the Mass or other prayer may indicate. It makes the Psalms come alive. It has a universal appeal which makes it suitable for all cultures and peoples. … It is not true that the lay faithful do not want to sing the Gregorian Chant. What they are asking for are priests and monks and nuns who will share this treasure with them.” (given in an address at the 2006 Gateway Liturgical Conference)
We see, then, that members of the Church’s hierarchy continued to confront the baseless objections that Gregorian chant is no longer suitable for the faithful of this age. In fact, the Second Vatican Council dedicated a whole document to sacred music. What the Fathers did not expound upon in Sacrosanctum Concilium was further explained in the 1967 Instruction on Music in the Sacred Liturgy called Musicam Sacram which states:
“Above all, the study and practice of Gregorian chant is to be promoted, because, with its special characteristics, it is a basis of great importance for the development of sacred music.
“New works of sacred music should conform faithfully to the principles and norms set out above. In this way they will have ‘the qualities proper to genuine sacred music, being within the capacities not merely of large choirs but of smaller choirs, facilitating the participation of all the faithful.’”
Pope St John Paul II further strengthened this call to sacred music when he made the following communication in honour of Pius X’s significant teaching early in that same century:
“Among the musical expressions that correspond best with the qualities demanded by the notion of sacred music, especially liturgical music, Gregorian chant has a special place.’… ‘ Gregorian chant continues also today to be an element of unity in the Roman Liturgy.”
Pope St .John Paul II was clear when he spoke of sacred music and its valuable use today in the liturgy and reminded the Church of his own desire to heavily promote sacred music in the liturgy, and especially Gregorian chant:
“On various occasions I too have recalled the precious role and great importance of music and song for a more active and intense participation in liturgical celebrations. I have also stressed the need to ‘purify worship from ugliness of style, from distasteful forms of expression, from uninspired musical texts which are not worthy of the great act that is being celebrated,’ to guarantee dignity and excellence to liturgical compositions.”
Upon his election to the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI continued to promote and encourage the use of chant in liturgical celebrations. With this in mind, the “first place” of Gregorian Chant in Catholic liturgy, meant what it said: Gregorian chant should be the first choice when selecting musical settings for individual liturgical celebrations.
While the Church has always valued Gregorian chant as the ideal form of music for the sacred liturgy, this point has been explicitly repeated for more than 100 years by our popes, especially in light of Pius X’s push in 1903 to make sacred music a priority in the Church.
The statement on the place of Gregorian Chant in Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II, may be brief, but we can see through the ages that the Church never abandoned her rule that Gregorian chant is to be taught to all members of the Church. This applies especially to the clergy so that they may teach their flocks, and used as the first choice when planning a celebration of the Roman Rite.
To this end, at St Thomas More church, we use the simple chant given to us by the church in the missal and hymn book, both in Latin and English. Furthermore, we have introduced a simplified chant in both Latin and English masses in which the given entrance and communion antiphons on any particular Sunday or feast day are sung in chant with psalm verses. In this way, the texts of the day are fully integrated and proclaimed in song rather than being replaced by an over- familiar hymn: too often hymns may reflect the preferences of a priest or musician unlike the singing of antiphons, which always proclaim the church’s words of the day. Step by step, our choir and musicians have been supportively leading the way in moving us away from a reliance on easy modern hymns by joyfully singing the propers and Kyriale of the mass in addition to many other treasures of chant at the appropriate time and season.
To support parishes singing the chant, the Association for Latin in the Liturgy has produced a very user friendly book in which all the entrance antiphons (and soon coming, communion antiphons) are set to a simplified chant accessible to all people which we have been using at St Thomas More. We have also been pioneers for the new chant settings of the communion antiphons. We welcome Fr Guy and other members of the association to our parish this weekend and hope to learn some more.
(With full thanks and credit given to FR NOAH CARTER author of the scholarly article, ‘Why Gregorian Chant has first place in the liturgy’. Fr Carter is a priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina and his article is featured on the website of BRIAN WILLIAMS, author of ‘Why Tradition, Why Now’ available from Amazon. See https://liturgyguy.com/2016/09/20/why-gregorian-chant-has-first-place-in-the-liturgy/ for full, unedited article)
CONFIRMATION 2022 Next meeting: Come to The Chant Day at St Thomas More from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 2nd July. The day includes lots of singing and a three- course lunch. Please confirm attendance with Fr Jonathon by email this week for lunch arrangements. All confirmation candidates can attend free.
No meeting this Sunday (26th June).
Sunday 3rd July we will meet at 4.00 p.m. for a practice in church and confessions.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION 2022. Sunday 26TH June, 4.00 P.M. Procession of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction at St. Thomas More Church followed by a party and presentation of certificates in the Hall. Sadly, the Lesnes Abbey procession will not be taking place this year again, but we will have a good celebration here instead. The hall is available all day for parents to prepare for the party.
‘Children’s Liturgy’ . This Sunday at the 9.00 a.m. Mass.
