"To love another person is to see the face of God…"

That’s my nominee for Best Song Lyric Ever, from the final moments of “Les Miserables.” For those who missed it: below is the thrilling finale to the 25th anniversary concert, which aired Sunday night on PBS. In a word: wow. [Read more...]

This Sunday's gospel, set to music

A classic performance of a classic old hymn. (You can read the story behind it here.) Ladies and gentlemen: Miss Ethel Waters. [Read more...]

For my Valentine, "you are my only one"

When my wife and I were first married, all those years ago, if we were driving around and this song came on the radio, we’d crank up the volume and sing along at the top of our lungs. We’re still singing. Thank you, God, for that beautiful gift. Happy Valentine’s Day.  [Read more...]

For the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes: "Song of Bernadette"

People forget that Leonard Cohen wrote something else besides the now-ubiquitous “Hallelujah”. He composed this haunting ode to love and human frailty, “Song of Bernadette.”  Here’s the great Jennifer Warnes – whatever happened to her, by the way? — performing this, evidently on “The Smothers Brothers” show in the early 1970s. UPDATE: A friend on [Read More...]

The new missal: what will you be singing?

One of the most popular publishers of Catholic liturgical music is Oregon Catholic Press, or OCP.  You find their hymnals in a lot of parishes around the U.S., and their settings for the mass are probably among the most familiar anywhere.  (“Celtic Alleluia,” anyone?) Their website is now offering samples of some of the new [Read More...]

This video gets to me every time

No matter how often I see it, it just knocks me into a puddle of tears.  Today seems a good day to give it another look: (soon-to-be-Blessed) Pope John Paul and Tony Melendez, in Los Angeles, in 1987. You can read more about Tony here. He also has a website. But watch the video.  It [Read More...]

One last Christmas blast

For the close of the Christmas season, Epiphany, enjoy a rollicking rendition of “We Three Kings” and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” courtesy the Barenaked Ladies.   Merry Christmas! [Read more...]

"Today is where your book begins — the rest is still unwritten…"

I’ll be preaching about this song in my homily for Sunday. I think it’s a great way to kick-start the new year, with a message of new beginnings and resilient hope. Enjoy.  Happy New Year — happy new you! [Read more...]

I'm homeward bound

Regular blogging should resume Wednesday. Until then, for all travelers on this week of jaw-dropping snow and headache-inducing delays…a musical interlude from two boys from Forest Hills, Queens. Traveling mercies! [Read more...]

God rest ye, merry gentle friends

Visiting a parish in Maryland this weekend, I was surprised that the recessional hymn at today’s mass wasn’t altered for political correctness. But no: to my amazed ears, they actually sang “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” The reason this surprised me was because the entrance hymn, on the other hand, was changed from “Good Christian [Read More...]


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