Saturday, April 11, 2009

Regina Pacis Cantorum


Over the past month or so, I have been singing tenor with Regina Pacis Cantorum, a traveling a cappella Latin choir throughout the diocese of Reno, and the only one of its type in the area.

I am so enjoying singing Latin chant and polyphony (many voices) at Mass again; for years, I sang more Latin with the Parkway Chorale (mixed chorus at my workplace) than I ever heard at Mass. Frankly, we need more of it, not less. Pope Pius X thought so too in his encyclical Tra le Sollecitudini (emphasis mine):

These qualities are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity.

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down thefollowing rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.

The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone.

Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.

4. The above-mentioned qualities are also possessed in an excellent degree by Classic Polyphony, especially of the Roman School, which reached its greatest perfection in the fifteenth century, owing to the works of Pierluigi da Palestrina, and continued subsequently to produce compositions of excellent quality from a liturgical and musical standpoint. Classic Polyphony agrees admirably with Gregorian Chant, the supreme model of all sacred music, and hence it has been found worthy of a place side by side with Gregorian Chant, in the more solemn functions of the Church, such as those of the Pontifical Chapel. This, too, must therefore be restored largely in ecclesiastical functions, especially in the more important basilicas, in cathedrals, and in the churches and chapels of seminaries and other ecclesiastical institutions in which the necessary means are usually not lacking.

I could tell you more about Regina Pacis Cantorum, but I'll let my esteemed director do so, courtesy of Be Present Faithful Catholic Apostolate:

Dear Friends of Our Lord and Our Lady:

For many years, Regina Pacis Cantorum (Queen of Peace Choir) has been serving both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the liturgy in the local diocese, singing the sacred music of Gregorian Chant and polyphony. These are the only forms of sacred music specifically recommended in the liturgical documents.

It would take too long to provide citations from the documents which provide the foundation for the choir, whose mission is:

“To foster and maintain the treasury of sacred music of the Roman Catholic Church.”

Regina Pacis Cantorum is also dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Many. It has been our pleasure to sing for the closing Mass at the Eucharistic and Marian Conferences hosted by Be Present Faithful for all three years it has been held.

Faithful Catholics have learned over the years that anyone and any cause completely given over to God, His Church, and the Blessed Mother must certainly expect difficulty. Beyond doubt, this is our time.

This is NOT a plea for money!

Rather, it is for an even more precious commodity; your time and the sharing of the gifts God has given you.

We have lost membership over the past couple of years due to my adherence to the Pro-life message [I KNEW there was something I liked about her!]. There have been other losses due to opposition to Catholic moral teachings. One of the losses was especially hard to bear; that of our accompanist and my dear personal friend.

Since we are not “attached” to a particular parish, recruiting has been problematic. Most parishes will not run bulletin ads for us, thinking that it could detract from recruiting for their own musical needs. That is understandable.

So, I am asking simply this. Did God bless you with a good voice and musical ability? Will you consider placing those gifts at his service and help us in continuing our efforts to fulfill our Holy Father’s wish for a return to truly sacred music?

We need voices in ALL ranges and, if there is a generous soul out there who would donate keyboard skills for our efforts, I know there would be many blessings in store for you!

Rehearsals are on Wednesdays, 7 PM – 9 PM at Trinity Episcopal Church. If you would like even more of a challenge, the choir’s schola, Sursum Corda (Lift Up Your Heart), meets on Tuesdays, 7 PM – 9 PM at my home. For more information, please contact me at 345-6106 or via e-mail at bkreinh@gbis.com.

Please give this your prayerful consideration and be assured of my prayers and gratitude.


Pax Christi (Peace of Christ),

Kathy Reinheimer

President/Director

Regina Pacis Cantorum

2 comments:

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

If I was in your diocese I'd help

paramedicgirl said...

When Shirley and I went to Seattle to hear Father Corapi speak two years ago for his Lenten retreat, the choir at Mass was an a cappella Latin choir. They were absolutely amazing! At the end of Mass, Father asked us NOT to applaud them. He said we could pray for them instead.