Musical Lights For Candlemas
Glowing Renaissance Beauty

Saturday, February 5, 7:00 p.m., St. Bernadette Church

70 University Blvd. East, Silver Spring, MD (just off the Beltway, free parking)


Morales Missa De beata Virgine

Byrd Gradualia Propers for the Purification of the B.V.M.


Palestrina Alma redemptoris Mater

 *  The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. is also known as Candlemas,

    because its liturgy begins with the blessing of the candles used at Mass throughout the

    year, followed by a candle-lit procession recalling the prophet Simeon’s procession in the

    temple with the infant Jesus in his arms, the unifying theme of the Purification liturgy. 

*  Byrd began his monumental Gradualia with the complete Propers for the Feast of the

    Purification.  English Catholics of Byrd’s time referred to the Nunc dimittis, the canticle

    sung by Simeon on that occasion, as Simeon’s “swan song.”  Byrd may have put these 

    Propers first in the Gradualia in part because he saw it as his own “swan song.”

*  Morales's beautiful four-voiced Missa De beata Virgine is a "paraphrase Mass," with

    polyphonic motives derived from the plainchant Missa Cum jubilo for Feasts of the

    Blessed Virgin Mary.                                                                                                                   

*  Chantry also sings this music for a special Latin Mass at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday,

    February 2, for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at St. Mary

    Mother of God, 727 Fifth St. NW (at H St.) in Washington, DC.