Chant based Eucharistic settings

Interested in writing music for the Liturgy?
Talk about it here!

Moderator: PaulW

John Ainslie
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 10:23 am

Psalm Tones and Antiphons

Post by John Ainslie »

Gregory Murray's eight psalm-tones for the eight plainsong modes were evidently published by L. J. Cary before 1968 and were acknowledged as © L. J. Cary & Co in the Simple Gradual (1969), in which they were used extensively alongside Laurence Bévenot's and Joseph Gelineau's tones.

On the more general topic of antiphons for use at the Entrance and Communion, take a look at Psallité, composed and compiled by a five-strong American/British team including Paul Inwood and Catherine Christmas. Details at

Posts: 987
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:42 am
Parish / Diocese: Westminster
Location: Near Cambridge

Post by docmattc »

Tsume Tsuyu wrote:
Surely, it's the job of the Bishops to come up with a plan to reach these people?

Preliminary Syllabus for the Formation of Church Musicians. They came up with a plan 10 years ago, but anyone know if its being taught anywhere accessibly? Equally its the job of SSG to try and reach these people too. Where music ministry is dire its usually to due a lack of formation, this may be because of an ignorance that formation is available, an ignorance of the need or an unwillingness to be formed.

polycarp wrote:This may even go so far as depriving the consummate church professional, the priest, of the roles that are proper to him by virtue of his vocation and training

I cannot remember attending Mass ever when the role of the priest was usurped by another (unless for very good reason). What have you in mind?
I would love to assume that in matters of liturgy all priests could be described as consummate professionals, sadly though I see very little evidence of this (clerical contributors to this forum excepted :) ). SC para 16 doesn't appear to making any impact.

Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:29 pm

Post by polycarp »

All so interesting.

Your collective comments reveal what a bunch of prehistoric, out-of-touch, saddos you are. No wonder nobody in the church takes the SSG seriously. I look forward to watching your organisation continue its slide into oblivion.

You were once in the driving seat and the Church, in its wisdom, tried to catch up. Sorry guys, but things have moved on and the Church is now passing you by - the Vatican is setting its course, and twee music, no matter how earnest, just won't cut it. See you if you ever get out of your time-warp.

Posts: 987
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:42 am
Parish / Diocese: Westminster
Location: Near Cambridge

Post by docmattc »

polycarp wrote: I look forward to much stimulating discussion!

Let's not let this thread degenerate into a slanging match! There are a variety of different opinions and styles which work with different congregations in different places. Stimulating discussion involves all of us engaging with others who have views different to our own. Vitriol achieves nothing except high blood pressure

Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:11 pm
Location: Frozen North

Chant based eucharistic settings

Post by dmu3tem »

Here is a personal reply to the original question from 'Organist'. If he would like to receive a free copy of my setting of the Gloria I will send him one if he leaves me a contactable address/e.mail here. If there is a way of reaching just him through this site could someone give me some instructions.

This Gloria setting (in English) is for Congregation, cantor, choir(optional) and organ. It is largely through composed and there are no modifications to the text. Half its material has a plainchant type line (with heterophonic organ backing), the rest uses block harmony. This makes it a hybrid; so it might not suit your purposes.

Thomas Muir

User avatar
Posts: 1605
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:47 am
Location: UK


Post by musicus »


Just send Organist a Private Message - then no-one else will see it. Here's how:

1. Click on 'Memberlist' near the top of the forum screen.
2. Find the person you want to send to on the list (e.g. Organist is member number 20)
3. Click the PM (Private Message) button next to their name
4. Complete the dialogue box that opens up. Their name will already be in the first slot. Fill in the subject (this is essential, or it doesn't work) and add your message.
5. Click 'Submit' and there you go.
6. Check your 'new messages' (top of the screen again) from time to time.

(I have sent you a test private message)

I hope this helps.
musicus - moderator, Liturgy Matters

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 12:36 am
Location: UK

Post by admin »


please also change your email under the profile link - I'm getting bounced messages from Durham University saying that your mailbox there no longer exists…

The Management

User avatar
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:46 pm

Post by PaulW »

polycarp wrote:…Your collective comments reveal what a bunch of prehistoric, out-of-touch, saddos you are…
May I remind Polycarp and all who read and post here that the threads do not reflect the views of the Society of Saint Gregory, but only those of those who post. You do not have to be a member of SSG to post here - I suspect, Polycarp, that you are not - and whilst the forum is moderated (within fairly liberal rules), the posts remain the views of individuals.

If you want a truer picture of what SSG thinks musically, I suggest that you look at the music suggestions in Preparing the liturgy where there are suggestions for works by Walton, Wise, Farrant, Gibbons, Byrd, Morley, SS Wesley, Arcadelt, Purcell, as well as by Walker, Inwood, Farrell, Haas, Schutte and many, many others. It is a catholic taste, for a Catholic Church - and even then it does not reflect the views of SSG, but only those of the editors of Preparing the liturgy!
Life is a ball: learn to bounce.

User avatar
Posts: 1651
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:21 pm
Parish / Diocese: youknowalready
Location: elsewhere

Post by presbyter »

PaulW wrote: Dom Gregory Murray's and therefore copyright would lie with the Trustees of Downside Abbey

Dom AGM assigned the Copyright to some of his works to the publisher - including the New People's Mass

Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:58 pm
Location: Norwich

Post by Reginald »

Like an earlier poster, I’ve also been an observer on the sidelines for maybe a year now and never felt the need to throw oil on a smouldering fire before – but…I’ve been thinking about this post and also the recent post on the Radio 3 programme ‘The choir’ and hope I can make a couple of observations without being shot down in flames.

Firstly I’m an amateur musician in as many senses as you want to give the word – can’t sight read for toffee, can play a mean quickstep on the organ but need to practise for a week to play trad 4 part harmony! That said, I love the liturgy – and significantly for my parish I’m the nearest thing to a real musician that they’ve got so they make do. The parish I’ve moved into has never lost its love of the four hymn sandwich and I’m slowly weaning them onto singing the ordinary of the Mass – but it’s a slow process because the community I’m serving are very wary of anything that smacks of change. I’m also a teacher – and in that context not the best musician available – but the most interested in liturgy, and there too I’m working on the demise of the four hymn sandwich. At a recent Mass for 250 Year 9 pupils they sang (enthusiastically) the Kyrie orbis factor, Eagle’s Wings as Responsorial Psalm, Ken Canedo’s ‘Alleluia Give the Glory’, Patrick Geary’s ‘Salsa Acclamations’ and the Agnus Dei from Mass XVIII. To my mind their enthusiasm and active participation were rooted in my own enthusiasm for what we were doing – I don’t think you can really achieve active participation unless those leading; be they choir, cantor, organist or music group have their hearts in the music – and in fairness I probably wouldn’t have put the time into teaching them the music if I weren’t enthusiastic.

I have friends who don’t care enough about plainchant to be able to pull it off with their congregations, and I don’t care enough about Victorian hymnody to do the same on my home turf. I’m no great fan of hymns in general but, with the blinkers off I can see the merits of both the trad and the ‘folk-hymn’. Surely everyone else can too? ‘Go Tell Everyone’ is not great music, but it has a faithfulness to Scripture that has to commend it? ‘Jerusalem’ is a cracking piece of music – but not the most liturgically useful words of all time. We are all different, working in widely different circumstances and with widely different gifts and perhaps we need to be more accepting of our differences, not keep on about how everything that came from the 20th Century Folk stable was rubbish or how everything pre-Vatican II is outdated and irrelevant. If it works in your particular circumstances, great – just don’t be afraid to try something different every now and then.

Last Saturday Westminster gave me an object lesson in how chant can be used in a way that fosters active participation. Other times when I’ve been there I’ve spectated and felt quite alienated from the liturgy. My reading of Musicam Sacram is that it allows Westminster to do the things it does, liturgy in Latin, preserving the musical heritage and so forth – but also that Musicam Sacram encourages me to continue to use Walker, Inwood et al. My reading of the post-conciliar liturgical documents is that they encourage Westminster to concentrate more on participation than it perhaps has done in the past, and that they encourage me to make more use of Latin and plainchant than perhaps I have done before recent times. I attended Mass at Clifton a couple of years ago and we sang Chris Walker’s St Augustine’s Gloria – a 4 part choir of maybe 20 voices, a congregation of 5/600, and as one of those 5/600 I became part of a 4 part choir of 5/600. It was exhilarating and gave me a great sense of the congregation as body of Christ united in prayer and song – totally different from Saturday’s experience, but no less valid.

One last thought, prompted by the anniversary of the late Holy Father. Has anybody else considered that if we, as a church, really did know the ordinary of the Mass in Latin, set to the simpler melodies (spot that paraphrase!), then on the day of his funeral hundreds of millions of people across the world could have participated actively in that Mass? As signs of the Church as mystical body of Christ go, uniting myself in prayer and song with my brother in Kenya or my sister in Cambodia would have taken some beating.

Posts: 430
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 11:21 pm

Post by Merseysider »

What a superb post.
Keep up the good work – in church and in school.
Now, is there any chance that Reginald could be appointed as some sort of music advisor to one or two other cathedrals I can think of?

User avatar
Posts: 1605
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 8:47 am
Location: UK

Post by musicus »

Merseysider wrote:What a superb post.

Indeed! Welcome to the (visible) forum, Reginald.

(How many others will this thread draw ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem?) *


* no prizes...
musicus - moderator, Liturgy Matters

User avatar
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:57 am
Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
Location: Glos

Post by VML »

Reginald, welcome, and thanks for all you are doing, which is so important.
What we learn at school sets the foundation for so much;( that's one reason why so many couples currently have Colours of Day at their weddings! :D )
I wonder how many schools actually sing anything more than hymns at school Masses, and if they do, is it still the American or Israeli 70s Mass parts.

You are so right when you suggest we should all know some of the simplest and most used plainsong Latin Masses. I grew up with a fairly good grounding and could join in with some of the Papal solemnities last year. Our school here has at times over the years done quite well with singing the Mass, but at the moment, it is just hymns. In the 70s we had a head who was determined the children should absorb their heritage and taught then Credo 3. It made an impression on some who are now in their thirties.

In some ways enthusiasm counts for more than virtuosity when involving young people. You are setting the foundations of the parish musicians of the future.

Keep working on your parish, it can be a long slow process but well worth the effort.


Post Reply