The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mount Calvary to give voice to Byrd's Mass for Five Voices on Candlemas

Byrd's great Mass for Five Voices and motets for Candlemas sung in concert and in their original context in the Catholic High Mass at Mount Calvary, Baltimore

The Choir of Mount Calvary Church (Baltimore's Roman Catholic, Anglican Use parish) hopes to sing William Byrd's Mass for Five Voices and great cycle of propers (motets) for Candlemas publicly both at Solemn High Mass on Sunday, February 2, 2014, and later than month in a free, public concert.

Part of Byrd's Gradualia (1605)--his monumental cycle of choral works for the great liturgical feast days--the five-voice pieces for Candlemas (the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple) are almost never presented in their natural, native context: the Catholic Mass. This annual feast day rarely falls on a Sunday, and so 2014 provides a particularly apt opportunity to undertake this special project.

The Mount Calvary Church Choir is an ensemble of Baltimore-area professional musicians who sing classical polyphony, Gregorian chant propers, and select works of important composers of the last 100 years. Most are current students or alumni of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. They are led by Dr. Daniel Bennett Page, a music historian specializing in liturgical music in sixteenth-century England (including Byrd), longtime parish and cathedral musician, and undergraduate dean at the University of Baltimore.

Funding will cover artists' fees for two performances, two extra rehearsals, and professional recording of both performances.


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