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Happy Mothers' Day

Mothers' Day 2005Yesterday was the feast of the Ascension at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It commemorates one of those Biblical events that defies logical explanation, and therefore a lot of the music composed for this feast is unusual. We were well fed at the Basilica today, with movements from Olivier Messiaen's hallucinatory L'Ascension before and after Mass. One of the transfigured Gregorian chant melodies (all the fifths and fourths mutated into tritones) used in that piece was our Introit, Viri Galilaei. We also sang two excellent motets, Ralph Vaughan Williams's O Clap Your Hands! (based on Psalm 47, which is the joyous text of the day) and Charles Stanford's Coelos Ascendit Hodie, for two choirs.

It was also a Hallmark holiday. Still, now that I have lived through being raised by a mother and watching Mrs. Ionarts raise my children, I have nothing but respect for all mothers. So, be a good son or daughter and call your mother today if you can. Not just yesterday.

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