Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Divine Worship Mass for St John Henry Newman in Philadelphia

On Thursday, October 7, the Durandus Institute for Sacred Liturgy and Music assisted the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter in organizing a Pontifical Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, celebrated according to the Divine Worship Missal in honor of St John Henry Newman. The Mass was offered by Bishop Steven Lopes, presiding from the faldstool in the presence of the Most Rev. Nelson Pérez, Archbishop of Philadelphia, who attended in-choir on the throne, and preached the homily. The Philadelphia Oratorians brought a relic of St John Henry, which was placed upon the altar for this Mass. This event was the beginning of a triduum of celebrations in honor of the great cardinal, continuing in Washington DC on October 8 with choral Evensong in the presence of Bishop Lopes at Saint Luke’s Ordinariate Church, and concluding on the feast itself, October 9, with a pontifical Mass and Te Deum, also at Saint Luke’s.
Fr Armando Alejandro, Jr. (who celebrated the recent Divine Worship Mass in New York City) served as deacon, and Josue Vásquez-Weber, Chancellor of the Ordinariate, as subdeacon. Seminarians of St Charles Borromeo Seminary and the Philadelphia Oratory served as ensign-bearers, while clergy of the Ordinariate acted as chaplains to Abp Pérez at the throne. James Griffin, director of the Durandus Institute, served as Master of Ceremonies. A number of distinguished guests joined in choir, including Fr Roman Pitula, rector of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Philadelphia, Fr Robert Pasley, rector of Mater Ecclesiae Chapel and Chaplain of the Church Music Association of America, and priests of the Philadelphia Oratory.

The choir of St John the Baptist Ordinariate Church in Bridgeport, together with associate choristers of the Durandus Institute, sang Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices, Purcell’s “O God, thou art my God” at the offertory, and a gradual psalm in Anglican chant, under the direction of visiting conductor Dr Kevin Clarke (director of music at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Texas). The choir of St Charles Seminary, under the direction of Dr Nathan Knutson, attended in the chancel stalls and assisted with the singing of the Proper chants from the Graduale Romanum, as well as Heinrich Isaac’s “O food to pilgrims given” at Communion.

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