OT LONG AGO, I had the pleasure of introducing a Church music project which is the handiwork of a former student of mine. She and several others have come together to compose vernacular settings for the ROMAN GRADUAL according to the principles of Organum Comitans ad Graduale Sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae by Aloys Desmet (d. 1917) and Oscar Depuydt (d. 1925). These young musicians call themselves the Chaumonot Composers Group, and are currently in search of a publisher. 1
Here is another example of their work, shared with permission:
* PDF Download • Communion Song (Ordinary Time)
—From the Graduale Romanum, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (Matthew 16:24).
I made a recording on my toy organ:
…just remember, I never claimed to have a ‘trained’ singing voice!
ERE I CURRENTLY serving as choirmaster in an Ordinary Form parish with multiple Sunday Masses, I would probably find four excellent Communion antiphons like this one and—for Sunday Masses without a choir, such as 5:00PM—rotate them as follows: (a) First Sunday of the month; (b) Second Sunday of the month; (c) Third Sunday of the month; (d) Fourth Sunday of the month. I think it’s good to have members of the congregation repeat an important verse from Sacred Scripture over and over, so they can have “bits and pieces” to meditate on throughout their lives. As Father Valentine Young used to say: “The parts of Scripture I like best are those parts I am most familiar with.” This text is the Communion Antiphon (from the ROMAN GRADUAL) for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B; but it can also be used for any Sunday during Ordinary Time, 2 as you can see:
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.”
These are the official rules for the Ordinary Form, signed by Archbishop Annibale Bugnini on 24 June 1972:
Importance of the Roman Gradual
Section 190 of the document “Sing to the Lord” (USCCB, 2007) says:
There are several options for the Communion song or chant, including the proper antiphon from the Graduale Romanum, a seasonal antiphon from the Graduale Simplex, an antiphon and psalm from a collection approved for liturgical use, or another appropriate liturgical song.
For the record, the “original translation from the Latin” found in the British Antiphonal added the words “says the Lord,” inexplicably:
Whoever wishes to come after me,
let him deny himself
and take up his cross and follow me,
says the Lord.
If they are trying to reproduce what’s in the Graduale Romanum, it’s difficult for me to understand why they would add things which are not found in the ancient Proprium Missae.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 This is similar to what we’ve seen with the Brébeuf Virtual Choir, which was formed by young singers who became friends at the FSSP Sacred Music Symposium in Los Angeles.
2 The PRAENOTANDA of the Graduale Romanum adds: “this is so that pastoral necessities may be more widely satisfied.”