Virtual Prayer for Pope Benedict Project. How you can help.

Oremus pro PontificeI want to try an experiment.  Virtual Prayer for Pope Benedict.  “Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto!

I have a recording of the Prayer for the Pope on the Z-Cam’s live stream.  It rotates through the playlist.  But I make the responses myself.

I would like to a virtual congregation of you, readers of the blog and listeners of the stream.

If you want to participate, you have to record yourself and send it to me by email.  It would be best to send an mp3In your email subject line put: VIRTUAL CONGREGATION.

I don’t have to covert mp3 files.  They are best.  I like mp3s.  I don’t like non-mp3s.  Mp3s find favor and others don’t.  Being the easiest to work with, Fr. Z prefers mp3s.

EMAIL ADDRESS HERE.  (I don’t think you can attach files when sending me mail through the “Contact” button, above.)

We will use Latin.

I will use software to edit them together to create a virtual congregation responding.

Here are the responses you should record… in order… with about 5 seconds between each one.

It might take a while to put this together, but it could be a good project.


I have received a few files.  I should have anticipated that everyone would read at a different pace.

Here is the base file I am working from.  HERE.

If you put on head phones and listen to this as you record, we will be much much closer together and it will be much much easier to edit together.

Here’s how it goes:

Fr. Z. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto.

YOU: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

Fr. Z: Pater noster qui es in coelis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum,
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut  in coelo et in terra.

YOU: Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
et ne nos inducas in tentationem
sed libera nos a malo.  Amen.

Fr. Z: Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

FR. Z: Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Benedicto., quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum.

YOU: Amen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. irishgirl says:

    I wish I could participate in this (thank you for suggesting it, Father Z), but I don’t have an m3p player, and I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to do any recording!

  2. Denis Crnkovic says:

    A great idea, father. But what about the pace? It will be difficult to concatenate the responses if they are all being recited at differing rhythms and timing. Perhaps if you suggested a metronome setting or some similar measure to which we should recite the responses, your editing job would be easier? Just wondering…

  3. benedetta says:

    Great idea! Can’t get to it today but am getting organized to put it together.

  4. De Tribulis says:

    irishgirl and anyone else wondering how to do this: You don’t need an actual MP3 player, all you need is a microphone and some software to save a recording in MP3 format. There’s plenty of free software available on the Web that will do the job; Audacity is one option that’s freely available and intuitive to use.

  5. hawkeye says:

    Love the idea father, but like Irishgirl, would be clueless how to do it myself. I have an Ipod. Would that work? Could you post a little more on “how” to do this for those of us who are clueless.

  6. MissOH says:

    Hmm, I have a digital recorder that I was given, I will have to experiment with it.

    Good idea, Father!

  7. The Egyptian says:

    sounds like a great idea, however, if I were to attempt Latin it might well come out sounding like some evil incantation so I will wait to hear the project but for the sake of the faith I will stick to English. ;>)

  8. SimonDodd says:

    This sounds like a really good project. Presumably participants should be advised to match the pacing of our responses as closely as possible to your MP3 example? Otherwise it will end up being an editing nightmare, I fancy.

  9. SimonDodd says:

    The Egyptian, if I may suggest, don’t be intimidated by the latin. Get an audio recording of the prayer being spoken, and listen to it a few times while reading through the text. Try speaking along with it a few times. Once you’re comfortable with pronunciation, start praying with the latin text in front of you; check back with the audio recording if in doubt. Eventually you’ll be familiar enough with the text to recite it from memory. That’s what I did, anyway. It’s taken a few weeks of daily practice with the paper in front of me, but I’m nearly there.

  10. cblanch says:

    Cool! I’m looking forward to trying to do this.

  11. ALL: I didn’t want to put my email on the page itself, lest spam bots pick it up and flood my inbox.

    You can click here for my email.

  12. AnAmericanMother says:

    Pacing is going to be a real problem. I tend to use chant pacing, just because I am usually chanting these texts and not saying them – but when I hear it read the breathing and emphasis are a little different.

    Even in English, the two sides of our church sometimes get cattywampus, and it sounds like people are praying in rounds. Especially if the priest is miked and going off on his own tangent. It’s especially noticeable on First Sundays when we resort to Latin.

    We’ll have to listen to the MP3 provided several times, and pace as close to that as possible. Maybe play it in an earphone while recording?

  13. AmericanMother: YES! I posted an update in the top entry. I included a base file I will work with. Use headphones and read along. That will keep us all together.

  14. Tony Layne says:

    Don’t know how many times I stumbled over “animam inimicorum”—but what a fun project! If you get any more “virtual congregation” ideas, Father, please bring them forward!

  15. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    This is such a fun, and TOTALLY WACKY idea. I shall try to redo my recording at the correct pace next week. Previous to the trash bin. What fun!

    All A. M. D. G. (No doubt the “blood-crazed ferret” would object to my punctuation!)

  16. green fiddler says:

    What a wonderful idea… thank you, Fr. Z!
    It would be such an honor to participate in this gift for our Holy Father.
    My Latin pronunciation of the first prayer needs more work, but maybe with enough practice I could make the team. I hope to get up to speed in time to be in the virtual congregation.

  17. joan ellen says:

    What a wonderful idea Fr. I’m like irishgirl et al. Am content to consider myself one member of your Virtual Congregation of Prayer anway! A silent member.

  18. AnAmericanMother says:

    That’s a tricky one. The terminal ‘m’ on ‘animam’ is what’s doing it. It causes you to close your lips more firmly because it’s at the end of the word. Then you can’t get your mouth back open for the ‘n’ in time.
    You can either (mentally) move the m over to ‘inimicorum’, so that it becomes an initial ‘m’, treat the two as one long word, or just remind yourself to open your lips immediately. All of those will work.
    Now I have to go find headphones that will plug into my computer . . . . . I have some around here somewhere . . . .

  19. green fiddler says:

    AnAmericanMother, thanks much for your tips… “animam inimicorum” has been tripping me up also. Then an unintentional “AARG!” gets added and my prayer disintegrates. I will try your strategies.
    I’ve copied the words into very large print and slowed down the pace while learning them… this seems to help.

  20. Tony Layne says:

    Thanks for the tip, AmericanMother!

  21. Jayna says:

    I’ll record this as soon as I get the chance. I live right in the middle of downtown Chicago, though, and 24th floor or not, I hear non-stop sirens, car horns, alarms, and just general traffic. I’ll try to clean it up as best I can.

  22. green fiddler says:

    In case this may be helpful to someone, I just remembered that Windows has a built-in Sound Recorder. It is found under Start -> All Programs -> Accessories in Windows 7, or Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Entertainment in Windows XP. An article which tells how to increase the length of the file from one minute (default) to two minutes is HERE.

    Press the button with a circle (on the far right) to begin recording. Avoid rustling paper or squirming in your chair, anything that creates unwanted sound effects. After completing the prayers, do not move or make any noise for several seconds more. Then stop the recording by pressing the button with a square in it (2nd to last). Trim the blank space in the file by selecting from menu “Edit,” then “Delete after Current Position.” Give the file a unique name and save it to “My Documents” or your desktop.

    The resulting wav file is huge and *must be converted* to MP3 before sending to Fr. Z. “RazorLame” is a good freeware program to do this. There are two downloads for Windows, one for 32-bit systems and one for 64-bit. If you are unsure, this article is helpful. Choosing the wrong download could mess up your operating system.

    Open Razor Lame, click “Add” to select your wav file, then click on “Encode.” In no time, it is finished. The MP3 file will be found in the same folder as your original wav.

    Several months ago my Dad was working on a mini-documentary project and I wanted to attach a regular microphone through the PC microphone jack. After much frustration and wasted time, I found info that our soundcard could not be configured to work with a mic. To bypass that problem, we are using a Logitech USB microphone which installed quickly and works quite well. The cost was under $20.

    For sound editing, my brother likes “Audacity” which was recommended by someone earlier. I’ve used “Goldwave” for many years and like it very much. There is a free trial which expires after a certain number of clicks; it would be sufficient to complete this project.

    Sorry that my info is only useful for Windows and not Mac. I understand there are a number of good Mac-compatible sound recording and sound editing programs, including Audacity.

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