Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chant Workshop: Diocese of Baker

The Diocese of Baker is holding a Gregorian chant workshop! This is certainly welcome news!

Here are the details from the Diocese of Baker website; I’ve lifted everything from the flyer, which you can find here.

click for more information on Gregorian Chant Conference
Date: August 15 - 17, 2013

Registration information:

Patti Rausch Diocese of Baker Chancery Office 541-388-4004

General information:

Judy Newport 541-923-6946

You’ll notice, of course, that the conference coincides with the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mass for that feast will be celebrated by Bishop Liam Cary at 7pm at St. Mary’s Chapel at the Powell Butte Retreat Center.

According to the brochure, the Gregorian Chant conference will provide a unique and much needed focus on how to understand Gregorian chant and its place in the Sung Roman Liturgy. The four lectures cover the topics:

St. Mary's Chapel
What is Gregorian Chant;

The origins and history of Gregorian chant;

How Gregorian Chant fulfills the criteria for Traditional Art and Sacred Music;  

Differentiation of Gregorian chant according to form and function within the liturgy;

The sung liturgy and the music designated for priest, deacon, lector, schola, and congregation;

Church documents on Gregorian Chant.

The conference will also provide workshops for those who want to learn to sing the Order of Mass and the Ordinary of Mass. This will include introduction to solfage and the reading square note notation.

The conference will be conducted in the context of prayer and spiritual renewal with the sacrament of reconciliation, daily Mass, and the liturgy of the hours.

The conference will end with the Vigil Mass Saturday at 7:00 pm for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time celebrated by Fr. Daniel Maxwell. For those who are staying overnight, it will end with sung Compline.

The speakers and celebrants for the event are as follows:

Dr. Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre
Featured Lecturer and Workshop Leader: 

Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre, MD, PhD  

Lynne is a physician specialized in psychiatry, practicing in Portland, Oregon. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University; a doctorate at John Hopkins University; and a medical degree at University of California, Irvine. She did her internship and residency in psychiatry, as well as two years fellowship in child psychiatry, at the University of Oregon.

Lynne’s background in music includes proficiency in the musical instruments: piano, viola, alto saxophone, and mandolin. She played in orchestra, marching band, and jazz band, and sang in choir and a women’s ensemble while in school. Lynne sang in the Portland Cathedral choir for 12 years, and has served for 7 years as director and cantor for the Gregorian Chant Schola Cantus Angelorum. She has also sung in Gregorian Scholas in Corning, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; and Bavaria, Germany.

Workshop Leader: Yumiko Rinta

Yumiko has studied piano for 17 years, is proficient in voice and flute and, has played in ensembles and sung in the choir in Tokyo, Japan. She studied harpsichord in Portland, Oregon, under Nancy Metzger, who now resides in Sacramento, California. Nancy Metzger is a renowned harpsichordist/organist, author, and professor of music. In the US, Yumiko has sung with the Saint Paul Cathedral Choir and the St. Mary’s Cathedral choir in Portland, Oregon. She has been cantor and co-director of Schola Cantus Angelorum for 7 years.

Workshop Leader: Reverend Daniel Maxwell

As a convert from the Anglican tradition, Fr. Maxwell has a deep love of the sacred liturgy and of sacred music. He served as organist and cantor for several parishes for nearly twenty years before his ordination in 2009 as a priest of the Diocese of Baker.

Liturgy Celebrants:
Bishop Cary
Most Reverend Liam Cary,
Bishop of Baker, Oregon

Baker Diocese to ordain first priest in three years
Reverend Daniel Maxwell,
Pastor of Our Lady of Angels,
Hermiston, OR
Father Greiner
Reverend Robert Greiner,
Pastor of St. Joseph,
Prineville, OR


  1. Sounds fantastic!!

    Gregorian Chant should be in every parish.

    God bless them for doing this!

    I feel so sorry for those who have lived through the "tribulation."

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Oops, Hannah, I'm sorry; I accidentally deleted your second comment giving your name! ("Anonymous" above is Hannah, folks!)

    Anyway, it IS good that this workshop is taking place in the Diocese of Baker, but believe me, the tribulation is far from over! ;-)

  4. Haha, that's ok!

    I know it isn't over. I just wish it were...

    Sacred Music is extremely important. Because, guess what? The Mass isn't about US! Wow, who knew? The Mass is about worshiping Almighty God, not feeling guuuudddd. The Mass is not a Protestant worship service, therefore it shouldn't look like a Protestant worship service. End of story right there. :)

    God bless!


  5. Wow! Out of the blue. I wonder what brought this on? Maybe Bishop Cary is starting to see the light.


  6. Great idea to offer chant instruction. However, this should be done at the parish level and at NO CHARGE. I totally agree that Gregorian chant should be in every parish.

    This event is actually a Conference-the workshop is only one of the events. Although not extravagantly priced, it still represents a significant expense to many people. How much did Jesus charge to feed the multitudes?

    While I think chant is great and very appropriate, I disagree that it is the only type of music that gives praise to God. The position that chant is the only or most appropriate music borders on an elitism that resembles the Pharisees.

    Even though the purpose of Mass is to worship God, HE does not need our worship. And there is no prohibition against feeling good about worshiping God. In fact, St. Paul tells us many times to Rejoice! It can be very challenging to Rejoice while suffering and being somber. We are called to be a Light to the world.

  7. Fred, you have no argument from me that the instruction should be offered at the parish level. We take what we can get. As for cost...well, it certainly would be nice to present everything for free, but it's not always possible.

    As for your disagreement about chant...well, fred, it ain't about you, buddy! It's not about any of our individual opinions. The Church says Gregorian chant has pride of place; She has said so repeatedly...and repeatedly...and repeatedly. But people who "don't agree" have taken the liturgy off into pop music, happy-clappy hymns that celebrate "us" and not "God".

    I don't find chant reflecting anything about "suffering and being somber". I find it uplifting and full of the joy of the Lord. It is intended to lift our minds and hearts to God, and it does so very well.

    On the other hand, I suffer intensely when I hear guitars and tambourines at Mass, and when I listen to some of the lyrics in the "new, modern" songs that are favorites at many Masses these days. Part of my suffering comes from knowing that the Lord is not pleased that so many are acting in disobedience to His express wishes regarding the liturgy.

  8. You said it well, Dr. Jay!

    Gregorian Chant is the greatest music on this earth. I listen to it every day on youtube. That is what should be in every Mass. The Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary re-presented. It's not a time to do what we want and have fun. Don't do anything during Mass that you wouldn't do at Calvary. Period. You want pop music and a bunch of mush? That's cool. You can have that any time, except Mass. It's that simple really.

    God bless!


  9. "Pride of place" is not the same as exclusive. Moderation and variety is wise advice.

    Interestingly, though the church supposedly is ironclad on chant and all the other Mass aspects this blog advocates, the Church doesn't seem in too big a hurry to implement these. Must be Satan. Couldn't be the Pope.

  10. I recently read a very interesting and detailed account of how the Mass changed. It is a 2-part report by Susan Benofy, PhD at

    I think that many who follow Philothea On Phire will find Adoremus to be a wealth of information on the liturgy. Check it out.

  11. Fred, I don't recall that anyone has said "pride of place" is the same as exclusive. Sacred polyphony is an option, even recently composed sacred polyphony. The Church is "ironclad" on many things that human beings don't follow. That's fallen human nature. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try to get things back on track.

    And yes, ultimately, it IS Satan who is behind this stuff. He's behind fallen human nature, after all. And Satan will do all he can to bring down the Church (though he will fail). Anyone can be a pawn of satan - even a pope, to a certain degree.


Please be courteous and concise.