RIP Peter Scagnelli (1949-2017)

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray:
Protect us by your love and might,
And keep us safe throughout the night.

Let every heart rest free from fear,
At peace, to feel your presence near;
Our souls, through night hours veiled in sleep,
In your blest light, their vigil keep.

Let peaceful rest the strength renew
Of all who place their trust in you;
Let evil never have its way;
Preserve us for another day.

This lovely text, a translation of the 7th-century Te lucis ante terminum, is from the pen of Rev. Peter J. Scagnelli, lover of texts. He passed away yesterday, July 12, in hospice care in Framingham, Massachusetts, after having suffered from a brain tumor for approximately 16 months. He was 68.

Peter Scagnelli was ordained a priest of the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1976, where he had served a stint as director of the diocesan worship office. He was author and translator of numerous English hymn texts.

Scagnelli was long associated with the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) before the reorganization of that commission in the early 2000s. He composed a number of the alternative Opening Prayers for the 1974 Sacramentary. He also wrote some of the Scripture-based Opening Prayers for the 1998 Sacramentary, a monumental project decades in the making by leading English-speaking translators, authors, liturgists, and bishops. He stated, however, that he was not simply a champion of either the 1974 or the 1998 sacramentaries, and he welcomed a revision of the 1998 text that promised to be both faithful to the Latin and elegant. It pained him, then, to witness the unfolding of a process taken over at the end by bureaucrats with little sense for the English language which led to the Roman Missal of 2011.

John Page, longtime executive secretary of ICEL before its reorganization, said of Scagnelli,

I first met Peter in the mid-1970s. He was kind, gracious, generous, humorous, self-effacing. A brilliant Latinist, he was first consulted by ICEL in 1966. I think he was twenty. He is then truly the last of the ICEL pioneers. He was always eager to help, no matter how great or small the task.

He greatly admired ICEL’s founders, especially Fred McManus, to whom he dedicated his doctoral dissertation, done under [Protestant liturgist] Horace Allen, on the Scripture-related opening prayers intended for the great [1998] Sacramentary.

Scagnelli was the person behind Xavier Rindfleisch, the pseudonymous writer at Pray Tell who took delight in unmasking the most humorous, if painful, missteps and infelicities in the bungled 2011 Roman Missal. The name was inspired by Xavier Rynne, the famous reporter during the Second Vatican Council who in fact was Fr. Francis X. Murphy, but given a German twist (Rindfleisch = “beef”) as befits the historic origins of Saint John’s Abbey and University.

As Xavier Rindfleisch, Scagnelli emerged as a central persona dramatis in a bizarre ecclesiastical drama. Beginning in the early 2000s, the Holy See had micromanaged every step in the translation process by which the world’s English-speaking bishops were given the vernacular texts they were to submit to Rome for approval. But rather than approve the texts whose creation they had supervised, the Roman officials made over 10,000 changes to the submitted text and sent that altered text back to the bishops for implementation. Many of the changes were in the direction of awkwardness, inaccuracy, and incomprehensibility. A listing of the Pray Tell posts authored by Rindfleisch/Scagnelli follows this notice.

Scagnelli had a particular affinity for the Benedictine order, and he often stated that he had a Benedictine heart and soul. It was fitting that he passed away so close to the Feast of Saint Benedict of July 11.

We pray that his “heart rest free from fear, at peace, to feel [God’s] presence near.”


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the 2010 Received Text” (Oct 17, 2010)

Beauty & the Beast: 2008 vs. 2010, Page One” (Oct 27, 2010)

A Tale of Two Prefaces: I and II Advent” (Nov 3, 2010)

Bending slightly: The Prayers of Advent Sundays II, III, and IV” (Nov 6, 2010)

Preface of the Annunciation: 2008 and 2010” (Mar 25, 2011)

Whoops! Heresy in that “your”? The Collect for Trinity” (Jun 18, 2011)

What Did Last Thursday’s Collect Mean? (May 15, 2012)



  1. May he rest in peace.

    Some of his translation work is found in hymns in the Christian Prayer one-volume edition of the breviary. I believe that was published in the early 1970s, so he must have been young indeed when he did that work.

    1. @Paul F. Ford: And whenever we sing something from “By Flowing Waters” (as my parish often does) and it is a text by Peter, I feel doubly blessed to be connected to two such good friends.

  2. I never met Peter Scagnelli, and I never heard ill of him. I remember how, when I was at ICEL, Peter Finn used to speak of him with great, if humorous, affection. Thank you for your useful list of his posts. Thank you also for your concise and just summary of the 2011 Missal fiasco.

  3. May the angels lead him into Paradise,
    may the martyrs come to welcome him,
    and with Lazarus, poor no longer,
    may he have eternal rest.

  4. He was first consulted by ICEL in 1966 when he was 16 or 17 years old? That would be a precocious young man, to say the least!

    1. @Francine Smith:
      Peter found a pamphlet from ICEL in the rack at the back of his church, asking for expressions of interest from people who would like to be involved in the translation of the Missal (compare with the secrecy surrounding the recent “translation”). He wrote to ICEL, they sent him a few pages of Latin, he translated them and returned them, and he was subsequently involved with ICEL one way or another until the “Missal fiasco” referred to above by Monsignor Harbert.

  5. “This Day of God; Texts and Translations by Peter J. Scagnelli” is a collection of sixteen hymns that will be published by World Library Publications very soon. The final proofs are on my desk now. The book gathers some of his familiar work, such as “Again We Keep This Solemn Fast” and “Christians, Praise the Paschal Victim” with unpublished and lesser known poems. Each is set to a simple tune with others suggested. Check at, but not for a day or two, to learn more about it and place an order. We expect the book to ship by September.

    To Bethany the Master comes,
    But not to mourn a friend.
    He weeps, but weeps that humankind
    Should see Death as its end.

    Entombed in grief, the sisters haste
    Their Teacher to receive.
    “If only you had been here, Lord.”
    “If only you believe.”

    Christ calls his name, and Lazarus
    Comes forth for all to see:
    A dead man walks! Then Christ commands,
    “Unbind him. Set him free.”

    The call to rise to life restored
    Is Christ’s alone to give;
    Yet we must set each other free
    If we would truly live.

    Peter J. Scagnelli
    Copyright © Peter J. Scagnelli, published by World Library Publications

  6. I met him in the early 1980s while visiting ICEL in DC with Chris Willcock (who has a fine Ausytralian command of the use of adverbs!) I admired Peter’s command of English language, which to me has always been an artform of the highest order when used correctly! He had such grace and eloquence, and I look forward to his collection of texts, which will sit rightfully alongside Gerard Manley Hopkins (misquoted by + Donald at the recent ordination) and Peter Levi.

  7. Peter was an absolutely wonderful human being – also a great teacher and lots of fun to be with – I will miss him terribly and appreciate the fact that he was part of my life – rest in peace Peter BUT know that your memory will stay alive with us forever !

  8. Father Scagnelli was truly one of a kind! Brilliant, personable and a man of integrity. A true priestly priest! It also must be noted that he was persecuted for speaking out against the curial corruption he witnessed first hand in his diocese, which resulted in him incurring much suffering. His many gifts and talents were never fully utilized thus leaving the People of God all the poorer. Father Scagnelli was a suffering servant, obedient to the end!

    1. @Xavier Moulton:
      I’m not sure Peter left the people of god all the poorer. Although the abominable wretches in Providence with whom I’m well acquainted did not appreciate him he managed to find many ways to assist the people of god. I first met him at S. John’s, Newport where he gave a powerful sermon on the festival of the assumption. I still have the service leaflet which I treasure. He graciously sent me his notes on the liturgy every week. He held Trent masses for those he felt were left out. He assisted the sisters of S. Joseph. He offered excellent service on eBay. The list goes on.

      Perhaps these last sixteen months or so will be his greatest legacy to thousands of unknown fellow sufferers. Early on Peter told me that he and Diane had vowed to do their utmost to fight his disease. They could have let nature take her course but didn’t. Who knows what information his physicians learned during the course of treatment! Both he and Diane are to be congratulated for their persistence and blessed by those people who will have benefited.

