Richard J. Clark, Music Director and Organist at Saint Cecilia Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College, was commissioned to write the marvellous piece “Magna Opera Domini” (a reprise of Bishop Lopes’ episcopal motto) which was sung at Communion at Tuesday’s episcopal ordina- tion. He wrote the following in his blog in advance of the ordination:
THIS TUESDAY, February 2nd, on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, EWTN will broadcast live from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Central Standard Time) the ordination of Bishop-Elect Steven J. Lopes as the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. This will take place at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.
Maestro Edmund Murray will be directing for the ordination. He is the former Music Director of St. John’s Seminary in Boston and Our Lady of Atonement (Anglican Use Liturgy) in San Antonio, Texas. He is currently the Director of Music at Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, Texas.
Our Lady of Walsingham is the Principal Church of the Ordinariate serving Roman Catholics nurtured in the Anglican tradition. It was established in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. With only three such Principal Churches in the world, the elevation by Pope Francis of Bishop-Elect Steven J. Lopes is highly significant, as he is the First Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. With his ordination, Our Lady of Walsingham will be elevated to a cathedral.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF EDMUND MURRAY, the music will be provided by a combined choir comprised of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocesan Choir (Dr. Rick Lopez, Director), Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Schola Cantorum (Dr. Crista Miller, Director), and Our Lady of Walsingham Parish Choir. The organists will include M. Jackson Osborne, former Organist and Choirmaster at Our Lady of Walsingham, Dr. Crista Miller, and Dr. Kevin Clarke, Director of Music and Organist at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, TX.
This televised liturgy will be a rare opportunity to observe a liturgy in the Anglican tradition within the Roman Catholic Church. Also notable will be the presence of six cardinals and over thirty bishops. Be prepared for lengthy processions!
The music, which promises to be exquisite, will represent a distinct mix of Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions including a variety of Gregorian and Anglican Chant, works by William Byrd, Palestrina, Hans Leo Hassler, Healey Willan, and of course beautifully arranged hymnody. Unfortunately, the prelude will not be televised as it includes a sumptuous range of works by Hubert Parry, Jean Langlais, J. S. Bach, Charles Villiers Stanford, John Ireland, and Flor Peeters.
Finally, with a nod towards Murray’s Catholic roots in Boston, the Mass will also include an Alleluia by Theodore Marier, Michael Burgo’s beautiful Anima Christi, and a newly commissioned work for this occasion by yours truly.
EDMUND MURRAY has done extraordinary work wherever he has gone. With his wife, Chalon, he built one of the finest music programs in the United States at Our Lady of Atonement—essentially a choir school in practice, if not in name. Named Director of Music in 2015 of Our Lady of Walsingham, I expect Murray will grow yet another extraordinary program as the years progress.
I AM HONORED TO HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED for a new work for this ordination, which will be sung during Communion. A setting of Psalm 111, Magna Opera Domini (“Great are the Works of the Lord”) is Bishop Lopes’ episcopal motto which appears on his Coat of Arms.
This piece, inspired by the works of Theodore Marier, utilizes a chant-based antiphon in Latin for the congregation. The verses, in English, alternate unison chant with various choral textures.