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.