      I have more to say in a separate posting but I’ll make a finem scribendi now.

  9. I have known Peter Scagnelli since the fall of 1962 when we both entered the Carmelite Junior Seminary in Hamilton MA (now Gordon-Conwell Divinity School). We have been close friends ever since those days. Here is a short bio of my dear friend:

    Peter entered the Carmelite Junior Seminary in Hamilton MA in August 1962 and graduated in June 1966. He went to “Fifth Year” at Mount Carmel College in August 1966 and, after a year, entered the Carmelite Novitiate at New Baltimore PA in August 1967. He left the novitiate in March 1968.

    He returned home to Framingham and later graduated from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He put himself through school as “DJ Tom Lyons” on rock-n-roll station WILI-AM in Willimantic CT. After graduation he attended St. John’s seminary in Brighton MA for the diocese of Boston but later switched to the diocese of Providence. He was ordained in Providence in 1976 by Bishop Louis Gelineau, whom he served as Director of Liturgy, with residence at the chancery. After a few years he was off to St. Anselm College in Manchester NH as a postulant for the Benedictines. He later returned to the diocese of Providence and served a number of parishes. Finally, he returned to Framingham to care for his ailing father while pursuing a Ph.D. at Boston University.

    Peter wrote and published hymns, prayers, sourcebooks for parish celebrations, liturgy training publications, homily notes for Sunday sermons and extensive translations from Latin to English. As correctly noted above, he worked for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

    My apologies if I have omitted or incorrectly reported any information. I miss him dearly. He is survived by his sister, Diane Scagnelli, also of Framingham MA.

    May he rest in Peace. Amen.

  10. I was privileged to work with Fr. Peter on the Sacramentary project, as part of the ICEL group charged with preparing the ‘Alternative Opening Prayers’ for the 1998 Missal translation.

    Committee work is never easy and there is some truth in the assertion that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. However, Peter served as one who could with facility and grace modify the needless excrescences of the camel and restore to it the sleekness of the horse. The rest of us were usually left scratching our heads and thinking ‘how did he do that?’

    Good language comes as a mysterious gift, as any poet knows, and Peter surely had that gift. However, he also possessed the ability to polish by craft and hard work what the Muse had provided by inspiration.

    The way he spoke and wrote, his abilities with every style and manner of the English language, showed how much he loved its cadences and allusive power. I think that his secret was that he knew English first and foremost as something spoken and sung, rather than written or printed, which is the medium for most of us. He listened always to its underlying music.

    It’s a great pity that he was not let loose on the subsequent English translation of the Missal, which he would have improved mightily, both in the spotting of its many errors and the correction of its clumsy and convoluted diction.

    As Tony Barr above, I look forward with excitement to the collection of his texts shortly to be published.

    May he rest in peace.


  11. My condolences to all who are mourning Fr. Peter’s passing. For years, I have been using his “Day by Day” reflections most mornings as part of my lectio divina, printing them weekly from the WLP website or – when I forgot – searching them on my phone. (And earlier: carefully removing them from the center of “Preach” magazine – unfolding the magazine staples, and then carefully refolding them).

    I’ve often thought that perhaps my preparation of his sheet is TOO comical! And yet, I have continued to nurtured by his insights into readings, the “arc” of lectionary selections (lectio continua), and his playful connections between the temporal, sanctoral, and… secular cycles. Honestly, his reflections were just way too much fun not to use!

    In fact, the last thing I did before going on vacation today was to print out next week’s sheet. I look forward to continuing to engage in lectio with him next week, reflecting with him within the mystery of the communion of saints.

  12. I put myself through college at Eastern Connecticut State College (now University) from 1970-73. I worked at American Thread packing yarn on third shift. Peter, whose pseudonym was Tom Lyons, was the disc jockey at 1400 WILI from 4 am to 7 am, and I could not wait until his show began. He was funny. He also really knew his music, and was always generous in sharing his knowledge with his audience. When Peter left Willimantic to go to Providence, he left a giant hole in the lineup at WILI. In my later years I sang at a very conservative Catholic parish in New London, CT where Latin hymns were commonly sung. To this end I began collecting hymnals on eBay. Peter was one of my favorite sellers because his listings were in color, in large font, and full of information about what he was selling. He referred to the St. Pius X hymnal as the Cadillac of pre-conciliar hymnals. I bought a record of Demonstration music of a Latin Mass which sadly, according to Peter, was not adopted. He sent me a list of hymnals that should be in my collection, and they all are. I learned many obscure things from him about Pius X motu proprio, and I basked in his warmth and kindness. The last time I saw Peter I asked him to bless the rosary I will use for travel. He got up from his kitchen chair and said, “I have to get some holy water.” “What?’ I said. “I’ve had many a rosary blessed without holy water.” “Oh sure,” he rejoined, “but it’s better with holy water.” I find it so ironic that the rosary he blessed will now bless him, for I will use it when I pray for him.

  13. Peter and I met during his brief stint as a Benedictine, when after knowing him 3 days I asked him “What are you doing here?”, because he seemed so accomplished. Through the years that followed, he was such a help and inspiration for me, and he and his family always so gracious in welcoming me to stay with them. A man of passions in the best sense. I have enjoyed reliving so much of my memories through the comments of others. I recall his use of the word “cherish” in his translation of the Preface for St Joseph came from his hearing the song “Cherish” on the radio as he sat in a park with his girlfriend. My prayers for his sister Diane. He was my best friend.

  14. I failed to mention he wrote a hymn text for my ordination to the priesthood. How honored I was to have my personal Peter Scagnelli Hymn text!

  15. I will be eternally indebted to Fr. Peter Scagnelli for his support, kindness and genuine fraternity during a difficult time in seminary and my first few priestly assignments. He always was a priest’s priest – a genuine mentor – in addition to having such a brilliant intellect and keen wit. I learned more from Peter than from all of my seminary faculty and first pastors combined.

    Peter did suffer tremendously (not only for the Church but from the Church), but his fidelity to the priesthood and the interior life, combined with his intellect, was a beacon of light to me and so many of my brother priests.

    Peter served the liturgy with dignity and devotion. May he now enjoy the liturgy of heaven.

  16. Rev. Dr. Peter J. Scagnelli, 68, died on July 12, 2017 at his home surrounded by family and friends. He faced his cancer diagnosis peacefully with prayerful hope. Born in Framingham, he was the son of the late Henry W. and Valeria “Dixie” (Meneghini) Scagnelli. Fr. Peter graduated Carmelite Junior Seminary High School in Hamilton, MA. He received his B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1971 and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Fr. Peter entered St. John Seminary in Brighton, received his M.Div. and was ordained for the Providence Diocese in 1976. He lived with St. Anselm Abbey for a time and later continued his studies at St. John’s Seminary and earned his M.A. in 1995. Fr. Peter achieved his Doctorate in Theology from Boston University in 2003. As a sophomore at UConn in 1968, Peter began translating Latin texts into English for the International Committee for English in the Liturgy (ICEL). This association with ICEL continued for thirty years as a translator and later as an author. From the early 1980’s through 2001 Fr. Peter was consultant and author for Liturgy Training Publications (LTP). He became associated with World Library Publications (WLP) and J.S. Paluch Company in 2003. He has written homily helps, prayers, hymn texts and translations. Peter also worked as a disk jockey at WHUS and later at WILI in Willimantic, CT. He is survived by his sister: Diane T. Scagnelli, many cousins and friends, and his cat Rex. In accordance with his family’s wishes, there are no public funeral home visiting hours. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday July 19 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Tarcisius Church, 562 Waverly Street, (Rte. 135) Framingham. Burial will follow in the family lot at St. Tarcisius Cemetery, Framingham.

    Please sign the Guest book:

  17. I met you in Halmilton in HS Jr year. I think we shared dorm at one time. We were classmates for Jr and Sr year in High School at the Carmelite Jr. Seminary and for the first Semester at Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I left in January, 1967, to go back to Mexico, where my family lived. Years later, you were organizing a class reunion. I was visiting my parents in Tampico, Mexico, and my father told me: A call from a Peter Scagnelli for you. I was really glad to speak with you. Take care of all of us from up there. I know you will be aware of this message, somehow. Blas, “Cinco de Mayo”

  18. I met Pete in the 4th grade when a school on his side of Town was overcrowded and he studied with us. He’s the first person in my peer group I regarded with admiration- unusually advanced virtue for an eight-year-older. He clearly had a dedication and sense of purpose that was stunningly mature.

  19. I so appreciated and often used all his work from Sourcebook to the Prayers of the Faithful. Well-done, good and faithful servant, enter into your Master’s eternal rest.

  20. I came to know Peter through delightful phone conversations over the years as we worked on various projects for World Library Publications and J. S. Paluch. And while he may have claimed to have the “heart and soul of a Benedictine,” I found him to have a Franciscan side as well, caring as he did for cats and birds in his home, and feeding and nurturing a family of woodchucks in his back yard. He delighted in sending us updates and even photos of these creatures. It seems he was a friend to creatures great and small, and his little corner of God’s creation was better for his presence there. Rest in peace and rise in glory, dear friend!

  21. I knew Peter briefly in lattter years. Carmel was our mutual draw. We shared humerous stories and deep currents running thru our lives.. We were friends. His writings insightful. He did not linger…Went to the point, inspiring. Conversationally, socially there were no sacred cows, or exalted personage for Peter. He issued timely, coruscating verdicts on everything eccleisal or political. His wit – ascerbic. His friendship – comforting.

  22. Peter Scagnelli was my teacher, mentor and friend at Boston University. I had several classes from, and with him as I earned my STM and he his
    PhD at the same time. Our common mentor, Horace T. Allen, Peter, and I would spend long afternoons together discussing liturgy. I was truly the student at the feet of two masters. I am grateful to have known and studied with him. And, this Protestant often uses Peter’s work in liturgies I prepare. I think this always amused him. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  23. Yesterday was one of the toughest days of my life as I said good bye to a friend who was always there, regardless the hour. I would be more sad had I not seen how truly ill he was and therefore, clenching my faith, entrust his soul to a loving God who cared for Peter and cares for us all.

    While the funeral was beautiful, I think there was one moment which surpassed all the rest. As Abbott Mark Cooper (whom I had met with Peter) began his sermon, he paid tribute to Peter’s sister Diane for her selfless devotion and round the clock care these past 16 months.

    While Abbott Cooper delivered the words, I could hear Peter saying them…from his deep heart….in thanks for all she had done. Peter never wanted to be a burden to anyone and certainly not to Diane, but God’s plans sometimes do not entwine with our own and the lion’s share of his care fell to Diane and for this, she was rightly commended publicly.

    Like those above, I have my memories of Peter. Mostly funny and happy and received his weekly mailings for years, and his counsel regularly. I now read the notes and knowing the writer, I can hear his voice speaking them with his familiar “Hello there.”

    I will remember him always and commend his soul to God who gave him to us and am consoled with the knowledge that his life has not ended but changed….and I look forward to his company again.

  24. When I think of Peter Scagnelli the thoughts that come immediately to mind are his devotion to the Word of God and the people of God.
    Peter loved the Word in writing and more so the Word made Flesh.
    He took that love and unfolded it in his gifts of translation,
    poetry, hymns, and prayer & preaching.
    And like Jerome his fellow word-smith he also knew how to translate the words of scripture into practical and pastoral deeds instead of just talking about holy things.
    Peter’s priestly ministry of Word and Sacrament, as well as his many other quiet acts of kindness and charity will live on and echo in the hearts of God’s people.
    His talent and quick wit were a true blessing enriching and delighting us and will be sadly missed.
    As another priest and poet once wisely said:
    I shall not live till I see God and when I have seen Him, I shall never die. ( John Donne )
    May Peter now rejoice before the Loving Face of God and continue to help us unfold God’s Word in our lives.
    Thank you dear friend for you time in our journey.

