Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:
What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Canto de Pastorela

A song from one of the "Pastorelas". "Las Pastorelas" or "Los Pastores" as they're sometimes called, are the "Shepherd's Plays" that Mexicans perform during Christmastime. The dialogue and details of the plot vary from place to place, but they all portray the journey of the shepherds to see the Christ Child in Bethlehem. Along the way they receive help and obstacles from angels and devils and face many temptations. The plays are often accompanied with music and song. The song below is from an album by singer Óscar Chávez.


“A frozen December appears to come,
the rose of April will bear fewer flowers.

How beautiful is the countryside, how beautiful are the flowers;
how beautiful is the song of the nightingales.

Upon the horizon the shadow walks,
we greet the peace from Palestine.

Crystal water, transparent ice;
Blessed is He who comes, the King of Heaven!”

Friday, December 23, 2011

O Emmanuel

"The Great antiphon for 23 December sung by the Dominican student brothers in Oxford."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Las Posadas

December 16 is when Mexicans begin celebrating Las Posadas, which last for the 9 days before Christmas.

Disney has a pretty good description of the tradition, believe it or not, in the animated film The Three Caballeros:

The Spanish version of the film gives a better sense of the music of Las Posadas (0:35 to 1:50):

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

St. John of the Cross

Today was the memorial of St. John of the Cross, mystic, poet, and Doctor of the Catholic Church. A St. John of the Cross page here from Doctorsofthe Another page: General Introduction to the Collected Works of St. John of the Cross.

The late singer Enrique Morente (who passed away a year ago yesterday) sang some of St. John's poetry set to flamenco music. Here he sings some verses adapted from St. John's poem "Cantar del alma que se huelga de conocer a Dios por fe" (Song of the soul that rejoices in knowing God by faith):

Monday, December 12, 2011

Feast Day

Today was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

"Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of Mexico, the Americas, and the Philippines.

In this video the people are singing to St Mary of Guadalupe "Las Mañanitas" (mexican happy birthday traditional song)"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blessed John Paul II

Today the Church remembers Blessed Pope John Paul II on her calendar for the first time.

Here is the Second Reading for today's Office of Readings: today's reading. It is taken from Blessed John Paul's Inaugural Homily.

(A couple of links via Whispers in the Loggia.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Zumbi ao vivo

Jorge Ben, peforms a live version of "Zumbi". The song was originally on "A Tábua De Esmerald", one of my favorite albums.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cambia Todo Cambia

Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa sings "Todo Cambia" (Everything Changes), song by Julio Numhauser

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Calenda Maia

Calenda Maia (The First of May), medieval song written by Raimbaut de Vaqueiras.

English translation available here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Belated Easter Post

Many weeks late, a chant from the Mass for Easter. The "alleluia" (that can be) sung before the reading of the Gospel: Alleluia Pascha Nostrum.

"Alleluia. Christ our Paschal victim is sacrificed. Alleluia"


More on the celebration of Easter from ChurchYear.Net:

All about the Easter Triduum.

All about the Easter Season.

Another version of the chant above, this time accompanied by the Indian sitar. Very beautiful.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Laetare Sunday

Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent, sometimes called Laetare Sunday because the entrance chant or introit of the mass begins with the word Laetare which means "rejoice".

Today's readings from mass.

A bit about Laetare Sunday from the old Catholic Encyclopedia and from Wikipedia. It's roughly mid-way between Ash Wednsday and Easter. In a way it's like the church stops to take a breath on it's journey towards Easter Sunday.

Traditionally, on this Sunday priests can wear pink, excuse me, rose vestments at mass.

The introit that gives the day it's name is from Isaiah 66:10,11 and Psalm 121(122):

"Rejoice, 0 Jerusalem; and gather round, all you who love her;
rejoice in gladness, after having been in sorrow; exult and be
replenished with the consolation flowing from her motherly
bosom. jr. I rejoiced when it was said unto me: "Let us go to the
house of the Lord."

Personally, I'm really fond of todays gradual, or chant between the readings. You will almost never hear it sung outside the old traditional Latin mass (Extraordinary Form) because it the Ordinary Form it's place is usually taken by the Responsorial Psalm from the lectionary for Mass. I happen to like responsorial psalms, I think they were a good idea, but I also really like this chant, it's one of my favorites. It's also taken from Psalm 121(122) and called Laetatus Sum:

"I rejoiced when it was said unto me: "Let us go to the house of
the Lord." ,. Let peace reign within your walls, and abundance in
your towers."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Woman at the Well

Creighton University's Praying Lent
Last Sunday, the readings at Mass included the Gospel of the Samaritan Woman at the Well. Deacon Greg Kandra points us to a a classic folk spiritual that is in keeping with that Sunday's Gospel reading.

Peter, Paul, & Mary:

and here's Mahalia Jackson's version:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Feast of the Annunciation

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation
The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth:

From Biber's Rosary Sonatas, The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

"Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria"

Today's communion chant: Ecce Virgo Concipiet. From Isaiah 7:14, "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spiritual Fitness

Karen Marie Knapp's Spiritual Fitness Program for Beginners and the Out-of-Shape:

"Catholic living is very much like weight training: one doesn't start with the big barbell, one starts with the little two-pound handweights and some sit-ups; after some months of work, doing a little more at a time while one's getting strong, one might consider trying the big barbell.

So, I'm going to propose a starter set of spiritual exercises for the out-of-shape, a place to begin...."

Ms. Knapp passed away a few years ago. One can still read her blog here: From the Anchor Hold (" living single, simple, and submitted, in a real city, in a real world. ").

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Divine Office Downloads

"We created this download so that any Bible can be used a “short breviary”. The table contains the entire order of the Psalter of the 1962 Roman Breviary for all seven canonical hours of the divine office for all seven days of the week....."

1962 Psalter Chart (pdf)

"We created this download for anyone who wishes to pray the “Before” and “After” Divine Office prayers, but does not have them included within their Breviary...."

Breviary Bookmark

Fuller descriptions, and more downloads, from link.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Santa Maria Dadas

From the Cantigas de Santa Maria, a song of praise to the Blessed and Ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God

"A Santa Maria dadas
sejan loores onrradas."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Communion Chant for Lent

"Intellege Clamorem Meum", a communion chant for the season of Lent, as found in the Graduale Simplex ( a collection of simpler chants for the Mass).

"Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry"
Psalm 5:2

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

Everything you wanted to know about Lent from Aggies Catholics: The Annual Lenten Mega-Post for 2011.

Praying Lent from Creighton University.

A Comprehensive Guide to Lent: History, Resources, Links, and FAQ from ChurchYear.Net including their fine Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan.

This plan is included in the Fr. Jerabek's Lenten Reading Plans page along with ones dedicated to the saints, to Fr. Faber and Cardinal Newman, and to St. Jean Marie Vianney.

From Dom Prosper Guéranger's "The Liturgical Year"

Lent - Preface
Ch. 1 - The History of Lent
Ch. 2 - The Mystery of Lent
Ch. 3 - Practice During Lent

Introit or entrance chant for Ash Wednesday, Misereris Omnium:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Jasmine

Savina Yannatou sings "To Yasemi" (The Jasmine), with Primavera en Salonico

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Waters of March

"Águas de Março" with Tom Jobim and Elis Regina

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Pepe de Lucia sings and Merche Esmeralda dances a "Garrotín".