JERZY CICHOCKI: The Conductor and Artistic Director of St. Michael’s Choir School fired “WITHOUT CAUSE”
Just after Christmas Day, Dr. Jerzy Cichocki, the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, was fired without cause. The Catholic Register carries the story.
Dr. Cichocki has devoted his life to ensuring that the musical and artistic legacy of the great Mgr. John Edward Ronan be carried forward. Dr. Cichocki has managed to preserve and build on the school’s devotion to Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony.
The unjust dismissal has not gone unnoticed in Canada and across the world. One immediate sad result of this was that there was no music in St. Michael’s Cathedral for the Feast of the Epiphany. How tragic, how sad. How brutal to fire a person with no cause over Christmas!
EDITOR’S NOTE FROM ALWAYS CATHOLIC: Please click HERE to go to Toronto Catholic Witness Blog to sign the petition for Dr.Cichocki. IMAGINE BEING FIRED DURING CHRISTMAS TIME??? DISGUSTING
The History of Christmas
by Fr. Prosper Gueranger, 1868
We apply the name of Christmas to the forty days, which begin with the Nativity of our Lord, December 25th, and end with the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, February 2nd. It is a period, which forms a distinct portion of the Liturgical Year, as distinct, by its own special spirit, from every other, as are Advent, Lent, Easter, or Pentecost. One same Mystery is celebrated and kept in view during the whole forty days. Neither the Feasts of the Saints, which so abound during this Season; nor the Time of Septuagesima, with its mournful Purple, which often begins before Christmastide is over; seem able to distract our Holy Mother the Church, from the immense joy, of which she received the good tidings from the Angels, on that glorious Night, for which the world had been longing four thousand years. The Faithful will remember, that the Liturgy commemorates this long expectation, by the four penitential weeks of Advent. The custom of celebrating the Solemnity of our Saviour’s Nativity by a feast or commemoration of forty-days’ duration, is founded on the holy Gospel itself; for it tells us, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, after spending forty days in the contemplation of the Divine Fruit of her glorious Maternity, went to the Temple, there to fulfill, in most perfect humility, the ceremonies which the Law demanded of the daughters of Israel, when they became Mothers.
The Feast of Mary’s Purification is, therefore, part of that of Jesus’ Birth; and the custom of keeping this holy and glorious period of forty-days as one continued Festival, has every appearance of being a very ancient one, at least in the Roman Church. And firstly, with regard to our Savior’s Birth on the 25th of December, we have St. John Chrysostom telling us, in his Homily for this Feast, that the Western Churches had, from the very commencement of Christianity, kept it on this day. He is not satisfied with merely mentioning the tradition; he undertakes to show, that it is well-founded, inasmuch as the Church of Rome had every means of knowing the true day of our Savior’s Birth, since the acts of the Enrollment, taken in Judea by command of Augustus, were kept in the public archives of Rome. The holy Doctor adduces a second argument, which he founds upon the Gospel of St. Luke, and he reasons thus: we know from the sacred scriptures, that it must have been in the fast of the seventh month that the Priest Zachary had the vision in the Temple; after which Elizabeth, his wife, conceived St. John the Baptist: hence it follows, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, having, as the Evangelist St. Luke relates, received the Angel Gabriel’s visit, and conceived the Savior of the world in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, that is to say, in March,–the Birth of Jesus must have taken place in the month of December.
But, it was not till the fourth century that the Churches of the East began to keep the Feast of our Savior’s Birth in the month of December. Up to that period, they had kept it, at one time, on the sixth of January, thus uniting it, under the generic term of Epiphany, with the Manifestation, of our Savior made to the Magi, and, in them, to the Gentiles; at another time, as Clement of Alexandria tells us, they kept it on the 25th of the month Pachon, (May 15,) or on the 25th of the month Pharmuth, (April 20). St. John Chrysostom, in the Homily we have just cited, which he gave in 386, tells us that the Roman custom of celebrating the Birth of our Saviour on the 25th December, had then only been observed ten years in the Church of Antioch. It is probable that this change had been introduced in obedience to the wishes of the Apostolic See, wishes which received additional weight by the edict of the Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian, which appeared towards the close of the fourth century, and decreed that the Nativity and Epiphany of our Lord should be made two distinct Festivals. The only Church, that has maintained the custom of celebrating the two mysteries on January 6th, is that of Armenia; owing, no doubt, to the circumstance of that country’s not being under the authority of the Emperors; as, also, because it was withdrawn, at an early period, from the influence of Rome, by schism and heresy.
