ILBERT K. CHESTERTON said famously, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” When it comes to the Sung Propers, we can say that, in general, they have not even been found, much less tried. But if they were to be found, they might be judged too difficult to begin immediately. Therefore, the following resources have been provided to assist choirmasters. During this demonstration, we shall consider the Introit from Pentecost (some documents refer to it as the “Entrance Chant”). As with the vast majority of the Mass Propers, this chant is very ancient. To see more versions, click here.
Here’s how the PENTECOST INTROIT looked around the year 970AD:
The official version of the PENTECOST INTROIT in our modern chant books can be found in the Gregorian Missal. The entire Gregorian Missal can be downloaded for free courtesy of the CMAA, but watch out because it’s a large download (26MB). By the way, here’s a website with video recordings and organ accompaniments for every chant in the Gregorian Missal.
1. Gregorian Missal
Here’s how the PENTECOST INTROIT looks in the Gregorian Missal:
2. Graduale Parvum
Is that version too difficult for you? One alternative might be the simplified version (in Latin & English) found in the Graduale Parvum, a book being created by Fr. Guy Nicholls at a new institute. The Graduale Parvum can be downloaded for free courtesy of the James MacMillan’s Blog.
Here’s how the PENTECOST INTROIT looks in the Graduale Parvum:
3. Simple English Propers
Another simplified version can be found in the Simple English Propers, published by the Church Music Association of America. The complete book can be downloaded for free courtesy of the CMAA, but be advised it’s a large download (11.3MB).
Here’s how the PENTECOST INTROIT looks in the Simple English Propers:
4. Arbogast Propers
Yet another simplified setting can be found in a 1964 collection by Fr. Paul Arbogast. His complete book can be downloaded for free courtesy of the CMAA. Be careful with this book, because the Propers don’t always perfectly match the Ordinary Form, since the Ordinary Form was not complete until 1969.
Here’s how the PENTECOST INTROIT looks in the Arbogast Propers:
5. Lalemant Propers
If you require the absolute simplest Mass Propers, try the musical settings in the Lalemant Propers. The entire book (391 pages) can be downloaded for free.
Here’s how the PENTECOST INTROIT looks in the Lalemant Propers:
We have examined simple musical settings of the Propers, mainly in English, but it should be noted that before the Second Vatican Council, many simplified versions were also done in Latin.