The Church of St. Catherine of Siena will host an evening of Lessons and Carols this Saturday, December 13, beginning at 7:00pm. Daniel Sañez, the choirmaster and organist of St. Catherine of Siena, leads the Schola Dominicana of the parish. A reception follows the evening of prayer and music.
Fr. Jordan Kelly, OP, the pastor of St. Catherine of Siena, offered some reflections on the program of Lessons and Carols:
“Lessons and Carols comes from two sources: the long vigils of Office of Readings and the rich heritage of the English Choral School. In the service nine readings from the Scriptures or the Fathers trace the history of man’s salvation, culminating with the Incarnation of Christ. This service of Lessons and Carols places before the People of God the true and eternal reason for this time of celebration, decoration and gift-giving: the Birth of Jesus Christ. It offers people a chance to step back, breathe, forget the riches of Madison Avenue, Macy’s and cyber-shopping, and bask in the presence of God.”
Daniel Sañez, the choirmaster and organist, spoke of the rich musical selections in the program:
“Throughout my time here, the programming has taken similar structure: the messianic expectation, the Marian preparation and “Ave!,” the wondrous birth, what that birth means for and should mean to us, and the first witness of the Christ child by the shepherds and the wise men.
This year is no different: while the opening “Nowell” prologue by Ralph Vaughan Williams sets the overall musical tone for the evening, we are beginning the choral portion with a setting of the Advent “Veni, Domine” by Cristobal de Morales, followed by a Byrd setting of the early text to “Ave Maria”; this birth is marked by a victorious “Riu, riu chiu” and John Sheppard’s setting of the Gospel of Saint John, “Verbum Caro Factum Est”; then, it’s Poulenc’s turn to announce the birth of Christ with his “Hodie Christus Natus Est.”
Two meditative selections on this miraculous birth follow: Poulenc’s “O Magnum Mysterium” and a brief Vaughan Williams piece called “The Blessed Son of God.” Finally, we come to our witnesses: the Poulenc “Quem Vidistis Pastores” is followed by the three kings’ procession in Poulenc’s “Videntes Stellam.” Lastly, Howells’ setting of the John Buxton text “Long, Long Ago” wraps up the entire Christmas story from Isaiah’s prophecy through the Epiphany of the Lord, followed by a modern setting by Stephen Caracciolo of “There Is No Rose,” embodying our sentiments on the Christmas narrative.”
The Dominican Friars of the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena have announced a special three-part series of Advent Holy Hours under the title, “Advent Hope for the Church of New York: Living the Call to Make All Things New.”
The series will run at St. Catherine of Siena over the Thursdays of Advent, December 4, 11, and 18. Each Holy Hour will begin at 7:00 p.m. and feature preaching, silent adoration, sung Night Prayer, and Benediction. The Friars will also be available for confession throughout the hour.
The preaching will focus on how the virtue of hope enlivens all people to respond with enthusiasm and joy to the Lord’s call to make all things news.
The Rev. Fr. Jordan Kelly, O.P, Pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena, believes this series is a tremendous opportunity for grace and courage, especially for those faithful who are struggling with the realities of the Archdiocese of New York’s Making All Things New parish planning process.
Fr. Kelly has commented, “As the Church of New York seeks to live out the New Evangelization through the implementation of Making All Things New, each disciple of Jesus strives to move forward in hope. In this rich season of Advent, come discover how the virtue of hope can strengthen us in our discipleship and make us new as we await the birth of Christ.”
ABOUT THE CHURCH OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA
The Church of Saint Catherine of Siena is a parish administered by the Dominican Friars of the Province of Saint Joseph. Since 2010, the parish has grown in size by over 150% as it seeks to respond to the call of the New Evangelization. In addition to regular parish life, St. Catherine of Siena is also home to Dominican Friars Health Care Ministry of New York, whose mission is to provide comprehensive pastoral care and Catholic ethical formation to the medical communities of the Upper East Side. The Health Care Ministry visits about 60,000 patients each year, and the Friars provide 24/7/365 chaplaincy service to the hospitals.
For more information, please visit stcatherinenyc.org.
The Dominican Friars of the House of Studies are sponsoring an Advent lecture series entitled “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord: Renunciation and the Pursuit of Perfection.” Join us at any one of three locations for each installment in our series of three conferences, as we prepare together to welcome Jesus Christ into our hearts, homes, and families this Christmas. Looking to the witness of St. John the Baptist, who pointed awesomely and adamantly at Jesus, the coming Kingdom, we too seek to direct our lives to following Jesus through the mysteries of his life, from the crib to the cross. During this Year of Consecrated Life, we’ll gaze especially at the poor, chaste, and obedient Christ, who counsels all his followers to follow along that same royal road.
The lectures will be held at the following locations and times:
St. Dominic’s Church, Washington, DC — Tuesdays (Dec. 2, 9, and 16) at 7:00pm
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Charlottesville, VA — Sundays (Dec. 7, 14, and 21) at 10:30am
Dominican House of Studies, Washington DC — Sundays (Dec. 7, 14, and 21) at 7:30pm
For more information, see the promotional flyer.
Image: Artist, Title
Please join the Dominican friars for evening prayer and an advent reflection at St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village on Thursday, December 11, at 7:00pm. Fr. Allan White, OP will give a reflection titled “Praying the Christmas Gospels,” which he describes as “a meditative look at the Old Testament and New Testament readings for Advent and Christmas” in order to see how they can “deepen our faith in the mystery of the Incarnation.”
Fr. Allan White, OP is the house superior of St. Joseph’s Church, a post he was appointed to in 2013. He joined the community at St. Joseph’s in 2011 when he was appointed the director of the Catholic Center at New York University. A member of the English Province, Fr. White joined the Order in 1973 and studied at Oxford University and the University of Edinburgh before completing a Ph.D in sixteenth century history at Edinburgh. Fr. White served in various ministry and teaching capacities at the universities in London, Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh. In 2000 he was elected Prior Provincial of the English Province and served for eight years before moving to Rome in 2008 to serve as assistant to the Master of the Order, Fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa, OP.
Image: Fr. Allan White, OP in Santa Sabina, Rome
The Dominican Parish of St. Dominic in Washington, DC is having its first annual Advent Stations on Saturday, December 13, at 7:00pm. Similar to an evening of lessons and carols, the night of Advent Stations will include both songs and scriptural readings relevant to Christ’s coming.
Br. Athanasius Murphy, OP, who is helping initiate this seasonal celebration, commented on the event: “This is one attempt to help Christians participate in the Church’s celebration of the Lord’s coming at a local level. We hope the night helps to prepare those coming for their celebration of Christmas.”
The setting of the Advent Stations will be in a dark church with many candles near the sanctuary. Readings and short preaching will alternate with hymns, chant, and polyphony music traditional to the Advent season. The night will conclude with a candlelit procession to a Marian altar in the church to venerate a piece of the original manger of Christ’s nativity in Bethlehem.
The event is open to all who would like to come. No RSVP is necessary. See here for more details.
This Sunday, December 22, Br. Joachim Kenney, O.P., will present the final talk in the student brothers’ Advent lecture series, entitled “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Santa and the Poetry of Desire.”