On the feast of the Sacred Heart, farewell to the Sacred Heart, Waterlooville

This is the parish church of the Sacred Heart in Waterlooville, Hampshire. It is the church I was baptised in, where I made my first Holy Communion and where I was confirmed.  It is still the parish where my parents attend Mass.

Yesterday, on the Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul, the last ever Mass was celebrated there and tomorrow is the dedication of their new church built just up the road, led by Bishop Crispian Hollis.

The new church will be known as the Church of the Sacred Heart and St Peter.

I naturally feel quite sad for nostalgic reasons that the original will no longer be the parish church but there you have it. I have just found a piece on the internet on the history of the church:

When the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity arrived on 1 April 1900, there was one Catholic family living in the district – the Harcourt family.  Their dream was to build a chapel next to St Michael’s Convent and money from running a laundry was put into a building fund.

After the First World War, plans were drawn up by the architect Wilfred C Manger, based in Preston, to build a chapel, but Bishop Cotter requested that the sisters make some provision for the increasing number of Catholics in the area until such time as a parish church could be built. This accounts for the three-aisle shape of the present church: one for The Sisters, one for those in their care and one for the parish. The new church, built in a Byzantine style, was opened on Thursday 6 December 1923 by Bishop Cotter.

On Tuesday 18 December 1973 the Community of St Michael’s Convent celebrated, together with the parish, the Golden Jubilee of the opening of the Church of the Sacred Heart. This event was marked by a concelebrated mass offered by Bishop Derek Worlock, together with the Parish Priest, Father Wilfred Baldwin, and many of the priests who had served us in the past.

The church is now a statutory Grade II listed building and remains in the ownership of the Sisters, once the parish moves into the new church.

I wish the parish all the success in their new home.

For them, one of my favourite pieces of music, written (as if you didn’t know) for the dedication of a church. It is of course Bruckner’s Locus Iste.

‘Decora Lux’ the Vespers hymn for Ss Peter and Paul

The Vespers hymn (1st and 2nd) for Ss Peter and Paul is DECORA LUX in Mode 4 which celebrates Peter and Paul as our great Apostolic princes. As the imagery of the flowing blood of martyrs permeates through every stanza of this dramatic piece, Peter is revered  as the great shepherd for bringing the first Christian communities together and Paul for traveling throughout the Roman Empire teaching the Gospel to all . The hymn honours them in their final earthly resting place ‘O happy Rome,’ the place that now shares in their  martyred glory. In celebrating the death of Ss Peter and Paul united as their blood mingles in ‘the twofold stream,’ we rejoice in the triumph of life and death offered to God ‘where unending ages flow.’

“And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles’ blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labours, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.” St Augustine

Here is a setting from The Society of St Bede’s with all the verses in the correct order.  Thanks to Tom Windsor.   A shorter version is found in the Liber Usualis on Page 1522.




This hymn is based upon the poem of Elpis, wife (yes, this hymn is written by a woman..!) of the philosopher wife of Christian philosopher poet Boethius.  She died about 493.  This hymn was altered under Pope Urban VIII in 1632, from the Original text Aurea Luce et decora roseo.  Verses 1,2,5,& 6 are sung on the Feast of St. Peter and Paul (June 29). Verses 3 & 6 are sung on the Feast the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch (Feb. 22). Verses 4 & 6, are sung on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. (Jan. 25).  The translation below is from ‘The Liturgical Year’, Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B. Vol. 12, pg 362 / 315 with additional commentary in red from The hymns of the breviary by Rev.Matthew Britt .




THE beauteous light of God’s eternal Majesty

Streams down in golden rays to grace this holy day

Which crowned the princes of the Apostles’ glorious choir,

And unto guilty mortals showed the heavenward way.