The Feast of our Lady’s Purification, with which the forty days of Christmas close, is, in the Latin Church, of very great antiquity; so ancient, indeed, as to preclude the possibility of our fixing the date of its institution. According to the unanimous opinion of Liturgists, it is the most ancient of all the Feasts of the Holy Mother of God; and as her Purification is related m the Gospel itself, they rightly infer, that its anniversary was solemnized at the very commencement of Christianity. Of course, this is only to be understood of the Roman Church; for, as regards the Oriental Church, we find that this Feast was not definitively fixed to the 2nd of February, until the reign of the Emperor Justinian, in the sixth century. It is true that the Eastern Christians had previously to that time, a sort of commemoration of this Mystery; but it was far from being a universal custom, and it was kept a few days after the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity, and not on the day itself of Mary’s going up to the Temple.
But, what is the characteristic of Christmas in the Latin Liturgy? It is twofold: it is joy, which the whole Church feels at the coming of the divine Word in the Flesh; and it is admiration of that glorious Virgin, who was made the Mother of God. There is scarcely a prayer, or a rite, in the Liturgy of this glad Season, which does not imply these two grand Mysteries:–an Infant-God, and a Virgin Mother. For example, on all Sundays and Feasts, which are not Doubles, the Church, throughout these forty days, makes a commemoration of the fruitful virginity of the Mother of God, by three special Prayers in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. On those same days, at Lauds and Vespers, she begs the suffrage, of Mary, by proclaiming her quality of Mother of God and her inviolate purity, which remained in her even after she had given birth to her Son. And again the magnificent Anthem, Alma Redemptoris, composed by the Monk Herman Contractus, continues up to the very day of the Purification, to be the termination of each Canonical Hour. It is by such manifestations of her love and veneration, that the Church honoring the Son in the Mother, testifies her holy joy during this season of the Liturgical Year, which we call Christmas.
Our readers are aware that, when Easter Sunday falls at its latest–that is, in April–the Ecclesiastical Calendar counts as many as six Sundays after the Epiphany. Christmastide, (that is, the forty days between Christmas Day and the Purification) includes sometimes four out of these six Sundays; frequently only two; and sometimes, only one, as is the case when Easter comes so early, as to necessitate the keeping Septuagesima, and even Sexagesima, Sunday, in January. Still, nothing is changed, as we have already said, in the ritual observances of this joyous season, excepting only, that on those two Sundays,–the fore-runners of Lent–the Vestments are purple, and the Gloria in excelsis is omitted.
Although our holy Mother the Church honors, with especial devotion, the Mystery of the Divine Infancy during the whole season of Christmas; yet, she is obliged to introduce, into the Liturgy of this same season, passages from the holy Gospels, which seem premature, inasmuch as they relate to the active life of Jesus. This is owing to there being less than six months allotted by the Calendar for the celebration of the entire work of our Redemption: in other words, Christmas and Easter are so near each other, (even when Easter is as late as it can be,) that Mysteries must of necessity be crowded into the interval; and this entails anticipation. And yet, the Liturgy never loses sight of the Divine Babe and his incomparable Mother, and never tires in their praises, during the whole period, from the Nativity, to the day when Mary comes to the Temple to present her Jesus. The Greeks, too, make frequent commemorations of the Maternity of Mary, in their Offices of this Season: but, they have a special veneration for the twelve days between Christmas Day and the Epiphany, which, in their Liturgy, are called the Dodecameron. During this time, they observe no days of Abstinence from flesh-meat; and the Emperors of the East had, out of respect for the great Mystery, decreed that no servile work should be done, and that the Courts of Law should be closed, until after the 6th of January.
From this outline of the History of the holy Season, we can understand what is the characteristic of this second portion of the Liturgical Year, which we call Christmas, and which has ever been a Season most dear to the christian world.
