QUAERITUR: Books for singing the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin

From a reader:

I know that the Liber Usualis and the Graduale are the two main places to find the appropriate chants for any given feast day in the Extraordinary form of the Mass, but I was wondering where one is to find the chants for the Novus Ordo and the New Calendar? Is there a special book for this, along the lines of the Liber Usualis? Thanks and God bless during this Lent!

I’m glad you asked.

The entire Mass according to the Novus Ordo can be sung entirely in Latin in Gregorian chant using the proper texts for each and every day.

Graduale RomanumFor the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) the useful book (literally “Liber Usualis”) is the Graduale Romanum published by the Benedictine monks at Solesmes in France. This book has all the ordinary and proper chants for Mass for the whole year. It is approved by the Holy See.

You will find even that there are graduals which would be used in place of the responsorial psalms.

A group of signers, schola cantorum, armed with this book can do it all, from soup to nuts for all Masses in the Ordinary Form.

I have been deeply concerned that the use of Latin will be relegated to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  We need to have the Ordinary Form in Latin as often as possible as well.

For the priest at the altar, there is not only the 3rd edition of the Missale Romanum, which has musical notation for the parts that can be sung, there is another book by the monks at Solesmes called the Ordo Missae in cantu, which provides all the chants the priests needs.

Another useful little book would be the Cantus Selecti which has “selected chants” such as antiphons and other texts for communion time, etc. If you get more ambitious and have a good budget, the monks at solesmes also have a Kyriale, which has the ordinary chants for Mass that the congregation can use to sing all those parts that pertain to them.

For example, there are alternate chants for familiar seasonal texts:

20120225-105043.jpg

There are also lots of online resources.  Check out Chant Cafe, for example.  My friend Jeffrey Tucker has good stuff available.  There are workshops for people who want to learn to sing Holy Mass in Latin.

But that is a start.

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33 Responses to QUAERITUR: Books for singing the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin

  1. Maltese says:

    It is true that a Novus Ordo said in Latin and accompanied by Gregorian Chant is more meaningful than a Novus Ordo said by Cardinal Schonborn surrounded by balloons and discoteque music. But why is it that the Vetus Ordo invites itself to beauty and art, whereas the Novus Ordo invites itself to banality, novelty, and ugliness? [Why before the Council did the "Vetus" Ordo invite sloppy and rushed liturgy which promoted the Council Fathers to mandate changes?]

  2. Geoffrey says:

    “I have been deeply concerned that the use of Latin will be relegated to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. We need to have the Ordinary Form in Latin as often as possible as well.”

    Amen! But how?!

  3. discerningguy says:

    But how? By waiting until the generational problem goes away. Yes, it’s morbid. But it’s true.

  4. TNCath says:

    I’ve been very concerned about this issue as well, especially with all the attention being given to the new translations of the Ordinary Form, which has led most parishes to learn new musical settings of the parts of the Mass in English. Our parish has continued to sing the parts of the Mass (Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) in Latin; however, there are grumblings among a few malcontents that “we need to learn a new Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei” in English and am worried we might get pressure from the pastor to do so.

  5. benedictgal says:

    The book that I have been using at my father’s parish is called the “Simple English Propers”, by Adam Bartlett. It is, pretty much, the Roman Gradual translated into English. The verses from the corresponding psalms come from the revised translation of the Grail Psalter.

    We have had some very good response at my father’s parish and, whenever I cantor at my parish, I chant the communion antiphon. For the Ash Wednesday Mass, my parochial vicar gave me the opportunity to chant the Introit and the Communion antiphon from the SEP. A lot of the faithful reacted positively to the use of the SEPs.

    Now, I do not know how to read music. What help me greatly are the online YouTube tutorials of the SEPs that the Corpus Christi Watershed makes available on a very regular basis. It’s a bit of a sacrifice to learn a new chant each week (especially if you don’t know how to read music), but, it is a sacrifice well worth making for the sake of having the music that the OF was meant to have in the first place.

  6. benedictgal says:

    By the way, you can order the Simple English Propers at Amazon.com for $17. It is well worth the investment.

  7. benedictgal says:

    I just realized that the thread was about singing the Mass in LATIN, my bad. Nonetheless, the fact that someone has taken it upon himself to provide us with chant that can be used in English is a good sign. Even if it’s not in Latin, the positive remains that the SEP can certainly be a most effective tool to introduce parishes and parishioners to chant.

