About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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“We decided to entrust this work to learned men of our selection. They very carefully collated all their work with the ancient codices in Our Vatican Library and with reliable, preserved or emended codices from elsewhere. Besides this, these men consulted the works of ancient and approved authors concerning the same sacred rites; and thus they have restored the Missal itself to the original form and rite of the holy Fathers.”
— Pope St. Pius V (Quo Primum, 1570)

Gregorian chant is not all the same
published 12 November 2016 by Veronica Brandt

the selfish giant LOVE THE CHANCE TO BRING CHANT TO a wider audience. I love that the director of our parish Christmas play has asked us to sing some Gregorian chant as a way of creating a sombre, reverent mood at the death of the Selfish Giant. I’m just a bit miffed at the assumption that Gregorian chant is always a sombre category of music.

Gregorian chant covers a huge range of music, encompassing the lively processional hymn “Gloria, Laus et Honor tibi sit”, the uplifting introit for Laudate Sunday in Lent, so many soaring Alleluias, the beautiful Marian antiphons to name but a few. There are pieces for every liturgical occasion.

Of course, most recordings of chant feature all male choirs in resonant churches, which makes sense considering the ideals of liturgical music. They often sing quite slowly – a reflection of the acoustics of the venues, the patience of the contemplative life and awesome breath control. But you can sing it a little faster, especially with smaller people with smaller lung capacity (and attention spans).

I’m thinking of singing the offertory antiphon for the last Sundays of the year. The words are “De profundis” as a nod to something of a turning point in Oscar Wilde’s life ending in a death-bed conversion. Other contenders are “Ubi Caritas” or “Christus factus est” from Holy Thursday, “Absolve” or “Libera me” from the Mass for the Dead. What would you choose?