The 'New' Mass Settings Begin

One of the more underreported aspect of the introduction of the "new" Mass translations (aka the "new" Roman Missal) to be rolled out in Advent this year is the requirement for new musical settings for the various Mass parts.  I.e., new translations mean that some of those old, familiar tunes aren't going to work as well, if at all.  The Anchoress, now over at Patheos, has posted this new setting of the Gloria, which gives you an idea of what is changing and what is not.  See what you think. 

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7 years ago
It sounded like the Gregorian chant I heard at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA.  It sounded rather prayerful.
Stephen Murray
7 years ago
Wow is all I can say.  Deeply beautiful in that voice.  
Marie Rehbein
7 years ago
It sounds OK, but it doesn't have the energizing quality of some of the settings currently in wide use. 
Winifred Holloway
7 years ago
I like it. Reverent, simple, lovely.  My biggest gripe is with liturgical music that can only be sung by a cantor or choir, but is unsingable by the congregation, i.e, too complex and  too many notes in a high register.  Chant and its variations, I think, is both beautiful and easy for non-singers like myself. 
Brad Roberts
6 years 12 months ago
I agree with others who have said it was very pretty and prayerful.

I am in the choir in my parish and we will be going to a meeting in March to listen to and help choose some of these settings for our diocese - I am encouraged by this one!

I do hope there is a setting that can more easily be sung by the congregation, though, as that is how we currently do it.
Robert Killoren
6 years 12 months ago
I agree with Norma and Winifred: it sounds lovely and liturgical in a very monastic way; but chant based on a Romance language will never induce the full and active participation of an English speaking congregation. Chant doesn't just happen! It may sound simple, but it is far from it. It takes months and months for monks to learn a new chant and get to the point where it sounds half-way decent. There is certainly a place for chant, but I'm not sure that it does anything to enhance the poor and stilted translations of the new Roman Missal. You can't make English sound or flow like Latin because it has an entirely different grammar and sentence structure. Liturgical chant in the Western Church has evolved for over a thousand years faithfully wed to Latin. Greek and Slavic chant is very different than Roman chant for the same reason. Arabic chant of the Christians of the Holy Land is even more different and sounds more like you are in a mosque than a church, and then there's the chant of the Tibetan monks which is stranger still to our ears. Can you imagine putting our English Gloria to a Buddhist chant? We've never come up with a chant suitable to English or if we have I haven't heard it. However, English is very well suited to the melodic, metered, and simple folk songs of the Germanic peoples. Some people may mock contemporary Christian music but it is molded to the English language just as much is Latin is to chant. But what do I know, I'm only a Deacon.
6 years 12 months ago
It's very beautiful.  Still sounds somewhat difficult to sing, but somewhat easier than current versions of the Gloria in church, which are just musically horrid.

Personally, I'm good with an opening musical piece, an offering piece, and a concluding piece sung by a choir. 

I love when the congregation responses are spoken; the rhythm and monotone are mesmerizing.  I find when I'm struggling for the musical notes, I lose touch with the words.  More people participate when responses are spoken.  And, dare I say, it moves mass along at a nice pace; I mean, really, do we need to sing "Amen" 3 times (5 syllables each) for a total of 15 syllables before the Lord's Prayer?

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