Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Christmas Music at St. Stanislaus

Me in my White and Gold Festal Vestments

I mentioned in my previous post that we had some beautiful music here at St. Stanislaus for Christmas. And so indeed we had.

For Midnight Mass, we put together an ensemble of 12 men from the parish, and they did a wonderful job of singing! I'm afraid I don't have a photo of them. It's probably just as well, as some of them, I'm sure, would be annoyed at having their pictures posted here...

They sang the Introit for Christmas, Puer Natus Est Nobis. Now, some purists out there might say "wait a minute, that's the introit for Christmas day." And that would be true. But since the guys sang at Midnight, and Puer Natus Est is perhaps the best known of the Christmas chants, it seemed to to me the way to go for a parish that's largely unaccustomed to chant. So you'll have to cut me a little slack, OK...

At any rate, they did a fine job on it, especially since, for most of the guys, it was their first time singing chant:

Introit: Puer Natus Est Nobis

Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis. Cuius imperium super humerum eius: et vocabitur nomen eius, magni consilii Angelus.

Ps. Cantate Domino canticum novum: quia mirabilia fecit.

A child is born for us, a son is given to us. Dominion shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel.

Ps. Sing to the Lord a new song: for He has done wonderful deeds.

We also sang Kyrie V, which is one of my favorites. It seems especially festive and joyful to me. It's becoming the Kyrie that we use here for special Feasts and Solemnities. We've used it enough now that my parishioners are coming to know it fairly well. That fact, however, wasn't enough to keep me from making a mistake in intoning the second part. However, I think it still came off creditably:

Kyrie: Mass V

For the offertory, the men's ensemble sang the classic Catholic Christmas hymn "Sleep, Holy Babe" (also sung by the school children at the Vigil Mass):

Offertory: Sleep, Holy Babe

The Creche at St. Stanislaus

For Communion, the men sang again, an English version of the 15th century Latin hymn Puer Natus in Bethlehem. It was well-suited for use during communion, with the people invited to join in the repeated refrain "A new song let us sing..." Speaking of the refrain, the men are singing the refrain with an organum-style harmony.

Communion: A Child Is Born in Bethlehem

To Father, Son, and Spirit raise, alleluia:
A never-ending song of praise, alleluia, alleluia!
A new song let us sing, Christ is born,
O come and adore, and let our gladness ring!