11th Sunday after Pentecost – Aug. 25

Organ Prelude: Ave Maris Stella, Flor Peeters (1903-1986)

Procession: Organ Improvisation

Mass in G, G.B. Casali (1715-1792)

Offertory Motet: Exaltabo te, Casali

Organ Music during Communion: Pange lingua, Peeters

Last Gospel: Sub tuum praesidium (Mode VII)

Hymn: The God whom earth and sea and sky [Latin title: Quem terra, pontus, aethera] Text by Fortunatus, prolific and masterful hymnographer of the 6th century.

Benediction: O Salutaris DUGUET; Salve Regina (Simplex); Tu es Petrus (Mode VII); Tantum ergo (Mode III); Holy God, We Praise thy Name GROSSER GOTT [Descant: Charles Thatcher]

Sortie: Choral No. 2 from L’Orgue Mystique, Charles Tournemire (1870-1939)



Organ Music for Low Mass Imm. Heart of Mary – Aug. 22

Before Mass: Nigra sum sed formosa, Marcel Dupré (Vespers of the BVM)

Entrance: Speciosa facta es, [same collection as above]

Offertory: Ave Maris Stella. III [same collection as above]

Before & After the Consecration: Quid nunc in tenebris, Alexandre Guilmant

Communion: Ave Maris Stella, Flor Peeters, Op. 75

After Mass: Sortie sur l’Hymne Quid nunc in tenebris, Alexandre Guilmant

7th Sunday after Pentecost

Thoughts on the Minor Propers of the day from Dom Gueranger and Dom Johner:

From east and west, from north and south, they are pouring in, sitting to the banquet of the kingdom, in company with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Here is our Introit; let us mingle our voices with these their glad chants. (Omnes gentes…) In comparison with the preceding Sundays, a change of feeling now becomes apparent in the antiphonal chants. The former were serious, entreating, imploring confidence. Now they have a tone of joyous exultation.

Gradual – Only when the soul is permeated with the fear of God will the exhortation of the Apostle in today’s Epistle be carried into effect. The Church invites her children to come and receive from her the knowledge of the fear of the Lord. The Alleluia verse again calls upon the Gentiles, the heirs of Jacob, to celebrate in gladness the gift of God.

The Offertory-anthem has been selected, according to Honorius of Autumn, in allusion to the sacrifice of the thousand victims which were offered at Gabaon by Solomon, in the early days of his reign; when the sacrifice was ended, he was bidden to ask, what he would have God give to him: he desired and obtained wisdom, with the addition of riches and glory, for which he had not asked. It depends upon us, that the sacrifice which is here ready to be offered up, should be equally, and even more, accepted of God, for it is Incarnate Wisdom that is being offered to the most high God; He desires to obtain for us all the gifts of His eternal Father, and to give Himself also to us.

Special impressiveness is added to the simple prayer of the Communion by the five-fold repetition of one single motive, although with a little variation each time. “Bow down Thine ear!” For now Thou art so near to me in Holy Communion. Better than myself dost Thou know all my difficulties and perplexities, all the dark recesses of my spirit, all that remains since the time when I was yet “a servant of sin”. This prayer could not but have been set in the plaintive – and always surprising – fourth mode.


A great question came up as to the interpretation of the episema, specifically the episematic torculus. It’s commonly thought that the episema means to hold a note, even for double value. But the progenitors of the Old Solesmes School (which we use) teach that the episema is an expression mark, sometimes indicating a ritardando, but not necessarily. The torculus with episema often occurs at the ends of incises and phrases, so it acts as a “speed bump” of sorts to help bring the line to a close. In the middle of a piece, the ritard will probably not be as pronounced as it would be at the very end of the piece. The choirmaster has plenty of discretion in this.

4th Sunday after Pentecost

Most of the organ music played today was by César Franck. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/César_Franck

The postlude is variously called Piece Symphonique or Offertorie en Sol, as it was not one included in his collections of principal compositions, but in a compilation of posthumous pieces.

The setting of the Offertory was by Fr. Carlo Rossini, of (in)famous psalm-tone proper fame. He also composed Offertory motets for organ and SATB for the entire liturgical year, full of charm. This was one of them and you will hear many more!