Liturgical Songs in Praise of the Trinity
Designed for liturgies throughout Easter and Ordinary Time, it serves the diversity of generations that comprise the Church today.
Best-known for Mass of Glory, Love Never Fails, and his insightful blogs and podcasts on spiritandsong.com, Ken Canedo is a contemporary Catholic music pioneer. But Ken's a man of balance, with a heart for tradition and unity within the Church. His new collection, Doxology, features six contemporary and six traditional-style songs, many in honor of the Trinity.
Mix of Scripture-based texts and new lyrics
Inspired partly by the U.S. bishops' recent guidelines on music in the liturgy, the collection is rich in content. Three songs feature poetic, Scripture-based texts by Benedictine Sister Genevieve Glen. "O Sanctissima" is Ken's setting of a translation by Benedictine Father Harry Hagan. Ken's new, original lyrics are all based on either the Bible or the Church's official ritual texts.
Variety of Trinity songs
An active parish musician, Ken recognized a glaring lack of Trinity songs in modern Catholic hymnody. Doxology addresses that scarcity. Some of these new compositions honor the Trinity as a whole, while others praise the individual persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All are capable of lifting sung praise to God.
New arrangements of beloved, traditional hymns
Three titles are new arrangements of beloved, traditional hymns: "O Sanctissima," "Doxology" (with Ken's adaptation of OLD HUNDRETH), and "O Triune God," featuring the medieval tune for "Ye Sons and Daughters" and new Trinitarian lyrics by Sister Genevieve. Ken notes that although the recording of "O Triune God" features a new jazz arrangement (with lead vocals by noted jazz singer Rebecca Kilgore), the hymn may also be sung with traditional accompaniment.
Music celebrating the Holy Spirit, Christ's humble obedience
"O Spirit of the Living Lord" is a stirring text by Sister Genevieve set to a simple choral melody. It celebrates the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Featured on spiritandsong.com's The Commons, "Jesus Christ Is Lord" is a modern setting of Philippians 2:6-11 with Jenny Pixler on lead vocals. Its memorable refrain helps assemblies enter prayerfully into St. Paul's message of Christ's humble obedience to his Father's will.
Songs on Christ's redemptive suffering and God's call for peace
Another track, "For the Sake of Christ," is Ken's setting of St. Paul's powerful testimony to the redemptive suffering of Christ in 1 Corinthians 5:15 and 12:7-10. A gospel anthem with lyrics drawn from Micah, the Psalms and John's Gospel, "Grant Us Peace" is a simple prayer that the world may heed God's call for peace among the nations.
A collection embracing the old and new
Long dedicated to serving and uniting worshipers of all ages, Ken has always composed music in a variety of styles, both traditional and modern. So Doxology, like the Church itself, embraces both old and new. Designed for liturgies throughout Easter and Ordinary Time, it serves the diversity of generations that comprise the Church today.
Long dedicated to serving and uniting worshipers of all ages, Ken Canedo has always composed music in a variety of styles. So Doxology-like the Church itself-embraces both old and new, traditional and modern. Designed for liturgies throughout Easter and Ordinary Time, this collection serves the diversity of generations that comprise the Church today. Here are Ken's musical notes from four Doxology songs appropriate for use in Lent/Easter celebrations.
Palm Sunday: Jesus Christ Is Lord
One of the earliest known hymns of the Christian community is found in Philippians 2:6-11. Also known as "The Christ Hymn" by biblical scholars, this passage is prayed weekly in the Liturgy of the Hours. It serves as the second reading for Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, underscoring Jesus' passion, death and resurrection within the context of God's overall plan for salvation.
The refrain, "Jesus Christ is Lord," is the climax of Saint Paul's rendering of this hymn. This setting was composed for the assembly to own the four words, and they can easily sing it from memory with great devotion. The verses may be sung by a soloist or choir, but the assembly may eventually want to sing them as well.
Instrumentalists should take care not to rush the song. Play it prayerfully and with respect for the natural rhythm of the powerful words. The crescendo-dimuendo dynamics of the refrain are important. As an optional ending after the final verse, sing the refrain several times in harmony. I recommend building its intensity and then softening to an a capella finish.
On Palm Sunday the singing of "Jesus Christ Is Lord" would be most appropriate at the Preparation of the Gifts as a reflection on the Passion just proclaimed. It would also fit in well on Good Friday during the Veneration of the Cross.
Easter Season: O Triune God
"Ye Sons and Daughters," a favorite Easter hymn with medieval roots, is also known as O FILII ET FILIAE. This arrangement's text was written by Benedictine Sister Genevieve Glen, the noted Catholic lyricist. Her words are marvelous expression of praise for the wonder and mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, appropriate for Trinity Sunday and throughout Ordinary Time. Those who enjoy the contemporary jazz sound might want to use this arrangement with the original "Ye Sons and Daughters" lyrics during the Easter season.
I love jazz and on the Doxology recording we utilized a jazz combo. While not all church ensembles would be able to produce this sound, please consider the octavo's piano arrangement as a "liturgical taste" of jazz, in the spirit of Ernest Sands' classic "Sing of the Lord's Goodness."
Easter Season: Let All the EarthThis song's refrain is drawn verbatim from the Entrance Antiphon for the Third Sunday of Easter, making it appropriate for use throughout the Easter season and during Ordinary Time. Utilizing the classic "Catholic guitar" strum, the song's joyful melody sings in praise of God's marvelous love.
The simple choral arrangement is most effective when presented in layers. As always, begin the song in unison, bringing in the basic harmonies after the first verse. The descant is best utilized after the second and third verses.
Although not printed in the choral octavo, parts for flute and trumpet are available. These instruments will add to the solemnity and elation of the Easter season.
Pentecost: Lord, Send Out Your Spirit
Psalm 104 is the prescribed Responsorial Psalm for Pentecost, and this gospel-style setting utilizes the verbatim Lectionary text. The song is also useful for Confirmation and for any celebration of the Holy Spirit.
Some musicologists refer to the motif of this song as the "Baptist River" style, a uniquely American approach to hymn interpretation that relies on a pronounced chorded piano, a basic I-IV-V chord structure (in this case, I-vi-IV-V, with passing chords), a strict 3/4 tempo that utilizes occasional sudden stops, and an inspiring gospel singer on the verses, with choral support. If you can utilize all these elements in your ensemble, great! But this song can also be presented simply. The important thing is to let the melody and the text soar.
Because it is a Responsorial Psalm, a cantor will ideally intone the first refrain and sing solo on the verses. In keeping with the spirit of the gospel motif, the cantor should feel free to interpret the melody beyond what is indicated in the printed notation. The recording gives one example of this style of vocal improvisation. Choral support on the third verse will help bring the song to an inspiring finish.