In a continued effort to represent the different sects within the Catholic Church, chapel ministries has announced that this month they will be organizing a newly-structured Festival of Praise (FOP) in observance of the Lenten season.
Noting that the Church recommends a focus on the voice in liturgy during this time of penitence, the FOP will be conducted entirely in Gregorian Chant, an idea suggested by the head of music ministry, Jean-Paul D’Arc.
“We’re really excited about this new direction,” D’Arc said. The country music singer even extended an invitation to a choir of Bavarian trappist monks who will be accompanying the band in their capstone performance of “Dies Irae.”
“This FOP is going to be fire. And I mean that literally,” he said. “To make up for the fact that we won’t be using our instruments, we’ll be igniting torches at the base of the stage to represent the judgement of God.”
Students who attend the FOP will be stopped at the door and given a choice between wearing a hairshirt or shaving the top of their head. Only after they are sprinkled with a handful of dust (to mimic their burial) will they be admitted into Finnegan Fieldhouse.
Architects are already making plans to temporarily turn the fieldhouse into a reproduction hermit’s cave, and, according to our sources, Bob Lesnefsky will be presenting his opening exhortation dressed as St. Anthony of the Desert.
Hannah Hafford, co-lead of the regular FOP band, seems to be somewhat concerned about these plans.
“It’s not because of the concept,” Hafford said. “I think that the whole idea is great. My only issue is that (D’Arc) has been conducting our music rehearsals entirely in Old Latin, and all of our lead sheets are written in neumes. I don’t know how to read neumes!”
Her co-lead, on the other hand, feels differently.
“I feel like I’ve been preparing for this my entire life,” senior Matt Priley said. “I spent the past six months rifling through medieval codexes to find all the fifth-century hymns I could get my hands on. This setlist is stacked.”
Inspired by his research, Priley will be releasing an album of re-imagined Gregorian hymns in the style of Otis Redding. “Monophonic Soul” will be out on all platforms in November of this year.
All students who hope to attend Gregorian FOP are encouraged to prepare for the next few weeks by sustaining themselves on a strict diet of wheat flour and water. Seating precedence will be given to the most gaunt and austere. The first five attendees will be given the opportunity to sit in a basket on top of a pillar.