Tuesday, 15 September 2009

How do we sing Gregorian Chant in English at Mass? Like this: the Introit (Entrance Chant). Do it next Sunday...

Our last post outlined the various resources available to re-enchant Holy Mass, by employing the authentic Liturgical music of the Roman Rite.

A particular focus was the Propers in Latin and in English.

Now something that shows us what this can sounds like if done in English.

Obviously, the (Latin) Gregorian Chant from the Graduale Romanum is the standard for us. 

But we all know that sometimes the "situation" regrettably - suggests that Latin is a no go.  So, an alternative needs to be employed if we are to even approach the ideal of the sacred liturgical chant (rather than caving-in to some poor substitute).

So, for those situations...

New Liturgical Movement today highlights another resource (which we will add to our last post) for Gregorian Chant adapted into English from Fr Samuel F Weber OSB.

Fr Weber is of the Institute of Sacred Music in St. Louis (no to be confused with the St Louis Jesuits, please).  The rendention in the video involves the singing of Proper Chants commissione for the 2009 Sacred Music Colloquium in Chicago, USA. 

But whatever chant resource is used, the principle of executing it in English in the Liturgical context is the same.

This video shows you how it’s done.

This is the Introit beginning with a psalm verse from Psalm 26, the Introit Antiphon and the additional psalm verses:

Ps. Unto Thee will I cry O Lord
O my God be not Thou silent to me
Lest if Thou be silent to me
I become like them that go down into the pit.

The Lord is the strength of His people
And the protector of the salvation of His anointed
Save, O Lord, Thy people
And bless Thine inheritance
And rule them forever

As NLM note:

“Here is how it sounds and feels within its liturgical context. Aside from this chant being a clear expression of the principle of a reform or development in continuity, it is worthwhile noting how immediately and effectively it contributes toward setting the proper tone of the liturgy as an act of communal divine worship. It also demonstrates how, as Fr. Weber would say, the chant can sound when it grows out of an English text.

Anyone who is interested may receive these Propers by sending an email to Father Weber at the Institute of Sacred Music within the Archdiocese of Saint Louis: weber@kenrick.edu. There is no charge for them."

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