Reflection for Good Friday

Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth… (Isaiah 53:7) More than seven centuries before the coming of Christ, a Hebrew prophet named Isaiah wrote these words as part of a series of Read more…

Music for Pandemics in the Time of St Philip

In the midst of the present COVID-19 crisis, many Catholics have been inspired to rediscover ancient prayers against disease. During the centuries-long struggle against the bubonic plague in Europe, prayers for plague victims were a regular part of the Church’s life, and many texts interceding for plague victims were set Read more…

Candlemas 2020

Love comes suddenly to His temple, as Malachi foresees. Candlemas is the dawning of that light. The light is Christ, of Whom St John speaks: shining in a darkness that cannot overcome it. What is the temple? It is ourselves: the flesh in which He joined Himself to us, to Read more…

A rediscovered motet by Pierre de la Rue

Much of the sacred music written before 1600 has not survived. Entire libraries of music manuscripts have been destroyed by wars, fires, vandalism, or natural disasters; other manuscripts have become unreadable due to corrosive ink and deteriorating paper. Still other music manuscripts have survived only in an incomplete form, missing Read more…

Corpus Christi Procession 2019

Quantum potes, tantum aude:Quia major omni laude,Nec laudare sufficis (St. Thomas Aquinas, ‘Lauda Sion Salvatorem’, Sequence for the Mass of Corpus Christi)  Drawing on the traditional artistry of the infiorata, a carpet of cedar, roses, chrysanthemum and fragrant herbs this year decorated the passage of the Blessed Sacrament among the people Read more…

Music premieres at the Toronto Oratory

In the month of June, the Toronto Oratory will feature two important musical premieres in its liturgies: one new composition being performed for the first time in Canada, and one newly rediscovered sixteenth-century composition sung for the first time in the modern era. On Pentecost Sunday (June 9th), the Missa Read more…

Holy Week 2019: A Retrospective

Palm Sunday Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!Lo, your king comes to you;triumphant and victorious is he,humble and riding on an ass,on a colt the foal of an ass Zechariah 9:9 Jesus is indeed making a royal claim. He wants his path and his action Read more…

The Feast of St. Philip Neri, 2019

Celebrations for the feast of St. Philip Neri began with First Vespers on Friday, May 24. Music for Vespers was provided by the Oratory Choir: Pangamus Nerio (William Sewell); Psalms with falsobordone by Tomás Luis de Victoria and Giaches de Wert; Magnificat primi toni (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina); Vadam et Read more…