E ARE QUICKLY approaching the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus this Sunday in the Extraordinary Form calendar. As many of us continue to face restrictions for our choirs (if they are allowed at all), I wanted to take a moment to share a series of chant hymns for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus that could be sung by a single cantor or by a very small group of singers. Although we can acknowledge that Gregorian chant is not ideally sung as a solo, there are times when it simply must be so, such as now.
I lifted these hymns straight out of the Franciscan Cantuale Romano-Seraphicum, which has an entire section dedicated to chants for the Holy Name of Jesus. Some of these hymns will be familiar, and others you’ve surely never set eyes on before today.
I know that few people ever look in these rare Franciscan hymnals, so I thought I would dust some off for you since I have had the good fortune using them recently when we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis in the Extraordinary Form on October 4th. It has been a fascinating peek into these rare hymnals. Here is a clip of the gorgeous, joyous and uplifting Alleluia verse for that feast day. Another treasure was the rare sequence, Sanctitatis Nova Signa for the same feast, which I quickly recorded for the use of our Schola. I might have made a more careful recording of it had I known that this was going to end up being made public!