Must-see video: “The 12 Days After Christmas”

Image: “The Twelfth Night” by David Teniers (17th century) Very cute. From those jolly folks who comprise the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—believe it or not. Enjoy. I think we’re all about ready for this now, don’t you? [Read more...]

Give yourself this CD as an early Christmas gift. You can thank me later.

A couple months ago, I got an email inviting me to hear parts of a new CD from the only Catholic boys school choir in the United States. That piqued my curiosity. Hearing the selections clinched it for me. What I heard was a little slice of heaven on earth. The CD, “Christmas at Harvard Square,” by [Read More...]

“I Am the Very Model of a Biblical Philologist”

Well, I’m not. But I know some of you out there will love this: an inspired re-interpretation of Gilbert and Sullivan for Bible geeks! This is pretty hilarious, even though I don’t understand most of it. Enjoy. [Read more...]

Christmas music: Do you hear what I hear? Again and again and again?

From Nate Silver’s website comes this interesting look at the music we keep hearing during this time of year:  Radio’s wall-to-wall holiday format is a recent development. Of course, stations in the past played some Christmas music on Dec. 24 and 25, but the vast majority of soft-rock stations began switching to all-holiday soundtracks in [Read More...]

Sister Cristina meets Pope Francis, gives him a copy of her album

Two of the most famous Catholics in the world finally met. Details:  Italy’s famed singing nun met Pope Francis this week and brought him a gift: a copy of her first album. Sister Cristina Scuccia, who won the Italian version of The Voice in June, presented the Pontiff with her debut CD during his general audience on Wednesday, [Read More...]

World Meeting of Families debuts official hymn: “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom”

Kathy Schiffer got the scoop: On Sunday, November 30,worshippers at a Mass at Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul heard for the first time the hymn that will be played at Pope Francis’ Mass during next year’s World Meeting of Families. “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom” was co-written by Norbertine Father Andrew Ciferni and [Read More...]

“Text Me Merry Christmas”: a carol for our times

An instant classic, from the wonderful a cappella group Straight No Chaser, joined here by the insanely talented Kristen Bell. I LOL’d. [Read more...]

Because this never grows old

Happy Solemnity of Christ the King!  Everybody dance! [Read more...]

Patti Smith defends performance at Vatican: “I like Pope Francis and I’m happy to sing for him”

Details from The New York Daily News:  Last week, the Godmother of Punk drew criticism from all sides after accepting the invitation of Pope Francis to sing at the Vatican’s upcoming Christmas concert. One Italian Catholic organization labeled the star “blasphemous.” Meanwhile, some hipsters found Smith’s proposed appearance hypocritical, considering she opened her very first [Read More...]

Practicing “The Exsultet”? Try this.—UPDATED

Every year around this time, choir lofts and living rooms around the world echo with the unmistakable sound of deacons practicing the Easter Proclamation—a.k.a., “The Exsultet.” (You can always tell when it’s Lent around my house and I’ve started practicing; my wife makes herself scarce.) What also happens around this time of year is that [Read More...]