Archive | February 2016

Music Selections for March


We hope that the season of Lent has been a springtime of reflection, repentance and renewal.

Here are the selections of music that would accompany the Masses in March for the SPP Choir.

Choir Newsletter – March 2016

Update (7 March 2016):
Hymn numbers for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Easter Sunday and 2nd Sunday of Easter have been revised to reflect the Hymn numbers for Journeysong 3rd. edition.

The parish of Sts. Peter & Paul have acquired the 3rd edition of Journeysong, to be used from Palm Sunday onwards.

Fr. Samuel F. Weber wrote to us…


Fr. Samuel F. Weber, O.S.B.

Fr. Samuel F. Weber, O.S.B.

Father Sameul F. Weber, O.S.B. recently wrote to commend us on making available our review for the local diocese. Apart from his compliments to our article, he has also provided us links to various resources available for choirs and parishes to use. He does request that choirs purchase at least one (1) copy of the book “Proper of the Mass” from Ignatius Press before further use of his other resource.


I feel that he has been very generous and more than fair in granting us the use of his resources: chants, organ accompaniments, missalettes for Vespers etc. And we hope that users alike will respect his request.

I enjoyed this interview which was hosted by New Liturgical Movement on Fr. Samuel Weber’s childhood memories on learning chant and praying the Divine Office. If allowed me to understand why he became so passionate in pursuing and educating the Catholic faithful on Chant today.

(Fr. Samuel F. Weber, image credit:

Hymnal Review: Proper of the Mass

Fr. Samuel Webber's "Proper of the Mass" (cover)

Last year, while I was in London, I made a stop over at the Catholic Truth Society just because I’ve always wanted to see what the bookshop would be like especially since they print our Sunday Missals in this part of the world.

In that quaint shop, I wasn’t expecting to find anything that today I would regard as a dear resource in singing the Mass in the Ordinary Form. It was a treasure to behold, my most prized purchase, and an invaluable possession! Read More…

The Essential Catholic Repertoire

JubilateDeo-BookletIn April 1974 Pope Paul VI sent to every bishop in the world a booklet of some of the simplest selections of Gregorian Chant, much of it drawn from the Graduale Romanum & the Liber Usualis. This booklet, called Jubilate Deo, was intended as a “minimum repertoire of Gregorian chant”. It is, in other words, an official Latin “core repertoire” for the Roman Rite.

It was prepared to assist the choirs and the congregations with familiar and accessible music that would not require much training or competency to sing at the Mass. It also helps to underscore the primacy of Gregorian chant being a staple for the Mass – especially if 1974 would be a time since the liturgical reforms of Vatican 2, that the Novus Ordo would have been introduced to incorporate the verncaular. Read More…

First Sunday of Lent


From Paschale Solemnitatis:

23. The first Sunday of Lent marks the beginning of the annual Lenten observance. In the Mass of this Sunday there should be some distinctive elements which underline this important moment, e.g., the entrance procession with litanies of the saints. During the Mass of the first Sunday in Lent, the bishop should celebrate the rite of election in the cathedral or in some other church, as seems appropriate.

Apart from fasting, abstinence and penance, which reside in the “Lex Vivendi” of the liturgy, within the liturgical experience, there exists an invitation by the Congregation for Divine Worship to mark the First Sunday of Lent with distinctive elements so as to heighten the experience that we are in the period of Lent.

We have practiced singing the Litany of the Saints to accompany the Entrance Procession in previous years, however this year, we will be adopting the Lenten Prose (notation 1, notation 2) instead, at the request of the parish leaders.

Ash Wednesday


Consider two chants that are found in the Graduale Romanum that are often used to accompany the Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday:

Immutemur habitu (video, chant notation)
Here is the booklet for the Ash Wednesday Mass presided by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 featuring the “Immutemur habitu” on Page 51.

“Let us change our garments to sackcloth and ashes, let us fast and weep before the Lord, that our God, rich in mercy, might forgive us our sins.”

