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Mgr Canon George Henry 
Wallis
1873 - 1950


Mgr Canon George Henry 
Wallis
, Appointed as Master of Ceremonies at the newly built Westminster Cathedral where he served from 1901 to 1913 after his return to England. He was in charge arranging the ceremonies for the Eucharistic Congress of 1908 and the cathedral's consecration in 1910. Chaplain to the Little Sisters of the Poor (Poor Clares) (1913-25), Parish Priest, St. Mary Magdalen, St Mary Magdalen, Upper North Street, Brighton (1925-52). The Catholic Who's Who and Yearbook, 1910. - London. - (1910) English & Welsh Priests 1801-1914 comp. Charles Fitzgerald Lombard, Downside ISBN 09502759-8-0 WALLIS George Henry Diocese in 1914=Southwark, his "house" is not known, his place of education was Beda/Pio (Roma). He was born in 1873, ordained in 1899 and died in 1950. He transferred in 1914 after 14 years from Westminster diocese. Catholic Who's Who and Year Book 1908: Wallis, Mgr George - on the staff at Archbishop's House, Westminster, since 1901; private Chamberlain to Leo XIII 1905; Dioc. Master of Ceremonies. "late of 7 Wibury Rd" The Times, Wednesday, Jun 29, 1910; pg. 10; Issue 39311; col A Westminster Cathedral. The Service Of Consecration. Category: News ...Mgr. Wallis, one of the highest authorities on the ritual of the Roman Catholic Church. ----------- The Tablet page 23 15 Sep 1906 'LITURGY AND MUSIC.* BY THE VERY REV. MGR. WALLIS. I have been asked to put before you this evening a simple and brief statement of the general laws which Holy Church imposes upon us with regard to the rendering of the musical portion of her services. I need hardly say that I am not going to attempt to give a complete detailed account of all the legislation of the Church upon this subject ; such an account would furnish matter for a whole course of lectures, and would be quite beyond the scope of our quiet little discussion to-night. Neither do I propose to trouble you with long quotations from bulls and decrees, nor with strings of references. My intention is to give just the broad lines of legislation from the time of Pope John XXII., A.D. 1332, down to the Motu Profino of Pius X., A.D. 1903. This course is rendered the more easy by the perfect agreement which exists in the tone of all the decrees and instructions which have been put forward from time to time during these many hundred years. Before dealing with the subject, I wish to offer one word of explanation and apology. Pressure of other duties has rendered it impossible for me to prepare a paper such as I could have wished, but I trust that I shall be found to have omitted nothing essential, brief though the treatment. The question of Church music has become specially prominent during the last few years. There has been for some time a deep and ever growing feeling that much of the music performed in our churches is not only altogether unworthy of the House of God, but that it is actually in opposition to the spirit of true worship, and a hindrance instead of a help to the devotion of the faithful. Our present Holy Father, recognising the pressing importance of the matter, had scarcely taken possession of his see when he, by his Motu Profirio, made an earnest endeavour to place the whole question once for all on a satisfactory basis. Many of his predecessors legislated with a similar purpose, but never yet has the desired result been permanently attained. Nearly three years have now passed since the publication of the Motu Proprio, and what have been its results ? It is true that, here and there, most praiseworthy and loyal efforts have been made ; but with these few exceptions the results have up to the present been so small and disappointing that one begins to fear that, unless something can be done to arouse the interest and to strengthen the zeal of all concerned, this latest great effort of the Holy See may be to some extent nullified. To what cause may we assign the apparent apathy with regard to this question ? We well know that it does not arise from any wilful disobedience or opposition to the Pontifical authority. Would it not be more correct to attribute it partly to the special difficulties presented by the prescribed music, partly to the difficulty of obtaining singers properly qualified to render this particular music ; and partly, if not almost wholly, to the wrong ideas which unfortunately prevail at the present time as to the kind of music suitable during Divine Service. With regard to the two first-mentioned difficulties, I do not think for one moment that they are by any means insuperable, even in small churches. The Holy Father does not require impossibilities. The more one studies the Motu Profirio, the more does one appreciate the broad wisdom and thoughtful moderation of its tone. A SUBJECT FOR ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY. With regard to the wrong ideas ; the question of what is or is not suitable for use during Divine Service is one for ecclesiastical authority, and not for private judgment. As loyal sons of Holy Church it is our plain duty to submit any personal liking or taste to the ruling of the properly constituted authorities. It is not for us to dictate to the Holy Father what we desire, but for him to tell us what we are to do. The spirit of the Motu Proprio is to check the present day tendency to render our music worldly and theatrical, even when this is done with the good intention of attracting people to our churches. The Pope emphasises the fact that the Liturgy has not been made for the music, but that the music must be entirely subservient to the Liturgy, and must adapt itself to it. Only last year, in an audience given to M. Bordes, director of the " Schola Cantorum " of Paris, he said how he admired and valued the compositions of Mozart, Haydn, Bach, &c. ; but that he liked to hear them outside the church ; many * A paper read before the London Society of St. Cecilia. of their works being unsuitable for use during Divine Service. A great deal of this very excellent music which has been ruled unfit for use may, of course, be enjoyed at sacred concerts. I am not going to attempt to-night to deal with the question from a technical or artistic point of view. That is more a matter for musicians. The musical director of this Cathedral, for instance, has already dealt with the matter very satisfactorily. My aim this evening will be to deal with the liturgical regulations governing Church music. The Motu Proprio and other Pontifical statements on music agree as to three styles of music which may be used in churches : the Gregorian ; the Polyphonic ; the Modern. The Gregorian is the real Chant of the Church. I am not going to trouble you with its history this evening. It is being brought out with great erudition by the Solesmes Benedictines, of whose untiring labours it is impossible to speak too highly. The works of Professor Wagner of Fribourg, of Professor Gastone, of the " Schola Cantorum," Paris, of the Rev. G. H. Palmer, and of the Plainsong and Medimval Music Society here in London, are also well worthy of attention and study. This music has always been sanctioned and encouraged by the Church ; it is her own music ; she prescribes it for the use of her priests during all sacred functions ; she orders it to be taught in all her seminaries, making it one of the compulsory subjects for all candidates for orders. All this has been confirmed by many Pontiffs, by the Council of Trent, and recently by the Popes Leo XIII. and Pius X. A decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites dated November 20, 1660, and numbered 1,180 in the authentic collection, prescribes : That no priests shall be eligible for appointment as Chaplains to render the Divine Office, until they have successfully passed an examination in Plainsong. The Bishop is to arrange for such examinations. The Plainchant question was brought into special prominence during the Pontificates of Pius IX. and Leo XIII., who ordered the reprinting of the texts. I am not about to enter into the controversy concerning the version which Pius X. has approved. We all, of course, accept his decision. The Pope wishes the Gregorgian Chant to predominate in the Liturgy, and he also wishes it to be executed with very great care and preparation ; as one of the chief obstacles in the way of its advancement has been the bad execution, and the bad versions which have been in use. Both these evils will, we hope be remedied by the publication of the amended texts, and by the teaching of the qualified authorities. The Pope wishes to revive the old custom of making all the people take an active part in the Liturgy ; and it is his desire that the faithful should know and be able to sing the Chant. It is difficult not to love Plainchant, once one has acquired a proper knowledge of it. It is our duty, in obedience to the expressed wish of the Holy Father, not only to endeavour to obtain such proper knowledge ourselves, but also to do all in our power to help in its general diffusion. Among the means which the Holy Father suggests are : The teaching of the subject in seminaries and colleges the foundation of Scholas ; the teaching of the Chant in schools. The Pope quite justly condemns an opinion which seems to prevail very generally, viz., that Gregorian Chant is only suitable for funerals and penitential seasons. He lays down as a principle that a function loses none of its solemnity when nothing but Gregorian music is used ; and, in fact, what can we imagine finer than those beautiful invitatories, hymns, sequences, responsories, lamentations, Passion and "Exultet," so eloquently expressive of the mind of the Church at the time of their use. OLD ENGLISH MUSIC. In pre-Reformation England the Gregorian Chant had attained to its greatest possible glory. It was used in our beautiful old cathedrals, abbeys, and monasteries. Our fathers have left us a magnificent inheritance, and it is very gratifying to know that old English manuscripts have been largely used in the preparation of the new Vatican Text, and will thus come once more into use, not only here in England, but throughout the west. The Holy Father authorises the retention of ancient texts by those countries which are so fortunate as to possess them ; and we may, therefore, hope that some of our liturgical scholars may be encouraged to do for us what the Solesmes Benedictines have already done for France. At the present time our separated brethren are reviving these ancient melodies and using them in their services ; and it would be a disgrace to allow these treasures, left us by our Catholic forefathers, to lie altogether neglected by us. The very valuable work and research of Anglican scholars should be a great incentive to us ; the heritage is ours ; it should be for us to take our part in the restoration of these our ancient melodies. Many Provincial Synods, from the time of St. Charles Borromeo until now have insisted upon the use of Plainchant. Benedict XIV. dealt most thoroughly with the question in his celebrated Bull "Annus Qui " February 19, 1749. Alexander VII. having previously done so in 1657. In our own time Leo XIII. (Congregation of Rites, September 24, 1884) follows the example of his illustrious predecessors, and all agree together with our present Pontiff in the same broad rules for our guidance. We come now to the consideration of the Polyphonic music or school of Palestrine. This music, after the Gregorian, has always been praised and sanctioned by the Popes. It realises what Benedict XIV. lays down as the qualities necessary in music to be used in church, as having no worldly or theatrical element, but being helpful to prayer and devotion. Leo XIII. in his instruction of 1894, says that the music of Palestrina and the great composers of his school is declared most worthy of the House of God. The Motu Profirio of 1903 compares it with the Gregorian, and says that it possesses all the qualities necessary to Church music and orders that it be used in all basilicas, collegiate churches, seminaries, and in other churches where it can be well executed. It is noteworthy that both the Motu Proi5rio and the regulation of 1894 agree entirely with each other, and enunciate the same principles ; viz., that where the Polyphonic music cannot be properly rendered, Plainchant should be used. I will say no more upon this point. All who have frequented this Cathedral must have realised how fitting and suitable this class of music has proved, and how well adapted it is to express the spirit of the liturgy. We have seen how earnestly the authorities of the Church have striven at all times to encourage and spread the knowledge and use of the Church's own chant ; we have seen the generous praise and encouragement given to music of the polyphonic school ; and we now come to the instructions and regulations concerning the use of modern music. Here we are at once struck by a change in the tone of the Pontifical documents ; for Plainchant and the Polyphonic school there is praise and encouragement ; for modern music there is only toleration with safeguards and limitations. PRINCIPLES OF ACCEPTANCE. The Pontifical documents give us certain essential principles to enable us to discern whether a composition may be accepted. John XXII. in 1332 in his famous Bull "Doctor Sanctorum," condemns the use of any profane music ; and deplores the abuses which obtained in his time ; many of them being similar to these which we deplore at the present day. Alexander VII., April 23, 1759, threatens excommunication, suspension, and deprivation to the superiors or rectors of churches who tolerate any music of such a kind in their churches. He also forbids even the least alteration of the text, or repetition, and also forbids the use of orchestras. Benedict XIII., in his Council of the Lateran, renews and reinforces both the Edicts of John XXII. and Alexander VII. Benedict XIV. says : There must nothing profane, voluptuous, or threatrical. Music which represents all or any of these features must be excluded. Pius IX. through his Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Patrizi, in the 'fifties took the same measures for Rome as had been previously taken by Benedict XIII. Leo XIII. in his Regulations 01 1884, and the Roman Congregations in several decrees, especially in one for Baltimore in 1884, exhort the Bishops to use all the means at their disposal to banish this objectionable music. The Regulations of 1884 having failed to bring about the desired end, Pope Leo reiterated them with greater emphasis in his Regulations of 1894. One of the last acts of his Pontificate was to sanction a decree concerning the Cardinals' functions in Rome. This Decree forbids in those functions any music but the Gregorian and Polyphonic. How strikingly in agreement are all 'these condemnations, directions, and regulations, dating from John XXII., with those contained in the Motu Proprio of Pius X. He has simply summed up the legislation of many predecessors. It is evident, therefore, that the use of this profane, voluptuous, or theatrical music in certain churches has given it no real position in the Church, as it has always been under the condemnation of the highest authority. The use of modern music, however, is not forbidden when it conforms to the general regulations laid down, when it fulfils the conditions and is free from objectionable elements. The Pope wishes that the music be as the humble servant of the Liturgy, he does not wish the functions to be suspended for it ; he condemns undue repetition, and absolutely forbids any alteration of the liturgical text. The music is to be in good taste ; there must be nothing vulgar or trivial, worldly or theatrical. It must be in harmony with the function. It must be holy, worthy of the House of God, and must not be of a nature to recall secular thoughts and associations. The Pope wishes the music to be choral, and though he does not absolutely forbid solos, he limits them to short passages which should have the character of a hint of melodic projection, and be strictly bound up with the rest of the choral composition. Our choirs must not be made concert platforms on which to exhibit the charms of particular voices. Modern music, then,. is recognised and allowed by the Church when it conforms to her requirements. There appears to be a somewhat widespread opinion, based on no documentary evidence, that the sacred works of any well-known composer of secular music will certainly be condemned : that the composer's name will be sufficient to ensure such condemnation. The Roman Congregation is not so irrational, but judges every composition on its. own merits—accepting all that contains the essential elements of sacred music, and rejecting all that fails in that respect. Having now considered the different styles of music allowed by the Church, we come to practice ; and here the Motu Profirio goes further than previous Pontifical documents. Hitherto we have had the directions of the " Caeremoniale Episcoporum," which, although very precise on certain points, are also very vague in others ; we had also the " Directoriurn Chori," and a great 'many decrees of the Congregation of Rites condemning abuses, but we had no complete and concise code of instructions for every-day use such as we now have. In dealing with these instructions we will distinguish between the liturgical functions and the extra-liturgical. By liturgical we mean the functions which belong to the Missal, Breviary, and Pontifical ; by extra-liturgical such functions as Benediction, at other times than Corpus Christi, and processions, other than those prescribed in the" Rituale Romanum" for the proper days. THE MASS Of all liturgical functions the Mass is the most important. The Motu Profirio confirms the legislation of the" Caeremoniale Episcoporum, the decrees of the S.R.C., Nos. 222, 1335, 3694, 3980, regarding the obligation of singing in their proper order the different parts of the Mass and of having no Vernacular. The only thing that can be added is a motett after the Offertory, and one to the Blessed Sacrament after the " Benedictus,' before the "Pater Noster." The Proper of the Mass ought to be sung in Gregorian Chant, but on days when the organ is allowed to be used, the Gradual, Offertory, and Communion may be supplied by the organ, provided that some cantor recites them in a loud and intelligible voice, so that all the congregation can hear them ; on days when the use of the organ is not allowed, they must be sung. If there is not a competent choir to sing sufficiently the Proper to its right i music, there is no objection to having t sung to a psalm tone, or even on great days, according to the Motu Proprio, it may be sung in figured music, provided that it be not theatrical. The " Caeremoniale Episcoporum " and the Motu Profirio renew the prescription that the music must not keep the celebrant waiting or suspend the Mass unduly. For the " Sanctus " both celebrant and choir must make the usual concessions. For the "Kyrie," "Gloria," " Sanctus," and " Agnus Dei," the organ can alternate with the voices, provided that the rules above mentioned are observed ("Caer. Episc.," lib i. cap. xxix.). The rule allowing the organ to supply is, as we see from the textof the "Caeremoniale Episcoporum," a concession ; therefore it does not at all mean that it ought to be preferred to the singing of the whole text, but it may be of great help to those choirs which are not strong enough to sing all efficiently, and thus they may carry out the prescriptions in a lawful manner. During the elevation the organ should be played in a solemn manner on days when its use is permitted. The use of Vernacular is strictly forbidden during High Mass. For Vespers, on days when the use of the organ is allowed, the repetition of the Antiphon may be supplied, also in the hymn and in the " Magnificat " the organ may alternate with the choir, provided that the rule of having the words pronounced in a loud and intelligible voice is observed. The organ may not supply the Doxologies, the" Gloria Patri " or any verse during which one has to kneel. The Motu Proirio prescribes that, as a rule, we are to keep to the regulations of the " Caeremoniale Episcoporum " (lib. ii. cap. i. no. 8), viz., that the psalms should be sung in Gregorian Chant, but that the " Glorias" and hymns may be sung to figured music. The Motu Profirio allows that on great feasts the verses of the psalms may be sung in Gregorian and jalso-bordone alternately, also that on such great feasts the psalms may be sung to figured music provided that it be choral. The psalms as they were sung in Italy upon these latter remain strictly forbidden, viz., as at S. Filippo. USE OF THE ORGAN. During Advent, Lent, and at Masses of Requiem the organ should not be used, but in the last editions of the " Caeremoniale Episcoporum " a concession has been made in the interests of inefficient choirs, viz., that the organ may accompany, though not play interludes, so that it is to be silent when the singing stops. The Motu Profirio confirms the " Caeremoniale Episcoporum " and Sacred Decrees ordering that no worldly music should be played, and that the organ should not be so loud when accompanying the voices as to drown them. The orchestra is not to be used, without leave from the Bishop, and that only on rare occasions. Vernacular hymns are permitted at Low Mass, with the consent of the Bishop (S.R.C. 38, 8o). It is also permitted to sing hymns in the Vernacular at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, provided they are not translations of the liturgical hymns, such as the " Te Deum " ; this is also permitted in the procession of the Blessed Sacrament, except during the Feast of Corpus Christi, and during the Forty Hours (S.R.C. 3,124, 3,537). The Bishop settled what is to be sung at Benediction, and his regulations ought to be followed, the only thing prescribed by the general law is the " Tantum Ergo," Versicle, and the prayer Deus qui nobis." During the act of Exposition, with the consent of the Bishop,a motett like the "0 Salutaris " can be allowed. That it may be seen that this is not essential, see S.R.C. 31, ro, 14. I must mention how the Pope emphasises the regulations as to the formation of choirs. He reminds us that the singers' office is a liturgical one, and therefore women cannot be allowed to fulfil it, except in churches of Aims where the nuns are set apart to perform the Divine Office. This gives confirmation tn the decree under Leo XIII., which forbade it, September 17, 1877, as completely opposed to all the prescriptions of the Church, and ordered that such a practice should disappear as soon as possible. This does not mean that women cannot join in the congregational singing. In choirs, however, when soprano voices are wanted boys must be used. The Pope wishes that the choirs be formed of good Catholics, as they are called to so worthy an office. He also expresses the wish that they should not be too much seen ; he therefore suggests grilles to hide them, as did his predecessors Alexander VII. and Benedict, Pius IX. and Leo XIII. The idea of grilles is to prevent the attention of the congregation being attracted, when the music requires any display. The Tablet ROME (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT) Wednesday, April 5, 1922. OFFICIAL NOMINATIONS. Among the nominations in the latest number of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis are : George Wallis of Southwark The Tablet 3rd May 1924 Page 28 NEWS FROM THE DIOCESES CLERICAL APPOINTMENTS The Very Rev. Mgr. George Wallis, chaplain to the Little Sisters of the Poor at Hove, Sussex, succeeds the late Father Tatum at St. Mary Magdalen's, Brighton Catholic Herald 1 May 1936 Mgr. Canon Wallis Widespread pleasure has followed the announcement that Mgr. George Wallis, rector of St. Mary Magdalen's, Brighton, has been made a Canon. Mgr. Wallis began his work in the diocese of Southwark upwards of twenty years ago, after a long period of service at Westminster Cathedral as Master of Ceremonies. Canon Wallis has received, from many parts, a multitude of felicitations upon his new honour. 26th August 1949 Catholic Herald The Pope Honours Brighton's Canon The Pope has raised Mgr. Canon George Wallis to the dignity of Domestic Prelate to His Holiness. Mgr. Wallis, who was made a Privy Chamberlain to Pope Pius X in 1905, has been parish priest of St Mary Magdalen's. Brighton, since 1924. On May 27 of this year, he celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination.

Born: London, England 15th Feb 1873 Baptised: 20th Feb 1873
Died: Hospice of the Little Sisters of, Brighton, Sussex, England 12th Dec 1950 Buried: next to his mother, Hove, Sussex, , 1950
Family:
Wallis
  formerly of Nun Ormsby

Ancestors
[ Patrilineage | Matrilineage | Earliest Ancestors | Force | Options ]

1.
Mgr Canon George Henry 
Wallis
1873 - 1950
2.
John Edward 
Wallis
(
Power
) 1821 - 1888
3.
Anna Maria 
Power
(
Wallis
) 1831 - 1916

Siblings


1.
Frances (Fanny) Clarinda 
Wallis
c. 1860 - 1863
2.
Sir John Edward Power 
Wallis
(
Fowke
) 1861 - 1946
3.
Mary Lucy (Lucy) 
Wallis
1863 - 1949
4.
Robert Edmund 
Wallis
1865 - 1942
5.
Francis (Frank) Joseph 
Wallis
1866 - 1896

Spouses




Descendants
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Timeline


15th Feb 1873Born London, England
20th Feb 1873Baptised
1911_C1911/ROLE BOARDER London, England
1950Buried Hove, Sussex
12th Dec 1950Died Brighton, Sussex, England
1951AACT/ROLE DEAD
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