    John LaPointe

  25. He was a treasured member of the School of Theology at Boston University and a mentor to many of our graduates. His associations with the School of Theology date back approximately 20 years. He earned the ThD from STH in 2003 with a dissertation that was described as describes as a “massive 2-volume thesis.” He taught as an adjunct faculty member for a few years in the early 2000s, teaching worship, liturgy, sacramental theology, and pastoral-spiritual formation. He was known as a very effective teacher, and he was a dazzling mentor with our students and graduates, as with church leaders and many others. We also applaud his stature and contributions to liturgical studies and practices of worship and prayer. May he rest in peace.

    1. @Ray Joyce:
      Thank you so much for this tribute, Ray. I took courses with Peter in liturgy and sacramental theology during my masters degree at STH, and this is what prompted me to go on for my doctorate. I cannot put into words how much Peter meant to me. He was a dear friend and mentor, and I couldn’t have done the work of my dissertation and book “Sing of Mary” without his help. He is the first person I thank in my acknowledgments and he is everywhere in my footnotes. Anytime I had a question, he always knew the answer. I was always in awe of his vast expanse of knowledge and his mastery of language. Although it was extremely difficult to see how sick he was over the past year and a half, I will treasure my memories of singing hymns with him and his sister, Diane, who steadfastly took care of Peter during his illness. My prayers are with Diane and all those who mourn the loss of Peter. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  26. Stephanie Budwey : @Ray Joyce: I will treasure my memories of singing hymns with him and his sister, Diane, who steadfastly took care of Peter during his illness. My prayers are with Diane and all those who mourn the loss of Peter. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

    Thank you for providing music at the funeral. It was beautiful. Peter spoke of you often.

    1. @Roger Durand:
      It was my pleasure and honor to help organize Peter’s funeral liturgy, but it really was a team effort with Peter’s sister Diane, Christian Mucha who made the beautiful program, Mark Nemeskal who sang, and Peter Krasinski, a dear friend of Peter, who played the piano. We all wanted to be sure the funeral liturgy reflected Peter’s deep love for hymnody and for the Mass. I wanted more than anything to be there myself, but I live in Germany, and I had to give a presentation at a conference in Oxford on congregational song the same day as the funeral. I was thinking of you all last Wednesday, and I thought of Peter as I spoke about hymns. Peter loved music, and he had an extraordinary gift for writing hymn texts himself. I will be forever grateful for all that he taught me and for his dear friendship.

      1. @Stephanie Budwey: So many of us wished that we could have been present for the Mass of Christian Burial for Peter. Would it be possible to post the program or list what hymns were sung?

      2. @Ted Kelly:
        I would be happy to post the program, but I am not quite sure how to go about doing so. Perhaps someone from PrayTell could tell me the best way to upload the PDF?

      3. @Stephanie Budwey:
        If a PDF of the worship aid cannot be posted, would it be possible to list the music as selected for the Funeral Mass? So many of us wish that we could have been able to participate in person. Blessings.

      4. @Ted Kelly:
        Introit: Requiem aeternam (plainchant, mode VI)
        Opening hymn: All creatures of our God and King (Lasst uns erfreuen)
        Psalm: 23 (Gelineau)
        Gospel Acclamation: Plainchant, mode VI
        Offertory hymn: Spirit seeking light and beauty (Domhnach Trionoide)
        Holy: Vermulst
        Memorial Acclamation: Danish
        Amen: Danish
        Lamb of God: Agnus Dei (chant)
        Communion: Lux aeterna (plainchant, mode VIII) and Panis Angelicus (Franck)
        Song of Farewell: In paradisum (plainchant) and Salve Regina (plainchant, mode V)
        Closing hymn: I heard the voice of Jesus say (Kingsfold)

  27. Peter used to call and delight me by reading selections from books in which he thought I’d be interested. Once I answered the phone, and I recognized Peter’s sonorous voice reading these words: Salus mundi, Verbum Patris, Hostia Sacra….he asked me if I knew where they came from. I suggested a variant of Sarum. Close, he told me. Carmelite. It turned out that he had found a Carmelite altar card on an obscure site on eBay and in those days of fierce competition for ecclesiastical bric a brac Peter had managed to do the impossible and win that for a song.

