Monday, October 28, 2013

The Schola Sainte Cécile In Rome

Our old and dear friends from the Schola Sainte Cécile in Paris have posted from wonderful photos from Rome, where they sang at three of the four major ceremonies of the Populus Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage for the closure of the Year of the Faith.

On October 24th, His Excellency Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commssion, celebrated Pontifical Vespers of St. Raphael the Archangel at the Fraternity of St. Peter’s Roman parish, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini. The choir was split into three groups, two in the smaller choir lofts above the sanctuary on either side, with a third, larger group in the main loft at the back of the church. The psalmody alternated between the faithful seated in the nave, the two small choirs, the faithful again, and the large choir; the effect was truly remarkable. The Magnificat was done in a beautiful setting by Palestrina, again alternating the choirs.

The altar of Trinità dei Pellegrini prepared for Pontifical Vespers. The tabernacle of the main altar is on runners, and can be pushed backwards to move it out of the way, since Pontifical ceremonies are not to be done at an altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The medallion painting of St. Raphael and Tobias is one four that normally sit on top of the large armoires in the sacristy.

The view from the Gospel side choir loft.

The coped assistants and acolyes enter for Vespers.

The dressing of the bishop.

The bishop ascends the altar to give his blessing at the end.

The following evening, H.E. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan, celebrated a Pontifical Votive Mass of the Holy Cross, also at Trinità dei Pellegrini. In addition to the Gregorian propers (again sung by dividing the choir into different parts), the Ordinary was sung in a polyphonic setting by Hans Leo Hassler, as well as several motets: Vexilla Regis by de Bertrand, a Tantum Ergo by Victoria, etc. I was the second MC at this ceremony, and it was musically one of the most impressive things I have ever heard at a liturgy.

The chanting of the Gospel, as seen from the choir loft on the Epistle side.

The elevation of the Host.

On Saturday the 26th, His Eminence Dario Card. Castrillón-Hoyos, the former president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, celebrated the Saturday Votive Mass of the Virgin Mary in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Schola Sainte Cécile here added another impressive repertoire of motets to the ordinary chants of the Mass, by a variety of French composers. The full program is noted on the Schola’s blog; more pictures from these events will be added soon



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