Christ Is Risen!

Well done, everyone!  It has been a great blessing to pray with all of you throughout this past Lenten season. I would hate to restrict our experience of chant to the penitential seasons, so here is a little "bonus chant"  that is worth learning.  To express the joy of our Lord's resurrection, the Marian Antiphon... Continue Reading →

The Reproaches

We will be singing the Reproaches two times on Good Friday; during the Veneration of the Cross in the Liturgy (3pm) and during Tenebrae (8pm).  It will be sung with a cantor/all dynamic, which I think will help make it more accessible.  There are some difficult parts, but with a bit of practice, I do... Continue Reading →

Tenebrae: Canticle of Zachariah

The melody for the Canticle of Zachariah is more elaborate than the psalm tones, so  I thought it would be easiest to do the antiphon and the canticle in the same post. First the antiphon - here it is in solfege: ...and with the words: For the canticle itself, keep in mind that the cantor... Continue Reading →

Tenebrae: Antiphon Melodies

If you have been attending Vespers, it wont take too long for you to catch on with the Tenebrae service this Good Friday.  The cantor will sing the antiphon (and the first verse of the psalm so that you can hear the melody), followed by the two sides singing the psalm/canticle antiphonally (though be sure... Continue Reading →

New hymn for Wednesday (Holy Week)

Just a heads up for everyone taking part in Vespers at St. Monica's this Wednesday: with our move into Holy Week, the hymn we are singing will be different than the hymn during Lent.  It's a little tricky, so I put together some practice audios.  Try singing each verse a couple of times - it... Continue Reading →

What is Tenebrae?

We will be offering Tenebrae at St. Blaise on Good Friday, so I thought it would be helpful to share a video provided by Wyoming Catholic College.   The video presents a sense of Tenebrae before the changes that were made to the Divine Office a bit before Vatican II.  While many have experienced a Tenebrae... Continue Reading →

Interested in learning more?

The Church Music Association of America (CMAA) regularly offers a summer chant course at Duquesne University (June 23rd - 28th) which is a great opportunity to develop a more thorough understanding of Gregorian Chant.  This summer, they will offer two courses: a Chant Intensive, as well as Laus in Ecclesia (level 1).  I've taken part... Continue Reading →

About the hymn…

I thought it would be good to include a little more info about the hymn that we have been singing.  It is a translation of the 9th-century hymn, Iesu, quadragenariae. Here is a video of the Latin, sung during Vespers in Rome.  I included the melody under the video, along with the Latin, our translation,... Continue Reading →

Ordinary Chants for the Mass

We are blessed at St. Monica's and St. Blaise to be singing the Ordinary parts of the Mass in Latin during this season (and often during the season of Advent).  The Ordinaries (put to music in different Mass settings) are the parts which do not change - as opposed to the Propers, which are particular... Continue Reading →

Square Notes Podcast

I've added a podcast to the resource page which you might find interesting.   Square Notes: the Sacred Music Podcast was launched very recently, and plans to discuss topics such as Church documents on sacred music, the music of certain composers or eras, Gregorian chant, the role of music in Catholic education, and techniques for... Continue Reading →

On praying Antiphonally…

Antiphonal singing is when the choir is divided into two groups, with the sides alternating for each verse. [We generally have the lower voices on the left, facing the tabernacle, and the higher voices on the right to make it easier for the voices to blend.] Although there is no break between verses [while one... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