Monday, February 16, 2009

Floridian Liturgical News

No doubt our readers have already heard of the upcoming Gregorian chant workshop being put on by Musica Sacra Florida at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences at NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, the local chapter of the Church Music Association of America, but just in case you haven't, here is a bit of info on this upcoming conference and also some of the other exciting liturgical events that have been occurring in the Sunshine State in recent months.

First, the chant conference is being held from March 6 to March 7, 2009, and will include sessions on the history of Gregorian chant, the liturgy and the Gregorian repertoire, Gregorian chant since Vatican II a choice of chant classes for beginning and advanced chanters. Vespers will be sung Friday, and the conference will close the following evening with a missa cantata at St. Michael's Church in neighboring Miami. For more information, visit this site or contact Dr. Jennifer Donelson at jd1120 (at) Other presenters include Dr. Susan Treacy (Ave Maria), Dr. Michael O'Connor (Palm Beach Atlantic) and Mary Jane Ballou (St. Augustine Schola Cantorae). Registration is $35.00 and includes materials and insruction. The deadline is Friday, February 27, 2009.

This conference comes as the culmination of a long series of Tridentine masses, chant workshops, and more in Florida, enlivening a region that has in my experience been largely moribund in liturgical matters. This is extremely promising, and let us hope we can expect more in the future. A sampling:

In the Miami/Ft. Lauterdale area, September saw a Gregorian chant workshop at St. Michael's in Miami, and December the first known Tridentine mass at the same parish since 1970. St. Michael's, incidentally, is now the home of the priest who instigated a simple but handsome renovation at Visitation Catholic Church while he was pastor there, and which we chronicled here some time back. I am glad to see he is still doing exemplary work for the church's liturgy.

In the West Palm Beach area, solemn vespers were sung at St. Patrick Catholic Church for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception last year, as we reported previously here. This March, a missa cantata is planned for the same parish, on the first Sunday of Lent, sung by the Schola Cantorum of the Palm Beaches at 2:00 pm. Another will be on the Third Sunday of Lent at St. Christopher Catholic Church in Hobe Sound, also at 2:00. I am told one may become a solemn high mass, but this will depend on the availability of clergy to assist. For more information, see here.

At Ave Maria University, the Tridentine mass is now being regularly said at the Oratory, at 12:30 PM on Sundays. On selected occasions during the school year, this is accompanied by chants by the AMU Men’s Schola Gregoriana (directed by Mr. Lynn Kraehling) and the Women’s Schola Gregoriana (directed by Dr. Susan Treacy). The Oratory has also seen a number of other major liturgical events, including its dedication on March 31, 2008. The Oratory also hosted in December a festival of Lessons and Carols which included a number of chants from the school's men's and women's scholae.

The diocese of Venice includes an FSSP apostolate, the first in Florida exclusively dedicated to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. At St. Martha’s Church, Sarasota, a Gregorian chant workshop was conducted for the Latin Mass choir by Dr. Susan Treacy, from 15-17 August of last year, and Dr. Treacy directed the Ordinary and Proper chants at the Sunday High Mass, at 1:30PM. A schola is also being developed for the Extraordinary Form being celebrated at Resurrection Parish in Fort Myers, which is being said by the clergy of the FSSP apostolate mentioned above.

In Tallahassee, Tridentine masses have been celebrated occasionally at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More since September 14, 2008.

In St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, and the site of the first mass within her boundaries, Mary Jane Ballou directs the St. Augustine Schola Cantorae, which sings Vespers on a regular basis in the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, the oldest Marian shrine in the USA. Details about this women’s schola and upcoming performances can be found here.

In Ocala, Fr. James Fryar, FSSP celebrates the Extraordinary Form on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at 6 p.m. in Queen of Peace Parish on SR 200. A YouTube video with some highlights of the Christmas Mass can be found here. In the near future, this Mass will be celebrated weekly. A schola directed by Dr. Edward Schaefer sings at Mass on the fourth Sunday of the month.

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