Tour to Italy

Rome and Assisi

10th to 17th September 2008
Sunday 16th September - Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore and St. Peter's Basilica

Surely Sunday was the busiest day for the Schola Cantorum members. In the morning, they had some free time and it was possible to visit the Basilica of Santa Prassede which is situated next to the Hotel and Santa Maria degli Angli in Piazza della Repubblica. The appointments started at 12.15pm when Schola Catorum Jubilate animated the mass at Santa Maria Maggiore. It was officiated by Mgr. Gradino Tavanti who presented the choir to the congregation. He also said that on behalf of the Archpriest, the Cardinal Law, they will always welcome Schola Cantorum Jubilate with open hands and wished them all success in the future. The choir placed behind the main altar, performed the ‘Missa de Angelis' (Bartolucci) and the hymns: ‘Jesu Rex Admirabilis' (Palestrina), ‘Allelulia' with acclimation by Portelli, ‘Totus Tuus' (Frisina), ‘Magnificat' (Portelli), ‘Ave Verum' (Mozart) and finally ‘Ave Maria' (Victoria). After the High Mass, the choir went for lunch in a nearby restaurant and on returning to the Hotel, they held a surprise to two members who had their birthday. Being asked to come down for a rehearsal in the foyer, Paul Portelli (organist) and Marlene Saliba (soprano) surprisingly received a birthday cake. Later on, after a nap, the group left for the Vatican. They were present for the Vespers and later animated the 5.30pm mass. Mgr. Comastri, Archpriest of the Basilica officiated the mass while Fr. Joseph Sultana and Mgr. Giuseppe Liberto together with other Bishops and priests concelebrated. Members of the Cappella Pontificia Sistina joined Schola Cantorum Jubialte and sang the plainchant of Domenico Bartolucci's Sanctus. The other hymns performed were: ‘Jesu Rex Admirabilis' (Palestrina), ‘Ecce Panis Angelorum' (Perosi), ‘Sicut Cervus' (Palestrina), ‘Ave Verum' (Mozart) and ‘Jubilate Deo' (Portelli). Mro. Portelli accompanied the choir on the Tamburini Organ. Having a look at the pieces performed, one can notice that the pieces performed were all, except one, composed by Musical Directors of the Vatican. At the end of the mass, most of the visitors asked for a photo with the choir and since this was taking long, the leader asked the guards to keep back the tourists so that Schola Cantorum Jubilate could take a memorable photo inside the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter. Mgr. Liberto together with the vice-organist of the Vatican Libertucci congratulated the choir and its director Marouska for the liturgical animation. To everyone's surprise, Mro. Liberto presented some of his compositions to the choir leader. One particular piece ‘Jubilate' was written in these last days specifically for Schola Cantorum Jubilate in memory of their meeting in Rome. After that important performance and meeting, the choristers went for dinner – the last one together in Rome, and later for a visit in Piazza di Spagna.

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