Posture for the Sanctus in the Ordinariate Use Mass

There are not many Catholics today associated with traditionalesque circles who are unfamiliar with differences of postures existing between parishes or confusion of what postures should be followed in Mass. A particular difference exists regarding whether the congregation should stand or kneel during the singing of the Sanctus; this difference even exists in the Ordinariate Use Mass. It could be explained as a move to be “more traditional” and that “the Latin Mass does it”. Is that entirely correct though? And how does it apply in the Ordinariate Use? I will address both of those in this article.

The first point to solve would be what the correct practice is in the Tridentine Mass. For this purpose, I’ll refer to a much longer article, which is excellently written and sourced; I’d suggest reading it if you’d like to learn more. That article is found at The author first makes clear that the Tridentine Mass does not have officially prescribed rubrics for the people, so in the most technical terms, neither way is rubrically incorrect. However, the Rev. Adrian Fortescue, a highly trusted rubrician, does tell us that the laity in the congregation “are supposed to take an active part in the ceremony with the sacred ministers and clergy, and so the rubrics assume that, as far as possible, the laity will conform to the rules laid down for the clergy when they are present in choir.” So if we are looking for a way that is “more correct”, it would be to follow the rubrics for the liturgical choir, that is, those clergy and seminarians that attend Mass in the sanctuary wearing cassock and surplice, not filling a role as an altar server.

We read further in the article and find that mostly every prominent rubrical manual has the liturgical choir wait until after the singing of the Sanctus to kneel. It seems that the direction to kneel at the beginning of the sung Sanctus comes particularly from the red booklet published by Ecclesia Dei, popularly used by many parishes. Still, five prominent rubricians all agree that the people should stand until after the singing of the Sanctus is finished. If a “correct” posture for the Sanctus at Sung Mass is to be determined for the laity, it seems it would be to remain standing until it is finished.

Having looked at the posture of kneeling during the sung Sanctus within the Tridentine Mass, we can look at the posture in the context of the Ordinariate Use. The Ordinariate Use Mass is not explicitly or directly influenced by the Tridentine Mass, although such influence is laudable since the Ordinariate Use can be seen as a relatively traditional variation of the Roman Rite and so should be influenced by the traditional ceremonial. However, the Ordinariate Use, like the Novus Ordo Missae but unlike the Tridentine Mass, does give some rubrics for the postures for the people, especially those found in the official congregational booklet (an example is at Pages 12-13 of that booklet include the Sanctus and the beginning of the Canon of the Mass. At the beginning of the Canon, after the Sanctus, a direction is given that “The People kneel”. This direction seems to make it unambiguous that the people kneel after the Sanctus is finished.

So is it incorrect to kneel at the beginning of the sung Sanctus in the Ordinariate Use Mass? A strict reading of the congregational rubrics would say so. I wouldn’t be so convinced myself to say that the people are strictly obligated to such rubrics, though there is a general understanding that the printed rubrics are to be followed. Either way though, having concluded that it is more traditional to remain standing for the sung Sanctus, one could stand with the knowledge that it is both an appropriate posture in the Ordinariate Mass and the Tridentine Mass.

Finally though, above all else, keep in mind that at Mass, you are there to focus on the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary, and not primarily what others are doing. Even if others are following a posture that you think is incorrect, try at the moment to focus on the liturgy itself and that you are participating correctly, and if you happened to feel called to inform someone of better liturgical practice, it is always best to make sure you are informed on the topic.

Music for Divine Worship’s Liturgy of the Word on Holy Saturday

During the suspension of public Masses, I have been providing music at my parish as well as live-streaming/recording the liturgies. A unique liturgy in the Ordinariate Use Missal Divine Worship is the Liturgy of the Word for Holy Saturday, to be sung at some point before the Vigil of Easter. I am not sure of the origin of this particular liturgy or if it has an existing origin before the promulgation of Divine Worship, but it is still a beautiful, reflective liturgy. It consists primarily of three psalms with three lessons and the Ancient Homily on Holy Saturday from the Office of Readings in the Divine Office in the Novus Ordo.

Since I will be cantoring for this liturgy tomorrow, I have pointed all the music for it and am sharing it here. I chose to use the traditional 1662 BCP psalter for the psalms. The antiphon is from the Office of the Dead in The Monastic Diurnal Noted. The anthem is from a typesetting of portions of the burial sentences from Merbecke’s The Booke of Common Praier Noted. I have also included Purcell’s Thou Knowest Lord for optional use by SATB choirs, in which case they should sing the plainchant portion a step lower, to match the E-flat major/C minor key signature of Purcell’s setting.

Music for Liturgy of the Word on Holy Saturday

Central Florida Performing Arts takes you to a mystical Arabian night

A very magical musical took place this weekend in Orlando. Central Florida Performing Arts, a 3rd-12th-grade musical theatre group just wrapped up their production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr. running from November 7th-10th at the Lowndes Orlando Shakespeare Complex. Anyone with the privilege of having seen this production would have been overjoyed at the excellence in the performance of this season’s production.

CFPA is directed by Delisa Dean, a Juilliard graduate and Disney performer. With her more than thirty years of experience teaching performing arts, Dean has done an excellent job managing Aladdin and seeing that the whole cast and team fulfill their true potential. Supported by her essential hard-working assistants, any audience member can really come to appreciate all the work and planning that goes on behind the scenes.

When I say that all aspects of the production were spectacular, I truly mean all of them. The leading roles and all the ensembles showed off their effortless dancing skills, under the direction of choreographer Brittany Noltimier. The masterfully executed choreography filled the stage with such energy that will keep your eyes and mind amused at how nimble, stealthy, and skilled these performers are, complete with somersaults and leaps to make it a perfect pair to the mesmerizing singing.

All of Alan Menken’s refined compositions throughout the musical were rendered with a fresh and harmonious sound, under the coaching of Tom and Kristin Cartwright and Devonny Aikens. The ensembles sang with clearly understood lyrics and marvelously-blended vocalizing. The leading roles did fantastic work with their well-prepared solos. Aladdin’s smooth, charming voice harmonized beautifully with Jasmine’s lyrical, poetic sound; Iago, the sneaky sidekick of Jafar, performed with him with quite a sinister, yet loveable menacing feel, including their delirious, evil laughs that proved contagious to the audience; Aladdin’s friends Babkak, Omar, and Kassim teamed together to sing invigorating songs that get everyone feeling the action; and the narrator captivates you in tuneful sounds taking you to “another Arabian night”.

A very big part of the magic, though, is all the preparation that goes on behind the scenes. Alexandra Byrd and Hannah Chakim did an expert job of keeping the sound and all the lights running flawlessly, other volunteers made sure the costumes, sets, and props looked fabulous, and Brian Miller Productions recorded voice-overs for the spooky voice and cave of wonders and edited them to give a convincing, mysterious emotion.

The excited, supporting audience was obviously delighted with the performance, giving their overjoyed applause and cheering after every scene, and laughed constantly at the priceless sense of humor the actors have. These sold-out performances always leave audiences thrilled, and if you find yourself in central Florida during a future show of theirs, it is a must-see for theatre enthusiasts!

Bishop Lopes to celebrate Palm Sunday Mass in Orlando

Commemorate the Second Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday, in a festive manner with Catholics of Anglican patrimony. On Sunday, April 14th at 10:15 in the morning, Bishop Steven J. Lopes will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass according to the Ordinariate Use at Incarnation Catholic Church in College Park.

The ceremonies will begin in Royal Hall, the big building next to the church, at the corner of Shady Lane Drive and Edgewater Drive. There is a flag pole and sign for St. Vincent’s Academy outside the building. The liturgy begins at 10:15 a.m. with the blessing of palms, followed by a procession into the church, where Mass will begin.

You may park in the church parking lot or on the street in the parallel parking. Additional parking is also available on Sunday mornings in the parking lots for the two businesses adjacent to the church on the East side of Edgewater Drive, as they are closed at that time. See the attached parking map for available parking lots.


Solemn Pontifical Mass of Palm Sunday
Bishop Steven J. Lopes, Celebrant

Sunday, April 14th, 2019 A.D. – 10:15am
Incarnation Catholic Church
1515 Edgewater Drive
Orlando, FL 32804

Incarnation parking map

More Solemn Preface and Minor Propers of the Chair of Saint Peter

Although this is a relatively late post, I’m publishing this anyway since there’s still time before Sunday morning tomorrow. Below is the Preface of the Apostles adapted to the More Solemn Tone. This is the preface used on the Chair of Saint Peter, celebrated in the American Ordinariate tomorrow, Sunday, February 24th. I’ve also included the minor propers for tomorrow. The text is from Divine Worship and the melodies are adapted from the melodies in the Graduale Romanum. The alleluia is included for parishes that don’t use Divine Worship. Feel free to use these propers tomorrow, and if you’re interested in more of them, contact James at ordinariatechants at gmail dot com.

Preface of the Apostles

Minor Propers for the Chair of Saint Peter

Sung Mass for Christmas Day

I will be cantoring and playing organ for the noon Mass on Christmas Day at my Ordinariate parish in Orlando. Attendance at this Mass last year was about 60 people, probably second to Midnight Mass. With the exception of the offertory, the minor propers will be sung from James Scott’s minor propers project which is currently in progress and making great work. James is doing a wonderful job adapting the melodies found in the Graduale Romanum to the text of the minor propers from Divine Worship: The Missal. If you’re familiar with The Plainchant Gradual by Palmer and Burgess, you can think of it like that, except exactly matching the missal’s texts. I will mention again that he is looking for trial participants and can be contacted at ordinariatechants at gmail dot com.


