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...]

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Deacon, if you have nothing better to do between now and Sunday…

Start practicing: Music and dates are here.   Details: While a day like Christmas is fixed in our minds and on the calendars on December 25th, many of the important feasts of the Church year move, based upon the date that Easter is set. Easter changes each year moving to the Sunday after the “Paschal Full Moon,” and [Read More...]

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The last thing you’d expect to hear on “America’s Got Talent”

But it’s just great. Did the audience have any idea what they were hearing? Just watch. [Read more...]

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Meet the man who sang at Rio’s Eucharistic Adoration: “The arms of St. Peter’s are really big”

It was a mesmerizing and deeply moving moment during the pope’s visit last week.  But who was the guy on his knees strumming the guitar? From Religion News Service:  Growing up Roman Catholic in Newfoundland, Matt Maher never imagined that his childhood interest in music would lead to a career as a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping Christian rocker — [Read More...]

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"Godspell" gets born again

With “Godspell,” as with so many things, you never forget your first time. Mine was in the spring of 1973, on an 8th grade class trip that took us down to Ford’s Theater in Washington to see that “hippie musical about Jesus,” as one of the nuns in the school disdainfully called it (though to [Read More...]

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A song for the desert: "My Lord Did Trouble Me"

I first posted this a few months back, but it’s worth a second hearing.  Here’s a rich performance of a great song by Tom Jones — and the video below includes the arid landscape of the desert, as well as a clutch of rosary beads. It’s a perfect anthem for Lent. [Read more...]

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"Come back to me…"

This Ash Wednesday perennial gets to me every time. Here, two versions…the first, from John Michael Talbot, and the second, from the composer himself, Gregory Norbet. [Read more...]

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Just in time for Mardi Gras, here's a different take on New Orleans

A former colleague of mine from CBS, Richard Barber, is working on a documentary about the high school Mardi Gras bands of New Orleans — and yesterday he sent me this new preview of the film, “The Whole Gritty City.” It looks amazing. Check out the clip below.  And  visit the website for more information [Read More...]

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"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...]

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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...]

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