Thursday, July 05, 2007


We all need to buy Richard Rice a container (or several) of his favorite beverage for assembling the Communion chant antiphons and psalms for free online distribution. CMAA deserves additional credit for publishing these in book form in Communio. Hopefully the availability of this volume will contribute to a greater use of these chants.

There is an interview with Jeffrey Tucker of CMAA up on the latest Adoremus Bulletin online. A few clarifications, though, I think are in order concerning the content of this interview:
  • Jeffrey states that the communion chants are for the schola. While this is generally true, we should not forget the exhortation in Musicam sacram to encourage congregational singing of the Proper. (I think this, actually, is the purpose of Solesmes’s Gregorian Missal.)

  • I do think a lot of pastors will object to the exclusive use of schola-only singing at communion. This is partly conditioned, but one who advocates for schola-only singing at communion needs to answer to GIRM 86: “While the priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion chant is begun. Its purpose is to express the communicants’ union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices, to show joy of heart, and to highlight more clearly the ‘communitarian’ nature of the procession to receive Communion.”

  • See yesterday’s post for some errors in the Graduale Romanum that I think will want/need to be rectified in Communio at some point

Also, the page where we can download all the communion chants and verses in PDF form (for FREE - again, mega-kudos to Rice and CMAA) gives communios that are “exclusive” to the 1962 rite. This is incorrect; the Ordo cantus Missæ, which is pertinent to the modern rite, assigns all but one of these chants in the modern rite:

Benedicite omnes
Votive Mass of Holy Angels

Christus Semel
Votive Mass of the Precious Blood *

Dominus Jesus
This is a foot-washing antiphon. In the 1962 rite, it apparently did “double duty”; in the modern rite, it is only used at the foot washing.

Dum venerit
Tuesday of week 6 of Easter

Ecce sic benedicetur
Wedding Mass *

Thursday of week 1 of Lent

Thursday of week 6 of Easter (when Ascension is transferred)

Omnes gentes
Votive Mass of the Most Holy Name of Jesus *


Unde huic
St. Joseph the Worker (1 May) *

Communions indicated with an asterisk are those found in the section of neo-Gregorian chant assignments in the Ordo cantus Missæ.

I would be very interested to know what happened to Quotiescumque; I can’t find it anywhere.


At Friday, July 06, 2007 11:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have some hesitation to begin using the Communios on a regular basis. It seems to me that Communion in particular is the one time that the congregation SHOULD be singing.


At Friday, July 06, 2007 7:12:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...

I can go different ways on the question of whether congregations should/shouldn’t sing at communion. On the one hand, people are already doing multiple things (if they go for communion), which would be a strike against congregational singing there. On the other hand is the GIRM which, while not explicitly giving preference to congregational singing, certainly seems to “envision” it.

In parishes with long communion processions, one option would be to have multiple communion songs: have one be congregational (i.e. responsorial), with the other being for the choir alone. This is one solution many propose to keep the “Haugen/Haas psalter” around - yes, I know many on here would say “good riddance”, but I maintain that many of those settings are not bad compositions at all, and the fact that they are so familiar now to American congregations is to be considered.

At Saturday, July 07, 2007 8:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use a responsorial psalm during communion. In terms of practicality, I think a psalm (or an easy setting of the proper) is best for communion. No one has to think too hard about it, just repeat what was sung and listen. And it paves the way for the settings you wrote. It seems to me that those are the ideal for Communion given the liturgical rules and an emphasis upon liturgical singing.


At Monday, July 16, 2007 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Sam Schmitt said...

"Quotiescumque" (communion for Corpus Christi in the old rite) was dropped in the 1974 Graduale because it is simply an adaption of the communion for Pentecost, "Factus est repente." Likewise the old offertory chant for Corpus Christi, "Sacerdotes Domini" was replaced since it's an adaption of the Pentecost offertory "Confirma hoc Deus." These chants were (evidently) not considered part of the true Gregorian repertoire.

At Monday, July 16, 2007 5:59:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...


And yet, “Deus Israël” is given in the OCM for weddings, though it is not included in the Graduale (which is made from the OCM) because it is neo-Gregorian.

So, what kinds of “neo-Gregorian” are acceptable, and which aren’t, for inclusion in the OCM?

At Thursday, July 19, 2007 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Sam Schmitt said...

Point taken - evidently that policy was not followed consistently. The neo-Gregorian Introit for the Assumption "Signum Magnum" was left in, but then they do give the option to do the traditional "Gaudeamus," which was omitted altogether for this feast from the post-1950 Graduales. Also, those parts which are new or newly sung in the Mass of Paul VI (e.g. the Memorial Acclamation) had to be newly composed or put together.

I wonder, though - what exactly is the relationship between the OCM and the Graduale? Does the latter supercede the former?

At Thursday, July 19, 2007 11:58:00 AM, Blogger Cantor said...

I am pretty sure that, since the OCM comes from an official ecclesiastical body, it takes precedence over Solesmes’s 1974 Graduale when there is a conflict.

The Graduale is made from the OCM just as the Lectionary is made from the Order of Readings. That said, the Lectionary (which now only exists in vernacular translation) is officially promulgated by an ecclesiastical authority, whereas Solesmes has no such authority directly.

(I mean, they probably wrote the OCM, but Rome has to rubber-stamp it for it to have weight.)


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