Saturday, October 20, 2007


I did two weddings today, both of which were, to me, somewhat remarkable.

The first wedding was a couple apparently in their 30s who wanted things to be “different”. I guess the highlight of their wedding’s different-ness was exchanging wedding vows that they themselves had written. (I imagine that’s licit....heck, the whole wedding rite is replete with liberties to adapt etc.) They were ok - kinda sappy in some parts, but I liked how they ended it with something to the effect of “may God punish me if I ever seek to part from this marriage before death.”

This wedding was also remarkable in that the bride accepted a suggestion from me that she have some Gregorian chant - so, I did the “In te speravi, Domine” offertory, the second of two that the Graduale Romanum gives for wedding Masses. The text is, I think, stunning for weddings: “In You, O Lord, I have trusted; I said: You are my God; my welfare is in your hands.” (Ps. 31:15,16 - Klaus, I hope I translated that acceptably!) What a wonderful sense of surrender to God’s will, a reminder that we are and have nothing except by God’s design. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is the same psalm that Jesus quotes in St. Luke’s Gospel as He dies. (And, going a step further - remember 1 Corinthians: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ laid down His life for the Church...”)

The second wedding was a more typical one except rather large for being so - 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen. The couple was about my age, give and take a few years. The bride was of Italian descent and wanted something sung at some point in Italian. She first came to me with a pop-style thingie that I really didn’t think was consistent with the concept of “ritual music”; thankfully I was able to find a simple Italian-language setting of the first couple verses of “Ubi caritas” - nothing musically remarkable, but it’s another text that I wish were sung more at weddings.

And, another remarkable element: the bride and groom were EMHCs. They had had the Cana wedding Gospel passage read, and I thought the symbolism was nice.

This second wedding was also the first one I have played since relocating to my new parish. I’ve been woodshedding for the last couple of weeks - it actually went better than I expected, with no major flubs from me save for a few “emancipated dissonances” in the pedals. ;-) The repertoire: Handel air in F, Jesu Joy, Kanon in D, Trumpet Voluntary, Mass o’ Creation, Schubert Ave, La réjouissance, Marcello Psalm 19. I was nervous, I confess, when the trumpeter told me he needed tempos that I thought were pretty sprightly - at least, they were peppier than I had been practicing!


At Monday, October 22, 2007 10:59:00 AM, Anonymous pdt said...

Hi Cantor -

Can you provide a page reference in the Graduale for the wedding Masses? We'll be providing chant at an upcoming wedding and I always feel safer using the right stuff! Sounds like that's just what you are doing.

Many thanks.

At Monday, October 22, 2007 11:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't know the page for your gradual, but I recall the Introit is "Deus Israel". If you look that up in your index, you should find the whole propers.


At Monday, October 22, 2007 11:58:00 PM, Anonymous pdt said...

Thanks Gavin -

This is the Solemnes edition of 1979, and the fun starts here. The In Te Speravi offertory is for the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time, but the associated Introit is Respice, Domine. And the index shows no Introit Deus Israel. So it's back to the quest. In a way it's refreshing because I feel a certain level of freedom with what we do!

At Tuesday, October 23, 2007 11:20:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...

The wedding propers are at the “Pro sponsis” (“for spouses”) ritual Mass. Page 645 in my copy.

Gavin is incorrect about “Deus Israël”, but only slightly so. This introit is considered neo-Gregorian and was thus excised from the Graduale Romanum; however, the Ordo cantus Missæ does refer to it and assigns it as an optional introit for weddings. That is a great text, too.

At Wednesday, October 24, 2007 1:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies, I pulled that from a book of French modern preludes on Introit themes (had to brag about owning that). It had "Deus Israel" for marriages, but I wasn't aware there was a different chant!


At Wednesday, October 24, 2007 11:33:00 PM, Anonymous pdt said...

Page 645 it is indeed! Thank you. Now we have much more to learn which is absolutely fine with us. I'd glossed right past the "sponsis" looking for Wedding or Nuptials or something like that. Live and learn.


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