Welcome‎ > ‎

a prelude of Ave Marias

posted Sep 27, 2014, 7:25 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Sep 27, 2014, 7:25 AM ]
By tradition, the Catholic Church dedicates most months of the year to different devotions. The month of October, which includes the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7th, is dedicated to the holy rosary, one of the best known of all Catholic devotions.

The Ave Maria (or ‘Hail Mary’) remains one of the most widely repeated prayers among the world’s Christian population. So to honor October's devotion, next Sunday, October 5th, I’m offering a 30-minute prelude before the 8:45 am Mass of different musical settings of the Ave Maria.

I’ll begin with the simple Gregorian chant. Of course, you’ll hear the two famous contrafactum settings by Bach-Gounod and Schubert; meaning they didn’t compose an Ave Maria, but had that text forced upon their melodies. One of my favorite settings is by the English organist Malcolm Archer, who was the Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral and is now Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College. There’s an Ave Maria in Breaking Bread by Gregory Norbet, who also composed Come To Me, Hosea and Wherever You Go. Michael Perza, the Music Director at Church of the Holy Cross in Dover, DE writes a bilingual setting; and Carey Landry set it in English as Hail Mary: Gentle Woman.

If you want, pray the rosary while I sing, either silently or out loud. Or pray something else if you wish. Or just listen. Whatever you do, I hope you consider this an opportunity to draw closer to Jesus and Mary by meditating on the great mysteries of our salvation.