HOSE OF US LIVING in Los Angeles have basically been locked in our homes since March due to the government’s Covid-19 response. This has added even more isolation to our society, which was already “secluded by electronic devices.” Something missing from our society is the sharing of “life moments.” For example, I experienced tremendous joy about six months ago. Every year during the Sacred Music Symposium, I teach a course on multi-track recordings, but I was starting to question whether these classes were doing any good, and then…SURPRISE! Former students revealed the marvelous Brébeuf Virtual Choir, which they named after one of my favorite saints. 1
When I saw what those kids were doing with the Brébeuf Virtual Choir, my heart was moved. I felt like I was making a difference! And now, I have another “life moment” to share. A former student of mine—thrilled by our recent focus (01, 02, 03) on the Graduale Romanum—has revealed to me a project “in the works” for several years. Essentially, composers have come together to create simple settings of the Roman Gradual with harmonizations based upon Organum comitans ad Graduale sacrosanctae romanae ecclesiae, a production of the LEMMENSINSTITUUT (now part of the University of Leuven, where Fulton J. Sheen went to school). These settings strike me as especially fitting during what Dr. Tappan described as “Covidtide.”
Here’s a sample of their project, which can be shared freely:
* PDF Download • “Seek first the kingdom of God”
—Simple settings from the Roman Gradual, posted with permission.
This text is the Communion Antiphon for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time; but it can also be used for any Sunday during Ordinary Time. The Roman Gradual says:
In omnibus Missis de Tempore eligi potest pro opportunitate, loco cuiusvis cantus diei proprii, alius ex eodem tempore. Translation: In all Masses of the Time it is permitted to replace the proper chant of the day with another belonging to the same season.
The PRAENOTANDA of the Graduale Romanum adds: “this is so that pastoral necessities may be more widely satisfied.”
Roman Gradual vs. Vulgata
The text of the Roman Gradual is based upon Matthew 6:33, yet it’s hardly identical:
Primum quaérite regnum Dei,
et ómnia adiciéntur vobis,
“Seek first the kingdom of God,
and all things shall be added to you,
says the Lord.”
Saint Jerome’s Vulgate:
Quaerite ergo primum regnum Dei,
et iustitiam eius:
et haec omnia adicientur vobis.
“Therefore seek first the kingdom of God,
and the justness thereof:
and all these things will be added to you.”
From what I can tell, this new project adheres to the Graduale Romanum, not the Vulgate (which came later).
In Need Of Assistance
The website for the Chaumonot Composers Group indicates they are currently searching for a webmaster and publisher. As a 501(c)3 public charity, Corpus Christi Watershed does not publish any books directly since 2013. The artists we promote—Peter Kwasniewski, John Naples, Kevin Allen, Aristotle Esguerra, Peter R. Johnson, and so forth—receive 100% of all profits. Corpus Christi Watershed does not take a “cut” of any sort. This new project is not something our organization can assist with, although we plan to promote it. For myself, I have been published by WLP, but that company was recently purchased by GIA Publications. The website also says they’re in need of someone who can convert their Roman Gradual scores from modern notation into GABC (“Gregorio”). If you can help them in this area, please follow that link!
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 I would like to know who decided on such an awesome name! My guess is a particular young lady who is actually related (believe it or not) to one of the Jesuit martyrs. She recently went off to college in Texas, studying music.