My Dream by Bruce Larsen
My fondest hopes and dreams and plans are for the day when I shall fill the post as organist and choirmaster in a church of Cathedral or Basilica fabric and importance and liturgically correct proportions. The last word will be my Choir school where the Cantors, Schola, and Boy choir will be trained in Chant, Polyphony, Liturgy, Latin, and the Classics.
I must have the organ rebuilt to my specifications, divided with great in the gallery, and secondary and choir in the Sanctuary. (The choir must be in the front, where, along with the clergy, they will participate in the glorious Sacrifice and the office. Each office shaft be preceded by a solemn procession and closed in the same manner. Once in their places the choir will go about their job in a devout, efficient and business-like manner performing their sacred duties. The norm and standard will be chant sung antiphonally by men and boys alternating with the faithful who shall be trained, and led by the school children and societies. The musical diet shaft consist of a solid recipe of Gregorian, flavored by Palestrina and the Classic masters, spiced with the better men of present and modern schools. Frequent adjunct will be the orchestra of strings and harps, unseen.
The Congregation will always sing at least the Asperges, etc., Responses, and Credo. Processionals and Recessionals shall frequently be congregational hymns. To aid the congregational chanting, to add variety and effect, the great organ in the gallery shall accompany all the congregation parts alternating with the choir organ in the sanctuary. Such use is toward a definite aid to the congregation while the effect is tremendous. The Organ music used shall be always of the highest character and in general the services, though not lengthy, shall not be hurried so as to have a rushed effect. The aim is to present a finished" service with an air of dignity, devotion, solemnity and ail with finesse.
Vespers or Compline shall be sung congregationally every Sunday; the congregation will have a monthly Sunday night singing practice with beverages. All extra services such as Novena, Rosary, etc., will be congregationally sung. Weddings will use the boy choir, as also funerals.
The above, found in a notebook dated 1944-45, was discovered and transcribed August 6, 1996, and read that day during the Mass of Christian Burial for Bruce Larsen, at the Church of the Holy Childhood, St. Paul, Minnesota. This was one of several entries Larsen recorded while serving as a World War II chaplain's assistant in the countries of France, Belgium, and Germany.