NE FACTOR standing in the way of authentic liturgical reform had to do with the books. Many books were printed only in Latin, but the people who should have understood that language no longer did. However, I will speak more about this problem at another time. The reason I brought it up should become obvious as you read on.
The Lalemant Propers were recently given official approval for liturgical use by the bishop of the diocese where they were published. While the bishop’s approval was not technically required by current Ecclesiastical law, this approval is yet another positive encouragement and reminder that we ought to be singing the Propers at Mass (under normal circumstances) and not replacing them with something else.
Download the complete Ordo Cantus Missae here in PDF.
HE LALEMANT PROPERS correspond to the Novus Ordo (“Ordinary Form”), so they follow the ORDO CANTUS MISSAE, just like the Simple English Propers.
Now . . . what the heck is the Ordo Cantus Missæ?
The Ordo Cantus Missæ is a book published in 1970 which assigns all the Mass Propers to the new (Novus Ordo) calendar. Most of the Propers for the Sundays stayed the same as they were in the 1962 Missale Romanum. In other words, it usually just “points” the user to various Sundays from the old calendar (found in Pothier’s 1908 Graduale).
First, let me give you the documents, and then I’ll make some observations:
Here are three (3) different English translations:
To make life easy, you can also download this:
NLESS YOU ARE A SUPER GENIUS, it will probably be necessary to read the above documents several times to fully understand them. Here are two observations that seem worth stressing:
1. Notice the footnote in the 1974 Graduale published by Solesmes, giving justification for why they omitted the so-called neo-Gregorian Communion antiphons:
“Illæ melodiæ in hac editione privata omittuntur.”
(These melodies have been omitted in this book, which is a private edition.)
Most folks don’t realize that the 1974 Solesmes Graduale is a private edition. The Ordo Cantus Missæ is the official post-Conciliar book. This reminds me of how most people fail to realize that the 1908 Editio Vaticana was not created by Solesmes. People like myself and Jean-Pierre Noiseaux have been stressing this (in vain) for more than a decade. In any event, the so-called neo-Gregorian Communions can still be sung, but Solesmes didn’t want to encourage their use, so they left them out. Pretty sneaky, if you ask me.
2. Notice, too, what the Ordo Cantus Missæ says about the Gloria (below are three different English translations):
“The hymn Gloria in excelsis is begun by the priest, or, if appropriate, by a cantor. It is presented either by a cantor and choir in alternation, or by two choirs responding to one another.”
“The hymn, Gloria in excelsis Deo, is intoned by the priest or by the cantor, if that is convenient. It is continued alternately by the cantors and the choir or by two choirs alternating.”
“The hymn Gloria in excelsis is intoned by the priest or, if more convenient, by the cantor. It is sung either by cantors and choir alternating or by two choirs antiphonally.”
The Ordo Cantus Missæ, then, has absolutely no preference as to whether the priest ought to intone the Glory to God. Since there is no preference, it seems best to follow the long-standing tradition of the Church, wherein the priest alone intones the Gloria. For centuries, this has been done (although some Mozart Masses seem not to respect this tradition).
By the way, all of the Mass settings in English I have composed for the New Translation can be intoned by the Celebrant. The video on the right comes from my St. Edmund Arrowsmith Mass Setting.
This article is part of a series: