Proper chants of new missal online

ICEL has put up a new batch of missal chants  here. This is the first public release, as far as I know, of many of the proper texts of the new missal, such as these prefaces.







44 responses to “Proper chants of new missal online”

  1. Paul Inwood Avatar
    Paul Inwood

    Interesting! A first glance at the Exsultet reveals a heavy emphasis on the unimportant preposition “of” in the first two ‘stanzas’. Will look at all these chants in more detail in the days to come….

    In the meantime, anyone who is familiar with Finale will understand the problems that publishers are having with the ICEL chant settings generally. Instead of using the Lyrics tool for text underlay, each individual syllable has apparently been inserted using a text expression! This makes using these chants, and editing the text for style (such as changing the font) a laborious if not impossible process.

    There have also been comments in more than a few places about the ‘eccentric’ way in which the stemless quarter-notes have been grouped, but that is probably the subject of another thread.

    Why does everything connected with the new Missal have to be so difficult?

    1. Jeffrey Herbert Avatar


      Is there a reason why they used this rather roundabout way of underlaying the text? I do this all the time (“modern notation” chant in Finale) and it’s rather simple to do the “regular” way using the lyric tool. Is it just to make them more difficult to modify?

      1. Paul Inwood Avatar
        Paul Inwood

        I have no idea. People have suggested that someone at ICEL just did not know how to use Finale. Perhaps we will never know. But it’s certainly causing a major headache for national liturgy offices and publishers, given that altar missals, people’s worship aids, etc, will all use different formats and page sizes. If the ICEL graphics are used as they stand in a missalette, the result will be illegibility, to give just one example of the problem.

        If ICEL thought they could force people into using their originals as graphics, they need to join the real world. I am aware that at least one institution has started the process of re-engraving these chants to make them more usable by publishers’ editors, but don’t know how far they have got with it.

      2. Jeffrey Herbert Avatar

        People have suggested that someone at ICEL just did not know how to use Finale

        A simple application of Occam’s Razor would have this as the most likely explanation. I am among those who, when the time comes to include these chants in our parish music booklet, will just re-do them in Finale and produce my own graphics if needed. They might have considered asking for help (lol). I tried using the method you described last night… what a mess!

  2. Tom East Avatar
    Tom East

    Gee Mr Inwood, you sure like to see the negative side don’t you!

    I’d like to congratulate whoever it was that transcribed these chants. Nice job! I like especially that I can sing e.g. Sanctus XVIII in Latin or English without getting confused between the versions. Yes, there might be some things I would do differently if I was writing only with English in mind, but I think the way the English and Latin chants sit so well side by side is great!

    Does that mean that we can now get Catholics focused on singing a common repertoire again? I don’t see a tambourine part anywhere though – will I have to throw mine away?

    1. Jeremy Stevens Avatar
      Jeremy Stevens

      Thanks for the compliment Tom but you’re a couple of months late. The transcriber got himself fired for daring to express some disappointment at the way the anonymous folks who turned the 2008 version into the 2010. Same thing happened to the main translator who did the same things. But I’m sure they’d say thanks anyhow.

      1. Tom East Avatar
        Tom East

        Who are you referring to, Jeremy?

      2. Jeremy Stevens Avatar
        Jeremy Stevens

        The info was on this blog a while back. The translator was Father Alan Griffiths from the UK but I don’t think they gave the music person’s name. Father Griffiths wrote a letter to a Catholic paper in the UK I don’t know if the music person wrote anything but the report was on here.

      3. Tom East Avatar
        Tom East

        Does anyone know who the musician is?

    2. Xavier Rindfleisch Avatar
      Xavier Rindfleisch

      Mr East:
      It’s an open secret, at least among those aware of the political machinations behind the scenes of this new translation, that Father Anthony Ruff, O.S.B. was the head of the ICEL music committee, who worked more hours than anyone can count on the chant adaptations and (I believe) even on the electronic transcriptions, no small feat as anyone who has tackled those music-writing programs wil tell you. He’s the one Rome pressured ICEL to let go, just as they pressured ICEL to sack Father Alan Griffiths, because Rome doesn’t want anyone involved with ICEL who is critical of the Holy See.

