A familiar song, as you’ve never heard it before

You’ll recognize this tune a few notes into the first verse—but I don’t think you’ve ever heard the sentiments expressed quite like this. Beautiful and consoling.  Thanks to Paul Snatchko for sharing words we all need to hear every now and then. [Read more...]

“Do you know where I can get a CD of the new Exsultet?”

A deacon dropped me a note this morning with that question. I haven’t been able to find one, but a couple years back I posted a link to an mp3 recording.  This is the one I’ve used. Someone who is media-savvy can download it and burn a CD from it.  (Deacons: ask your kids!)   [Read More...]

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...]

A classic: “12 Days of Christmas” by Straight No Chaser

After the version by The Muppets (with John Denver), this remains my favorite.  Enjoy. [Read more...]

Christmas blessings to be counted…

One of those blessings remains this classic moment from “White Christmas.” It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs—and, in fact, it has nothing to do with Christmas. But it has everything to do with the spirit of this season, and the gifts we are given (and give) every day. Thank you, Irving. [Read more...]

Students perform “Silent Night”—but without religious references

It happened on Long Island last week. Unreal:  A Kings Park parent is not keeping silent being offended by the school chorus’s rendition of holiday carol “Silent Night.” Kevin McDonald said Kings Park school teachers removed all religious references from the lyrics of “Silent Night” to avoid offending non-Christians at a fifth-grade concert held at Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate [Read More...]

Flash mob, you had me at “Jesu”

I’m shamelessly stealing this from The Anchoress, who is right: I’m a sucker for this stuff. I haven’t seen any decent Christmas flash mobs this year. Until now. Right out of the gate, this one is sensational: heartfelt, surprising, and just thrilling.  I’m loving it. Just watch the Air Force Band redefine the flash mob [Read More...]

Deck the halls—and just see what four guys can do on one piano

These guys are apparently quite the sensation on the interwebs, but they’re new to me: The Piano Guys, four faithful Mormons who make amazing piano music.  Their latest: this lovely rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” performed as you’ve never heard (or seen) before, with one piano making some amazing sounds. Just watch. [Read more...]

“Too much Catholic church music caters to old hippies…”

From England comes this commentary, with one composer’s reflection on the problem and a solution… I have decided to stop writing congregational music for the Catholic Church. Those who follow these things will be aware that liturgical music can be a war zone in Catholicism. We need not detain ourselves over the reasons and fault-lines [Read More...]

L’chaim! A wedding video like no other…

This video is a couple years old, but it popped up on my Facebook feed this morning.  Need a smile?  This will do it. As the groom notes on his YouTube page:  My surprise for my wife Vanessa on our wedding day. All of Vanessa’s close friends and family rehearsed for a month in secret, [Read More...]