  8. NoTambourines says:

    You, too, can sing the notation in Fr. Z’s posting above:

    http://ceciliaschola.org/pdf/squarenotes.pdf

    I went to Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school, and where did I learn about chant notation? In a graduate music program at a public university. Not through any Church-sponsored activity.

  9. Funny, no one seems to have mentioned the Gregorian Missal produced by the Monks of Solesmes which has the Gregorian Music for Sundays and Feasts — it is shorter, cheaper, and easier to use than the Graduale. [I mentioned the Graduale Romanum since you can do everything with it. But the Gregorian Missal is great for people in the pews participating at Mass.] It is, for our purposes, the new rite’s Liber Usualis. And it is available not only in hardback from Solesmes but also in download form from Sacra Musica, here: http://musicasacra.com/2009/01/21/gregorian-missal-online/

    And thank you, Fr. Z., for reminding people that sloppy irreverent liturgy is not magically produced by using the EF. [Or OF.] As you said, I remember rushed (25 minute) Sunday Masses with sermon before V2. And I remember priests reading Latin as if it were a babble of incoherent sounds to get through it faster. There is no “magic bullet.”

  10. Maltese says:

    Why before the Council did the “Vetus” Ordo invite sloppy and rushed liturgy which promoted the Council Fathers to mandate changes?

    That’s a good point, Father, but I think it was less the Ordo itself and more the lackadaisical attitude of so many of the Priests praying it, and a false sense that progress can only be achieved by changing venerable things, that caused the Council Fathers to mandate changes. [So too it is the way priests distort the Novus Ordo with their own attitudes that produce the sacrilegious stupidity you mentioned.]

    Fortunately–and this is a great irony–nothing was changed in the TLM (as the Council Fathers called for), but it was replaced with the NO, thereby preserving the TLM, whole and intact. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways!

    But, I do agree with you Father: there was a tendency for rushed liturgy before the Council, sometimes mumbled in twenty-five minutes with old ladies fingering their beads as the stereotype goes (which was sometimes, sadly, a fact). In superseding the TLM, the NO actually made those Priests and parishioners still praying it appreciate its beauty, nuances, and traditional prayers all the more.

    But no person on earth can convince me that the NO can inspire art like the TLM can. Listen to a Kyrie by Palestrina or Mozart’s Requiem Agnus Dei; [I know all about this music, since it was an experience of this sort of sacred music - in the context of the NOVUS ORDO, which helped draw me to conversion to Catholicism.] though separated by many centuries, these composers were inspired to high-art by the TLM. The NO has not and will not ever inspire high-art. Don’t take it on my word, here is what Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci, prior master of the Sistine Chapel, has to say:

    [The Novus Ordo] “…was born without music, I would even say with a poorly concealed aversion to music…” [This is really a different topic. No? However, Bartolucci is wrong about that point. The entire treasury of the Church's sacred music can be used in the Novus Ordo. The Church's legislation on sacred music after the Council provides for great flexibility. If people wanted to use it, they could. Of course liberals and iconclasts who dominated in the intervening decades foisted one lie after another on the people of God and we got the rubbish that has so disturbed us every since.]

    Love and beauty are intertwined and the product of the will of God. The Novus Ordo is the product of man, the Traditional Latin Mass is inspired by God.

  11. jkm210 says:

    If you are in the market for English-language communion antiphons based on the Gradual chants (and composed in the same mode as each Latin Gradual chant to encourage singing in combination with them), check out Laudate Dominum Communion Antiphons .

    These can be downloaded and printed for free, for parish and other non-commercial use. Practice recordings are in the process of being added.

  12. Why before the Council did the “Vetus” Ordo invite sloppy and rushed liturgy which promoted the Council Fathers to mandate changes?

    If indeed it did, as so many spirit of Vatican II liturgists have repeated this assertion so often that it’s generally believed to be true. But in worshiping in numerous parishes in multiple dioceses in three regions of the country prior to Vatican II, both Sunday and daily Mass, I never personally saw a “sloppy and rushed liturgy”. I wonder if anyone can produce actual evidence bearing on this question. No doubt there were occasional abuses, but frequent ones (as now in the OF)? [My point was that priests distort rites. The rites, when properly observed, don't automatically tend to sloppiness or stupidity.]