Emendemus in melius (video, chant notation)
Here is the booklet for the Ash Wednesday Mass presided by Pope Francis in 2015 featuring the “Emendemus in melius” on Page 30.

“Let us correct our faults which we have committed in ignorance, let us not be taken, unawares by the day of our death, looking in vain for leisure to repent. *Hear us, O Lord, and show us your mercy, for we have sinned against you. v. Help us, O God our Saviour; for the sake of your name, O Lord, set us free. *Hear us, O Lord…”

For the vernacular, you may refer to the music for Ash Wednesday in Fr. Samuel Webber’sThe Proper of the Mass for Sundays and Solemnities – Chants for the Roman Missal in English” (in my humble opinion, a staple for any choir serious about the intent of recovering the traditions for the Ordinary Form).

Gospel Acclamations for Lent

This year, the SPP Choir would like to endeavour to stick to the Gospel Acclamations for Lent that are reflected in the Roman Missal (3rd. Ed.) rather than use only one of the official options throughout the entire season of Lent.

We’ve adapted in English, the “Laus tibi Christi, Rex aeternae gloriae” (about 27:48 in the video).

Feel free to download for your reference if you are joining us for the usual Saturday evening Mass at the Church of Sts. Peter & Paul.

If you are a chorister from another parish, feel free to download for your use. Do feedback to us your thoughts on the arrangement. If you have other ideas based on the video above, feel free to email us your arrangements or notes.

Gospel Acclamation Lent – Year A
Gospel Acclamation Lent – Year B
Gospel Acclamation Lent – Year C
Gospel Acclamation Lent – Holy Week

Kenneth Wee has been with the SPP Choir since 1999 and is currently serving as the Music Director of the Choir. He conducts the choir most of the time and plays the organ some of the time, while taking care of his two young children all of the time.

Bugger me! I play the Electone!


When I was in kindergarten, I used to attend one of the hippest and newest parishes in the North District. In this modern parish, with a modern building, and a modern take on the Mass, I used to listen to the organist with great admiration and wished that I too could one day play with such finesse. Percussions, cosmic sounds, Drum synchro fill-ins, melodic appregio chords. The full works that would make Yamaha proud. This parish even owned the Yamaha FX-1 *drool* !!!


And so my parents enrolled me into the Junior Music Course (JMC) with secret hopes that one day I would be able to do the same. And I did! I played at various Masses with the same gusto as did my “idol” with slick rhythm box maneuvers and voice-banks.

Fast forward to 1999, I came face-to-face with the Viscount Protege at the Church of Sts. Peter & Paul and thought to myself: “what a behemoth, old-fashioned looking thing!”

I struggled to make it sound uplifting enough with the chord structures and patterns that I’ve been brought up with. At best, it sounded like carousel music. I massacred the hymns week after week. But that was the best I could do, because I knew no better. Until a kind soul showed me how she played the pipe organ and that enlightened me with some ideas I could use. Read more… …

Feast of the Purification


Today marks the Feast of Purification of the Virgin, or Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

The canticle of Simeon reads:
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace,
your word has been fulfilled:
My own eyes have seen the salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Also, traditionally known as Candlemas (marking 40 days after Christmas). A custom that’s practised is the blessing of candles (usually from beeswax) which can then be used in homes for the year.

St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking on the mystery of Christ’s birth, bids us consider three things in the blessed Candle: the wax, the wick, and the flame. The wax, he says, which is the production of the virginal bee, is the Flesh of our Lord; the wick, which is within, is His Soul; the flame, which burns on top, is His divinity.

Music to accompany this feast:
Nunc dimittis (Canticle of Simeon)
Nunc dimittis in English

J.S. Bach / Ich habe genug, BWV 82
J. S. Bach: Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde, BWV 83
J.S. Bach: Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 125

Ave, Regina Caelorum (this would be the seasonal Marian anthem up till Easter Vigil)


Here’s our selection for the Masses for the month of February:

Choir Newsletter – 2016 02 February

(hymn source from Journeysongs, 2nd edition, OCP)

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