8/19/2013 11:16:00 AM Conference explores chant's 'intelligent design'
Photo by Marc Salvatore
Group attended conference on chant at Powell Butte.
Dr. Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre
POWELL BUTTE — Gregorian chant was the focus of a conference held last week at Powell Butte Retreat Center.
Portland’s Schola Cantus Angelorum led the gathering, which was sponsored by the Diocese of Baker and the diocesan association of Mother Mary's Daughters.
The opening Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated by Baker Bishop Liam Cary. Masses celebrated during the conference were in the form of the Missa Cantata, with all the parts of the Mass sung in Gregorian chant. The conference concluded on Saturday evening with Mass for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time celebrated by Father Daniel Maxwell.
Four lectures on chant were given by Dr. Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre. The lectures covered what Dr. Bissonnette-Pitre called the "intelligent design" of the ancient music and its relationship with the liturgy. The lectures covered the origin and development of Gregorian chant, including the church and papal documents.
“I loved Dr. Bissonnette-Pitre’s lectures on the history and the interconnectedness of chant and the liturgy," says Father Gregory Villaescusa who came from Arcata, Calif. "She helped us to see how Gregorian chant is both integral and holistic to the entire Mass."
Three workshops taught participants to sing Gregorian chant. The first workshop, presented by Yumiko Rinta, covered the basics of reading chant musical notation. In the second workshop, Father Maxwell taught the basics of chanting of Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel and the sung responses. The focus of the last workshop was chanting Mass parts. Concurring workshops for the priests and deacons was taught by Father Eric Andersen of the Archdiocese of Portland.
Rev. Mr. Timothy Furlow, a transitional deacon for the Archdiocese of Portland, led sung Gregorian compline every evening.
“As a newly ordained Deacon on the path to priesthood I cannot think of a more valuable way to spend a weekend than learning and interiorizing the sacred music of our rich Catholic Tradition," Rev. Mr. Furlow said.