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Meet the Faculty: Anthony Ruff, OSB



Anthony Ruff, OSB  

Associate Professor of Theology, 1998-

National Catholic Youth Choir Founder and Program Director, 2000 to present

Moderator, Pray Tell blog

B.A., Saint John’s University, 1986; M.Div., Saint John's University, 1993; S.T.M., Yale Divinity School, 1994; Th.D., University of Graz, Austria, 1998

[email protected]



Recent courses taught:

  • Liturgy of the Hours (Spring 2014) 
  • Psalmody and Hymnody (Spring 2013)
  • Monastic Liturgy (Spring 2013, Spring 2016)
  • Modern Liturgical Movements (Fall 2012, Fall 2015)
  • Reading Latin I (Fall 2013, Fall 2011)
  • Reading Latin II (Spring 2014, Spring 2012)
  • Composing Music for Liturgy (Fall 2010)
  • Gregorian Chant I (Summer 2013, Summer 2011, Summer 2010, Summer 2009)
  • Gregorian Chant II (Summer 2013, Summer 2011, Summer 2008)
  • Gregorian Chant Schola (every semester)
  • Rites of Initiation (Spring 2010)
  • Liturgical Year (Fall 2013, Fall 2009)
  • Eucharistic Liturgy and Theology (Spring 2009)
  • Pastoral Liturgy I (Spring 2008)


Sung Gospels For Major Solemnities in Multiple Voices

Sung Gospels
For Major Solemnities in Multiple Voices 
(Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2013).

Chants of The Roman Missal: Study Edition

Chants of The Roman Missal: Study Edition (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012) 
Author of scholarly introduction.

Canticum novum:Gregorian Chant for Today's Choirs

Canticum novum: Gregorian Chant for Today's Choirs (GIA Publications, 2012).

Responsorial Psalms for Weekday Mass: Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter

Responsorial Psalms for Weekday Mass: Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2008).

Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform: Treasures and Transformations

Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform: Treasures and Transformations (Mundelein/Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2007).

2nd Place Award in “Liturgy,” Catholic Press Association, 2008.


CD Recording of the Gregorian Chant Schola: 

Mary and Her Son CD cover

  •   Mary and Her Son (Milan Entertainment, 2015) released in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Russian

Singing with Mary and the Saints CD cover

  •   Singing with Mary and the Saints (Milan Entertainment, 2013). 

Recent Publications: 

  • "Greek, Latin, and Pre-Reformation Hymnody," in hymnal companion to Lutheran Service Book (book chapter, forthcoming).
  • The Amen Corner: "Could the Church's Understanding of the Primacy of Gregorian Chant Ever Change?" Worship 88.5 (September 2014), 460-466. 
  • "Tra le sollecitudini: On Sacred Music [1903]: Overview," The Liturgy Documents, vol. 3 (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2013), 20-24.
  • "Musicam Sacram: On Music in the Liturgy [1967]: Overview," The Liturgy Documents, vol. 3  (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2013), 342-346.
  • "After Vatican II: Are We All Protestants Now? Or Are We All Catholics Now?" The Hymn 64:1 (Winter 2013), 6-12.
  • "Bar Is Set Low in Acceptance of New Missal," National Catholic Reporter, December 1, 2012, 1-2, online missal
  • "What is the Future of the Liturgy?" U.S. Catholic 77.12 (December 2012), 25-26
  • "The Value of Unaccompanied Vernacular Chant in the Liturgy," Pastoral Liturgy, (March-April 2011), 9-11.
  • "Reading and Singing the Church's Chant: The Basics, Pastoral Music 35:2 (January 2011), 15-18.
  • "Liturgy under Benedict XVI," GIA Quarterly 22:1 (2010), 2-8.
  • "Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship," GIA Quarterly 20.3, Spring 2009, 12-13, 38.
  • "The Liturgical Changes We Face: A Parable," Pastoral Music 33:1, October 2008, 34-40.
  • "Beyond Medici: The Struggle for Progress in Chant," Sacred Music 135.2, Summer 2008 , 26-28.  Translation (from German), "One Hundred Years of the Graduale Romanum" by Johann Berchmans Göschl, Sacred Music 135.2, Summer 2008, 8-25.

Reference book entries: 

  • "Union School of Sacred Music," Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1872 - 1958)
  • "Tauferneuerung/Taufgedächtnis" ("Renewal of Baptismal Promises"), "Cäcilianfest," "Halleluja," "Herwegen, Ildefons," "Kirchenmusik: IV.Westliche Kirchen, 1. Mittelalter," and "Kirchenmusik: VI. Rechtlich, 1. Katholische Kirche, " "Nunc dimittis," "Offertorium: I. Liturgisch, II. Musikalisch," "Sanktus: I. Liturgisch," "Stossgebet," "Boys' Choirs," in Religion in Geschichte und Gegewart, 4th ed.
  • "Vehe, Michael," "Witzel, Georg," in Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 2nd ed. 

Recent presentations:

  • "A Benedictine Spirituality of Music," Immaculate Conception Monastery, Ferdinand, Indiana, October 24, 2015
  • "Active Participation in the Liturgy - Still Possible?" Westminster Abbey Institute, London, January 31, 2014. 
  • "In a (Post-)Modern World, Can You Still Talk About Whether Sacred Music Compositions Are Any Good?" Huffington Institute, Loyala Marymount University, Los Angeles, February 21, 2014.
  • "David's Harp in Postmodern Times: Psalm Singing Today," IAH Conference, Amsterdam, August 16, 2013.
  • "Chants of the Missal," NPM national convention, Washington DC, August 1, 2013.
  • "Bringing Chant to Life in Latin and English," Hymn Society, Richmond VA, July 16 and 18, 2013.
  • "Antiphons, Hymns, Songs, and Their Use in the Liturgy," NPM Winter Colloquium, Washington DC, January 27-29, 2013: presenter of four sessions with following discussion.
  • "Issues in the Visual Presentation of Gregorian Chant," NAAL music seminar, Albequerque, January 4, 2013.
  • "How to Pray the Hours Today," Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, Summer Congregations Project, June 28, 2012
  • "Recent Trends in Hymnody," CCMLA conference, Collegeville, June 19, 2012.
  • "The New Roman Missal: What is the Problem, and What Can We Do About It?" Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, St. Leo University, Florida, June 12, 2012
  • Director of St. John's Gregorian Chant Schola, invited participant in International Gregorian Chant Congress, Watou, Belgium, May 20-24, 2009.

Notable activities:

  • Translator, International Abbots’ Congress, Rome, 2008 and 2012.
  • Member of Board of Directors, National Association of Pastoral Musicians, 2012-2015
  • Editoral Board, The Hymn, journal of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, 2013 -2016 .
  • Panel Respondent to Faith Healer, a play by Brian Freel, "Reflections by Theologians and Physicians," Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MN, November 17, 2009.
  • Catholic Academy of Liturgy, member of three-person leadership team, 2012-2015.
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Council, The Liturgical Press
  • Composer of Responsorial Psalm sung each day at Mass, Saint John’s Abbey
  • Translator, Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Hymnologie (International Fellowship for Research in Hymnology)