Here is the complete music lineup which will also be in the bulletin:


Prelude on “FOREST GREEN” (O Little Town of Bethlehem) – Charles Callahan (organ solo)

Still, Still, Still – German carol, arr. Philip Ledger (vocal solo)


Opening hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithful – The Hymnal 1940, #12 – verses 3 & 6 use organ harmonizations by David Willcocks

Introit: Puer natus est nobis (Is 9:6; Ps 98:1) – Text from Divine Worship: The Missal, music adapted by James Scott

Kyrie – ninefold adaptation from Mass of Creation – Marty Haugen

Gloria: Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena – Healey Willan – The Hymnal 1940, #713

Gradual: Benedicta es tu (Jud 13:18, 15:9) – Text from Divine Worship: The Missal, music adapted by James Scott

Alleluia: Dies sanctificatus – Text from Divine Worship: The Missal, music adapted by James Scott

Credo is recited

Offertory: Tui sunt caeli (Ps 89:12, 15a) – Text from Divine Worship: The Missal, chant tone from The Saint Peter Gradual

Offertory hymn: See Amid the Winter’s Snow – Text: Edward Caswall, ca. 1858, Music: HUMILITY, John Goss, 1871, arr. David Willcocks

If there is a presentation of the alms: Praise God, From Whom All Blessing Flow – The Hymnal 1940, #139

Sanctus: Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena – Healey Willan – The Hymnal 1940, #797

The Lord’s Prayer: Plainchant – The Hymnal 1940, #722

Agnus Dei: Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena – Healey Willan – The Hymnal 1940, #712

Communion: Viderunt omnes (Ps 98:4b) – Text from Divine Worship: The Missal, music adapted by James Scott

Communion hymn: God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen – The Hymnal 1940, #40

Communion hymn: Silent Night, Holy Night – The Hymnal 1940, #33

Closing hymn: Hymn for Christmas-Day (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing) – Text: Charles Wesley, 1739 (verses 1-3 as in Carols for Choirs, verses 4-5 are Wesley’s original text), Music: Verses 1-4: The Hymnal 1940, Verse 5: Organ harmonization by David Willcocks

Postlude: Angels We Have Heard on High – Wilbur Held, with improvised middle section based on a Christmas melody by Steven Rabanal


Here is the poster I made for promoting the liturgy on social media:

Poster green

Two New Chant Projects for the Ordinariates

I am excited to announce two new chant projects in progress for use in the Personal Ordinariates for Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony. One is for priests and one for choristers.


The first project is one started very recently by myself and some friends. Many Catholics are familiar with the common tone the priest uses to chant the preface, the solemn tone, found here: This is only one of three tones traditionally used in the Roman Rite. The Missale Romanum, the missal used for the Tridentine Mass, gives three tones to use for the preface: the ferial tone, the solemn tone, and the more solemn tone (titled “in praefatio tono solemniori”). The Anglican Missal adapts the ferial and solemn tones to English, however, I have not found adaptations of the more solemn tone, so this is a project I wanted to do for a few months now and just begun. I am writing the adaptations, and my friends James Scott and James Griffin review them and give input. James Scott also transcribes the prefaces into chant notation and I transcribe them into modern notation, so either can be used. James Griffin recorded the tutorial. The preface most properly goes with the preceding “preface dialogue” which would be best for the choir to learn and to print it in bulletins, however, many places do use the more solemn tone with a simpler dialogue tone. With the writing of this article, we have completed the Preface of the Incarnation, which is used from Christmas Eve to the Vigil of the Epiphany, exclusive, which I have posted it here for your downloading pleasure, available for free use. You can print them on a single sheet and insert them into Divine Worship: The Missal. I hope to write them for most of the prefaces; my current idea is all the prefaces except for the Preface for the Commemoration of the Dead, as the traditional rubrics in the Missale Romanum only permit the more solemn tone on days when the ferial tone is not prescribed.


Preface of the Incarnation (chant notation)

Preface of the Incarnation (modern notation)

Preface of the Incarnation MP3 tutorial for priests (must download from external site; I recommend the video instead)

Preface of the Incarnation video tutorial for priests


The second project is being done by James Scott. He is creating an English Gradual for the Ordinariates in the style of the Plainchant Gradual by the Rev. G.H. Palmer, Mus. Doc. and Francis Burgess. Although the Plainchant Gradual is currently in use in Ordinariate parishes, those who use them regularly will know that the texts do not match up all the time with Divine Worship. His project will set these traditional melodies to the text of Divine Worship, and he hopes to eventually set the entire missal. He is currently looking for trial participants and can be contacted at ordinariatechants at gmail dot com.

James Scott left Tulane University with a Master of Architecture in 2017 and has been a staff singer in several choirs. James T.M. Griffin is a Knight of Malta and instituted acolyte at St. John the Baptist, the Ordinariate parish in Bridgeport, PA (Greater Philadelphia).