The Brothers of the Little Oratory were pleased to celebrate their Eighth Annual tide of St. Philip Neri in St. Joseph's Cathedral, this past 4 & 5 June, 2010. The services included Solemn 1st Vespers of St. Philip sung Friday evening, the psalms and canticle of which were sung using the setting of W. A. Mozart, the "Solemn Vespers of a Confessor" K 3.39. This is believed to be the first recorded local use of Mozart's famous Vespers in their liturgical setting. The Thomas Luis de Victoria choir featured Mary Anne Carr-Wilson as soprano soloist, Dr. Alison Luedecke accompanied on the Cathedral's 1931 Austin pipe organ, and John Polhamus conducted. Audio clips will be made available shortly.
The following day at 2:00pm Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite was sung in the Cathedral. Fr. Victor Sczurek, O.Praem. celebrated, assisted by Fr. Justin Ramos, O.Praem. as deacon, and Mr. James Crittenden, sub-deacon. The Brothers were indispensably assisted by one of their own in the role of MC, by Mr. Ashly Paver of Cincinnati, OH, who made the journey westward to once again join the chapter for the annual observances. The music for the mass was sung by a three-voice schola of the Victoria Choir, and included the Byrd "Mass for Three Voices" and the full Gregorian propers for the mass of St. Philip Neri.
This brings the activities of the Brothers into summer time, when weekly rehearsals will be suspended in favor of weekly semi-private vespers, and Brother's "Garden Exercizes." This spring has been an active one for the Brothers, and Brothers liturgical activities have included:
~ The 10th Consecutive Traditional Tenebrae, sung at St. John the Evangelist in University Heights, featuring choral contributions from the La Jolla Renaissance Singers. A promotional video featuring musical highlights of this year's particularly rich musical offerings is being prepared with the assistance of Mr. Steve Marshall, a graduate of John Paul the Great Catholic University. The video promises to offer some of the best representation to date of the Brother's liturgical activities
~ The 24th Anniversary of the monthly Rosary Procession at the University of San Diego's Immaculata Parish Church, featuring the Brothers processing in robes of the Archconfraternity of the Most Precious Blood;
~ Gregorian contributions to the 1st Communion Mass for St. Joseph's Academy in Vista. This mass featured the 1st communion of the daughter of postulant Jon T. Velasco. The Brothers sang on behalf of a capacity congregation at St. Mark's Catholic Church in San Marcos, and were able to enhance the solemnity of the Ordinary Form mass for parents and communicants alike, offering many their first experience of liturgical chant. If actions follow initial reactions, we may hope to invited back next year, or even sooner. This was a fine example of the Brother's musico-liturgical apostolate in action.
~ The 1st Annual Brother's Rummage Sale.
~ The Eighth Annual Philiptide celebrations and Annual General Meeting of the Brothers. New officers were elected for proposal to the Father Prefect in London, and will be published upon approval.
~ And singing for the mass of Solemn Profession of Vows by Br. Ronald Custorio, O.S.A. at St. Augustine's Monastery Chapel. The Brothers sang Kyrie VI, and the Sanctus and Agnus of Mass VIII, along with Gregorian propers and a variety of Gregorian communion motets. At the generous barbecue buffet which followed, it was duly noted that the fine fare was provided by none other than "Phil's" Barbecue. The proprietor was duly provided with a Philiptide prayer-card, and introduced to the business' logical patron!
And with that, the Brothers come into the summer break, which gives us a chance to reflect on the exertions of the Fall and Spring, and to recharge our batteries for the coming season. We of course thank all those who have assisted us in our apostolate this past year, and hope that you will consider helping us again in the future. We offer prayers for all our benefactors, and request the same in return. We wish you a sun-burnished summer, leisure to enjoy it, the Blessings of our Lord and the intercessions of our Lady, St. Philip Neri, and all the saints. Summer is here: "Allegramente! Allegramente!"