      As he is the moderator of this blog, he can surely confirm this information if I have it right or deny it if I have it wrong (though, come to think of it, confidentiality – not to mention threats! – may prohibit that), but I believe (as does everyone I know who is familiar with the entire Vox Clara/Congregation debacle) that Father Ruff was referring to himself when, in a November 20 posting on this blog, he quoted an August 24th email from “the person charged with doing the musical revisions made necessary by the massive textual changes in the CDW text.”

      This “person,” whom I presume to be Father Ruff wrote to the ICEL executives to express his concern and frustration with the revisions that had been sent to him and to make it clear to them that these texts were very substandard from a musician’s perspective.

      I will try to post his email below.

      1. Xavier Rindfleisch Avatar
        Xavier Rindfleisch

        Here is Father Ruff’s (I presume) email to ICEL regarding the Vox Clara / Congregation revisions of the Prefaces, what came to be known variously as the Received Text, the Moroney Missal, and on one blog the BSV (Bending Slightly Version):

        “I’m making good progress revising the chant settings of the prefaces but the situation is pretty bad, I’m discovering. In fact I was moved to shed tears this morning at how awful these texts are. We have B-cadences like “authority of Christ crucified” (Passion I), with two accents in a row. I see no acceptable solution, and all three of my solutions are awful. Then we have “in Christ is celebrated” (Passion II), which also cannot possibly work satisfactorily with that awful accent pattern on the final word.

        “I think I know the answer to this, but I’ll ask it anyway. Is there any way these wretched texts can be revised? Is there any possibility of appeal to the Roman authorities? …

        “I’m sure the revisers didn’t have music in mind at all, but their revisions which oftentimes don’t follow the syntax of the Latin, or add or omit words from the Latin, repeatedly make the musical setting difficult. If they had had the goal of wrecking the music (and I don’t think they did), they couldn’t have done so much better.”

        That’s pretty straightforward. That’s also dated August 24. In other words, the Roman authorities had plenty of time to go the route of humility and consult people like Frs. Ruff and Griffiths, whose dedication to the project could hardly be questioned, but whose honesty and integrity were perceived as a threat and whose reward was dismissal from the project (whilst unskilled ambitious cretins continue to thrive).

        We owe a profound debt of thanks to both of them who stand in stark contrast to the blogs, priestly and lay, which keep a deadly silence on the matter or who sing in perfect melismatic chant or multi-voiced polyphony: “OH, GIVE IT UP! AT LEAST WE HAVE A NEW MISSAL . . . “

  3. Rich Skirpan Avatar
    Rich Skirpan

    I don’t find the word “of” given too much emphasis. What, two notes instead of one in a cadential formula? For me, it’s nice to see the integrity of the melodic formulas coming through more.

    Thankfully, most of the people who are singing this will be English speakers, who, hopefully, will know when they sing that “of” is not an important word.

    (And from a quick glace at the Latin setting, the same part of the melodic formula often falls on syllables without stress.)

    1. Paul Inwood Avatar
      Paul Inwood

      Yes, of course it does, but in Latin chant the tradition is to balance verbal accent against musical accent. That’s part of the charm of Latin chant.

      In non-Romance vernacular languages, however, this holding in tension does not work well.

      The point is that, while English-speaking singers will undoubtedly know that “of” is an unimportant word, when the music bumps the wrong syllaBLE it will come across as unnatural. We’re talking about the rules of good word-setting here.

      The same kind of problem is evident in the first two “Holy”s of ICEL’s Sanctus chant where with an average congregation, incapable of singing in a ‘Solesmes’ fashion, this is going to come across as Ho-LEE (the well-known Chinese cantor!).

      Having looked further into the Exsultet, I think that a pretty good job has been done overall, given the sheer awfulness of some of the text. But those two accented prepositions early on still bug me and will continue to do so.

      Why has all this arisen? In my view it’s because those responsible for the ICEL chants have adopted a ‘Liturgiam Authenticam’ approach to the chant melodies themselves, trying to stick as closely as possible to every virga and punctum, a policy that is inevitably destined to fail, in my view.

      The solution lies in a less rigid adherence to every jot and tittle of the original chant melody, a somewhat freer approach to the rhythm of the chant, or a combination of these as necessary. This is an approach which follows the contours of the original and reproduces many of its nuances but which does not stick slavishly to the original when the receptor language works on different rhythmic principles, in the same way that we wish our impending English translations did not stick so slavishly to the Latin syntax of the original.

      In the case of the two prepositions, the notes of the chant melody could have been maintained intact by redistributing the rhythms across the preceding words of the phrase, giving an entirely satisfactory result.

      1. F C Bauerschmidt Avatar

        I did notice the unfortunate “Ho-lee-EE” effect of the Sanctus. Given a desire to stick as closely as possible to the chant melody, I’m not sure what else could be done.

        I also noticed the Easter dismissal (since this is one of the few things I sing) has a rising note on the unstressed syllable in “ended,” which I suspect I will end up rendering as “en-DED” — hardly an edifying conclusion to the Vigil. Again, given the text I’m not sure what else could be done (though maybe both notes of “ended” could have been sung on the A). On the other hand, given the obscurity of “Ite, missa est,” and the absence of anything in the Latin corresponding to “ended,” a translator who had the melody of the Easter dismissal in mind might have come up with a better English rendering.

  4. Jeremy Stevens Avatar
    Jeremy Stevens

    About firing Fr Griffiths and Fr Ruff: how is this way of acting any different from the old Soviet Union? And everyone on here knows what blogs you’re talking about. Adorable ran a million articles about how bad the old ICEL was not being true to the Latin and English at grade school level. Haven’t read anything over there even squeaking a complaint about the 2010 stuff. And Fr Z stopped putting the two new ICEL 2008 and 2010 up side by side obviously because the 2010 is almost always bad compared to 2008 so he just puts up the lame duck really old ICEL to make 2010 not look so bad. And the two music blogs are just ignoring the obvious problem or saying like Xaveir Rindflish says At least there’s a new missal. Pretty cowardly. So thanks Fr Ruff and Fr Griffiths for being honest and open. Sorry you went through what you did. Wait till the new missal is out and people start going through it line by line. When they have to fix it in a few years they’ll be saying That Fr Ruff and Fr Griffiths were right way back when and all along. Wait and see always the way it goes.

  5. jeffrey Tucker Avatar

    Xavier Rindfleisch, I have little doubt that you are correct on this but 1) it is a done deal; 2) the relevant comparison is the current Missal, 3) what possible virtue is there in forever complaining about the problems and what does that accomplish?

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur


      It creates a very powerful disincentive to repeat incompetence on future projects of this sort. That’s a worthy goal. Bureaucracies have a pathological fear of the brutta figura (Rome most especially), and the more closed the bureaucracy, the more powerful that fear is, and there is no way to create a positive incentive from below. This translation project has proven that respectful, behind-the-scenes, informal feedback is not the tool it is typically touted to be in the way of romanità. The trust is broken. The bureaucracy needs to start mending it.

      The Make Mommy Look Good approach to discussing or avoiding discussing how the Church’s inner workings do or don’t work is a more harmful thing than more open discussion. This is an area where the Church needs to learn more deeply from its own tradition that it is ignoring. The learning about addiction and abusive cultures that has come from things like AA has antecedents in our spiritual tradition, but a chuck of the flock shows more experience in these things than many of the shepherds and their delegates.

      I give you credit, btw, for having had encouraged discussion of some aspects of these problems in your own blogs and discussions. The stock of other blogs where these issues have been avoided in a way as to almost pretend they don’t exist, however, has plummeted further.

      As Todd Flowerday will attest, I have for many years championed the idea that it is an important for each “side” to openly and fearlessly identify and evaluate its own limitations and failures in action and omission. (Hence, why you will see me react allergically to fellow progressives who play the progressive mirror of Fr Z.) Many (not all) progressives here have acknowledged that the merits of the 1998 translation were not unsullied by problems that needed further work. (We’ve not gone into too much particulars because the 1998 translation is moot at this point.)

      1. Xavier Rindfleisch Avatar
        Xavier Rindfleisch

        Very well said, Karl! Thank you for stating so clearly and succinctly the case for THOSE OF US WHO ARE AND HAVE BEEN IN FAVOR OF A REVISED TRANSLATION speaking out against what has been done TO THAT TRANSLATION by the last minute, unskilled tinkerers of Vox Clara, resulting in 2010, though as I have noted elsewhere, it looks as if in the final final revision the Congregation jumped back to some 2008 texts (see Prefaces II and V for the Departed).

        As far as “reception” goes, I personally do not think that the problem will be with the people’s texts; although I could be completely wrong about that and the addition of no fewer than THREE “I believes” to a text that, in its Latin original, has one (and one of these, the one before the article on the Church, is quite problematic in terms of the Tradition) is extremely unfortunate and impossible to justify in light of LA or RT. More likely the problem will be with the “priestly texts”. Those who will not or cannot refer to the Latin originals may dislike them simply because the “register” is unfamiliar and difficult to proclaim without some preparation – well, preparation is good, we could say, and we would be correct of course. But those who DO know the Latin originals (and even those who do not but who delight in robust and articulate English) and who have waited so long for an accurate and literate translation are bound to be disappointed by texts that Father Griffiths’ characterised so well in his letter to The Tablet as being deficient on both scores. Unless all post-implementation critiques are strictly forbidden (by higher authority) to reach publication status (and in light of the Frs Ruff and Griffiths cases we can now imagine that), a detailed analysis of the most defective texts (both in terms of translation and English usage) will surely lead to a revision, much sooner perhaps than those in authority would imagine or like.

      2. Jack Rakosky Avatar
        Jack Rakosky

        Well said Karl, indeed!

        I was very impressed with Jeffrey Tucker’s admission in the post below that the world of chant “true believers” is very different from the world of skeptics. It is also far removed from the average person in the pew, or even the average non musician like myself who loves chant. The argument that anything is better than what we have now is a very poor argument that only works for “true believers.” I am not interested in exchanging the current mediocrity for some mediocre chant in English or even mediocre chant in Latin, just to say it is chant or Latin.

        Jeffrey seems to admit in the post below that there is a lot of work to be done at all levels, and that much of it is practical rather than merely conversion to a different ideology. I am hoping for something more than endless ideological rants that frankly bore me already. As someone who has probably commented on as many or more topics than anyone else on this blog, you will find that I have said nothing about some of the most commented items. Quite frankly if most of some of those discussions hit the parish level people will have even more reason to wonder why they bother to come to church.

        I am hoping that Jeffrey Tucker’s heart felt self examination might be the beginning a more humble form of servant leadership among people who want to improve things in which people try to solve some of the problems rather than continue to either blame other people, or say that nothing can be done.

  6. Claire Mathieu Avatar
    Claire Mathieu

    I don’t think it is a done deal until we, the baptized, have accepted it. Let’s not forget that last but not unimportant step. In a year and a half or so, if implementation is successful, then you will be able to say that it’s a done deal and that regrets are now superfluous.

    1. Lynn Thomas Avatar
      Lynn Thomas


      How do you define ‘accept it’? This is an important question, I think. If acceptance means that the people in the pews aren’t shrieking, I’m sure it will be successful, although there may be even more sparsely populated pews than now. If acceptance means something different – depends on a change in church attendance, or some such, then perhaps we’ll see something else.

      In short, the results will depend quite a bit on what is measured. I’m afraid I’m cynical enough by now to suspect that the metric will be chosen to guarantee success, because no other outcome is permissible.

      1. Claire Mathieu Avatar
        Claire Mathieu

        Lynn, I suppose you can go back to the beginning of Liturgiam Authenticam to see the measure of success: “the Roman Rite is marked by a signal capacity for assimilating into itself spoken and sung texts… derived from the customs …of … diverse nations … into a harmonious unity that transcends the boundaries of any single region. This characteristic is particularly evident in its orations, which exhibit a capacity to transcend the limits of their original situation … the greatest care is to be taken to maintain the identity and unitary expression of the Roman Rite … as a manifestation of the theological realities of ecclesial communion and unity.”

        Communion and unity are clearly a primary goal. So the measure of success will be how this change helps the manifestation of our communion and unity. If the result is disorganized discordance and increased variations in prayer from place to place, it’s a failure.

        Will people adjust to new responses? Old responses are ingrained and I predict a generation of discrepancies before new words may become the norm.

        To my mind it’s still bizarre that priests would be required to use grammatically incorrect English. I don’t know whether they will (or, frankly, should) sacrifice grammatical correctness to literal obedience, or literal obedience to grammatical correctness. If it varies from priest to priest, with, presumably, the encouragement and support of their congregations, each parish according to its sensibilities, then we’re headed towards major differences from parish to parish: the opposite of LA’s primary goal!

      2. Lynn Thomas Avatar
        Lynn Thomas


        I think we will get lots of differences, just as you describe, and precisely because the new texts are so awful in so many places. I’m not so sure that a degree of variation in prayer from place to place is necessarily a bad thing, though. Others have a profoundly different view, but I suspect they confuse the word ‘unity’ with ‘uniformity’. The former is good, the latter, I think, a silly thing to even attempt, at best. Detroit is not Los Angeles is not Boston is not Auckland is not London, etc.

        I could even see a milder degree of variation within a diocese and not have too much trouble with it. Of course, this might cause trouble with the part about ‘a capacity to transcend the boundaries of any single region.’ To all things a suitable degree of freedom and flexibility, but only that, I guess is where I find myself. But, in all places the language should be reasonably agreed as ‘good’ in that language, which is not what’s happening. As you say, bizarre.

    2. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      I expect it will be “received”, but reception is more like a 5-year process. The reason I believe this is so is because I don’t think it matters as much to most people in the pews as liturgical activists on either side of the divide like to thnk it does. There will be some communities that will embrace the change with relish, and others that resist with relish, but they will be largely outside the first standard deviation of the bell curve, I suspect. Activists on both sides will tend to see what they/we want to see, because confirmation (and selection) bias appears to be strong.

      Of course, that’s no excuse for sloppy work and processes.

      As someone who remembers the shifts in translations when I was a child, I will also speculate that the overall impression that this will leave on people in the pews is that language is plastic. I am not sure that’s a good impression to leave for those who have a more traditionalist view of liturgy. It may end up being in the “Be Careful What You Pray For” category.

      1. Lynn Thomas Avatar
        Lynn Thomas

        I suspect there is much truth in what you say. There is certainly lots and lots and lost of sloppy work, and what appear to be extremely abusive processes, to go around.

        One of the biggest problems I have with this whole thing, quite apart from the awful English of too much of it, is that the process _was_ so badly bungled. To some extent, I believe that if I ‘accept’ the result, I condone the process. And that becomes an issue of integrity, because this process is most assuredly one I don’t condone. Had I been a part of it, I would have probably resigned from the effort. I really want not to be party to processes that beat up on people and violate well-accepted ideas of due process and ethical behavior.

        Lastly, while language is plastic, it does have some limits.

      2. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur


        I believe the silence=consent thing has become diluted through overuse. Particularly because silence can be a powerful form of non-consent in practice.

        What I meant by plastic is: what is bent one way today can be bent another way tomorrow.

      3. Lynn Thomas Avatar
        Lynn Thomas


        Your point about overuse is valid, but I was really speaking about an internal process, that doesn’t much concern itself with exterior appearances or what anyone else might think of it. On the other hand, in this situation an external silence, i.e. not speaking the appointed words, nor any other, would indeed indicate non-consent. Combined with a withholding of contributions, it would speak pretty loudly, in fact.

        Re: plastic language, okay. I didn’t read it quite that way the first time.

  7. Gregg Smith Avatar
    Gregg Smith

    Here’s a solution: Just don’t use the new missal. We’re not. What the worst that could happen? Arrested? Put in jail? A Bishops “authority” means nothing to me or our parish. I would also guess it means nothing to most Catholics.

    1. Lynn Thomas Avatar
      Lynn Thomas

      Well, let’s see. I suppose we could be threatened with all sorts of spiritual, if not temporal, punishment, but that depends on God doing what the bishops tell Him to do. Arrest and jail are not an issue, I suspect, at least not in the 21st Century Catholic church, which relinquished pretty much all temporal authority about a century ago.

      I don’t know that our Bishop’s authority means nothing where I live. But, I don’t know that it means a great deal, either. He’s not a noisy sort, and in recent years has had some health issues as well. Presumably it means at least a little bit to most of his priests, which probably carries over to the parishes. Some, anyway.

    2. F C Bauerschmidt Avatar

      A Bishops “authority” means nothing to me or our parish.

