Pilgrims Primers from long ago

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It was back when I was pretty new to the Maternal Heart of Mary Church, Lewisham, that I was asked to use my Gregorian chant typesetting skills to make up a booklet for a new Pilgrimage planned for the feast of St Mary of the Cross (Mackillop).

I used the same source files as A New Book of Old Hymns, then as I updated them I inadvertently spoiled the page numbering on the old Pilgrim’s Primer.

Both books use the old and rather obsolete OpusTeX. Both could do with a complete knock-down rebuild, except that they are still handy as they are. Preliminary experiments with gregorio have shown that there would be a lot of page layout to change, but the Mass Books in the Parramatta Apostolate of the FSSP show that gregorio can work very well.

So, that’s the story – harking back to when I would back up my files on floppy disks and use an Atari Portfolio to do the tedious data entry, neume by neume, for each hymn. Now we have databases of gabc files all ready and waiting to go.

And, no, I won’t be there on the Pilgrimage this year. I’ll be helping with the sung Mass at Lawson instead – 5pm. Also being 8 months pregnant makes the walking a bit much – hey, I’m not even sure I’ll be using the choir loft at Mass – sounds easier to sing from the back pews this time.


Soul of my Saviour

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St-Peter-Julian-EymardThis is my favourite hymn for a thanksgiving after communion.

Soul of my Savior sanctify my breast,
Body of Christ, be thou my saving guest,
Blood of my Savior, bathe me in thy tide,
wash me with waters gushing from thy side.

Strength and protection may thy passion be,
O blessèd Jesus, hear and answer me;
deep in thy wounds, Lord, hide and shelter me,
so shall I never, never part from thee.

Guard and defend me from the foe malign,
in death’s dread moments make me only thine;
call me and bid me come to thee on high
where I may praise thee with thy saints for ay.

Sheet music available at English hymns in the commons thanks to the Church Music Association of America

New website

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For choir stuff, new improved website:


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Annunciation The Practice Disc

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Happy St Joseph’s Day everyone!

Mass went well – a very happy lady who hadn’t heard a sung Latin Mass since she was 34 when she got married and they said the wedding had to be in English now, no more Latin. She still remembers the chant after all these years.

And that’s why we do it – staying up late, risking making fools of ourselves during holy Mass.

So, next Monday is the feast of the Annunciation. It’s also the last week before Holy Week which I would also like to prepare for, but a good Marian feast will be fun.

The Sheet Music

and avemarc.pdf from the Arcadelt page at Werner Icking Music Archive.

Finished the evening’s recording session!

The Chant:

Better recordings are at Antoine Daniel Mass Parts (Mass 9) and St Benedict’s Sao Paolo (propers for the Annunciation).

  1. 01introittext
  2. 02introit
  3. 03kyrie9
  4. 04gloria9
  5. 05gradualtext
  6. 06gradual
  7. 07tracttext
  8. 08tract
  9. 09credo1
  10. 10sanctus9
  11. 11agnusdei9
  12. 12communiontext
  13. 13communion
  14. 14itemissaest

The Extras:

Arcadelt’s Ave Maria
Me singing the soprano line solo : AveMariaSopSolo
Me singin the alto line with a prerecorded somewhat clumsy redition of the soprano and bass on the organ : AveMariaAltowithOrgan
For free mp3s to add to your practice disc see Coro et Laboro (a capella) and Coro Voci di Trezzano (with organ) (both discovered through Classic Cat)
Someone on youtube has put up Choir Tracks of this one – a few different clips covering all the parts played with synthetic piano and strings. The video follows the sheet music. And there are Heaps of other recordings out there.

The other extra is for Communion. The Magnificat of Mr Ronan Reilly, hopefully.

There is so much good music out there!

If you can make it on Monday and would benefit from having a hard copy of all this, please get in touch and I can get one in your letterbox before the weekend.

All welcome, admission is free! I was going to say it’s a pretty echoey place and might be tricky with noisy bubs, but there were a fair number of wee bairns there today and was fine. Some had a bit of a run in the vestibule/narthex/foyer/whatever you call it. It’s solemn, but not formal – if that makes sense?

St Joseph’s Day


Monday 19th March, 10.30am at St Finbar’s Catholic Church, Glenbrook


Mass 8, Credo 3, psalm toned propers with extra verses at Communion (psalm 111). Ubi Caritas as the Offertory motet. Great St Joseph, Son of David as the Recessional hymn.

Choir to be there by 9.45am, please.

For those not familiar with the music, I sat down and ran through the whole booklet and cut it into tracks:
take1-01.mp3 the Introit text
take1-02 Introit with tune
take1-03 Kyrie 8
take1-04 Gloria 8
take1-05 Collect
take1-06 Gradual text
take1-07 Gradual with tune
take1-08 Tract text
take1-09 Tract with tune
take1-10 Credo 3
take1-11 Offertory text
take1-12 Offertory with tune
take1-13 Ubi caritas
take1-14 Preface
take1-15 Sanctus
take1-16 Agnus Dei
take1-17 Communion text
take1-18 Communion with tune
take1-18 Ite, missa est
take1-18 Great St Joseph


I’m putting this together on a CD along with some more beautiful recordings as shown below:

Not exactly those recordings, but you get the idea.

So that’s the plan. See you there!

Laetare Sunday plans

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The booklets are done:


See the earlier post for links to recordings. Laetare part one.

Going with the order in the booklets:

repleator2 – is not for the Mass, but a prayer before choir practice.

The Asperges is the ad lib one they do in Lent at Maternal Heart. It’s a little simplified from the regular one. I think it’s still okay to do the regular one though if it makes things easier.

laetareantiphon just the antiphon part. The psalm part is prett easy and I’m out of time right now so see how you go!

Hopefully I’ll update this later, but for now you have lots to go on.

St Therese of the Child Jesus

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I have a little hymnbook called “Dwyer’s Catholic Hymn Book”. It is a little like a hermit crab as its cover proclaims it to be “The Australian Catholic Hymn Book by Louis Gille Ltd.” The Imprimatur is from 1940.

Looking for hymns for the Draft Traditional Hymnbook there was an idea to put in hymns to each of Australia’s Patron saints – Our Lady Help of Christians, St Therese of the Child Jesus and St Francis Xavier. St Therese is a fairly recent saint so hymns in her honour are a bit more tricky to find, but she is incredibly popular. The verses that follow are from a hymn credited to A Daily Hymn Book. I don’t have any more information as I don’t have a copy of the Daily Hymn Book and Dwyer’s gives no more info. Checking with a library, the only credit is to “a Carmelite nun”.

1 Lift up thine eyes unto the hills,
And see o’er Carmel’s distant height,
A new and brilliant star, which thrills
Our souls with its celestial light!

2 ‘Mid all the stars which crown our Queen,
Or lilies of her heav’nly bower,
No star, no bloom hath fairer been
Than Jesus’ humble “Little Flow’r,”

3 Hers was no life to gain renown,
Or move the world her praise to sing,
She won no martyr’s ruby crown,
No message bore to Pope or King.

4 Then, why the bright, unearthly glow
Which crowns that brow so sweet and mild?
It mirrors forth, for us below,
Christ’s words: “Be as a little child.”

5 Hidden by Carmel’s cloister-wall,
But e’en more “hid with Christ in God,”
Love’s victim, who, in giving all,
Her “Little Way” unswerving trod.

6 No earthly cloud e’er came between
Teresa and her Only Love,
While all unnotic’d and unseen,
She lived as angels live above.

7 And still her pray’rs make sick men whole,
To anguish’d minds bring peace and rest—
More wondrous still, those heal’d in soul
By thousands “rise, and call her blest.”

8 Teresa of the Child Divine!
Styl’d “Saint” by Holy Church’s pow’r,
The sacred aureole is thine—
But still thou’rt Jesus’ “Little Flower.”

Pick your favourite Long Meter tune for singing.

I’ve taken just the last 4 stanzas for my hymnbook.

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