Palm Shortage in New Orleans

One of the most attended Masses of the liturgical year, Palm Sunday will look a little different this year in New Orleans, Louisiana. Because of the deep freeze that hit hard this January, palms that are typically plentiful in New Orleans are now in short supply.

Instead of the usual queen palms which were killed in the freeze, it has been recommended that parishes use sago palms, which are brown and much skinnier than what Catholics are used to seeing on Palm Sunday.

Because the Roman Missal doesn’t specify which type of branch is to be used during Palm Sunday services, some parishes are considering the use of other branches as well, such as juniper trees or ginger plants.

H/T: Clarion Herald

Hymn Society 2015 Conference in New Orleans

I’m at the 2015 annual conference of the Hymn Society in New Orleans: “Somebody’s Call’ My Name: Jazz, Jambalaya, and Jubilee.” We’re meeting at Loyola University.

Hymn Society 2015

There are four plenary addresses:

  • “Congregational Singing (Praising God) from the Margins” by Miguel & Deborah De La Torre
  • “Psalmody and Hymnody in Jewish Congregational Singing” by John H. Baron
  • “Spirituals and Gospel Song in African-American Congregational Singing” by Roy Belfield, Jr.
  • “The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology” by Carlton R. Young

There are five hymn festivals:

  • “Jambalaya Festival: When the Storms of Life Are Raging – Hymns in Times of Crisis and Recovery”
  • “Down By The Riverside: Jazz and Congregational Song”
  • “Shiru L’Adonai – Sing unto the LORD: A Feast of Jewish Congregational Hymnody”
  • “African-American Spirituals & Gospel Songs”
  • “Jubliee Festival: The Big Easy”

There are also six groups of sectionals (break-outs).

The business meeting is tomorrow. Watch this space for a coming announcement.