Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Translation Thursday: Profit

Welcome to this edition of "New Translation Thursday." As I was paying attention to "the trees" (see Tuesday's blog post) this past Sunday, I was struck by a phrase in the prayer over the offerings:

Accept our offerings, O Lord, we pray,

and in sanctifying them
grant that they may profit us for salvation.
Through Christ our Lord.

I stood there saying the line over and over again in my head: "profit us for salvation." It just struck me as a little odd. When I think of the word "profit," I think of a company being in the black, or I think of someone describing a particular experience as being "a profitable one for me."

So, as I stood there, I tried to let the words sink in, and actually prayed that the offerings would help profit me for salvation.

Just as I emerged from this internal deliberation into a more conscious state of what was going on at Mass, I found my pastor about half way through the preface. This is the one he prayed on Sunday:

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
For, although you have no need of our praise,
yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift,
since our praises add nothing to your greatness
but profit us for salvation,
through Christ our Lord.
And so, in company with . . .

So, there it was again. I did a search today and found that the phrase "profit us for salvation" occurs four times in The Roman Missal. Made me think that perhaps after some years of hearing these prayers over and over again that they will sound a bit less surprising and awkward.

Folks, I am trying my best with these newly translated texts. How are you doing with them?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sharing My "Staff Picks" and Hoping You Register!

Wednesday greetings to all.

One of the tasks that rotates around this publishing house is the creation of our monthly "Staff Picks," designed to help pastoral musicians choose music fitting for the Sundays of the liturgical years. Well, the task for suggesting music for April 2013 fell to me and I just finished writing my staff picks. These are included in a monthly e-mail blast to those "opted in" to receive them. It is quite easy to "opt in." Simply visit our web site ( and click "register" at the top right of the home page, fill in the information, indicate that you want to receive our monthly updates and information, and you will be all set. Thought I would share what one of these "Staff Picks" looks like for you today. Here are my suggestions for April 2013. The actual e-mail blast will include links to the sample pages; here I am providing links to the sample recordings for your listening pleasure. It always amazes me how diverse our offerings are for the singing Church. I hope you enjoy.

WLP Staff Picks for April 2013
Jerry Galipeau

Welcome to this edition of WLP’s Staff Picks. It is always a challenge for me to narrow my choices for each Sunday, since we publish such a wide array of music for the singing and praying Church. I hope these suggestions assist you in your music ministry and help your parish celebrate the great Fifty Days with joy.
April 7, 2013 Second Sunday of Easter
Echoing the risen Lord’s words to his disciples in today’s Gospel, Kathleen Demny’s Peace (008831) is scored for SATB choir, cantor, and assembly. The refrain states the word “peace” three times, and the choral writing is simple and beautiful.
And for something completely different, take a look at Hans Leo Hassler’s classic choral work Quia Vidisti Me, Thoma: Because You Have Seen Me, translated by Eugene Lindusky (005778). This choral anthem will challenge your SATB choir, but the satisfaction gained from the hard work will be unparalleled. This piece, of course, picks up the Lord’s words later in today’s Gospel addressed to Thomas.

April 14, 2013 Third Sunday of Easter
Today’s is one of my favorite Gospel readings: the post-resurrection appearance by the risen Lord on the seashore, where the Lord tells his disciples to cast their nets on the other side, after they have fished all day, with nothing to show for their efforts. Rory and Claire Cooney’s The Stranger and the Nets (007340) is a contemporary reflection on those days “when your nets will come back empty.” This is one of those pieces—for unison choir—that will help the listener grasp what the Gospel means in our own day and time.

Another contemporary piece for this Sunday is John Angotti’s Feed My Lambs (008351). This is a solo piece that echoes the conversation between the Lord and Peter that appears in today’s Gospel: “Lord, you know I love you, so what is your plan?” The answer: “Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, bring the weary home to me.” This is a fitting piece for a versatile cantor to sing at the Preparation of the Altar and Gifts or after communion.

If you are looking for a piece for children’s choir for this Sunday, look no further than Peter, Do You Love Me (008414) by Rev. James Marchionda. Father Jim sets the dialogue between Jesus and Peter to a lovely melody.

April 21, 2013 Fourth Sunday of Easter
On this “Good Shepherd Sunday,” consider The Good Shepherd (007965) by Fr. James Chepponis. Voiced for two-part choir, Fr. Jim uses two texts, Psalm 23 and verses from today’s Gospel, and combines them to create a lilting choral piece.

One of WLP’s most popular choral anthems is also an appropriate choice for this Sunday. William Appling’s We Shall Walk through the Valley in Peace is published in two versions, one scored for TTBB choir (002328), and the other for SATB choir (008729). The text refers to the Lord as our “leader,” echoing the shepherd theme for this Sunday: “And if Jesus shall be our leader, we shall walk through the valley in peace.”

April 28, 2013 Fifth Sunday of Easter
A must-sing for this Sunday is a piece that we sing in my parish quite often, Steven Janco’s A New Commandment (005773), which takes the Lord’s words from today’s Gospel as its refrain and employs a James Quinn text for the verses. Your choir will love the choral parts and your assembly will sing the refrain with ease.

Love One Another by Tony Alonso (005805) is part of Tony’s collection of music for the Paschal Triduum, I Shall Live. If you have not had the chance to take a look and listen to this collection, now is the time to do so. Tony has combined a strong pastoral sense with outstanding compositional technique in creating this collection. Love One Another is scored for two-part choir, cantor and assembly. The verses draw the assembly in, as the people respond to the cantor’s lines with the words “love one another.” This is an ideal piece for the footwashing on Holy Thursday, but will work as well throughout the liturgical year, especially on this Fifth Sunday of Easter.

From WLP’s Vice President and Chief Publishing Officer to those who minister to the needs of the singing and praying Church, I hope that these suggestions will help in your music planning for the Easter Season.

  Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Translation Tuesday: Missing the Forest

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings from Chicago, where it is currently 61 degrees!

Something struck me when I attended Mass this past Sunday. I have been paying such close attention and, frankly, struggling at times with the new translation, that I have lost focus on other parts of the Mass. The scripture readings this past Sunday were proclaimed beautifully and powerfully in my parish. And the pastor's homily was quite moving. It made me realize that I may have been missing the proverbial forest for the trees over these past many months. When our deacon proclaimed the Gospel and finished with the words, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing," I was actually moved to tears. The pastor focused on the word "today" in his homily, urging us to realize that the Lord's words are fulfilled in the "today" of our lives; if we wait until "tomorrow," or dwell on "yesterday," we may lose sight of what the Lord is working "today."

With my own focus on the new translation, I think I have been missing the "today" impact of the Scripture readings. So, my new pledge is to try to see the entire liturgical "forest."

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

World Communications

Apologies, first, my friends, for not having posted these past few days. I was originally scheduled to be in San Diego this week, leading the music for a retreat for U.S. Catholic Army Chaplains. The retreat was cancelled at the last minute, which was disappointing. But it opened up a work week completely devoid of the usual meetings here at WLP. So I have been hard at work at my desk, assisting with our annual royalties calculations and helping out with plans for a reception at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress next month; at that reception we will be celebrating J.S. Paluch's 100 years of service to the Church.

This is World Communications Day and I found the reflections of Pope Benedict quite apt for a blog post today. An excerpt:

I wish to consider the development of digital social networks which are helping to create a new "agora", an open public square in which people share ideas, information and opinions, and in which new relationships and forms of community can come into being.

These spaces, when engaged in a wise and balanced way, help to foster forms of dialogue and debate which, if conducted respectfully and with concern for privacy, responsibility and truthfulness, can reinforce the bonds of unity between individuals and effectively promote the harmony of the human family. The exchange of information can become true communication, links ripen into friendships, and connections facilitate communion.

It is my hope that "Gotta Sing Gotta Pray" has become one of those "spaces" that the pope describes. I enjoy writing regularly and your comments, I believe, have set up a space where information and communication is exchanged. It is always a pleasure to run into you at conferences and meetings; to be able to see each other "in the flesh."

Promising to be more faithful to blog in the upcoming weeks.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mystagogy in the Desert

Friday greetings from the Southwest Liturgical Conference. This is a photo I took yesterday. The soon-to-be-retired bishop of Laz Cruces, New Mexico, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, was the main celebrant for yesterday morning's Mass at Most Holy Rosary Parish here in Albuquerque. I have celebrated Mass with this parish community several times over the years; just good, solid, vibrant, alive liturgy. Yesterday, with the participants of the Southwest Liturgical Conference Study Week as the assembly, my sense of the liturgy was the same. This was not an over-inflated Mass, like most conference Masses are. We celebrated the Memorial of Saint Anthony. Nothing was added just because it was a conference Mass. The singing was stunning, the proclamation of the Word was clear and straightforward, the homily drew us all into the scriptures, and the sharing of the Eucharist was done with reverence and awe.

When Mass ended, we all were served cake and goodies by the hospitality team of the parish, then we gathered in the church again for a mystagogical session on the celebration of Mass.

Patricia Kerwin led us. She began by saying what a daunting task it was, trying to lead a mystgogical reflection session with over a thousand people, quite a difference between this and doing mystagogical reflections with ten neophytes during the Easter Octave! Pat chose not to draw responses out from those gathered. This was surely understandable, given the size of the crowd. I did feel a little disappointment, but certainly understood. She spent an hour walking us through what had just occurred, bringing in the brilliant remarks and writings of poets, theologians, the "greats" among the liturgists, Church fathers, saints, and scholars. I couldn't help but think how much what she was doing was like what Cyril of Jerusalem did with those neophytes gathered around him during the Easter Octave in the Fourth Century.

While I missed the direct engagement of those in the assembly, I thought Pat did an excellent mystagogical reflection on the Mass. It's too bad we didn't have more time to extend the reflection into smaller groups so that we could have probed the meaning even deeper for ourselves. But the buses were waiting and the conference had to go on! So, what I experienced was more of a mystagogical "homily" on the Mass, much more like what the Fathers of the Church would have done in those early centuries, rather than a facilitated reflection, with the group invited to respond and engage in the mystgogical conversation. Pat's "homily" was just excellent.

Fr. Paul Turner's major talk and many more workshops continue today.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Translation Thursday: Celebrating the Mystery in Albuquerque

"New Translation Thursday" greetings from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When I landed here yesterday, it was colder than it had been in Chicago when I left; "But it's a dry cold!"
Well, last night I delivered the keynote address for the 51st annual Southwest Liturgical Conference Study Week. My focus was on the paschal mystery and, more directly, sharing some of my own paschal journey. I love the Southwest; have lots of great friends down here and the hospitality and genuine sharing of faith and friendship is palpable.

This morning, we will be headed by bus to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary parish for Mass celebrated by Archbishop Sheehan, the archbishop of Santa Fe; Albuquerque is in the Santa Fe diocese. This study week is taking an unusual and, I believe, helpful course. Following the Mass, we will remain at Most Holy Rosary for a one hour mystagogical session, aimed at helping us probe the deeper meanings of the celebration of Mass. That is going to occur all week as the liturgies are celebrated. Should be interesting to watch and get into myself.

Well, I will report as the week continues; I am giving two workshops, one tomorrow and one on Saturday.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Translation Tuesday: A Simple Appeal

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings from a very, very cold Midwest!

On Friday evening, at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Winter Park, Florida, approximately 40 musicians from the Dicoese of Orlando gathered for a WLP choral reading session. This is one of my favorite things about working here at WLP; sharing what I believe is the finest choral and ritual music composed for the Church today. The musicians gathered were wonderful sight-singers, which made my job so easy. Orlando has a history of fine musical leadership and that was made evident on Friday night. Thanks to all who attended and brought the notes on the page alive!

I leave for Albuquerque tomorrow morning for the Southwest Liturgical Conference's 51st annual study week. I am delivering the keynote presentation tomorrow night, focused on the paschal mystery. The theme of the conference is: "Listen . . . I will tell you a mystery . . . and we shall be changed." My task tomorrow night, to set the tone by focusing on the paschal mystery, is a daunting one. Please pray that my words will help those gathered.

This past Sunday, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I tried to pay as close attention as I could to the prayers from The Roman Missal. My pastor chanted the preface for the feast:

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
For in the waters of the Jordan
you revealed with signs and wonders a new Baptism,
so that through the voice that came down from heaven
we might come to believe in your Word dwelling among us,
and by the Spirit’s descending in the likeness of a dove
we might know that Christ your Servant
has been anointed with the oil of gladness
and sent to bring the good news to the poor.

And so, with the Powers of heaven,
we worship you constantly on earth,
and before your majesty
without end we acclaim:

As I reflect on the text now, I can see the rich theology expressed in the prayer. But, for the life of me, I am having such difficulty at Sunday Mass grasping what the prayer is expressing because of the length of the phrases, all in one sentence. Can any of you help me? I am looking for ways to listen differently perhaps, or to prepare in some better way. This is a simple appeal from a pew Catholic.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Translation Thursday: Confirmation Texts

It's a very busy "New Translation Thursday" here at the "home office" in Franklin Park, Illinios.

I am preparing to leave in a few hours for the airport; headed to the Diocese of Orlando, where I will be leading a WLP choral reading session tomorrow night at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Winter Park, Florida, pictured here. I am excited about sharing some great new WLP choral music with the fine musicians of the diocese.

Thanks for your comments about musical settings of the Mass.

I am currently editing a new book that we will be publishing soon, Preparing Adult Catholics for Confirmation, by Mary Birmingham. In it, Mary employs a mystagogical model, using texts both from The Roman Missal and from the Rite of Confirmation.  It struck me how, when texts that employed two different sets of translation rules are placed in the same resource, very different the translations seem. I am not quite sure what is going on in parishes at Confirmation. Are bishops (or priests with the faculty to confirm) using the texts for the Mass from those in the "Ritual Masses" section of the Missal, "4. For the Conferral of Confirmation," then switching back to the Rite of Confirmation for the ritual texts like the Confirmation prayer itself? Or are they using the Rite of Confirmation strictly?

Anyone with any insights into this, please respond.

Please pray for the safety of travellers.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Passing of Fr. Anscar Chupungco

This is truly a sad day for the liturgical world as we mark the passing of Fr. Anscar Chupungco, one of the world's prominent liturgical scholars.

Read the obituary here.

May the angels lead him into paradise . . .

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Translation Tuesday: Many Musical Settings

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings to one and all. A few days ago, the following comment was submitted to Gotta Sing Gotta Pray:

Maybe it's been discussed in one of your posts previously, but what are your thoughts regarding the number of options now available for Mass Settings? I especially became aware of this as I was living at my parents house in the NW suburbs and not attending my own church. Decided to take the opportunity to visit other churches. What are the chances of you visiting a church where you know the mass setting? The one church I visited was using the Gloria from St. Ann, and Dan Schutte's Alleluia, Holy, Holy etc. Another church I attended for Christmas used the revised setting of the Mass of Light. Then I return to my church for the feast of the Holy Family to hear the Mass of Joy and Peace. I'm a musician, I have been involved in the liturgy. If I am feeling this way, what do visitors feel like? What about participation? I believe it's more of a challenge now with so many settings to choose from.

I think this musician poses some good questions. When I saw the sheer number of new and revised Mass settings that had been published (and continue to be published) with the new translation, I had some of the same sentiments. There are those who would say that the answer is simple: simply sing the chants from the Mass as found in the Missal. I think this is a fine idea, but most parishes, even maybe having learned the Mass chants, choose other settings for fesitive occasions like Christmas. And that has inevitably meant that there are many, many settings being sung at parishes around the country. Musicians need to exercise common sense when it comes to choosing settings for high feasts of the Church, paying close attention to the fact that there are visitors galore in our pews. Settings that rely on common melodic material throughout the Eucharistic Prayer, for example, can help the occasional Catholic feel somewhat at home within the prayer. It is important that we provide something that lets visitors know where they can find the acclamations: announcements before Mass about where they are located in a particular hymnal, missalette, or worship aid. Or perhaps we continue to provide Mass cards with the musical setting. I don't think it is a bad idea to make a little announcement toward the end of the preparation of the gifts, alerting people to the location of the music for the acclamations during the Eucharistic Prayer. Even if people have not sung the setting before, they will feel that the parish cares about their own participation.

Admittedly, we need much more time for things to settle. As a publisher, I have already seen some Masses soar in popularity and others not soar as high. Time will tell. Feel free to add your own comments.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Dameans at Hofinger

Monday greetings to all from a very cold and windy Chicago. I arrived back home yesterday afternoon after having spent four days in New Orleans at the 31st annual Johanes Hofinger Conference.

One of the highlights of my time there was a reunion concert given by the Dameans. Not sure how many of you remember them. They were all seminarians at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, hence their name "Dameans." I remember singnig their music back in the 70s and 80s, most notable Beginning Today, All That We Have, Song of Thanksgiving, and We Praise You, O Lord.

The group hadn't sung together in 25 years. Four of the five originals were present at the concert: Darryl Ducote, Mike Balhoff, Buddy Ceaser, and Gary Ault. These men are all in the late sixties, I assume. Quite honestly, I didn't know what to expect. As soon as they sang their first notes, I knew I was in for a treat; what a wonderful sound. It was a delight from start to finish and brought back so many memories for me. Here's a shot I took of them on the stage at the Pontchartrain Center.

Here's another shot of the wider stage shortly before Father Richard Fragomeni's keynote presentation. 

It's always a wonderful thing to experience the warm hospitality of the people of Louisiana. There were a little over a thousand people in attendance. Brother Mickey McGrath gave one of the plenum sessions and his presentations are always moving and challenging.

Well, folks, it's back to the grind here at WLP.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Greetings from the Hofinger Conference

Friday greetings from New Orleans. My apologies for the week's hiatus from posting. Relatives were visiting, I had a bad cold, and have been on the road the past few days, and working hard here at the 31st annual Johanes Hofinger Conference. OK, let's hear it, "Oh, Jerry, you poor thing!"

At any rate, a very Happy New Year and a blessed 10th Day of Christmas to you all.

The photo uploading functionality on Blogger is not working right now; I will check back later to share some special photos with you from this conference, especially a shot I took last night during the Dameans reunion concert.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.