This feast was celebrated in the East as early as the third century and it spread to the West towards the end of the fourth century. The word “Epiphany” means “manifestation.” As at Christmas it is the mystery of a God Who makes Himself visible, but it is no longer only to the Jews that He shows Himself: “It is to the Gentiles on this day that God reveals His Son” (Collect). And Isaias in a grand vision perceives the Church under the figure of Jerusalem, where “the kings and the nations abound, the multitude who inhabit the borders of the sea and the strength of the Gentiles. They come from afar with their numerous caravans, singing the praises Of the Lord and bringing Him gold and frankincense” (Epistle) “The kings of the earth shall adore God, and all nations shall serve Him “‘(Offertory).
While at Christmas we extolled the union of the divinity with the humanity of Christ, so the Epiphany celebrates the mystic union of the souls of men with Jesus. The liturgy of this day commemorates a triple manifestation of the glory of Christ. To the worshipping Magi He appears as King of our hearts; in the Waters of the Jordan He is declared the Son of God, and at Cana He demonstrates His power over the elements. “Today the Church is united to her heavenly Spouse, for Christ has washed away her sins in the Jordan the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal nuptials, and the guests drink with joy the water changed into wine. Alleluia.”
At St. Peter’s, where are the relics of the Church’s first visible head, the liturgical celebration of the entry of the Gentiles into the Church takes place. “In the adoring Mass,” says Pope St. Leo the Great, “let us acknowledge the first-fruits of our own calling and faith; and let us commemorate with hearts full of joy the foundations of this our blessed hope. For from this moment we have begun to enter our Heavenly patrimony.”
Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
Historical Feast of Saints Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar,
INTROIT: Malachias 3: 1
Ecce advenit Dominator Dominus: et regnum in manu ejus, et potestas, et imperium. (Ps. 71: 2 ) Deus, judicium tuum regi da: et justitiam tuam Filio regis. V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Repeat Ecce advenit Dominator Dominus…
Behold the Lord the Ruler is come: and the Kingdom is in His Hand, and power, and dominion. (Ps. 71: 2) Give to the king Thy judgment, O God: and to the king’s Son Thy justice. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Repeat Behold the Lord the Ruler is come…
Oremus. Deus, qui hodierna die Unigenitum tuum gentibus stella duce revelasti: concede propitious; ut, qui jam te ex fide cognovimus, usque ad contemplandam speciem tuae celsitudinis perducamur. Per eumdem Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. O God, Who on this day, didst manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles by the guidance of a star: graciously grant, that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be led on even to contemplate the beauty of Thy Majesty. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.
EPISTLE: Isaias 60: 1-6
Lectio Isaiae Prophetae. Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem: quia venit lumen tuum, et Gloria Domini super te orta est. Quia ecce tenebrae operient terram, et caligo populos: super te autem orietur Dominius, et Gloria ejus in te videbitur. Et ambulabunt gentes in lumine tuo, et reges in eplendore ortus tui. Leva in circuitui oculos tuos, et vide: omnes isti congregatisunt, venerunt tibi: filii tui de sunt, venerunt tibi: filii tui de longe venient, et filiae tuae de latere surgent. Tunc videbis, et afflues, mirabitur et dilatabitur cor tuum, quando conversa fuerit ad te multitude maris, fortitude gentium vemaris, fortudo gentium venerit tibi. Inundatio camelorum operiet te, dromedarii Madian et Epha: omnes de Saba venient aurum et thus deferentes et laudem Domino annuntiantes.
Lessons from Isaias the Prophet. Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon Thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Life up thy eyes round about and see: all these are gathered together: they are come to thee; thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, a=the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense and showing forth praise to the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL: Isaias 60: 6, 1
Omnes de Saba venient, aurum et thus deferentes, et laudem Domino annuntiantes. V. Surge, et illuminare, Jerusalem: quia Gloria Domini super te orta est.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Matthew 2: 2) Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente, et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominium. Alleluia.
All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense and showing forth praise to the Lord. V. Arise and be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Matthew 2: 2) We have seen His star in the East, and are come with gifts to adore the Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: Matthew 2: 1-2
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.
R.Gloria tibi, Domine
Cum natus esset Jesus in Bethlehem Juda in diebus Herodis Regis, ecce Magi ab Oriente venerunt Jerosolyman, dicentes: Ubi est qui Vidmus enim stellam ejus in Oriente, et venimus adorare eum. Aduiens autem Herodes rex, turbatus est, et omnis Jerosolyma cum illo. Et congregans omnes principes sacerdotum, et scribas populi, sciscitabatur ab eis, ubi Christus nasceretur. At illi dixerunt ei: In Bethlehem Judae. Sic enim scriptum est per Prophetam: Et tu Bethlehem terra Juda, nequaquam minima es in princibus Juda: ex populum meum Israel. tunc Herodes, clam vocatis Magis, diligenter didcit ab eis tempus stellae, quae apparauit eis: et mittens ilos in Bethlehem dixit: Ite, et interrogate cillgenter de puero et cum inventertis, reuntiate mihi, ut et ego audissent regem abierunt. Et ecce stella, quam viderant in Oriente, antecedebat eos, usque dum veniens, staret supra, ubi erat puer. Videntes autem stellam, gavisi sunt gaudio mango valde. Et intrantes domum, invenerunt puerum cum Maria matre ejus (here genuflect) et procidentes adoraverunt eum. Et apertis thesauris suis obtulerunt in munera, aurum, thus, et myrrham. Et response accepto in somis, ne redirent ad Herodem, per aliam viam ad Herodem, per aliam viam reverse sunt in regionem suam.
Laus tibi Christe.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
R. Glory to Thee, O Lord
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Juda in the days of King Herod, behold there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore Him. And king Herod hearing this was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the Prophet: And thou Bethlehem, the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them: and sending them into Bethlehem said: Go and diligently inquire after the Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word again that I also may come and adore Him. Who having heard the king went their way. And behold the star, which they had seen in the East, went before them until it came and stood over where the Child was. And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the Child with Mary His mother, (here genuflect) and falling down they adored Him. And opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.
Praise be to Christ
Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE CREDO
OFFERTORY: Psalms 71: 10-11
Reges Tharsis et insulae munera offerent: reges Arabum et Saba dona adducent: et adorabunt eum omnes reges terra; omnes gentes servient ei.
The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts: and all kings of the earth shall adore Him: all nations shall serve Him.
Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, dona propitious intuere: quibus non jam aurum, thus, et myrrha profetur; sed quod eisdem muneribus declaratur, immolator, et sumitur Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster. Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
Graciously look down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the gifts of Thy Church by which gold, frankincense and myrrh are no longer laid before Thee; but he is sacrificed and received who by those very gifts was signified, Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.
PREFACE For the Epiphany of Our Lord
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
R.Habemus ad Dominum.
Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et justum est.
Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi simper, et ubique gratias agree: Domine sancta, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Quia cum Unigenitus tuus in substantia nostrae mortalivatis apparuit, nova nos immortalitatis suae luce reparavit. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militia celestis exercitus, hymmum gloriae tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes. SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS…
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
R.We have lifted them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and just.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: for when Thine only-begotten Son was manifested in the substance of our mortal flesh, with the new light of His own Immortality He restored us. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
For the Epiphany of Our Lord
Communicantes, et diem sacratissimum celebrantes, quo Unigenitus tuus in tua tecum gloria coaeternus, in veritate carnis nostrae visibiliter corporalis apparuit; sed et memoriam venerantes, in primis ejusdem gloriosae semper Virginis Mariae, Genetricis ejusdem Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi: sed et memoriam venerantes, in primis ejusdem gloriosae semper Virginis Mariae, Genetricis ejusdem Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi: sed et beatorum Apostolorum ac Martyrum tuorum, Petri et Pauli, Andreae, Iacobi, Ioannis, Thomae, Iacobi, Philippi, Bartholomaei, Matthaei, Simonis, et Thaddei: Lini, Clet, Clementis, Xysti, Cornelii, Cypriani, Laurentii, Chrysogoni, Ioannis et Pauli, Cosmae et Damianis: et omnium Sanctorum tuorum; quorum meritis, precibusque concedas, ut in omnibus protentionis tuae muniamur auxilio. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Communicating, and keeping this most holy day on which Thine only-begotten Son, who is coeternal with Thee in Thy glory, showed Himself in true flesh and with a visible body like unto us; and also reverencing the memory first of the same glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, and Thaddeus; Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
COMMUNION: Matthew 2: 2
Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente, et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum.
We have seen His Star in the East, and are come with gifts to adore the Lord.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus. Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut quae solemni celebramus officio, purificatae mentis intelligentia consequadmur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that by a purified mind we may attain to the understanding of that which we solemnly celebrate. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
For ever and ever.