Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scelata is a blog by a Catholic parish music director.

He/she has a great picture (I assume it was enhanced):

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Laetabundus: the Sequence for Christmas

As long time readers of "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" know, I have never forgiven the Council of Trent for eliminating all but a handful of sequences.  Christmas is a glaring hole in the liturgical calender.  Although it is a big feast for ordinary folk in the pews, it does not merit a sequence in wither the Missal of John XXIII or Paul VI.

Sequences are lengthy chants that should follow the Gospel Alleluia, hence the name "sequence."  (The General Instruction seems to require that order be reversed in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite which makes no sense liturgically, musically, or historically.)  As I see it, the sequences' main function is to give musical coverage for a more elaborate gospel procession on special feasts or in big Cathedrals.  Sequences are a "drawing out' of the Alleluia verse while the procession processes.  Their cadence suits a procession. 

It turns out there is a Christmas sequence and it is not a liturgical fossil.  It is the Eleventh Century chant, "Laurabundus." It is still in the Dominican Missal, which is one of the uses of the Roman Rite

Jeffrey Tucker alerts us to its existence and has posted a video of  its being sung.  Read "Sweeten Your Christmas Song: Laetabundus."


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

There is a New Biography of Ayn Rand–in Fact, Two!

Jennifer Burns has written a new biography of Ayn Rand, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right.  And it has gotten a good deal of attention and Kendra Marr writes in Politco.com that Ayn Rand is having a mainstream moment."

On National Review Online, Peter Wehner hopes it will pass because "Objectively, Ayn Rand Was a Nut." He reminds us that "Whittaker Chambers...in 1957, reviewed Atlas Shrugged in National Review and read her out of the conservative movement." You can find that review online.   Rand's system seems as rational and inhuman as that of the socialists, yet her books have great appeal to libertarians and others.  They sell in the hundreds of thousands of copies.  Michael Berliner critiques Chambers' review in Capitalism Magazine.  Read both and judge for your self.

there is also a second new biography out: Anne C. Heller's Ayn Rand and the World She Made (Doubleday, 2009.)