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Hispanic Heritage Sunday

Today is an exciting day as we explore the rich traditions found in Hispanic music. There is so much in our collection of hymnals that we do not explore often and today we get to dive in at the “deep end.” There are so many countries and cultures that make up the Hispanic tradition that it is difficult to pinpoint on area so we have tried to include as many different ones as we could find. So join us as we explore this magical and life affirming tradition. If you do not speak Spanish, try anyway, we are sure that many of us had high school Spanish. See how much you remember. If you speak Spanish, take your neighbor’s hand and help the find their way through this glorious music.

We are going to concentrate on two parts of a major mass by Ariel Ramírez. Enjoy the rhythmic tradition and all of the exciting tossing of the music back and forth between the soloists and the choir!

Offertory Anthem: “Gloria in Excelsis” Ariel Ramírez (b. 1921-1910)

"Glory in the highest," a short hymn of praise to the Trinity. Its opening verse is based on the song of the angels to the shepherds at the time of Jesus' birth, as reported in Lk 2:14. It is known as the "Angelic Hymn." It is also known as the "Greater Doxology," distinguishing it from the Gloria Patri, the "Lesser Doxology." It dates from the fourth century, and was the canticle for the morning office in the Apostolic Constitutions. It continues to be used in the morning office by the eastern churches. The Gloria became a part of the entrance rite of the Roman Mass in the twelfth century and was dropped from the Daily Office in the west. The Gloria was also used in the eucharistic entrance rite of the 1549 BCP, but later editions used the Gloria as a post communion prayer. This reflected the penitential emphasis of those editions of the Prayer Book. The 1789 American Prayer Book allowed the use of the Gloria instead of the Gloria Patri as an option at the end of the psalmody in the Daily Office, but that option is no longer allowed. The 1979 BCP restored the Gloria to its place in the eucharistic entrance rite (pp. 324-325, 356). The Gloria may be used from Christmas Day through the Feast of the Epiphany, on Sundays in Easter season, on all the days of Easter Week, on Ascension Day, and at other times. The Gloria is not used at the eucharist on the Sundays or ordinary weekdays of Advent or Lent (BCP, p. 406). The 1979 BCP uses the Gloria as canticle 20, "Glory to God." It is printed in the Rite 2 service for Morning Prayer, it may be used for Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer, and it is suggested for use at Morning Prayer on Thursday except in Advent and Lent. The Hymnal 1982 provides various musical settings for the Gloria (S 272-S 281), including those by William Mathias (S 278) and Robert Powell (S 280).

“Gloria in Excelsis.” Episcopal Church, 7 Mar. 2013,

Argentine pianist and composer Ariel Ramírez wrote his signature work "Misa Criolla" (Creole Mass) in the early 1960s, just as the Second Vatican Council permitted the celebration of the Catholic Mass in the vernacular. "Misa Criolla," widely regarded as a stunning artistic achievement, combined Spanish text with indigenous instruments and rhythms. Its effect is that of a reverent carnival, and it has sold millions of albums and been performed countless times across the world. For all its verve, "Misa Criolla" had its origins in a post-Holocaust visit to Germany. "I felt that I had to compose something deep and religious that would revere life and involve people beyond their creeds, race, color or origin," the composer told the Jerusalem Post. He added in another interview that the song was a tribute to human dignity, courage and freedom, with a distinct message of "Christian love." Mr. Ramírez's career spanned seven decades and reportedly hundreds of compositions, many like "Misa Criolla" in collaboration with the late Argentine author, diplomat and lyricist Félix Luna. In addition to his compositions, Mr. Ramírez held a prominent public role as the longtime secretary-general of the Argentine Society of Authors and Composers, an organization that guards the publication and performance rights of writers and musicians. Mr. Ramírez was born Sept. 4, 1921, in Santa Fe, a province in northeastern Argentina. He was expected to follow his father into teaching, he told the publication Americas, "but in my first job as a fourth-grade teacher in Santa Fe, I lasted two days. I couldn't say no to those schemers. I had discipline problems." Instead, he followed his passion for music -- initially tango but then his country's folklore tradition. One of his earliest mentors was Atahualpa Yupanqui, the popular Argentine folklore musician, who paid Mr. Ramírez's way to travel and study regional music of the country's north and west. By 1943, Mr. Ramírez was playing with Yupanqui in Buenos Aires and on the radio. But this steady income was short-lived, he told Americas: "The Peronist government bought out the station and demanded employees sign a statement of political loyalty. I was an independent and my father was an active radicalista, so I was out of a job." After World War II, he left for a performing and music teaching career in Europe, and an encounter with a group of nuns in southern Germany led him to contemplate writing a spiritual piece that evolved into "Misa Criolla." After returning to Buenos Aires in the mid-1950s, he recorded more than a dozen records under the RCA label and began collaboration with Luna on folklore-inspired campaign songs for the successful presidential candidate Arturo Frondizi. The popular success of "Misa Criolla" established Mr. Ramírez's name in concert halls around the world, and he told the New York Times that he felt pressured by "the church, my friends and the public" to write a second mass in the same spirit. The result was "Misa por la Paz y la Justicia" (Mass for Peace and Justice), with liturgical texts by Luna and Osvaldo Catena.

“Ariel Ramirez Dies; Argentine Composer Wrote ‘Misa Criolla’.” Adam Bernstein (Washington DC), February 21, 2010. Accessed April 28, 2018.

Offertory Anthem: “Agnus Dei” Ariel Ramírez (b. 1921-1910)

Latin for "Lamb of God." The fraction anthem "Lamb of God" is based on Jn 1:29, and may be used in the celebration of the eucharist at the breaking of the bread (BCP, pp. 337, 407). The invocation is repeated three times, with the first two invocations followed by the phrase "Have mercy upon us." The third invocation is concluded by the phrase "Grant us thy peace." The text of the Agnus Dei is also used in the Great Litany (BCP, p. 152).

“Agnus Dei.” Episcopal Church, 7 Mar. 2013,

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