Saturday, June 30


A New Logo for the Church Music Association of America

I was recently commissioned to design a new logo for the venerable and esteemed Church Music Association of America (CMAA), and after running through a plethora of sketches of harps, organ rests, and caligraphies of the words Laus Deo, I eventually thought to come back to the theme of the musical angel, long a staple of Medieval and Renaissance art. Singing has long been intimately associated with the angelic rites of the heavenly liturgy, and in some way we blend our voices with theirs when heaven touches earth at the Mass.

This is never clearer than at the Sanctus, where we sing their words Holy Holy Holy, Lord God of Hosts (that is, we would if it were properly translated) to precede the arrival of Christ on the altar with the Words of Consecration. It is a setting of this chant (from the ancient Missa Orbis Factor) that appears on the angel's scroll, reflecting, along with its acolyte's garb of amice and alb, the mystical reality of Christian worship.

I can thus think of no better symbol--even better than the organ, queen of instruments--to represent our ancient musical heritage, going back to the early Church, to the rites of the Temple, and the songs the angels have sung around the throne of Grace since God brought them into being.

The CMAA was quite happy to listen to all my suggestions and eagerly accepted the finished logo. The CMAA owns the copyright to the design, so I cannot reproduce it here, but you can find it among the photos of their Flickr account, as well as on page 5 of the Summer 2007 edition of Musica Sacra, if any of our readers subscribes to that fine journal.

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