The teacher of the world and keeper of heaven’s gate,

‘Mundi Magister’ St Paul (Rom 11.13)

‘Coeli Janitor’ St Peter (Matt. 16, 19)

Rome’s founders twain and rulers too of every land,

‘Ruler’ or ‘Judges’ arbitrique

Triumphant over death by sword and shameful cross,

With laurel crowned are gathered to the eternal band.


O Peter, Shepherd good, our voices sing of thee;

Thy very word had might from chains of sin to free;

To thee, by power divine, the mystic keys were given,

Which ope the skies to men, or close the gates of heaven.


Our souls’ great Teacher, Paul, our guide in wisdom’s ways,

Teach us, our fainting hearts, to heaven’s glad clime to raise,

Till Faith in clearest light her bright meridian gains,

And Love with sun-like fire within each bosom reigns.


O happy Rome! who in thy martyr princes’ blood,

A twofold stream, art washed and doubly sanctified.

All earthly beauty thou alone outshinest far,

Empurpled by their outpoured life-blood’s glorious tide.


All honour, power, and everlasting jubilee

To Him who all things made and governs here below,

To God in essence One, and yet in persons Three,

Both now and ever, while unending ages flow. Amen.

And with your spirit – CD and free downloads for the Prefaces

The Music Makers have released a CD detailing how to sing the new English translation of the Missal. A valuable resource for choir, priests and deacons.

The double CD costs £14.94 per copy and is available from the Catholic Truth Society, St Pauls Bookshops, Catholic Truth Society, Redemptorist Publications, Pauline Books & Media and other retailers or by direct mail order from The Music Makers.

To order directly from The Music Makers please send a cheque made payable to “The Music Makers” for £16.00 for UK or £16.50 Europe (price including P&P), together with contact details to:
The Music Makers, 41 Sansom Street, London SE5 7RD.

Orders may also be paid by debit/credit card by calling
020 7207 5501 (+44 20 72 07 55 01)

Disc I contains all the parts of the Ordinary in the English setting which will appear in the Missal along with a selection of prefaces.

Disc II contains additional chant found in the new missal including Credo III, settings of the Lord’s Prayer and music for Passiontide and Easter.

As there over ninety prefaces for the liturgical year, the Music makers have produced a free download page for ALL the prefaces. This can be found HERE.   They will be added to the site over the next few months.

If you are not familiar with the brilliant work that The Music makers and Jeremy de Satgé have been doing to promote the use of Latin in the liturgy in line with Vatican II,  have a look at some of their other publications available from the website.  They have an assortment of chant sheets available in modern notation which I found invaluable when first running our choir before learning to read square notation.

Corpus Christi in pictures – Thursday and Sunday

It is usually a peculiar thing celebrating the same feast twice in one week but all that Eucharistic adoration was really quite wonderful.

So there was the consecration on Thursday (extraordinary form) :-

And then the consecration today (Ordinary form):

The congregation on Thursday (lots of mantillas):-

And the congregation today (lots of children):-

And the Choir – Thursday  – Singing one lot of propers, Latin hymns and THAT sequence

And the choir today = Singing a different lot of propers, (Offertory and Communion change), a bunch of vernacular hymns and THAT sequence

Do you take this woman to be… on the 1820 from Three Bridges?

It’s not everyday a couple get on a packed rush hour train dressed like this…

They got married today with just two witnesses having only known each other for three months. They are both committed Christians and didn’t want to prolong the engagement so they decided to get married as quickly as possibly. They have very little money so they went to Sainsbury’s for a celebratory jacket potato after the wedding and then got the bus to Three Bridges where apparently hoards of school children cheered them. They then jumped on the train to Brighton. They were heading for a low key night out.

I just thought they were wonderful.

The Lauda Sion and the forgotten sequence for Holy Trinity

The rather brilliant Tom Windsor from the Schola at St.Bede’s, Clapham Park in London sent me a link to the former sequence for Holy Trinity, Profitentes Unitatem.


Recognize the tune?

