Matthew Ward

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June 19, 2020
We can be tempted to think of Gregorian chant as a fixed canon, handed down since time immemorial, unchanging like the Faith. But it is good to remember that over history chant has been subject to much change, whether in its composition, liturgical use or performance. For example, when a new feast arises in the
October 25, 2019
Earlier this month, Sir James MacMillan’s Symphony No. 5 received its London premiere at the Barbican, alongside the UK premiere of his work commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, The Sun Danced. It was a remarkable evening, at which Sir James confirmed again his standing as the leading lay Catholic voice in these
October 10, 2019
As the canonisation of John Henry Newman approaches on October 13, parishes will be preparing to sing his beloved hymns. Count on hearing Praise to the Holiest on that Sunday, if not also Lead, Kindly Light and Firmly I Believe and Truly. But whereas these three masterpieces are rightly his best known, Newman also wrote
December 03, 2018
People love Christmas carols. But, whether we hear carols in the children’s nativity play, played in the shops, on the radio or in the parish carol service, there is no denying that by Midnight Mass we can be ‘carolled out’, and just when the glorias in excelsis should be beginning, we are ready to move