Pastor Fr. Alfred J. Harris
Mrs. Soraya Strobach
Music Director Emeritus
Gregory James Vines
Monday - Friday
9:00am to 3:00pm
727 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Msgr. Wadsworth is offering a High Mass at 6:00 PM at St. Thomas the Apostle Church
2665 Woodley Rd NW near the Woodley Park/Zoo metro stop.
A Traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated in Extraordinary Form
Forty days after the Resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ, attended by Angels, ascended into heaven, in the sight of His most holy Mother, His Apostles, and disciples, to the great wonder of them all. St. Paul declares that God "has made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus".
Click here for directions to Saint Mary Mother of God in Washington DC.
Everyone is invited to join in the 7:30 pm Mass this Holy Thursday, March 28. This Mass solemnly commemorates the Lord’s Last Supper, and His institution of the Holy Eucharist and of the holy priesthood. St. Mary’s schola will sing at this Mass.
Holy Thursday’s Mass has only one chant, the Gradual, between the Epistle and Gospel, rather than the usual two. The text is from the Epistle to the Philippians, which we heard in the Epistle for Palm Sunday. Dom Johner points out that the first part, sung by the full schola, recounts what Christ did for us: “Christ became obedient for us...,” starting rather low, as if showing His humility, then slowly rising. The second part, sung by cantors, recounts what the Father did for Christ: “Therefore God exalted him...,” starts where the first part left off, then rises much higher to an extended melisma (over thirty notes!) on ‘illum’ (him). It concludes with further melismas on ‘nomen’ (name). This chant is also sung in the Divine Office for Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
The Mass will be followed by the procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the church to the Altar of Repose, during which the hymn ‘Pange lingua’ is sung. This hymn’s text was composed by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi, and its last two verses form the beloved hymn ‘Tantum ergo,’ which is always sung at Benediction.
Holy Thursday: Mass at 7:30 PM (Tridentine Mass)
Good Friday: Service at 12:05 PM
Stations of the Cross at 2:45 PM
Holy Saturday: Vigil 7:30 PM Chinese
Easter Sunday: 9:00 AM (Tridentine)
10:30 AM-English, 1:00 PM
NO 5:00PM or 7:30 PM Mass
During Passiontide, the Psalm Judica me is omitted from the beloved prayers at the foot of the altar, but interestingly, it is precisely that Psalm which provides the text for Passion Sunday’s Introit. It is as if this text shifts location from the sanctuary to the loft. However, Dom Johner, the chant commentator, points out that the use of this Psalm for this Sunday’s Introit predates the prayers at the foot of the altar.
Musically, the Introit, which uses mode IV, is mostly rather subdued, with the exception of two phrases, which are prayerful pleas: ‘Discerne causam meam’ (Distinguish my cause) and ‘Eripe me,’ (Deliver me). In contrast to the rather joyful use of this Psalm for the prayers at the foot, this Introit focuses more on these prayers for deliverance, perhaps foreshadowing the events of the Passion and Holy Week. Dom Johner also points out that the three phrases of this Introit are well balanced, with similar cadences for each.
It’s also worth noting that during Passiontide, the Gloria Patri is omitted in the chanting of both the Introit and the Asperges me before Mass. (It is also not used for Requiem Masses.)
Like Gaudete Sunday in Advent, Laetare Sunday in Lent takes its name from the first words of the Introit, which bid us to rejoice in the midst of our Lenten prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. This Sunday, the opening notes of the Introit even foreshadow the great Alleluia of Holy Saturday, as Dom Johner points out. This chant uses the fifth church mode (or musical scale) in a way much like our modern major scale, which I think adds a certain appeal for our modern ears. This Introit further expresses joy by a series of phrases that ebb and flow. The last phrase in particular stretches out the words ‘ut exsultetis et satiemini’ (‘may you exult and be filled’) using the higher range before descending slowly to the end of the piece.
Listen to the Introit: Laetare (sung by another schola)
Not only the Introit, but the other chants of this Mass joyfully sing again and again of Jerusalem. The Epistle also explains an allegory of two testaments: “But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free; which is our mother.” Reason indeed to rejoice.
St. Mary’s schola will next sing at the 9:00 am Mass on February 17, the First Sunday in Lent.
An unusual feature of this Sunday’s Mass chants is that the texts of the introit, gradual, tract, offertory, and communion chants are all taken from a single Psalm, the ninetieth. I was not able to find another Sunday or holy day Mass that uses only one Psalm for its proper chants.
Of course, the selection of Psalm 90 for this Sunday’s chants is all the more striking because this is the very Psalm quoted by the devil in his temptation of our Lord, as recounted in Sunday's Gospel reading, “For he hath given his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
Shortly before midday on Monday Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation which will officially take effect at the end of the month, at 8pm on February 28th. Click here to listen to the announcement from Vatican Radio
Ash Wednesday (February 13) marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Ashes will be distributed at 12:05 pm (English), 7:30 pm (Traditional Latin Mass or Tridentine Mass)
On Friday, January 25, the day of the March for Life, there will be two sung Masses at Old St Mary's!
The first, at 8:00 am will be a Mass for Miss Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life, and a St Mary's parishioner, who died last year. This will be a Missa Cantata with both the parish choir and schola providing music.
The schola at Saint Mary Mother of God, a Roman Catholic parish that celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass every Sunday, will next sing at the 9:00 am Mass on December 16, Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent. This is one of the Sundays popularly known by the first word of the Introit, which is taken from the Epistle to the Philippians. Most of the Introit texts come from the Psalms, and it is relatively rare for one to be taken from the New Testament.
Blessed Karl's feast day, October 21, falls on a Sunday this year, so the Annual Votive Mass will take place during the octave on Saturday, October 27 at 10am. At a reception following the Mass, history professor Dr. Paul Van Wie will share a representative sampling of documents and artifacts about Blassed Karl.
St. Mary’s men’s schola will next sing for the traditional Latin Mass on Sunday, October 21, at 9:00 am. One of the chants sung at Sunday Masses is the Credo, the great Nicene profession of faith, which concludes the first part of the Mass, sometimes called the Mass of the Catechumens. The modern (twentieth century) editions of the chant provide six melodies for the Credo, but the melody most often used by St. Mary’s men’s schola is Credo I, referred to as the “authentic tone.”
Earl Swain's Requiem Mass will be a Missa Cantata at St. Mary Mother of God at 727 5th St., NW, Washington, D. C. 20001.
It will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 3, preceded by a viewing beginning at 9:30, also at St. Mary's.
On Sunday, September 2, 2012 the parish of Saint Mary Mother of God will dedicate its Shrine to Blessed Karl of Austria. Blessed Karl was the last Emperor of the Austria-Hungary Empire and lived a holy and exemplary life. He is one step away from Sainthood. His great-grandson, HIRH Archduke Emry of Hapsburg-Lorraine will present a first class relic to the parish at the 9am Mass. This will be a High Mass celebrated in the extraordinary form.
Nellie Gray's Funeral mass will be a Traditional Missa Cantata Requiem.
The choir will sing Tomas Luis de Victoria: Missa Pro Defunctis.
It will take place at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Washington, D.C., on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 11:00am.
St. Mary’s men’s schola will next sing for the traditional Latin Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. One of the notable chants for this Mass is the sequence, Lauda Sion, whose text was composed for this feast by St. Thomas Aquinas. Dom Gueranger suggests that the poetic, yet precise and scholastic, language of St. Thomas is combined with the chant in a worthy way ‘to excite in the Christian soul sentiments of unearthly joy.’