It appears that when St. Thomas Aquinas was asked by Pope Urban IV to write some hymns for the new feast dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament he nicked an already probably well known tune by Adam St. Victor.

After the medieval sequence cull of the Council of Trent, St. Thomas’s sequence, the Lauda Sion, the sequence for Corpus Christi remained. The Holy Trinity sequence along with the sequence Laetabundi iubilemus was lost to the ecclesiastical history books.

Tom quotes Dom Gueranger from ‘The Liturgical Year’:-

“The Middle Ages have left us several Sequences for the Feast of the blessed Trinity. They are much overladen with metaphysical terms, and, for the most part, have but little melody or poetry in them. They give us the language of the Schools, with so much roughness, that they would scarcely find any readers now-a-days to relish them. There is one, however the one composed by Adam of Saint Victor which we here insert, as it maintains, even in its scholastic phraseology, all the majesty and melody which characterise the compositions of that great Poet.”

Have a look at some of the other music Tom has typeset.

Society of St.Bede’s Website

He is gradually building up a unique collection of forgotten Office hymns and music from other rites. There are also Mass sheets for numerous feast days.


Hymns for the Corpus Christi Procession

This Thursday we are celebrating Corpus Christi with a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form

The procession will be past the Hampton Pub, down the hill to the Western Road along the road and then back up Spring Street. Could be a four or five song walk. I have always found that no matter how much you rehearse a piece, as soon as you try and sing it outside it all goes horribly wrong. Add walking into the equation and it’s generally a recipe for disaster. So stick to very familiar music, and do the pieces you are most familiar with first.

Here is a list of what we will be singing and the order we will be singing it in for everyone to get practicing. All these videos have music with them so you can sing along:-





3. VERBUM SUPERNUM PRODIENS –  I can’t find a recording of this (only a couple of vids on You tube of the O Salutaris Hostia verses) So I’m afraid this is me singing it (plus mistakes):-




The words are HERE.   Score to follow when I find it online.   (p.940 in Liber Usualis)


4. SALUTIS HUMANAE SATOR   (We sang this on Ascension Day – on the Thursday and the Sunday)


5. LAUDA SION  (The CC Sequence which we will already have sung in Mass so should be fresh in everyone’s minds)





If the OF is good enough for the Pope…

Over at Bara Brith, Leutgeb has written a a heartfelt piece firstly on on kneeling and then subsequently on her thoughts about the two forms of the Mass:-

I would be very happy to only go to EF Masses, but do go to OF Masses perfectly easily. It would be fair to say that 95% of Masses that I go to are in the EF and the the last two OF Masses that I went to were at Quarr and Westminster Cathedral. It is the Mass that the Pope celebrates daily and if he can celebrate it, I can attend it. I worry about how Catholic I actually am if I start really not wanting to go to the OF. Teaching authoriy, valid sacraments, that’s the bottom line. If you lack either of those, I’m not there and I’m not interested. No, oddly enough, I don’t like it when things aren’t done right, but I’m not a priest and that’s his business in the first instance. The only time I suspend my capacity to be endlessly critical of myself and everyone else (much more me than you folks, honest,)is in Church, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to adopt a critical mindset here. I can’t see what’s going on anyway because I look at the floor most of the time and am increasingly good at screening out English which sounds like blah blah blah. Other people have other entrenched views. For me as long as the Mass is Catholic, celebrated by a Priest in good standing, doing his best to do it right, I’m not complaining.

There is also a very amusing comment from one of her readers on Pope Benedict saying the ordinary form:

I agree that the OF Mass is the one the Holy Father celebrates daily, it’s just that he doesn’t have inane chatter before and after his Masses, banal guitar music throughout and people doing odd things on the sanctuary. I would happily attend a Mass like that.

Our Father or Pater Noster? Let’s ask the congregation what they prefer – It is only the Ordinary Form after all…


Our 10.30am Mass on a Sunday is a sung Mass. The congregation sing all the parts of the Ordinary in Latin (and Greek) including Credo III and the choir sing the Introit and the Gradual in Latin and tend to sing an appropriate office hymn or a simple motet usually in Latin at the Offertory. The rest of the Mass is in English. Last week we sang the Pater Noster rather than our usual ‘habit’ of saying it in English and apparently a couple of the congregation complained…!!?


Unfortunately, if our parish priest receives a single complaint about something, he is more likely to listen to that one person rather than all the other people who would prefer the other option. In this case, we want to sing the Pater Noster and preferably in Latin, just as they do in our neighbouring parish, the Sacred Heart. Ultimately though, it should not be about our personal preferences it should be about what we should be doing.



Sacrosanctum Concilium states:

54. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and “the common prayer,” but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people, according to tho norm laid down in Art. 36 of this Constitution.

Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.


In the Extraordinary Form. the congregation do not even say the Pater Noster until the ‘Sed libera nos a Malo’ and no one complains. Infact in the Extraordinary Form, everything is prescribed and no one ever complains about anything. No female servers, No Extraordinary Ministers,  No communion in the hand, no hearing the Canon, no vernacular etc etc..  and people just accept it for what it is. So why do the congregation feel that they have some kind of ownership over what is said or sung and how it is done with the Ordinary Form?

As a musical director in a Catholic church, I try and do what the Holy Father is encouraging us to do and what is prescribed in the documents of the church like Sacrosanctum Concilium. It really upsets me when people accuse me of being ‘obsessed with Gregorian Chant’ or that I am adding music to the Mass just because I like it. I actually love singing Renaissance polyphony more than anything else but that is not a viable option for our choir and I know that the chant should take pride of place in the liturgy.

When I hear dismissive comments about what ‘we’ as a parochial team not ‘me’ as an individual’ are trying to do to our precious liturgy and ultimately to our prayer I have to admit I start to think ‘what is the point?’   With the Novus Ordo we seem to always be taking one step forward and two back. No wonder the arch-traditionalists will continue to mock the Ordinary Form. We can’t even agree on the Pater Noster, sorry I mean Our Father.



Why are

Hymns for Holy Trinity (Trinity Sunday) – Te Deum

One option for the end of Mass on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinty is the Te Deum that epic hymn of praise. Sometimes this is a “Solemn Te Deum,” with two thurifers on either of the altar swinging their thurifers and lots of bell ringing.

Wikipedia on the uses of the Te Deum

In the traditional Office, the Te Deum is sung at the end of Matins on all days when the Gloria is said at Mass; those days are all Sundays outside Advent, Septuagesima, Lent, and Passiontide; on all feasts (except the Triduum) and on all ferias during Eastertide. Before the 1962 reforms, neither the Gloria nor the Te Deum were said on the feast of the Holy Innocents, unless it fell on Sunday, as they were martyred before the death of Christ and therefore could not immediately attain the beatific vision.[2]
In the Liturgy of the Hours of Paul VI, the Te Deum is sung at the end of the Office of Readings on days when the Gloria is sung (Sundays outside Advent and Lent), and all solemnities, including the octaves of Easter and Christmas, and all feasts) and also on the Sundays of Advent.[3] It is also used together with the standard canticles in Morning Prayer as prescribed in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, in Matins for Lutherans, and is retained by many other churches of the Reformed tradition. It is also used by the
Eastern Orthodox Churches in the Paraklesis (Moleben) of Thanksgiving.

There is a good article on the history of the Te Deum and its structure over at Zenit:


The first Te Deum I ever sang was Mozart’s exuberant piece. In those days I had no idea what I was singing about and we certainly would not have sung it at Mass (Apologies – Catholic education.)

Warning – The Te Deum might be the ultimate hymn of praise to God but it is absolutely exhausting to sing. The Solemn tone is obviously more tiring than the Simple tone. I would advocate a fitness programme in the run up to when you have to sing it- star jumps, power walks etc…