English Vesperal for Liturgy of the Hours
  • I thought I would share a project I have been working on for some time. This was produced for Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, LA. It consists of the offices of second vespers for all the Sundays of the academic year along with first and second vespers and compline for memorials, feasts, and solemnities which are significant during the school year.

    I would appreciate criticism.
  • This looks beautiful!

    Can you talk a bit about your text and melody sources—especially hymns? Does this follow the first or second edition of the LotH?

    BTW, the hymn for Christ the King is misprinted in the AR2; it should end on “re” as per LH. (I inquired to Solesmes, and they confirmed.)
    Thanked by 1awilliams
  • I updated the pdf above with the corrected ending for the Hymn of Christ the King (and the Baptism of the Lord). I thought the hymn should end on "re" but didn't dare alter the final pitch from the most recent Solesmes edition. I am glad to know it is a misprint.

    As noted in the introductory matter of the text, most of the hymn translations are by the Sisters of St. Cecelia's Abbey. They were gracious enough to allow the seminary to reproduce their hymn texts for our own offices. Those hymn translations which were not done by them are either in the public domain or were done by me, another seminarian, or a priest I worked with.

    The melodies are based on the gregorian melodies, but use principles proposed by Dom Dominic Braud, O.S.B. of St. Joseph Abbey in Louisiana. The late Fr. Dominic made a nearly full, hand-written adaptation of the Benedictine office to the English texts. Since I lived at the Abbey for four years, I was exposed to his work and found his methods supported the English text while retaining its gregorian "feel". Thus, for several melodies, nuemes have been slightly altered or simplified to better fit the English accentuation.

    This is a principle I have had disagreements with others on. While I certainly acknowledge that, as many have proposed, their is no authentic "melodic" stress that is imposed on a text, it is my experience, singing daily with a community of non-expert musicians, it is easier to sing a text if the melody seems to support its natural accentuation.

    For example, in the Vespers II hymn of Sundays Week I and III, if the text is applied directly to the original melody the music seems to support a stressing of:
    o BLEST cre-A-tor of THE LIGHT.

    However, if you alter the melody as seen in my text, the music seems to support:
    o BLEST cre-A-tor OF the LIGHT.

    The latter, at least to me, seems more reasonable to propose to non-musicians.

    As far the antiphons go, these melodies are my own adaptations of the gregorian originals. Most of the time the originals are as seen in the Antiphonale Romanum or the Antiphonale Monasticum. However, since the Liturgy of the Hours (Second Edition) does not always match the Antiphonale text, and I don't have the authority to alter the English texts, I had to sometimes forge a connection between the official Liturgy of the Hours text and an antiphon from another source.

    Thus, for example, if I found a text which did not match, I would look at the Latin edition of the Liturgy of the Hours, find the Latin antiphon and then search though several antiphonaries and databases to find an antiphon with a similar text, or a text from a near-vicinity in scripture, or a larger antiphon which contained some or all of the needed text within it. Then, the English adaptation used these gregorian antiphons as the basis of their melodies.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,298
    I'll echo Felipe's "beautiful".

    "mdmsllfs" is the version (of Creator alme) found in H82 and is a good sorter of Anglicans from Lutherans, Methodists and GIAians, whose instinct is to sing mdmsslfs instead.

    I did wonder though about the next hymn, (the first comma I'm sure is unintended) which besides being unfamiliar to me has one note too many for my taste:
    "The, maker of the _ world today
    …Now John fulfills his _ childhood call…"

    Thanked by 1awilliams
  • Thanks for your comments. I updated the PDF removing the comma and the extra note.

    Some of these melodies have a history of use in the house, but I am not completely attached to them, especially if I am going to distribute these more widely.
  • Seems like a great project.

    One question based on a quick glance: the neume on "God" on p. 11 seems unusual; I think of diamonds being used generally when they descend from the virga.

    Did you do this in Gregorio/LaTeX? A few of the diamond notes appear odd on my computer screen, although I've noticed that that's sometimes the case with Gregorio, whereas they look fine when printed.

    fr Innocent, op
  • Just scrolled through the whole thing. Wonderful typography and layout.

    One suggestion would be to think about the rules for when titles/labels are printed at the bottom of the page. For instance, the placement of

    CANTICLE 1 Peter 2: 21-24

    at the bottom of p. 30 is a little odd, although I recognize the difficulty of spacing in these cases. Maybe one solution would be to change the parameters for section titles (assuming you're using LaTeX) and then use a consistent mode of referring to psalm texts; in that case, you could put a reference to the first and second psalm separately to space things out more.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 628
    This is certainly a laudable project! At least it encouraged me to press forward with a similar project in Dutch.

    I particularly like the way the gregorian melodies have been adapted to the English, with the melody supporting the text's natural accentuation. I followed more or less the same principles in my Dutch adaptation of the Graduale Simplex (Klein Graduale).

    As far as I can see, no use of Gregorio is made, but of a gregorian font instead. With regard to layout and typesetting, there are some minor issues, but overall it looks very nice and dignified!

    Did I spot correctly that you use different fonts for the main text (Garamond) and italic (Palatino)?
  • The main text is Garamond and the italic is Palatino. I did this because I find the Garamond italics to be far too slanted for easy reading. They don't always flow best together, but the change in font also makes the shift noticeable. The asterisks and crosses are also taken from different fonts.

    The book is formated from the Caecila font, not Gregorio. This allows me freedom to have far more control of the formatting than I would if I plugged it into Gregorio and let it churn out a book.

    The issues of the titles on pages is something I would like to clean up, but my goal was to fit everything on as few pages as possible for printing costs.

    Also, in regard to the diamond notes on page 11, I thought this was a strange usage but I found the same used on the same antiphon from two separate sources. At least in my little research, it seems to be unique.
  • I have also had a chance to look at some of the ICEL drafts of the new translation of the LotH, so have make adequate preparations to make the shift when it occurs. It will not require as major a rewriting project as it may seem to reproduce this same text with he revised translation.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,271
    I find the Garamond italics to be far too slanted for easy reading.

    Thanked by 1awilliams
  • CGM
    Posts: 363
    Is the apostrophe is upside-down on the word "med-'cine" on the fourth line of the first page? And "ev-'ning" on the next line?
  • CGM
    Posts: 363
    "mdmsllfs" is the version (of Creator alme) found in H82 and is a good sorter of Anglicans from Lutherans, Methodists and GIAians, whose instinct is to sing mdmsslfs instead.

    But "mdmsslfs" is how this melody is given in the Liber Usualis, so there is some precedent for Catholics to sing it that way.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • I am glad I posted this before I printed it. This is the problem of not having a real editor.

    PDF is updated
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,517

    Try this on for size:

    Or this, and note the different termination:

    And this is still different ("mdmsslfs") with yet a different terminaton:
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,271
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 197
    :) There was a great idea in the beginnings of the Church to forbid singing altogether. It would effectively prevent the scandal of different tunes for the same text.

    Unfortunately, the "musicians" defeated the "reciters" back then ...
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 969
    @ CHGiffen
    Are those images from the Cantus Database?

    As for melodies for this Hymn... N.B. the following website is far from a complete database!

    More variations here, https://societyofstbede.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/the-first-sunday-of-advent/

    For those scandalised by the differences think how long this hymn has been sung, and how far across the globe!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 197
    "Conditor alme siderum" has mode annotation "D". I suppose it's a typo.

    It may happen that I will sing through all the antiphons in the days following. @awilliams do you want me to send you my remarks resulting from such a review?
    Thanked by 1awilliams
  • I would love to hear your comments, thank you.
  • @awilliams this is fantastic! Great work and thank you for sharing.