    At other times he’d call and read the beginning chapter of a book on the Abbe Loisy or some other such worthy.

    How could anyone forget Peter’s reading of the conclusion of Dom Gregory’s famous purple patch on the command of Christ: “This very morning I did this with a set of texts which has not changed by more than a few syllables since Augustine used those very words at Canterbury on the third Sunday of Easter in the summer after he landed.” Peter’s intonation stills echoes in my brain.

    He once called and vigorously read a pious bit of doggerel called “The Hands Of The Priest” or some such title. He told me he was imitating another friend’s reading which he said was outstanding.

    Several years ago I had an idea based on an event in “The Cardinal” for one of my classes. Who would know about what I needed? Of course, Peter! I immediately emailed him about that scene in “The Cardinal” where the two cardinals play the game of oranges quoting Horace’s verses. No sooner did I send that email than did Peter call, read me the section, commented on it and later sent me a xerox of it. Peter wisely advised me to forget about the oranges.

    May our dear Peter go from strength to strength!

    Sent from my iPad

  28. A few more comments about our dear friend Peter:
    He loved the EF and OF, and often said the EF at his private altar.
    He detested when people, asking him to say a private EF mass, referred to it as the “real mass.”
    He loved breviaries and was a tireless promoter of the 1962 Short Breviary for EF devotees and the 1975 Short Breviary for OF devotees. I still have my copies of both I bought from Peter.
    Peter admitted to me that, when working on the 1998 Missal, that he referred to the translations found in the 1975 Short Breviary.
    As a Latinist, he loved Christine Mohrmann’s translation of the collects found in the 1964 Benziger Breviary.
    Peter told me that most priests back in the day preferred the Collegeville 1964 Breviary because it had a larger and more readable font. I still have the set I bought from Peter.
    When the work on the Baronius Breviary began, Peter gave them the 1964 Benziger Breviary and encouraged them to use Mohrmann’s translation of the Collects.
    Peter admired Anthony Esolen’s translation skills and spoke highly of Esolen’s translation of the psalms in the Baronius Breviary.
    Peter actually sang several Ukrainian Greek Catholic Divine Liturgies. His comments to me about the “old Ukrainian ladies clamping their mouths down on the spoon” were funny.
    Peter was a strong defender of the laity having access to the Chalice.
    Father John Hunwicke’s politics drive Peter crazy, but he loved Father Hunwicke’s knowledge of Latin.
    Peter was deeply hurt by what happened to the 1998 missal. He gave me a collection of the translation of the collects, which are beautiful. He told me the greatest problem with the current English translation was that it was too wooden in its literalness and showed an impoverishment of poetical vocabulary.
    He told me every translator should read Christine Mohrmann’s book “Liturgical Latin.”
    He admired the late Ronald Knox as a translator.
    He spoke with fondness of Rex, and sent me pictures of Rex around his table.
    He loved the Seals and Croft song…

  29. I wanted to add a word about Rev. Peter Scagnelli as one of his students he so generously served at Boston University School of Theology when he was a doctoral student there and a teaching assistant for many of us Protestants. It has been twenty years since he taught me, a United Methodist permanent deacon, to sing the Exultet for the Great Vigil of Easter. He showed me the text in my own denomination’s worship book and wrote out – note by note – the musical contours of the Exultet for me. I sang that for several years in Boston University’s chapel. For many more years I’ve been introducing Protestant students (Baptists, Quakers, and independent evangelicals) to that ancient liturgy most Protestant churches know nothing about. This Easter, I’ve just learned, is the first one when I will be singing the Exultet in my classroom at George Fox University in Oregon (a few days after Easter / Spring Break) with Peter as part of the church triumphant. With gratitude.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *