Wednesday, December 04, 2019

O Antiphons Prayer Service in San Francisco for St Nicholas’ Day

The Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship is sponsoring a St Nicholas Day prayer service with Abp Salvatore Cordileone, on Friday, December 6th at 6:00 p.m., at St Patrick’s Seminary, located at 320 Middlefield Rd in Menlo Park, California. Director Richard Sparks will lead The Benedict Sixteen choir in singing the O Antiphons in Gregorian Chant, with additional polyphonic settings by Arvo Part, Rihards Dubra, and James MacMilan, among other composers. The choir will also sing a setting of the Magnificat by Palestrina. The event is free, but they ask those planning to attend to register to help with planning: For more information, see this article by Roseanne Sullvian on her blog:

Mr Sparks explains the plan for the music: “Since we are doing this in one Advent service (with all seven of the O Antiphons) we will do only one setting of the Magnificat, a wonderful 8-voice setting by Palestrina. As we go through the Antiphons, we will always sing the Gregorian chant of that antiphon, followed in all but one case by a setting of that antiphon by various composers, most contemporary, since composers in recent years have been fascinated by these beautiful texts. Some examples: O Adonai will be sung in a setting by Arvo Pärt, the Estonian Orthodox composer (who set all seven of the Antiphons in German), for men’s voices alone. It’s a slow, mystical setting, and utilizes the wonderful low basses in Benedict 16. The setting of O Radix Jesse is by Rihards Dubra, a Latvian composer born in 1964, who was raised as Catholic by his grandparents, and whose music is almost entirely sacred. And O Oriens is set in English by one of today’s preeminent Catholic composers, the Scottish James MacMillan as O Radiant Dawn.”

This prayer service is free of charge, but please register for planning purposes. The depends on generous supporters to help Archbishop Cordileone evangelize through sacred beauty.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: