St. Cecilia's Day

St. Cecilia's Day

November 22
Not much can be said with confidence about St. Cecilia's life. According to her apocryphal acts, which date from the fifth century, she was a Roman from a noble family who was put to death in the second or third century for her Christian beliefs. How she became the patron saint of music and musicians is not exactly known, but according to legend she played the harp so beautifully that an angel left heaven to come down and listen to her. In any case, the Academy of Music in Rome accepted her as its patron when it was established in 1584.
In 1683, a musical society was formed in London especially for the celebration of St. Cecilia's Day. It held a festival each year at which a special ode was sung. The poet John Dryden composed his "Ode for St. Cecilia's Day" in 1687 for this purpose. By the end of the 17th century it was customary to hold concerts on November 22 in St. Cecilia's honor—a practice which has faded over the years, but there are still many choirs and musical societies that bear her name.
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 195
BkDays-1864, vol. II, p. 604
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 293
DictDays-1988, p. 101
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 447
OxYear-1999, p. 470
SaintFestCh-1904, p. 494
References in periodicals archive ?
In truth, the story of her life is far less known among a non-critical public than is the frequent association of her name with music, an association insisted on by several decades of odes written to celebrate St.
A sampling of those sacred sources without a complete analysis of the score includes an antiphon from the Corpus Christi liturgy, an antiphon from the vesper service of St.
Cecilia's Day, providing a requiem mass for every deceased member and, in line with current financial possibilities, supporting widows and orphans of deceased members on St.

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