JMM Releases New Songbook

1 10 2008

1 October 2008. The Jesuit Music Ministry released a new songbook. The objective is simplicity. This songbook contains the musical scores of two albums, Prayers from the Upper Room and Sing of Him, produced by the Religious of the Cenacle and the Jesuit Music Ministry. As articulated by the introduction of the album, Prayers from the Upper Room, the inspiration of these albums is the Cenacle (latin,”coenaculum”), where the Last Supper took place, where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, where He returned after the Ascension. It was the place where Mary and the disciples “devoted themselves to prayer” (Acts 1, 14) until the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

 

These songs are therefore intended for quiet and communal prayer. The notes and arrangements are stripped to the basic melody and a few lines for harmony, with only an exception for a SATB choir. The songs from the album, Sing of Him, are for duets. Though the songs can be sung in big occasions, the feel and mood of these arrangements express an intimacy found in the gathering of family, friends or small communities, all remembering the Lord in prayer and liturgy.

This songbook is available at all Tanging Yaman stores at the Jescom building and Loyola House of Studies in Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; at Gateway Mall (near LRT station) and at the 5th floor, SM Megamall (outside of the SM Megamall Chapel).

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Musica Chiesa Produces Songbook

7 04 2008

14 March 2008. Musica Chiesa produces Dakilang Pag-ibig, a tribute songbook to Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros SJ. This is the foreword which I wrote:

Since the beginning of time, great musicians have used their brilliance to move and inspire humanity. Responding to the call of Vatican II to bring the liturgy closer to the people, Fr. Eduardo P. Hontiveros SJ have used music to bring people to prayer and worship. When Fr. Honti passed away on the 15th of January 2008, he left an enormous collection of liturgical songs, many of which have been sung in churches here and abroad. Who can forget Pananagutan, Dakilang Pag-ibig, Paghahandog ng Sarili (Kunin Mo O Diyos) and Papuri sa Diyos?

This songbook contains uplifting hymns to God that encapsulate the faith of Filipinos. The simplicity of language and melody marks superb liturgical music: the more the congregation are able to like the melodies and sing them with fervor, the better.

We have added new choral and musical arrangements for SATB, string quartet and other instruments to give these songs a new twist. Concert excerpts from Fr. Honti’s Panunuluyan for the Christmas season or the Talinghaga for parables set in music may inspire you to use the complete collection of songs for the stage.

But to me, a great songbook is judged by the frequency of its use. The footnotes will then be of importance: it will tell you the liturgical season and parts when the song can be sung.

If, however, one of these songs made one whole congregation sing with passionate pleasure to the Lord, then, this songbook will truly have succeeded — and will make Fr. Honti happy.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam.