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Novena to St. Joseph

I had it in mind to start some kind of novena today, as it is the proper date to end on the March 19th feast of St. Joseph. When I found a what seemed a suitable one in Fr. Lasance’s Prayerbook for Religious, I decided that it would be a good idea to typeset it; here it is.

For printing it, you can do whatever you like; however, what I meant to do with it is to print pages (1, 1, 1) with the options multiple, custom, 3 x 1 horizantal, landscape, and print page border.

Like so.

(Three in a row makes them come out a nice size; also, the option for the printer to draw a border around each “page” is surprisingly useful for this sort of application.)

If I wanted these real nice, I’d take them to the copy shop, where the resolution would be higher, do them on cream-colored card-stock, and then have them laminated.


For beginner piano: Stabat Mater

And another easy piano printout:

Stabat Mater (Hymn of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

I’ve left the fingering up to y’all. The divisions represent the sections which serve as the hymns for Vespers, Matins, & Lauds (respectively) for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows, (the one that is the Friday after Passion Sunday, which is now just a commemoration; not the one in September, which seems to have a different set of hymns). Keep this in mind for those times when you need a shorter version; these are the verses to excerpt, or good places to stop.

Chant notation for this hymn can be found in the Liber Usualis, p. 1874. I should also link the useful book Hymns of the Breviary and Missal, which is again the source of the translation.

For beginner piano: Audi benigne Conditor

Here is another chant put into easy piano form:

Audi benigne Conditor (the vespers hymn for Lent)

A point of advantage with this hymn is that it only uses five notes. I typed this up for a student who can read letter names, knowing that when I wrote in the letter names, he would be able to get through it with no trouble at all. Fingering would do the trick just as well for a different student.

Chant notation for this hymn can be found in the Liber Usualis, p. 539.

This hymn is first sung at vespers of the Saturday before the first Sunday of Lent; it is replaced by Vexilla Regis prodeunt starting with vespers of the Saturday before Passion Sunday.


Picture book: St. Felix and the Spider


Sorry, this post isn’t about chant. Rather, my sister Lydia has just illustrated her first children’s picture book, St. Felix and the Spider, which was written by Dessi Jackson :


This book is mostly about the spider, I’m afraid. However, St. Felix, in case you are wondering, was a priest-martyr of the 3rd century. He is commemorated on January 14th (in the 1962 calendar, that is).

Legend has it that when Romans were looking for him and he was hiding in a cave, a spider … no wait, I shouldn’t give away the plot. But as you can see, after they had found the cave, the soldiers went away doing the solfege hand-sign for Fa thus :


So, if you need a book to help celebrate the 14th of Janiveer, this could be it. Or if you want to help keep alive this sort of jolly-tale-about-the-obscure-saint, that’s another reason. Come to think of it, maybe we could start a petition for Lydia’s next project to be about St. Martha and the Dragon :


But until then, I suppose we must be content with the wee spider ; at any rate it is cheaper than a Liber Usualis :


I should also mention that this book is being published by my family, our first, under the imprint Quis Ut Deus Press. Which name is in honor of St. Michael’s battle cry, “Who is like God?”


So, now you know.

Did I mention it’s available here on Amazon!

*   *   *   *   *

I should also note that from this we may see that self-publishing is not rocket science. You just need to have good content, and to spend a certain amount of time getting everything put together just right. And proof-reading. And proof-reading. (This was in fact the only thing I helped with.) Now, go publish a book! I’ve got to get back to work on mine…

…The blacksmith shook his head as he went back to his smithy. “Ominous names,” he said. “Hilarius and Felix! I don’t like the sound of them.” *

*This last quote has almost nothing do do with St. Felix and the Spider. Rather, it is from Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Sext from the Little Office – a complete set of mp3’s

The links below provide mp3’s for all the chants for the hour of Sext from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. By taking the appropriate item in the correct order from the headings 1-9, every possible variant of this hour may be assembled.

Note: The mp3’s linked below are all stored here, from which site they may also be downloaded.

The Hour of Sext from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1. The Vs. Deus in adjutorium

2. Hymn

3. The Psalms

4. The Little Chapter

5. The Vs. Benedicta tu in mulieribus

6. The Vs. Domine exaudi and the Prayer

in the first ferial tone :

in the ancient simple tone :

7. At the end of the hour

The 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Here are two practices which I have found are helpful when trying to understand how the propers of a given Mass relate to each other :

1. Looking up the psalm from which a proper is derived and reading the whole thing.

2. Reading the readings, prayers, etc. in Latin, even if I still need to reference the English to hold things together.


To illustrate the sort of thinking I sometimes do, here are my observations about the 18th Sunday after Pentecost :

The main part of the introit for today (Da pacem) is from Ecclesiasticus : Give peace, O Lord, to them that patiently wait for thee…

However, the verse is from Ps. 121 (Laetatus sum) : I rejoiced at the things that were said to me : We shall go into the house of the Lord.

The connection between these two text is found further on in the psalm, vs. 6, which doesn’t make it into the introit (unless you sing extra verses ad lib) : Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem…



Then comes the collect : Let the operation of Thy mercy… direct our hearts…

And the epistle : I give thanks… for the grace of God that is given you… that in all things you are made rich in Him…

Let’s save these for later.


With the gradual, which is borrowed from Laetare Sunday, we are back to Ps. 121, but this time adding vs. 7 : I rejoiced at the things that were said to me : We shall go into the house of the Lord. Let peace be in thy strength, and abundance in thy towers.

Now, the alleluia is taken from Ps. 101 (Domine exaudi) : The gentiles shall fear thy name, O Lord : and all the kings of the earth thy glory. This quite a non sequitur, right ?

But looking at the preceding verses of the psalm we see the context : Thou shalt arise and have mercy on Sion : for it is time to have mercy on it, for the time is come. For the stones thereof have pleased thy servants : and they shall have pity on the earth thereof. All the gentiles shall fear thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. For the Lord hath built up Sion : and he shall be seen in his glory.

So in the bigger picture, the idea of “the gentiles fearing the name of the Lord” is something which follows on the establishment of Sion, and the showing of mercy towards it. These things have a similar ring to what the introit was asking : “the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem… peace be in thy strength : and abundance in thy towers…” A connection, perhaps.


However, the best is yet to come – the part which inspired me to do this post today : the gospel.

The Lord forgives the sins of the paralytic, and cures him. How can this possibly fit ?


But the Lord says to him in the Latin :

Surge, tolle lectum tuum, et vade in domum tuam. 

Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house.


Now, perhaps you don’t have the Latin of the 121st Psalm which we have been discussing rattling around in you head like I do, so I’d better give it here :

Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi : in domum Domini ibimus.

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me : We shall go into the house of the Lord.


In the Latin, there are about half as many words as are needed in English, and as a result, the words “in domum = into the house” are quite strikingly… exactly the same in both the psalm and the gospel. Here with the gospel we begin to see that the the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem, the operation of thy mercy (from the collect), and the grace of God that is given you (from the epistle) could perhaps be related to what is given the paralytic : the forgiveness of his sins. And after which is given to him, he goes into his house or alternatively, the house of the Lord. “In domum Domini ibimus.”

Then we see the reaction of the crowd : timuerunt, et glorificaverunt Deum – they feared and glorified God. Isn’t this what is said by the alleluia verse ? The gentiles shall fear thy name, O Lord, and the kings of the earth thy glory.


So. At the offertory, I suppose you could say that we find out what we are doing in the house of the Lord : offering on it [the altar] holocausts, and sacrificing victims… to the Lord God for an odour of sweetness, in the sight of the children of Israel.

Sacrifice comes in at the “secret” prayer as well.

With the communion, we reiterate : Bring up sacrifices, and come into his courts : adore ye the Lord in his holy court : The sacrifices again, as well as the going-into-a-house motif.

Last of all, we have the postcommunion : Strengthened by the sacred gift, we render thanks to Thee, O Lord, beseeching Thy mercy that Thou make us entirely worthy to partake thereof. Through Our Lord…

You can do various things with that.

Anyhow, these were my thoughts about tomorrow, the 18th Sunday after Pentecost.

*    *    *    *    *

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me : * We shall go into the house of the Lord.

Our feet were standing in thy courts, * O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, which is built as a city, * which is compact together.

For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord : * the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.

Because their seats have sat in judgment, * seats upon the house of David.

Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem : * and abundance for them that love thee.

Let peace be in thy strength : * and abundance in thy towers.

For the sake of my brethren, and of my neighbours, * I spoke peace of thee.

Because of the house of the Lord our God, * I have sought good things for thee.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

The Collects of the Little Office

In my continuing work on the Little Office, today I found myself looking for translations for its collects in the Missal by Fr. Lasance (available here or here). To do this, I needed to discover which Masses the collects of the Little Office were taken from. Here are the results of my investigations:

Ad Laudes: Deus qui de B. M. V. utero – March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation (collect)

Ad Primam: Deus qui virginalem aulam – August 14th, the Vigil of the Assumption (collect)

Ad Tertiam: Deus qui salutis aeternae – January 1st, the Octave of the Nativity of Our Lord (collect)

Ad Sextam: Concede misericors Deus – August 14th, the Vigil of the Assumption (postcommunion)

Ad Nonam: Famulorum tuorum – August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption (collect, from the older Mass of this day, back when the introit was Gaudeamus. see, for example, the Liber 1903)

Ad Vesperas: Concede nos famulos tuos – Common of Feasts of Our Lady (collect)

Ad Completorium: Beatae et gloriosaethis article which I just found claims that it is proper to the Little Office, which seems about right, given that it is rather short (no flex) and that I haven’t found it anywhere else. Also, I have thought that Compline is the most peculiar of the hours of the Little Office, least resembling its counterparts in either the secular or monastic offices.