  13. cecelia tone says:

    In my little church choir the lady playing the organ does not sign herself with the cross at the beginning of Mass. Lord help us! [Maybe she's Jewish and this is a Sunday job.]

  14. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    The Processional Cross at my parish is held aloft at 89.5 degrees TOPS (usually more like 89.25 degrees) when being carried down the aisle. Have the servers no respect? /sarcasm

    Really people, these comments are a) way off topic, and b) tending towards really nitpicky. Bad things happen. Sometimes even really bad things. Pray, and be charitable.

    Slightly more on topic however, for Parishes that have Mass in Latin often in either (or both) the OF and EF, I don’t know why they don’t invest in these: The Parish Book of Chant.

    They have both forms, many traditional hymns, and are dirt cheap for what you get (a sturdy, hard cover, dual form 200 page book.)

  15. brjeromeleo says:

    At St. Mary’s Monastery, in Petersham, MA, we use the Graduale Romanum from Solesmes all the time. We have the OF with all sung parts in Latin, the rest mostly in English, except on Thursdays, when the entire Mass is in Latin. It works very well. We don’t do the responsorial Psalm, use the Graduale instead. We also use Cantus Selecti for chants at Benediction, and the new, three volume Antiphonale Monasticum from Solesmes for the Office.

  16. BobP says:

    If for several years we were working on a more literal translation of the Mass and putting so much importance on it, why would we want to undermine that effort by replacing it with Latin? Just trying to be devil’s advocate with this question. Of course I fully support the Latin and love watching the Pope say the Mass.

  17. Elizabeth D says:

    At my parish now they have some Gregorian chant at the 9am Mass, the Introit and Communio.

    With piano accompaniment. Yes, Gregorian chant with piano. The choir are students and they are just learning chant (though they are experienced choir members and did all right). But still. The person playing the piano is an internationally known liturgy expert who shall remain unnamed though for the record he didn’t look enthused (and he is not the music director so must work within the framework of a parish not his own). The offertory of Mass with piano accompanied Gregorian Introit and Communio last Sunday was “Amazing Grace”. The recessional was “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”. Does that make any sense whatsoever?

  18. Elizabeth D says:

    At my parish now they have some Gregorian chant at the 9am Mass, the Introit and Communio.

    With piano accompaniment. Yes, Gregorian chant with piano. The choir are students and they are just learning chant (though they are experienced choir members and did all right). But still. The person playing the piano is an internationally known liturgy expert who shall remain unnamed though for the record he didn’t look enthused (and he is not the music director so must work within the framework of a parish not his own, he was brought in to teach chant). The offertory of Mass with piano accompanied Gregorian Introit and Communio last Sunday was “Amazing Grace”. The recessional was “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”. Does that make any sense whatsoever?

  19. NoTambourines says:

    Elizabeth D–

    There are websites and subscription services that suggest hymns for a given week’s Mass, and sometimes even those are like, whaaaaa?

    Sometimes there really isn’t anything in the Gather (or Glory and/or Praise) hymnal or the missalette, and no one wants to reach back past the wall of fire to pre-conciliar hymns from the Bad Old Church (at least that’s the way some people talk about it) that might line up more closely with the week’s readings, let alone chant. So choirs wind up with their stock hymns to punt on.

    At least the responsorial psalms come with their own musical settings, but on the other hand, I have a theory about those being harmonized by an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of pianos.

  20. Maltese says:

    [The Novus Ordo] “…was born without music, I would even say with a poorly concealed aversion to music…” [This is really a different topic. No? However, Bartolucci is wrong about that point. The entire treasury of the Church's sacred music can be used in the Novus Ordo.]

    Father, no, with all respect, I don’t think it’s a different topic. [No. It is.]

    Though an Agnus Dei or a Kyrie composed by, say, Palestrina or Mozart may be sung at a Novus Ordo Mass, they were still inspired by the Traditional Latin Mass. [So what?]

    You can plug-in traditional elements into the Novus Ordo, but, with all due respect, this is like putting lipstick on a pig. [Thank you for insulting the form of Mass that helped to bring me into the Catholic Church and for insulting all those who happily attend that form of Holy Mass and insulting all the priests who say it faithfully and reverently.]

    You can spend all eternity trying to make foul fair with makeup, but nothing can dress-up the Novus Ordo to make it palatable to God, or man. [I am ready to accept an apology in your next comment.]

  21. NoTambourines says:

    More for Elisabeth D: I hope these are permalinks; here is a window into what we generally have to work with. Two sites’ suggested hymns for the first Sunday of Lent:

    http://www.npm.org/Planning/yearb/1sl.html
    http://liturgy.slu.edu/1LentB022612/music_notre_dame.html

    You’ll never guess what’s on the list at the SLU page!

  22. Maltese says:

    Thank you for insulting the form of Mass that helped to bring me into the Catholic Church and for insulting all those who happily attend that form of Holy Mass and insulting all the priests who say it faithfully and reverently.

    Trust me, Father, that is not my intention! I have a very good Priest-friend who is tradition-friendly, but is forced by circumstance to only say the NO. [So, perhaps we can keep the focus on the priest and his ars celebrandi.]

    I, too, was brought into the Church by the NO; before I entered the Church I was an atheist. My grandfather was a 32 degree Mason. So I definitely have my own family baggage issues!

    Please pray for me, Father! Pax!

  23. Maltese says:

    Btw: I’m the only Catholic in my family tree as far as it can see!

    My brother-in-law is an ordained Calvinist minister. This makes for interesting family dinners! Actually, we avoid the topic of religion, mostly.

    I can tell you this, as a lawyer, protestants believe things based on emotion, catholics on reason.

    But the two do collide; faith and reason must coincide.

    Almighty God is there, but He doesn’t force Himself on us…

  24. ray from mn says:

    “The Parish Book of Chant, a New Collection of Gregorian Chant, including Order of Sung Mass for both Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite, along with Chants and Hymns for Occasional and Seasonal Use with English Translations for use as a Manual of Gregorian Chant and Liturgical Resource for Scholas and Congregations” prepared for The Church Music Association of America, mostly in Latin, with English translations, is a wonderful book for people who can barely carry a tune. Like me! I joined a schola and we use this as our primary resource.

    It uses “chant notation” but that is not difficult to learn. $9.95

  25. Pingback: SUNDAY EDITION | ThePulp.it

  26. jflare says:

    Maltese -
    In a sense I understand your view with regard to the Novus Ordo; certainly I find that attending Mass at most Novus Ordo churches can be a real let-down from my home parish. After I’d attended Mass at this church for a few years and had become more acquainted with a more reverent means of offering Mass, I had a chance to ask my pastor about our typical celebration. I was almost embarrassed to ask the question really, I still think of it as a Novus Ordo that includes many healthy traditional elements. I simply asked how much of our celebration came about from what HE wanted to do..and how much was REQUIRED. (And even that sounds like I might’ve been a bit obnoxious, but I almost didn’t dare ask at all.) I got the impression that he’d had that question (or something similar) A LOT because he calmly informed me that..we celebrated Mass according to the preferred rubrics! …Beings I’d not had a terrible lot of formal training with the Mass, I almost had to ask what a rubric WAS, but I think I knew just enough at the time to know what he meant.
    I will readily acknowledge that my parish is the ONLY place I’ve ever attended where we celebrate Mass in this manner–he and his associate typically offer Mass versus populum, by the way, though we do see ad orientem for Christmas and Easter often enough. But we DO celebrate in a manner that seems very fitting for our Father in heaven.

    Fr Z, I am a little perplexed though: If I review Dad’s Liber Usualis from his seminary days–I want to say 1956(?)–it definitely seems aimed for the (now) EF. Makes sense because the Novus Ordo didn’t exist at the time. Even so, I downloaded a copy from the internet–sorry, I don’t remember which site, maybe musicasacra or similar?)–and the..the general framework appears to me aimed pretty distinctly at the Extraordinary Form, all the way to having the chants laid out for the one year cycle of readings.

