This past weekend we went down to Florida to drop off Max for his sophomore year at Ave Maria University. Don't worry, they've not all gone mad at Ave to start school in July--Max is working on the orientation team so had to be there early :) And it just so happened that this was the same weekend for the Musica Sacra Florida.
What a great blessing to immerse ourselves in Gregorian chant for three days. We listened to the priests chant Vespers on Friday evening followed by Mass of the Holy Cross. We sang two of my favorite Masses--Missa Cum Jubilo on Sat in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Missa de Angelis on Sunday. Heavenly!!! My heart overflows with thanksgiving and joy.
This was our little women's schola and the young women were so talented, yet humble. Same goes for the men's schola and the instructors. Dr. Treacy (middle, back row) is an amazing teacher, I loved the way she conducted, making it easy to sing without any organ support. How I wish I could go to school at Ave and learn everything I can from her. Given that Gregorian chant is the foundation for all Western music and is to be given a place of prominence in liturgy, I am surprised that many church choral groups do not invest in teaching this beautiful music. It is EASY!!! I had looked into buying A Beginner's Guide to Singing Gregorian Chant but our organist, Steve Collins, had already taught us the basics. We use the Liber Brevior because it has everything we need for all Sunday and Holy Day Masses and includes a section at the beginning on chant.
We had such a good time, meeting up with old friends, and making new ones. I got to see Max in his home away from home and enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine and cloud formations. We had to hurry to unload all his stuff because those big beautiful clouds bring afternoon showers. We made it but it was rain, rain, rain all the way home. I was saddened to see many homes in Immokalee still covered with blue tarp. It'll take them years to recover from Irma, but I'm glad they still had their homes. We came across a little alligator, about 3 ft long, who was missing a front paw, but he crossed the road quickly with his tail snapping from side to side. It's good to be home and back to writing.