This past weekend was the Gregorian Chant Conference at Ave Maria University... an excellent event that is only in it's third year and already getting a lot of attention. As I've said quite a few times in quite a few places, events such as this would have been impossible only a few years ago... the attendees at this conference were not specialists or academics from Latin Mass communities, but were musicians and ordinary parishioners from parishes across the state. Hopefully this event will continue in coming years as we continue the mission of bringing about the restoration of sacred music in the liturgy. A surprise element of the conference (for me at least!) was the letter from Bishop Dewane to the conference attendees. It's encouraging to hear such words from our Bishop.
Which leads to the workshop this coming weekend at the Cathedral of the Epiphany on the Chants of the new Translation. This is the second session of the workshop (the first session was on Saturday, March 12th) and we are expecting between 80 and 100 musicians from the Northern deanery of our Diocese. The point of these workshops is to introduce our musicians to the chants that will accompany the new translation of the missal, and emphasize to them that these chants will be the "normative setting" of the sung Ordinary for the Diocese of Venice as Bishop Dewane has indicated. Beginning next year, the Missal Chants will be used for all Diocesan Masses (Chrism Mass, Ordinations, Anniversaries, etc...) and all parishes are expected to learn the chant setting of the Ordinary beginning next November.
It's great to see so much happening... I only wish it wasn't all happening two weeks before Holy Week!