Monday, April 30, 2007

Musicam Sacram to be discussed at NPM convention

Yes, you read that right: NPM is having not one, not two, but five lectures about Musicam sacram at the upcoming national convention.

Other lectures of note include a presentation on singing the proper antiphons.

Check it out.

The Ordo cantus Missæ

I recently acquired a copy from Rome of the Ordo cantus Missæ (OCM). This is the book from which the Graduale Romanum was made; as the Lectionary comes from the Order of Readings (Ordo lectionum Missæ - which I also just obtained), the Gradual comes from the OCM, or “Order of Chants”.

A few observations:

  • The book dates from 1986, while the most recent Graduale Romanum dates from 1974.

  • The OCM is from Rome, not Solesmes. In fact, the OCM seems to ignore Solesmes completely, deferring not to the 1961 Graduale, but to the 1908 edition, which is, I believe, the last edition that Rome published.

  • The OCM’s 1986 revision added tones for the Prayer of the Faithful, which are not part of the 1974 Graduale (but are, I believe, in the Graduale Simplex).

  • The OCM gives (optional) uses for the “neo-Gregorian” chants that Solesmes omitted from the 1974 Graduale Romanum. Most notable, I think, are the Introit and Offertory propers for Transfiguration and the propers for nuptial Masses. Interestingly, the only seasonal propers appointed are for a couple of Christmas Masses, including Holy Family - which was a new celebration post-V2. Unfortunately, there are no communion verses given.

  • Another addition to the OCM were propers for feasts of St. Maximilian Kolbe and the plethora of saints now celebrated on 20 September. Strangely, the 1974 Graduale Romanum does have propers for St. Maximilian Kolbe, but they are different from those in the OCM, and they are “tacked on” at the end of August - apparently, Solesmes didn’t want to do a new typesetting.

  • The OCM contains notation for several chants that apparently were unknown in 1908; these are, of course, given appointments in the liturgy.

  • Propers for Ordinary Time, with the exception of chants matched to readings, are basically transplanted from the pre-V2 Proper; thus, the relationships of the chants to each other during OT are more or less preserved.

This begins to make me question - what is Solesmes’s role in all this? How “official” is the 1974 Graduale, and does anything prevent someone armed with the OCM and a 1908 Graduale from making another edition of the Graduale?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday

Easter Vigil

Psalms: English chant settings

Gloria: Mass of Light (Haas) w/brass, piano, and organ

Alleluia: Easter Alleluia w/brass and organ (my arrangement)


Litany of the Saints (chant)

Springs of Water: Proulx chant w/some harmonic stuff thrown in

Baptisms: Easter Alleluia interjected after each

Sprinkling Rite: Vidi Aquam (chant)

Confirmations: Veni Creator Spiritus (chant in english)

Offertory: This Joyful Eastertide (arr. William Harris)

Eucharistic Acclamations: Mass of Creation w/brass/organ

Our Father: chant

Agnus Dei: Holy Cross Mass

Communion: English chant (Fr. Weber)

Recessional: JC is Risen Today w/brass/organ (arr. by . . . somebody at Morningstar)

Postlude: Song of the Risen One (Haas)

Quite the "mixed" mass as you can see. It actually seemed to work though, considering the contrast in styles. I made sure to work lots of chant in there since Cantor seemed to think I only pushed chant during Lent. :)

The English chant settings of the psalms were composed by my Schola director who has a much better feel for the characteristics of each mode that I do. He did a wonderful job and I'll likely re-use them for a while.

The Harris setting of This Joyful Eastertide is quite festive and the pick-up choir we had surprisingly learned it quickly and efficiently in a very short amount of rehearsal time.

Lastly, please note that Morningstar has very nice settings of numerous hymns for download for a reasonable price (I think I paid 10 bucks for JC is Risen Today) and the right to copy them.

Easter Sunday

Processional: Alleluia! Christ is Risen (LAUDA ANIMA--Tietze Introit hymn)

Kyrie/Gloria: Mass for the City (Proulx)

Psalm: Gelineau

Sequence: Victimae Paschali Laudes (chant)

Alleluia: Easter Alleluia

Sprinkling Rite: Vidi Aquam

Offertory: The Strife is O'er (arr. . . . damn it)

Euch. Accl.: Mass for the City (Proulx)

Agnus Dei: Holy Cross Mass (Isele)

Communion: Pascha nostrum w/organ accomp. (Potiron)

Recessional: JC is Risen Today

I always feel guilty when I find it hrard to get up for this mass, but I'm always so exhausted after the Vigil that Easter Sunday is usually an afterthought. God bless my choir for showing up; it's worrisome on a college campus because of the potential for everyone going home. But fortunately, many stayed in town and they did a marvelous job.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Holy Week, Part 1

Well, it appears that I made it out of my first Holy Week here relatively unscathed. I'd like to review it, one service at a time . . .

Palm Sunday

Processional: All Glory, Laud and Honor

Psalm: Gelineau

GA: Proulx

Passion: read

Offertory: O Sacred Head (Bock--GIA)

Euch. Accl.: chant

Communion: Pater, si non potest

Recessional: silence

The choir had worked very hard on a setting of "Improperium" (proper text for offertory) by an obscure composer by the name of Cannicciari (found it at, but we had to axe it last minute. It was just too much work to try to do it and the "O Sacred Head" setting. I need to plan better next year; I should have known that with Holy Week right around the corner, trying to take on such a challenging piece would be an extreme time-eater. Lesson learned . . .

Holy Thursday

Processional: "Then let us glory in the cross" (OLD 100TH--Tietze paraphrase of proper Introit)

Kyrie: Mass XVII (my arrangement)

Gloria: Community Mass

(Organ shut off until Gloria of Easter Vigil)

Psalm: chant-like setting

Gospel Acclamation: hmm . . . don't know the composer, come to think of it

Washing of the Feet: "This is my Commandment" (attr. Tallis--not to be confused with his "A New Commandment")
English antiphon of proper text to fill the time

Offertory: "Ubi Caritas" (Durufle)

Euch. Accl.: chant

Communion: "Hoc corpus" (chant)
"Ave Verum Corpus" (Byrd)

Procession with the Blessed Sacrament: "Pange Lingua" (chant)

The congregation really let loose when they sang. I've never heard congregational chant sung so robustly . . . it was quite moving.

I was so proud of the choir; this was a challenging set list for the very little rehearsal time that we had, but they came through in flying colors. The Durufle and the Byrd were wonderful and a male-only Tallis was lovely as well.

Good Friday

Psalm: chant-like setting

GA: same as above

Passion: sung by three cantors with Victoria choruses

Veneration: "The Reproaches" (Sacramentary w/Penkala Trisagion)
"Crux Fidelis" (my setting; PICARDY with WONDROUS LOVE)

Communion: "Ah, Holy Jesus" (standard harmonization)
"O Sacred Head" (standard harmonization)

I haven't heard any feedback from the congregation in regards to the Victoria choruses; I think they worked but I'm biased. He really did a nice job composing these; all begin on an Eb (F in the original, I believe)major chord (with the basses and altos always starting on the Eb pitch). The harmonic structure is similar throughout with just enough variance to keep it interesting.

I did Penkala's setting of the Reproaches at my old parish; I found the refrain to be adequate, the verse tones to be forgettable, but always enjoyed the ethos of the Trisagion. I combined his Trisagion with the refrain and verses from the Sacramentary (and split the difference with the key; Eb minor). Seemed to mesh well . . . I hadn't really looked at the Sacramentary chant much until this year, but it's quite lovely.

Monday, April 09, 2007

at least one (arch)diocesan ordinary talking openly of Latin

Archbishop DiNardo of Galveston-Houston (TX) talks in a short interview on the use of Latin in the Mass.

Well, ok, he talks about the need to talk about it. Still, it’s more open-minded than some (most?).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Another great excised introit

This text is, in the 1962 rite, the normative introit for wedding Masses:

Deus Israel conjúngat vos, et ipse sit vobíscum, qui misértus est duóbus únicis:
et nunc, Domine, fac eos plénius benedícere te.
Ps.: Beáti omnes qui timent Dóminum: qui ámbulant in viis ejus.
(Tob. 7:15; 8:19. Ps. 128)

May the God of Israel join you together: and may He be with you, who was merciful to two only children: and now, O Lord, make them bless You more fully.
Ps.: Blessed are all those who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways.

I am starting to be intrigued: just how many texts from the Proper did Solesmes cut out post-V2?