Saturday, March 28, 2009

Detroit Free Press: Catholic youth choirs get acquainted with Latin

From the Detroit Free Press:


Catholic youth choirs get acquainted with Latin

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • March 28, 2009

The classical sounds of the Latin language are to echo inside a Detroit cathedral today as children from across the region gather for a special mass featuring area Catholic youth choirs.

It's a sign of the growing interest in the Latin language among Catholics who are yearning for tradition.

About 100 children from parishes in Michigan and London, Ontario, are to practice and then perform during the mass with Archbishop Allen Vigneron at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the seat of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, greater emphasis was placed on using English in masses so singing in Latin increasingly fell out of favor, said local Catholics.

"When I was young, we only sang in Latin," recalled Cindy Stempin, music director at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Livonia.

"Latin was the universal language of the church," she added. "They are going back to their roots."

Some of her students say they like it.

"It's pretty cool to be singing in a different language," said Alexa Orosz, a sixth-grader at St. Michael school. "When you get used to it, it's not hard at all."

Stempin helped about 25 children in third grade to eighth grade get ready for today's concert, which is organized by the American Federation Pueri Cantores, a national organization that promotes religious music among youngsters.

The children are to rehearse today under the direction of Paul French, a noted composer and conductor who directs William Ferris Chorale in Chicago.

Nancy Deacon, director of music at the cathedral, remembers hearing Latin sung as an elementary school student, and then noticed the changes after the reforms.

"It went from one extreme to the other," she said. Singing in Latin is "something that had been missing for a generation or so."

Thanks Ruth K!


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5 comments:

Chris from St. Mary's said...

The repertoire is here: http://www.puericantores.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=89

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Here is a live link to the repertoire.

Chris from St. Mary's said...

Thanks. I don't know how to do live links.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

It's easy. bookmark this

It really helps to have live links as people are more inclined to hit them rather than copy/paste.

Brian Barker said...

I see that Boris Johnson, the new London Mayor wants Latin and Greek to be taught in all London schools. However I would prefer Esperanto on the basis that it helps all language learning.

Five British schools have introduced Esperanto in order to test its propaedeutic values. The pilot project is being monitored by the University of Manchester and the initial encouraging results can be seen at http://www.springboard2languages.org/Summary%20of%20evaluation,%20S2L%20Phase%201.pdf
You might also like to see http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670

Pope Benedict also used this language this year in his Urbi et Orbi address from the Vatican, at Christmas.

If you have time can I ask you to visit http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU or http://www.lernu.net Professor Piron was a translator for the United Nations in Geneva.