Communion Antiphons for Advent & Christmas • NEW • World Library Publications

ORLD LIBRARY Publications, the music and liturgy division of J. S. Paluch Company, Inc. has recently released my collection of Communion Antiphons for Christmas. These nine antiphons are set to the English translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, with verses according to the Graduale Romanum.

You may also learn about and listen to my Communion Antiphons for Advent here.

Scores are available in hard copies or for digital download:

Order • View sample pages:
Octavo • “Communion Antiphons for Christmas” (for SATB Choir, Cantor, Assembly, Organ, Trumpet)

“Click & Print” • PDF Download:
PDF • “Communion Antiphons for Christmas” (for SATB Choir, Cantor, Assembly, Organ, Trumpet)

All are chant based including quotes of Puer natus est nobis and the Mode I Ave Maria.
May be sung with cantor or unison schola or optional SATB
Several include optional vocal and trumpet descants.

BE SURE TO LISTEN to recordings directed by Paul French, Director of the William Ferris Chorale and Music Director of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Chicago. You can hear six of the nine antiphons here. (Each antiphon has several more verses than are recorded here.)

*Note the two options for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God: Rejoice, O Daughter Zion (Exsulta fiIia Sion) is prescribed for the Mass at Dawn in the Roman Missal. It is also is prescribed also for the Solemnity of Mary in the Graduale Romanum.

HY SING THE PROPERS AT ALL? Forget GIRM 87 that gives singing the antiphons from the Roman Missal or Grandulae Romanum the highest preference. Forget the tradition of the propers being integral to the Roman Rite for well over a millennium. Forget that Sing to the Lord: Music In Divine Worship (SttL) gives singing the antiphons and psalms very high priority.

But remember the wisdom of the faithful who came before us. What matters most is that the antiphons and psalms we sing during communion most always point us back to the Gospel. Often they are from the Gospel itself or another reading. The psalms, which are just as important as the antiphons, shed deeper light upon the sacred mysteries and the Gospel. These scriptures amplify our prayer while receiving the Bread of Life.

I could go on for many pages, but I leave you with this simple story:

The best note I ever received on this topic came from a woman who probably knows nothing about the antiphons, the GIRM, or the rubrics. But she knows prayer and she knows her heart. She said “Isn’t it wonderful to sing the Gospel while receiving the Eucharist!”

This kind of intuitive understanding is born of the wisdom of the ages—from many faithful who came before us. This above all is why we sing the Mass.

Consciously or not, the scriptures sung in the antiphons and psalms touch the heart. Live daily with the Word, and we will be transformed.

Soli Deo gloria

Beauty and Liturgy | Pope Saint John Paul II’s Letter to Artists

OPE SAINT JOHN PAUL II’s Letter to Artists (1999) is an inspired document worth reading and rereading. In it he outlines the relationship between art and faith – between beauty, goodness, and truth as well as our responsibility to an “artistic vocation in the service of beauty.” (Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists, §3) Implications for the liturgy are unmistakable and its influence on faith incontrovertible.

* *   Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists • 1999

With regard to the liturgy, Saint John Paul is clear in the relationship between beauty and truth. Through this relationship, Gregorian Chant expresses the eternal in celebration of the mass:

Gregory the Great compiled the Antiphonarium and thus laid the ground for the organic development of that most original sacred music which takes its name from him. Gregorian chant, with its inspired modulations, was to become down the centuries the music of the Church’s faith in the liturgical celebration of the sacred mysteries. The “beautiful” was thus wedded to the “true”, so that through art too souls might be lifted up from the world of the senses to the eternal. (Ibid, §7)

This is a bold statement, especially in light of St. John Paul’s strong words on Gregorian Chant, just a few years later in 2003:

12. With regard to compositions of liturgical music, I make my own the “general rule” that St Pius X formulated in these words: “The more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savour the Gregorian melodic form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes.” (Chirograph for the Centenary of Tra le sollecitudini)

St. John Paul also makes an appeal to musicians and architects. Such a profound effect architecture has upon our worship and our soul! It can be deleterious, or it can lift our minds to greater things. Architecture can remove us from present worldliness and draw us heavenward into timeless eternity. Likewise, music does the same. It can either be harmful, or sometimes worse – endlessly harmless. Or music can uplift, edify, and sanctify the soul.

I appeal especially to you, Christian artists: I wish to remind each of you that, beyond functional considerations, the close alliance that has always existed between the Gospel and art means that you are invited to use your creative intuition to enter into the heart of the mystery of the Incarnate God and at the same time into the mystery of man. (Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists, §14)

AINT JOHN PAUL LAYS OUT THE RESPONSIBILITY of the artist. He clearly recognizes not only the importance and “profound respect” for art, but for its necessity. It is our responsibility to seek and employ what is beautiful, and to do the best we can with what is possible. Through this beauty we praise God. Through beauty, we evangelize. Art expresses our faith, articulates our prayer, and reminds us of how we must live. Beauty lifts the faith of those around us. St. John Paul calls us to this responsibility but also gives a stern warning:

The particular vocation of individual artists decides the arena in which they serve and points as well to the tasks they must assume, the hard work they must endure and the responsibility they must accept. Artists who are conscious of all this know too that they must labour without allowing themselves to be driven by the search for empty glory or the craving for cheap popularity, and still less by the calculation of some possible profit for themselves. (Ibid, §4)

Finally, it must be understood that the simple is often beautiful. We likely do not have endless resources, financial and otherwise, to create the most beautiful sacred liturgy. We must do what is possible. The simplest of chant and inspired melody, sung well and with prayerful heart, expresses truth. One might evoke Pope Francis who calls for a Church of and for the poor. In the recognition of all human dignity, the poor especially deserve truth from which beauty emanates. The greatest beauty often comes from the least among us.

N COMPOSING THE Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II, I pray that I have lived up to some of the his words. If not, I will strive further! This mass is published with the approval for liturgical use by the Committee on Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

DOWNLOAD Complete Score (2.3 MG):
PDF • Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II (for Schola, Organ, SATB)

DOWNLOAD Unison/Organist Edition:
PDF • Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II (for Schola, Organ)

SATB Recordings by the St. Cecilia Choir, Boston, MA, with the 1999 Smith & Gilbert Organ:

YouTube:  Penitential Act C | Kyrie
YouTube:  Gloria
YouTube:  Sanctus
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation A
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation B
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation C
YouTube:  Doxology, Amen
YouTube:  Agnus Dei

Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II on “Sounds from the Spires” and the Youth-Based Chant Movement


ASS IN HONOR of Pope Saint John Paul II” was recently featured on “Sounds from the Spires” on SIRIUS XM 129 Radio, The Catholic Channel.

I had the opportunity to speak with the program’s host, Dr. Jennifer Pascual, Director of Music for Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. In addition, special guest, Ryan Lynch, Director of Music and Organist at St. Raphael’s Parish in Medford, MA joined the program to discuss the youth-propelled chant movement, the new economic model of publishing, and how it is reshaping the liturgical landscape.

• PODCAST • You can listen here to the program broadcast on 5.18.2014:

DOWNLOAD Complete Score (2.3 MG):
PDF • Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II (for Schola, Organ, SATB)
Published with the approval for liturgical use by the Committee on Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

• Music from this broadcast:
“Mass in Honor of Pope St. John Paul II” | St. Cecilia Choir, Boston, MA

YouTube:  Penitential Act C | Kyrie
YouTube:  Gloria
YouTube:  Sanctus
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation A
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation B
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation C
YouTube:  Doxology, Amen
YouTube:  Agnus Dei

YouTube:  Christe qui lux es et dies | The Seraphim Singers, Jennifer Lester, Director
YouTube:  St. Cecilia Day Variations | St. Cecilia Schola, Richard J. Clark, organ

• TWO BONUS PODCASTS! Here is my 2012 interview on “Sounds from the Spires.”

From 2013 Richard Kelley, trumpet, and Richard J. Clark discuss their CD, “Requiem pour une américaine à Paris”

Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II


VER SINCE MY WIFE was expecting our third child, I began composing this mass setting in thanksgiving to God for my son, Sean Paul to whom it is dedicated. While composed in a chant style, each melody is reminiscent of a simple lullaby. (The Sanctus is perhaps the best example.) Like chant, when one sings a lullaby, one often doesn’t focus on meter and timing. The words and melody flow naturally and are fully devoted to the child. Likewise, chant is fully devoted to God flowing in much the same way. As such, this mass can even be sung effectively in three ways:

1 • Unison without accompaniment

2 • Cantor/Unison Schola and Organ

3 • SATB and Organ

The voice-leading is designed to be simple; the accompaniment is well-suited for an organ of humble means.

Using the 2010 English translation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition, it is published with the approval for liturgical use by the Committee on Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

DOWNLOAD Complete Score (2.3 MG):
PDF • Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II (for SATB, Schola, Organ)

DOWNLOAD Unison/Organist Edition:
PDF • Mass in Honor of Pope Saint John Paul II (for Schola, Organ)
Recordings by the St. Cecilia Choir, Boston, MA, with the 1999 Smith & Gilbert Organ:

YouTube:  Penitential Act C | Kyrie
YouTube:  Gloria
YouTube:  Sanctus
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation A
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation B
YouTube:  Memorial Acclamation C
YouTube:  Doxology, Amen
YouTube:  Agnus Dei

LISTEN and FREE DOWNLOADS of 24 bit audio here

AM ABSOLUTELY NOTHING without my wonderful volunteers and colleagues who are generous, talented, and devoted to prayer. Many thanks to Mark Donohoe, Allesandra Cionco, Jaime Korkos, Emily Lau, Michael Olbash, Peter Tetrault, Ryan Lynch, Doug McNicol, Benjamin Mead, Robert Gregory, Gillian Lynn Cotter, Ghinwa Choueiter, Heather Young, Joseph Houley, Mark Brown, Rachel Edelman, Robert Boland, Kathleen Boland, Libby Boland, Wanner, Cynthia, William Brown, Chuck Ovivieri, Matthew Gallup, Anna Maria Licameli, Rose Sun, Michelle Ong, Patricia Almond, Rebecca Wettemann, Patricia Driscoll, Perpetua Charles, and Timothy Edward Smith

Mass of the Angels | Congregational Mass Setting in English


ASS OF THE ANGELS is based on the popular and familiar Missa VIII (De angelis), which was the standard chant Mass sung in many parishes immediately prior to Vatican II. It includes Gospel acclamations and the Credo using the familiar incipit from Credo III. It is set for cantor, congregation and optional SATB choir. This setting may also be sung in unison with cantor or schola.

• It is available exclusively through CanticaNOVA Publications.
• For ordering details click here.
• PDF samples are available here.
• See below for YouTube recordings.

Adam Wood calls it “one of the best congregational settings of the new texts.” Furthermore, the mass was influenced by Theodore Marier and Richard Proulx in two areas:

I wanted to adapt these beautiful chant melodies in an accessible manner and to be mostly in English.
That the piece could translate well liturgically, whether in the grand setting of a choir of forty with a fifty rank organ of French Romantic design in a European acoustic OR with the austerity of an eight rank organ and a single voice or unison schola


Here are some sample recordings by the St. Cecilia Choir, Boston with the 1999 Smith & Gilbert Organ.

      YouTube:  Penitential Act C | Kyrie
      YouTube:  Gloria (Refrain version)
      YouTube:  Gloria (Through-composed/cantor version)
      YouTube:  Gospel Acclamations (Alleluia and Lenten options)
      Credo (response in Latin)
      YouTube:  Sanctus
      Mystery of Faith A, B, C
      Amen
      YouTube:  Agnus Dei

Free Communion Propers for the Easter Season | Years ABC


HIS COLLECTION of communion propers for the Easter Season is an update which now includes settings for all three liturgical years (A, B, C).

To sing these texts is to journey from Christ’s Resurrection to the descent of the Holy Spirit. It is quite an emotional experience when one realizes just HOW MANY ALLELUIAS are in all of the Easter propers! After abstaining from “Alleluias” throughout Lent, it is a blessed relief to sing “Alleluia” over and over again within these beautiful texts from scripture.

Free Download:
PDF • “Easter Season Communion Propers | Years ABC” (for Schola, Organ, SATB)

• Includes seventeen settings from the Easter Vigil though Pentecost Sunday.

• All are chant based in style.

• Includes a setting for the Seventh Sunday of Easter in those dioceses in which The Ascension of Our Lord is not transferred to Sunday.

• Can be sung with cantor or schola with organ. There is enormous opportunity for optional SATB singing, designed to offer contrast with unison singing.

• Optional congregation inserts for worship aids found after page 37

• Antiphon texts are English translations of those found in the Graduale Romanum. (You will find variation with the Communion propers found in the Roman Missal, especially during the Easter Season. A MUST READ article regarding Antiphons in the Roman Missal vs. the Roman Gradual is written by Jeff Ostrowski.)

HESE ANTIPHONS SHOULD ALWAYS BE SUNG with forward, yet unhurried movement, and often with an air of lightness—not always in color but in spirit and energy. Even the intensity of the Pentecost antiphon should be sung with light forward motion, yet still unhurried (despite the “rush of a mighty wind”!). Do not be afraid of engaging in mystery and energy in chant!

Each antiphon colors the text simply and occasionally with symbolic gesture. For example, the Easter Vigil / Easter Sunday antiphon ends a half step below the tonic — unresolved and evoking the mystery of the empty tomb. The Pentecost antiphon uses a similar device, bookending this collection. Another example is found in the Sixth Sunday of Easter, which utilizes an augmented fifth chord—three equal intervals representing the Trinity — the augmented fifth, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, on Ascension Thursday, the final chords in both the antiphon and verses are unsupported by the root, but instead by the third providing a sense of elevated motion.

For future reference, here are Communion propers for Lent and Advent:

Free Download:
PDF • “Twelve Communion Propers for Lent”
(for Schola, Organ, SATB)

Free Download:
PDF • “Advent Communion Propers”
(for Schola, Organ, SATB)

Have a blessed Lent and Holy Week!