Thursday, November 27, 2008

Befitting Conclusion of a Splendid Liturgical Weekend

After serving and singing for the Pontifical Requiem Mass on Friday, the Brothers of the Little Oratory concluded the weekend by celebrating Vespers at St. Anne's on Sunday, Nov. 23 (last Sunday after Pentecost). Hebdomadary was the parish pastor, Fr. Carl Gismondi, F.S.S.P. , to whom we are grateful for his availability and kindness. Fr. John Lyons, O.M.V. sat also in choir. With the exception of the two priests, all in choirs were Brothers of the Little Oratory, wearing the white Philippine collars around their necks. The seventh brother, our very own Fratellino, was busy in the choir loft playing the organ. Immediately following the ceremony, the Brothers prayed the Exercises for Sunday. We thank Ms. Rachel Gray for graciously sending us photographs of the event.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Palestrina Mass for Immaculate Conception at St. Anne's, Sicard Street

Sung Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception will be celebrated on Monday Dec. 8th at 7:00pm at St. Anne's Church, Sicard St. in San Diego. The La Jolla Renaissance Singers will contribute the Mass Ordinary in sacred polyphony, which will be the Missa "Hodie Christus natus est" for double-choir by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. The LJRS are a local choir currently directed by Prof. William H.C. Propp, which was founded in 1964 as the UCSD Madrigal Singers, yet in all their long history, they have never sung the Catholic mass liturgically. The presence of St. Anne's parish and the Holy Mass on a daily basis in our diocese now makes that possible. A schola of the Brothers of the Little Oratory in San Diego have also been invited to sing the chant-propers of the mass. The Brothers of the Little Oratory return many thanks to Fr. Carl Gismondi, F.S.S.P. for providing the opportunity to manifest this happy synthesis of local resources "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam", to the Greater Glory of God.

Requiem Review

The Brothers of the Little Oratory wish to thank all who were involved in the Pontifical Requiem Mass offered on Friday, 21 November 2008 by H.E. Bp. Salvatore Cordileone for the repose of the soul of Msgr. Anthony Ferrero. The Brothers also wish to acknowledge that the mass was attended by the family of Marie Breda, who died this past October 14th at the age of 5 years. As little Marie had not yet attained the age of reason she of course had no need of a Requiem, however the Bishop remembered the intentions of her family in the Pontifical Requiem Mass.
Special thanks also to Fr. Richard Perozich for his hospitality; to Mr. Enzo Selvaggi for the generous use of his Vestments; to Ms. Catherine Florentino for the regalia associated with the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre; and to Mr. Richard Dawes for producing excellent mass booklets.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pontifical Requiem Mass on November 21st

Pontifical Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Friday, 21 November at 3:30pm in St. Mary's Church, Escondido, CA by H.E. Bp. Salvatore Cordileone, for the repose of the soul of the Rev. Msgr. Anthony Ferrero of the Diocese of San Bernardino. Msgr. Ferrero died this October 12th, and will be remembered in San Diego for having served as Assistant Priest in Bp. Cordileone's Solemn Pontifical High Mass for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross in 2005. The Mass will be served by the Brothers of the Little Oratory in San Diego, with polyphony provided by members of the Bach Collegium San Diego. More details as they become available.

All Souls Day in the Campo Santo, San Diego

Every All Souls Day for the past few years, in order to obtain the graces associated with visiting a Cemetery and there praying for the Dead, I have visited the old Campo Santo cemetery in Old Town, San Diego, formerly associated with the Immaculate Conception adobe chapel in Conde Street.

This is the oldest burying ground in the city, the first outside the Presidio itself, and while it attracts more than its share of tourists and visiting school children, it is still consecrated ground, and the locally historic graves with their restored wooden enclosures and descriptive legends are a direct and moving link to the original civic settlement, now all but invisible in the welter of development and urban sprawl.
Though it is fairly heavily touristed, and the graves are frequently decorated with a fresh flower or a votive candle, it is still unusual to see someone actually praying there, so I have considered it not only a pleasure, but a duty to return there at least annually as a member of the church militant. I also encourage others to do so as well, as often as possible.

I won't try to be comprehensive, but only to offer a representative sampling of the memorials and markers. But one in particular caught my eye this year. The boundaries of the Campo Santo have shrunk somewhat since its heyday, and just outside the Southwest gate of the cemetery, in the middle of a wheel-chair access cut in the sidewalk, is a very small brass button set into the concrete, about the size of a half dollar, which says "Grave Site."

I wondered how many people on foot or on wheelchairs walk over that button every day, and never know that they are walking on someone's final resting place. It is, perhaps, the most innocuously marked grave I think I've ever seen, and before this year I didn't even know that it was there. I stopped and prayed, crossed myself, and in leaving Old Town, promised not to forget that unknown soul. It's what I'd want someone to do for me. Requiescant In Pace...Margherita, Jesus, ConcepciĆ³n, Mamoudes, y todos.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Vespers of All Hallows '08 at St. Anne's, Sicard St.

Under the motto of “Reclaim All Hallows’ Eve for Christ,” the fifth annual 1st Vespers (opening evening prayer) of the Feast of All Saints (or All Hallows) was sung in the new Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Traditional Parish St. Anne on 31 October 2008.

The Vespers were served and sung by the Brothers of the Little Oratory in San Diego, Fr. Carl Gismondi FSSP officiating. Translational booklets in Latin, English and Spanish were specially prepared for this liturgy.
Choral music, including a Magnificat setting by Hernando Franco (ca. 1580), a Maestro da Capella for the great Cathedral at Mexico City, was contributed by members of the BACH Collegium San Diego led by John Polhamus.
Other choral music included the Magnificat Antiphon "Angeli, archangeli" set by Andrea Gabrieli (ca. 1585), and at Benediction the motets "Ave Virgo Sanctissima" by Francisco Guererro, and "O quam gloriosum" by T. L. de Victoria.
The success of the liturgy was facilitated in no small measure by the restoration of the Altar to its original position earlier in the day. The work took most of the day, and was finished only an hour before the scheduled time for Vespers. The difficult cleanup was accomplished by parishioners in time for a crowd of fifty, plus fifteen in the choir loft and another fifteen in the sanctuary to enjoy the interrupted architectural flow from the doors, through the generous sanctuary, all tending ultimately to the altar and the tabernacle.

All were thus able, led by their priest, to face Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament together from beginning to end. Other restorative work will include St. Anne's chapel, the reredos surrounding the altar, paint and carpet issues, and the replacement of the communion rail. As the photographs clearly show, the work of restoration is far from done but, said Fr. Gismondi, "This was an auspicious liturgical christening for the restored altar."

Following the Vespers and Benediction, the faithful circled the church in a solemn candlelight procession, led by the liturgical choir chanting the Litany of the Saints.

All making a solemn processional entrance into the church, the faithful returned to the pews for the final prayers and dismissal, then sang the fervent hymn "For all the Saints", accompanied by the choir, organ and strings of the SantoniƱo Ensemble.

Special Thanks to Jean Perko for taking these excellent photos!