Fr. Rick Heilman's 25th Anniversary Mass: Liturgical Notes

Fr. Rick Heilman at the high altar of
St. Mary's Pine Bluff, June 9, 2013
(photo: Elizabeth D/Lætificat Madison)
Steve posted earlier this week about the festivities surrounding the celebration of Fr. Rick Heilman's 25th Anniversary last Sunday; I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the celebration itself, that is, the Mass celebrated by Fr. Rick for this occasion.

Because Easter rarely falls as early as it did this year, the Mass celebrated was the rare 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C. All of the liturgical texts employed were of the day: there was no substitution of prayers, readings, or chants for others in the Missal, Lectionary, or Gradual that may have been considered appropriate or desirable. (As it turns out, every last assigned prayer, reading, and chant was quite appropriate for this Mass.) Everything was recited or sung in English unless indicated.

I should note that, other than the lack of an Entrance hymn, the addition of certain pieces at the Prelude and Communion, and the partially ad hoc choir, this is what currently passes for a typical Sunday Mass at Pine Bluff; the morning Mass for this day also featured choral singing from members of the parish choir.

The Mass was preceded by two choral pieces sung in Latin by the Knights of Divine Mercy Schola Cantorum. The KDM Schola first sang an alternatim setting of the Canticle of Mary (Lk 1:46–55) penned by Ciro Grassi (1868–1752); next, they sang "O gloriosa Virginum", an Office hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary set by Oreste Ravanello (1871–1938).[1]

Introductory Rites
The procession and incensing of the altar was accompanied by a plainsong setting of the Entrance chant for the day, sung a cappella by the Schola.[2] Fr. Rick sang the Sign of the Cross, Greeting, and invitation to the Penitential Act, with the people responding in kind. All recited the Confiteor ("I confess"), and Fr. Rick recited the prayer that followed. The Greek Kyrie XVI was accompanied by organ and led by the KDM Schola, with all responding (the melody of the final Kyrie was retained). The Gloria was sung to an accompanied plainsong setting, with all participating. Fr. Rick then chanted the Collect in English, with all responding with a sung Amen.

Liturgy of the Word
The first reading (1 Kings 17:17–24) was sung in English by a homeschool student according to the tone provided in the Missal; the concluding acclamation was sung by all.[3] The organ-accompanied plainsong Responsorial Psalm (Ps 30:22; Ps 30) alternated between the psalmist and the congregation.[4] The second reading (Galatians 1:11–19) was sung in English by a homeschooled high-school graduate familiar to some, according to the tone provided in the Missal; the concluding acclamation was sung by all.[5] The accompanied plainsong Gospel Acclamation (Luke 7:16) was led by the cantor and sung by all.[6] Fr. Rick sang the dialogs surrounding the Gospel reading, with all responding. The Gospel itself (Luke 7:11–17) was proclaimed in a spoken manner. After the homily, the Profession of Faith was recited by all. The General Intercessions (Universal Prayer) also was recited.

Liturgy of the Eucharist
During the Offertory, the KDM Schola sang, in Latin, Palestrina's setting of Iesu, Rex Admirabilis, whose text is attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux.[7] This was followed by the Schola's singing of the Offertory chant of the day, which accompanied the incensing of the offerings, altar, ministers, and faithful.[8] The Invitation to Prayer ("Pray, brothers and sisters") was recited; the Prayer over the Offerings and its response was chanted by Fr. Rick and all respectively. The preface dialog was chanted on one note and was sung by Fr. Rick and all in the usual manner. Afterwards Fr. Rick sang the Preface ad Deum, which was followed by everyone singing the Latin Sanctus from Mass XVIII. The Roman Canon was recited by Fr. Rick and two concelebrants; The Mystery of Faith ("Save us, Savior of the world…") was sung by all according to the Missal tone.[9] Fr. Rick sang the concluding doxology ("Through him…") according to the simple tone and all responded with a sung Amen.

Communion Rite
Fr. Rick recited the invitation to the Lord's Prayer; the Lord's Prayer itself was sung by all and accompanied on the organ. The embolism "Deliver us, Lord" and the doxology "For the kingdom" was recited, as was the prayers surrounding the Sign of Peace. The Latin Agnus Dei from Mass XVIII, which was accompanied on the organ, was sung by all.

During the distribution of Holy Communion the KDM Schola sang the Communion chant for the day, and then an original TTBB arrangement of the Eucharistic hymn Panis Angelicus in Latin.[10][11] Women from the St. Mary's Choir, the Cathedral Choir, and St. Aloysius in Sauk City joined the KDM Schola in the singing of the Mozart setting of Ave Verum Corpus, also in Latin.

Fr. Rick sang the Prayer after Communion, to which all responded with a sung Amen.

Concluding Rites
Fr. Rick sang the blessing and dismissal, with all responding in song. After the dismissal, all sang a setting of the St. Michael Prayer, which was arranged by local composer Peggy Clifford and dedicated to Cardinal Burke.[12] The hymn "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name" accompanied the exit procession; verses 1 and 3 were sung by all, while the KDM schola sang an original a cappella TTBB harmonization for the second verse.

[1] The sheet music for both of pieces is freely available online (see numbers 64 and 66 in this PDF scan) via
[2] The sheet music for the Introit, Offertory, and Communion is available in PDF here; a practice recording of the Introit is available here.
[3] The tone pattern for the First Reading is available from ICEL [PDF]. This was not the first time that the student sang the reading for Mass.
[4] Setting was taken from this volume.
[5] The tone pattern for the Second Reading is available from ICEL [PDF]. This was not the first time that the student sang the reading for Mass.
[6] Setting was taken from this volume.
[7] See number 119 in the PDF listed in footnote 1 for the sheet music to this setting.
[8] A practice recording of the Offertory is available here.
[9] The sheet music for this tone is available from ICEL [PDF].
[10] A practice recording of the Communion is available here.
[11] Here is a YouTube recording of the SATB version.
[12] Here is a YouTube recording of this setting being presented at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing, Aristotle. Laura had a work event so we couldn't make it until the party segment of the day.

LoveGodAndAsHeLoved said...

Thank you, Aristotle. All I can say is I wish I had been there for the beginning of Mass after reading about what I missed, but did arrive eventually. Thank you Father Heilman for hiring Aristotle! God bless everyone!