      Then for me the question would be how you and your parish understand what it means to be Catholic (this is a genuine question, not a rhetorical one).

      Also, your bishop does have the legal authority to remove your pastor and to put someone else in his place.

      1. Gregg Smith Avatar
        Gregg Smith

        It means nothing because they mishandled several abuse cases, sending a known molester (well, among the clerics) to our parish which almost destroyed it. The Bishop never acknowledged that he made a mistake, and the priest is still in “hiding” and pulling a paycheck from the diocese. Now, they want to force a very unpopular translation on us. We’re tired of being pushed around and bullied by Rome and these career-climbing Bishops who should have put their foot down on this awful translation.

  8. John Ainslie Avatar
    John Ainslie

    I don’t pretend to be a chant expert, though I’ve studied it for sixty years. But here is something from Dom Daniel Saulnier, monk of Solesmes and until recently lecturer at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome (why did he suddenly return to Solesmes last November?):

    “All the musical substance is directed toward the text: ornamentation is at the service of the word or the sentence.”

    We are talking here about cantillation, and Sanctus XVIII is certainly of that simple musical genre.

    So why Ho-LEE-EE? The ICEL commentary admits that they considered a single note on each syllable, but decided to imitate the Latin. Wrong! This is a setting of English, not Latin.

    And if the organ gives a three-note introduction, will the people attempt to sing in Latin or English?

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      Makes me think of the wonderful Shaker hymn, Angels of Heaven. A good example of the contrast between idiomatic English and what’s not idiomatic.

      Text and tune: Brother Ephraim Frost
      Whitewater, Ohio, 1872

      The angels of heaven are marching around
      the borders of Zion’s holy ground.
      Their music harmonious how it doth ring,
      and this is the heavenly song they sing:
      “Holy! Holy! Holiness unto the Lord!
      Love ye, love ye, love ye one another!”

      Listen to a sample track #20 at this link:

    2. Paul Inwood Avatar
      Paul Inwood

      John said: So why Ho-LEE-EE? The ICEL commentary admits that they considered a single note on each syllable, but decided to imitate the Latin. Wrong! This is a setting of English, not Latin.

      Exactly. I am with you absolutely on this.

      But I think the reason, as I tried to indicate above, why they decided to do it was not in imitation of the Latin but in slavish imitation of the chant melody, regardless of the language being used (in other instances it could have been Greek or Hebrew).

      This is a prise de position that we really ought to debate seriously: whether it is the actual melody that is important, or the ethos that it evokes (and cf. JPII’s Chirograph on this point, para 12). I think the ‘literalist’ transmogrification of the chant is no better than LA’s defective principles, so adopting that position needs someone to defend it. So far we have not heard why they decided not to continue with the two equal notes of the 1973 ICEL chant, which fitted the English language. We really need to know so that we can judge. Just saying that this was what they decided is not sufficient. Was it an arbitrary decision? Or a matter of personal taste? A question of loving the Latin chant so much that they couldn’t see the demands of English chant?

      I personally would like to know what the chant proponents who (happily) are contributing to this blog think too. I suspect that their real preference is to return to the Latin, with the chant designed for it; and I sympathise with that point of view. But given that we are going to have English language and therefore English chant, I wonder if they have a position on that?

  9. Michael Petrie Avatar
    Michael Petrie

    One reason for imitating “Sanc-tu-us” with Ho-LEE-EE is given on the ICEL website, “This setting follows the Latin melody closely. There would have been good reasons, based on natural English accentuation, for placing a single note A on the second syllable of “Holy,” as in the current setting. But it was decided to imitate the Latin with its displaced accent more closely here, in part because the Latin setting is likely to be sung with great frequency by congregations in the future, which argues for similarity between the Latin and English settings.” ( )

    I don’t think most parishioners would be confused by the opening line of the English chant varying slightly from the Latin chant. They could learn both. Rather, the harder challenge would be to help them fully, consciously and actively pray with their whole being in a foreign language.

    English is its own language with its own cadence and stresses. It’s own way of singing and praying. This could have been respected in the adaptation had English not been subordinated to Latin by implying that it is a teaching tool toward a goal.

    1. Paul Inwood Avatar
      Paul Inwood

      Michael said: it was decided to imitate the Latin with its displaced accent more closely here, in part because the Latin setting is likely to be sung with great frequency by congregations in the future, which argues for similarity between the Latin and English settings.

      Thank you for reminding me of ICEL’s commentary. In response to it:

      (a) I do not believe that Sanctus XVI is likely to be sung any more frequently in the future than it is now, which is not a lot. Certainly “great frequency” seems over-optimistic.

      (b) If it were to be sung with great frequency, that would be an argument for not needing an English version at all!

      (c) It does not argue for similarity between the Latin and English settings. Indeed, it will cause confusion. As John Ainslie said, if the organ gives a three-note introduction, will the people attempt to sing in Latin or English?
      Others too have suggested that in fact it is essential to have two settings that are sufficiently differentiated as to have their own individual existence. If this is not the case, then see (b) above!

    2. Lynn Thomas Avatar
      Lynn Thomas

      “…the Latin setting is likely to be sung with great frequency by congregations in the future, which argues for similarity between the Latin and English settings.”

      Sez who? “Likely?” Where do they get this idea? While Latin may be making something of a comeback in the English-speaking Church, I think the folks who expect [wish] it to dominate again are, well, let me be polite here, out to lunch. WAY out to lunch.

  10. Rita Ferrone Avatar
    Rita Ferrone


    OMG, this is worse than I thought!

    1. Lynn Thomas Avatar
      Lynn Thomas

      If we have to sing that, I’m done singing in church.

  11. Steve Adams Avatar
    Steve Adams

    Notice that the Epiphany Proc. doesn’t include the dates of the Triduum feasts… only the date of Easter. Sad.

  12. David Haas Avatar
    David Haas

    I am just wondering in the midst of all of this, and I am not asking this question with any particular bias, but I am wondering, do we really think that at least here in the US – will the majority of priests/parishes really use many of these chants, regardless of their quality? I am just wondering…

  13. Jeffrey Tucker Avatar

    A more pressing question for me than Ho-LEE-EE is why should this chant be the main Sanctus in the first place. Most all parishes already sing the Latin of this chant – though they probably should not since it is Requiem Sanctus (Mass for the Dead!) or for a ferial weekday Mass, but not not not for a Sunday liturgy. Of all the melodies to render in English!

    As for the setting, can we all just admit that adapting music designed for Latin is not ever going to be a great fit? Never. I’ve sat through endless hours of discussion of this problem and seen very few examples of anything that really works perfectly.

    Ok, admitting that, let’s also admit that the normative MUSIC of the Roman Rite is steeped in the Latin tradition and there is a point to preserving it on its own merits.

    There are other merits to this Sanctus – even given all my reservations. It is simple. It is plainsong. It can be done without instruments. The little piece might provide the first opportunity for living Catholics to sing with their OWN voices and make music for Mass using only their own bodies – and this is extremely important. Very important. Given this, I don’t think this is so awful really. And yes, I can actually imagine that this will become the normative setting for Catholic liturgy.

  14. Dylan Barkuhr Avatar
    Dylan Barkuhr

    As a convert to the Catholic Faith, I’m terribly scandalized by those on this blog who disregard the Bishop’s authority and are ready to ignore the Missal confirmed by the Apostolic See. When one refuses to use the Liturgy the pope has approved, one is breaking communion with Rome. And when one breaks communion with Rome, there is a name for this (actually, two come to mind: (1) Protestant; or (2) schismatic). We can argue process and woulda, shoulda, coulda all day long, but at the end of the day, when the book comes down, will not the maxim, “Roma locuta est; causa finita est” apply?

    If one would rather use liturgy compiled through a process of democratic committees, both the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the United States have committee-designed liturgies (which are edits, with some original compositions, of the Book of Common Prayer (which is an edit of the Sarum Use with some original compositions)).

    1. Jeremy Stevens Avatar
      Jeremy Stevens

      What’s scandalizing to this Catholic lifer is the incompetence and injustice demonstrated by the people the Pope assigned to supervise and/or do the work. You’re absolutely right about the obligation of obedience. Balance that with the obligation of people working in the Church to put honesty and charity before their own power and promotion. That should be the difference between the church and a corporation or totalitarian government. By the way, doing the should coulda woulda before doing the mistake sounds like a great way to make sure you don’t mess up.

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