Message of thanks from Fr John O’Donoghue for his anniversary mass: To all who planned and organised the celebration of the 60th anniversary of my ordination on the 4th June at St Thomas More Church, a big thank you. A special word of thanks to Jacquie, musicians and choir and also a special word of thanks to the children of St Thomas More School; Mulligans Funeral Directors who kindly printed the booklet and helped organise the buffet and a big thanks you to all those who were present on the day, for your very generous and varied gifts and everyone else who sent cards and good wishes. I will say Mass for your intentions. If you were unable to attend but you wish to say ‘hello’ please contact me on 02082651661. See you in 10 years. God Bless. Fr John.
Message of thanks for your support of Cafod’s work in Ukraine. Mrs Jo Ketterick, director of fundraising for CAFOD, thanks you for your support of families and communities affected by the war in Ukraine. Everyday essentials were provided quickly as well as safe spaces and support for vulnerable people. Your donations are continuing to help those suffering the consequences of this terrible war in Poland, Romania and Moldova and of course in Ukraine. Catholics in England and Wales have donated over £3 million, and this is enabling immediate, practical support – such as the provision of food, clothing, shelter and transport. ‘Please keep the people of Ukraine and all our brothers and sisters who face daily suffering, in your prayers’. Visit cafod.org.uk/UkraineAppeal for more information.
Enjoy an evening out
St Thomas More Parish Club
A social evening for all the family, everybody welcome
Music by DUCK SOUP
Friday 8th July 2022, 8.00 pm till 11pm.
Admission - Adults £3 at the door
St Thomas More Hall, Long Lane DA7 5JW
For more information call
Jenny 07710 527692 Mary 07749 197957
For all our brothers and sisters who ate the Body of Christ, the bread of Life, that they may be raised up on the Last Day. (Drawn from the intercession of the Funeral Mass)
Please pray for the soul of:
Christopher Brook who died on Saturday 7th May, aged 45.
Alice Carrasco who died on Sunday 22nd May 2022 aged 85.Her Funeral Requiem was on Tuesday 7th June.
Norah Brady, aged 91, who died on Monday 30th May 2022. Her Funeral Requiem was on Monday 20th .June at 11.00 a.m. with committal at Hillview. Theresa and Catherine thank you all for your support and prayers in this difficult time of bereavement.
Robert Melville Cruikshank, aged 84, who died on Monday 6th June at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. His funeral will take place at St Thomas More on Tuesday 28th June at 1.00 p.m. with committal at Eltham Crematorium.
May the divine assistance remain with them always, and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
PRAY FOR THE CONVERSION OF RUSSIA!
PRAY FOR PEACE IN THE WORLD!
MAKE REPARATION TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
FIRST SATURDAY FATIMA DEVOTIONS
Saturday 2nd July
9.00 a.m. confessions
9.30 a.m. Rosary
10.00 a.m. Holy Mass
10.30 a.m. meditation
MASSES AND INTENTIONS FOR THE THIRTEENTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME.
Instaurare Omnia in Christo: "to restore all things in Christ."
Saturday 25th June [The nativity of S. John the Baptist TC]
9.00 a.m. Confessions
9.30 a.m. Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. [Latin 1962] Christopher Azodah R.I.P. (1st anniversary)
6.00 p.m. Confessions.
+ 6.30 p.m. THIRTEENTH SUNDAY. (C) Tony Bass R.I.P.
Second Collection: ‘Peter’s Pence’ at all Sunday masses.
Sunday 26th June
8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+ 9.00 a.m. SUNG. With ‘children’s liturgy’ . The people of the parish.
+ 11.00 a.m. SOLEMN LATIN MASS (with English Readings/ missa orbis factor). Paraic Mulkerrin R.I.P. ( 6th anniversary)
3.30 p.m. First Holy Communion Children: Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction followed by party in hall with FHC cake and presentation of certificates.
7.00 p.m. Parish Social Evening in the Hall. All welcome.
Monday 27th June St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop & doctor of the church.
The Daily Rosary at home.
NO PUBLIC MASS TODAY.
Tuesday 28th June St Irenaeus, bishop & martyr, memorial.
8.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+9.00 a.m. Robert Cruikshank R.I.P.
1.00 p.m. Funeral Service for Robert Cruikshank followed by committal at Eltham.
Wednesday 29th June SAINTS PETER & PAUL, APOSTLES, solemnity, holy day of obligation.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+10.00 a.m. Holy Souls.
+ 7.00 p.m. Fr Roger Nesbitt W.B.
Thursday 30th June The first martyrs of the holy Roman church.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+10.00 a.m. Bernie Fernandes W.B.
1.00 p.m. Thursday Lunch Club.
Friday 1st July Saint Oliver Plunket, bishop & martyr.
9.30 a.m. The Daily Rosary
+10.00 a.m. Gerry Mulholland R.I.P.
6.00 p.m. Choir Practice.
Saturday 2nd July The Visitation of the BVM. TC. FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTIONS.
9.00 a.m. Confessions
9.30 a.m. Rosary
+ 10.00 a.m. [Latin 1962] Michael Akhudenor R.I.P. followed by silent meditation on the mysteries of the rosary until 11.00 a.m.
ASSOCIATION FOR LATIN IN THE LITURGY CHANT WORSKSHOP UNTIL ABOUT 4.00 P.M.
[+ 6.30 p.m. FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME Jack Fernandes R.I.P. month’s mind]
June prayer 2. To be said three times whenever facing difficulty:
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
Blessings to you all, Fr Jonathon