    From your comments though, I get the impression that the Liber aims to provide chants for the Ordinary Form, which has a 3-year cycle instead.
    Could I ask you to elaborate on that? [I never said that the Liber Usualis is used with the Ordinary Form. It would be easy enough to use it with for the Ordinary. You could use it for the Proper, I suppose, but you would have to be pretty nimble. The point of the entry is that the GRADUALE ROMANUM is useful for the Ordinary. Reread.. ]

  27. tripudians says:

    There is an important distinction to be made between Graduale Romanum (1961 was the last preconciliar edition afaik) and the book of the same name published in 1974. The former is EF, the latter OF of course.

    Another wonderful website with resources for both EF and OF which deserves to be mentioned in this thread:

    http://www.ccwatershed.org/liturgy/

  28. wmeyer says:

    In my parish, I dare not hope for Latin. I would settle for banishing Haugen, Haas, and Amazing Grace.

    I do remember with great pleasure the Latin Mass from before the post-Council rupture. I remember that not all celebrants were excellent, but I must say that in the 3 parishes which I attended at various times, I do not recall sensing anything but reverence in the approach of the priests and servers. In particular, I do not recall anything which might have been considered sloppy. I also recall hearing from friends who were altar boys of the scoldings they received if they failed to maintain the proper reverence and decorum while serving.

    Now before Mass, the Church is filled with noisy chatter, and few appear to pray at all. Worse, those not praying appear to have no regard for those who are. Having been raised to understand that such behavior is an extreme discourtesy at best, I find this appalling. Rather than God’s house, many seem to regard this as their house. Familiarity breeds contempt, and these folk seem entirely too familiar with the place. Familiar in the sense that no part of it is sacrosanct. Mind you, this may be partly due to the absence of the tabernacle, which is in the chapel.

    So great a need fr restoration. the Holy Father is patient, it seems, far more than this sinner.

  29. jflare says:

    I thought the Graduale was at least roughly derived FROM the Liber?
    Or did the Graduale only come about after 1969?

    I don’t claim to be a scholar on the subject, but the two appear to me to use the same liturgical calendar.

  30. Elizabeth D says:

    No Tambourines, the hymnals in this parish are “Gather Comprehensive” which does have a sufficient if modest selection of traditional hymns in addition to all the folk hymns from “Gather”. So there is no problem finding a suitable traditional hymn, if one wants to. But the choices are being made either by those who do not know better (university students), or those who consider the “Chant Cafe” style preference for exclusive use of sacred/traditional style music “ideological” and instead prefer variety (the music director).

    The Gregorian chant accompanied by piano was actually what most bothered me. The singers were good enough they didn’t strictly need piano assistance, and the piano was not just playing the melody but was really playing accompaniment. That is just not correct and no one who loves chant wants to hear it with piano.

  31. Robertus Pittsburghensis says:

    Jflare:

    Yes, the new Graduale was published after 1970. If I recall correctly, it was in 1974, leaving the OF without any official music book for some years after its introduction.

    I suppose it’s fair to say it was derived from the Liber, with some modifications made to adapt to the new form.

    The calendars are similar, but not the same. If you look closely, you will see differences. If you are a wonk like me, the differences will seem HUGE.

    Be sure you are looking at the right Graduale, though. There was a pre-Vatican-2 Graduale, as well as the new one in the seventies. Pater Zeta is talking about the new one.

  32. jflare says:

    “The calendars are similar, but not the same. If you look closely, you will see differences. If you are a wonk like me, the differences will seem HUGE.”

    No kidding!
    After becoming mildly acquainted with Chant, I decided to ask our choir director about what resources he used for, um, assembling the music for Mass. When he told me that he used the Graduale Romanum and the Graduale Simplex, I trotted out to the internet and bought a copy of each. ..Unfortunately, he hadn’t told me that the Graduale Romanum could be found BOTH in the 1961 edition AND in the 1974. I only knew (so I thought) to look for the Graduale Romanum. OOPS!! ..I think I must have purchased the 1961 edition, because I couldn’t make a lick of sense of it. I ultimately gave up and..*coughs*..tossed it. I still have the Simplex because we’ve used THAT now and then.

    Interestingly, I Googled the Romanum again last night, seems that GIA (of all publishers) has copies of the 1974 edition available. Can’t say I would’ve expected that from them!
    Eventually I think I shall buy one.

  33. Centristian says:

    I usually jump all over this topic but Father Z, in the words of Meatloaf, “took the words right out of my mouth”. I’ve never enjoyed the words of Our Blogger in red more.