It was a special day on seeing the Cantor of Schola Cantorum Jubilate leading a thanksgiving mass for his ordination. Fr. Richard Nazzareno Farrugia was ordained by Mgr. Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo on Saturday 13 th June 2009. Schola Cantorum Jubilate animated the liturgy then and animated again his ‘Prima Messa'. The novel priest left his residence in Masri Street, Xagħra at 5.30pm. He was accompanied by his parents, brothers, sister, relatives and various priests and seminarians amongst whom Mgr. Carmelo Refalo, Archpriest, Mgr. Eucaristico Sultana, Archpriest Emeritus and the Reverend Chapter of the Basilica of Xagħra. The Xagħra Victory Band performed jovial marches along the way. Every home from where Fr. Richard Nazzareno passed was decorated for this unique occasion and they even came out of their homes showing their appreciation and even accompanying him along the street. At 6.35pm, Fr. Richard entered the Basilica of Maria Bambina where a congregation greeted him with a never ending applause.


He blessed them and soon the Schola Cantorum started the Antiphon ‘Sacerdos in Aeternum' (Plain Chant) and the Psalm ‘Dixit Dominus' (Perosi). Lorenzo Perosi was also Maesto di Cappella della Musica Pontificia Sistina and he visited Malta when the Eucharistic Congress was held. Right after that, a procession of priests from all over Gozo and Malta and even some foreigners, left the sacristy and entered the church for the Thanksgiving Mass. As an introit hymn, the choir performed ‘Jubilate Deo' by Bartolucci. The ‘Missa de Angelis' a 5 voci by Bartolucci was performed. The music during this liturgy was mainly by Bartolucci who is so closely associated with Schola Cantorum Jubilate. All the pieces performed tonight were donated by Mgr. Bartolucci himself when the choir visited him in his residence in Rome two years ago. Bartolucci was Maestro della Cappella Pontificia Sistine under four Popes and is considered the second Palestrina after having written much valuable church music. He is one of the best friends of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Bartolucci's ‘Missa de Angelis' is in the sacred polyphony and alternates with the Gregorian Chant. During Fr. Richard's mass, Seminarian Trevor Sultana was the cantor and led the congregation. The mass required certain solo interpretations. These were done by Marouska Attard (director and soprano), Christabella Vella (soprano), Janice Gatt (alto), Marvic Cini (Tenor), Edward Borg Bonaci (Tenor) and Albert Buttigieg (Bass). The liturgy of word continued with the psalm ‘Erfa idek Mulej' (Portelli) which was sung by Seminarian Stanley Joe Portelli, ‘Allelulia' and versetto (Portelli) and a sublime ‘Credo in unum Deum' (Bartolucci) which had been reintroduced in the liturgy at Xagħra after so many years of absence. During the offerings, a new composition by Paul Portelli was interpreted. This was a moving ‘Ubi Caritas' based on the Gregorian Chant but set for 5 voices with organ accompaniment. Portelli is the resident composer of Schola Cantorum Jubilate and once more he had proved his calibre. He is a true composer giving all the respectful importance to the sacred liturgy without imposing his talents. During the communion the choir interpreted ‘O Sacrum Convivium' and ‘Adoro Te Devote' both by Bartolucci. Both Eucharistic hymns were devotional and helped those present to pray and thank God for all His mercy. Fr. Richard, at the end of the mass, presented a bouquet of flowers to Our Lady of Victories. In the meantime the choir performed the ‘Salve Regina' (Gregorian Chant). Fr. Richard kept the tradition and at the end of mass, after having covered his hand with balsam, the priests and congregation kiss his blessed hands. During this rite the choir performed ‘Tfajla Ħelwa tal-Vitorja' (Portelli). Joseph Camilleri, another competent musician and brilliant organist, accompanied the choir on the grand Viscount organ. Fr. Richard sung all the mass pieces in Gregorian Chant and the choir replied back singing. For the Schola Cantorum Choristers, it was a moving experience, a joyful celebration and truly a thanksgiving mass for all the blessing and talents God gave us.

Ad multos annos Fr. Richard from the Administration, choristers and family of Schola Cantorum Jubilate!


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Print More...