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November 9, 2022

Co-Sponsored by St. Paul's Choir School

Johannes Okeghem (1420?-1497), one of the greatest composers of the Early Renaissance, wrote magnificent polyphonic settings for his Requiem Mass. St. Paul’s integrates this transcendent music into contemporary worship in a Mass for the Dead. Music by the vocal ensemble Blue Heron.

In the lecture and discussion preceding the Mass, Professor Brian Robinette and James Kennerley, FRCO, explore the historical and theological foundations behind the Catholic tradition of prayers for the dead, the meaning and implications of resurrection and eternal life as expressed in the requiem, the contributions of music, particularly Okeghem’s polyphony, to the rite, and the way of integrating this music into a contemporary liturgy.

Blue Heron, Scott Metcalfe, Artistic Director, the renowned vocal ensemble dedicated to the historical performance practice of Medieval and Renaissance music, inaugurated in 2015 Ockeghem@600, a multi-season project to perform the composer’s complete works. The project is winding up in 2023 in order to commemorate Okeghem’s circa-600th birthday.

Brian Robinette, Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College, has written and lectured widely on theologies of creation, resurrection, contemplative practice, and aesthetics. He is the author of Grammars of Resurrection: A Christian Theology of Presence and Absence (2009), The Difference Nothing Makes: Creation, Christ, Contemplation (forthcoming February 2023), and articles in Theological Studies, Logos, and other journals. His PhD is from Notre Dame.

James Kennerley, FRCO, is Director of Music at the St. Paul’s Choir School and at St. Paul’s Harvard Square. Rooted in the English choir school tradition, he is an internationally known organist, vocalist, and director.  Educated at Cambridge University, Mr. Kennerley was Organ Scholar at Jesus College and later at St. Paul’s Cathedral London. He has frequently given solo organ concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe.

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