Saint Francis de Sales Oratory
2653 Ohio Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63118
May 1, 2009
Dear Friends of St. Francis de Sales Oratory,
In yesterday’s Email Newsletter we published a text which was not meant to go out. Below we send you the text of our invitation to participate in the Chant Classes for beginners here at the Oratory in June and July.
Gregorian Chant Class
The splendor of the liturgy, its beauty, mystery and awe – based is all this on the incarnation, the fact that God became man in time, that He shares our nature and that He elevated this nature by re-creating it through sanctifying grace. The liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church is the privileged instrument Christ has given to us to make the sanctifying power of the incarnation effective – throughout all ages.
Music is part of this work of sanctification through the liturgical action: Not only is chant sung prayer (“He who sings prays twice’), liturgical music is in itself already this making use of the again sanctified nature of man, which now is elevated and enabled “to sing God a song”.
Our very gifted and devoted music director at the Oratory, Mr. Nick Botkins, invites you in our name to participate in a 9 week long Gregorian chant course starting on June 3rd here at the Oratory. Here is what we have put out on our blog http://www.traditionfortomorrow.com/blog/ about this event:
Beginners’ Gregorian Chant Lessons
Wednesday Evening from 7:30-8:30 PM in the Oratory Hall
June 3rd – July 29th
St. Francis de Sales Oratory and its Director for Sacred Music, Mr. Nick Botkins, are pleased to announce a nine-week course in Gregorian chant for beginners. The lessons will be offered once a week on Wednesday evening from 7:30-8:30 PM in the Oratory hall. The course runs from June 3rd to July 29th. Information brochure with registration form is available by contacting the Oratory: 314-771-3100.
The goal of this course
The goal of this course is to teach beginners to sing chant, and to become well-acquainted with three different settings of the Mass that the Church has suggested for use throughout the year. These settings include: Mass XI Orbis factor (Post-Pentecost), Mass IV Cunctipotens Genitor Deus, and Mass IX Cum jubilo (for Feasts of the Blessed Virgin).
Other material to be covered will include:
The responses of the faithful
Sprinkling Antiphon Asperges Me
Hymns for Benediction
Seasonal Marian antiphons
Participants will be exposed to Gregorian chant notation (a.k.a. square notes), and brief explanations will be made regarding this notation.
Who may attend
Any lay people who are interested in learning about Gregorian Chant and are willing sing it at Mass is welcome. This course is designed for the beginner, thus no prior experience in Gregorian chant or Church Latin is necessary, but the ability to carry a tune will be helpful.
Faithful of the Oratory, as well as visitors from parishes are welcome. Clergy and seminarians are also welcome, if they wish to learn the above mentioned material. Participants are encouraged to bring friends to introduce them to this form of sacred music.
Copies of all music will be provided. Please provide your own one-inch binder, and a pencil for making notes during class.
Date, time, location of lessons
These lessons will be held every Wednesday evening in the Oratory Hall, beginning on June 3rd. Each lesson will last between 45 and 60 minutes, and will begin promptly at 7:30 PM, so please be punctual. There will be time to socialize before and after each lesson. Mr. Botkins will be available to answer any question you may have regarding the course material.
Throughout the nine-week course, all participants are encouraged to attend the High Masses at the Oratory, on Sundays or feast days, to practice what they have learned.
How to register
Send an e-mail to Mr. Nick Botkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), and please indicate your name, phone number, parish, and level of singing experience.
These lessons are offered free of charge to both diocesan parishioners and faithful of the Oratory. Donations are welcome, and will be directed towards the restoration effort.
Experienced choristers and musicians who already know chant
You are most welcome to join one of the Gregorian scholas at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.
Gentlemen’s Schola rehearses Saturday Morning from 9:15 – 10:30.
Ladies’ Schola Rehearses Thursday Evening from 5:15- 6:30.
With my best wishes and prayerful regards I am in Christ the King,
Canon Michael K. Wiener
Rector, St. Francis de Sales Oratory
Furthermore, also at the Oratory, there will be a book presentation and signing on May 17 on Catholic St. Louis, featuring the photography of Mark Abeln of Rome of the West.
On May17, after the 10 AM Mass, we are honored to welcome Mr. Mark Scott Abeln, who will be on hand to present and autograph his brand new book, Catholic St. Louis, A Pictorial History. Mr. Abeln has generously donated the net profit of books sold on this occasion to The Friends of St. Francis de Sales, Inc. We are grateful for Mr. Abeln’s generosity, and also for this excellent undertaking which illustrates and preserves the history of the Catholic Church in St, Louis. Everyone is cordially invited to come meet Mr. Abeln after Mass, and to purchase a signed copy of his book ($32.95) to benefit the Oratory’s restoration effort.