Exsultet in English
  • WJA
    Posts: 234
    I will be singing the Exsultet in English for Vigil Mass. I've got a copy of the chant setting from the Sacramentary, but it's in modern notation that is a bit hard to read and interpret. Does anyone know whether there is a square-note version of this *in English*?

    WJA
  • Check the St. Meinrad's version. I think you have to order it -- it is not freely available. I have it and will be using it this year. It is very nice: http://www.saintmeinrad.edu/monastery_lit_musicproducts.aspx It is only $1.00, though... very reasonable.
  • WJA
    Posts: 234
    Sorry, I should have been a bit clearer: I have to sing the setting from the Missal, I'd just like to get it in square notation.

    But thanks for the reference; I'll check out the St. Meinrad's for future use.

    WJA
  • I'd be curious to know how much it varies... I haven't looked at the Missal version. do you have a pdf you could email me? j underscore gorbitz at yahoo dot com. I have the Meinrad fonts... perhaps I could transcribe it.
  • WJA
    Posts: 234
    Janet:

    I just e-mailed the Missal version to you.

    On a related note: where does a cantor sing the Exsultet from? The choir loft?

    WJA
  • Here is a Meinrad notation (not short) without priest/deacon parts:

    I am guessing wherever your cantor normally sings responsorial psalms?

    As I was comparing the Missal version to my Meinrad version, I found some interesting differences... aside from a few melodic changes, they had some inclusive language that differed from the Missal. For example: on the 2nd page, ... Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God!... The Meinrad chant changed the words to: Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth and all are reconciled with God!.

    They also left out the word "mankind" in the final line ... curious. In some ways I preferred the melodic differences of the Meinrad, but I definitely prefer the non-inclusive speech in the Missal.

    PS. Please someone tell me if I am not allowed to post this publicly...
  • WJA
    Posts: 234
    Thank you! You are too kind.

    WJA
  • Amazing how much more efficient it is in chant notation... 3 pages vs. 7 pages in modern.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,635
    Janet! You just received the fonts a few days ago! amazing.

    One thing on the podatus. It is not make of two punctums. The upper one is slightly smaller and requires that you hold down one of the keys. See the instructions on this point.
  • Thanks, Jeffrey... I'll review that and fix it for the future... I've already implemented some of the little tips about the formatting to snug the words up closer to the notation... this forum is great! I have had the font for awhile... but just never bothered to read all the little finer points in the manual :)

    I fixed the Exultet and reposted it above... it looks much better done properly. So nice to have a bit of space between the two notes of a podatus.
  • Here's the Meinrad Exultet set in modern notation.
  • Thanks, Adam! Can you tell me about the phrase ... "fashioned from the work of bees"... that is part of the St. Meinrad Exultet, but not in the Missal? I am very curious about that.
  • Janet--

    I'm actually just the messenger in this case. I don't know the answer to this. I seriously doubt that it was arbitrarily added--There must be some reason for it. Also, if there is any inclusive language in this setting it is probably due to the fact that it was originally prepared for one of the publishers, GIA I suspect, who doesn't publish square notes and, as we know, inclusive-izes every text. If there are known errors, etc., please post them and I can see if they can be changed.
  • Thanks, Adam... I am sure there was a valid reason for the phrase... and it is such an interesting one... it just piqued my curiosity. And, as you say, GIA et.al. do tend to modify the hymn texts to make them more inclusive. One that particularly annoyed me last Christmas was "Good Christian Friends, Rejoice"... just doesn't quite cut it.

    My copy of the Exultet that I ordered from the St. Meinrad site has the same text and is all in square-note notation... interesting, huh? Maybe it was the precursor to the modern notation version. I've not seen the modern notation version before now.
  • I think that the square note Exultet version pre-dates the Meinrad fonts, which is surely why there's no readily available digital form of the Exultet. We could reset it, but with the anticipated text changes coming in the new Missal it might not make sense to do a big typesetting push until we're sure that we have texts and settings that will endure!
  • frdgss
    Posts: 2
    Janet,
    I think you'll find the phrase about the "bees" in the old rite Exultet. Such a shame it was not retained in the 1970 Missal. Is it possible for you to post the square note Exultet (English) with the Deacon's dialogue? I see you've (correctly) omitted this bit for when a cantor sings it.
  • frdgss... thanks so much for the info. about the bees. Perhaps it will come back with the new translation... that would be nice. I'm attaching the Exultet with the Deacon or Priest part included. It is still a requirement that the Easter candle be made of beeswax, no?
  • Here is an article on the St. Meinrad setting of the Exultet, written by Fr. Columba Kelly. It references the use of the line about the "bees" and why it was included. It is also a very nice reflection on the nature of the Exultet.

    Sometimes a truly great event can turn a simple gesture, like lighting a candle at twilight for an evening prayer service, into a great work of ritual art. The simple candle becomes decorated with the symbols of the five wounds of the crucified Savior. The prayer that blesses the candle becomes a three-part work of literary art. Its musical setting is recognized as a masterpiece. This work is what the Sacramentary calls the Easter Proclamation, the Praeconium Paschale in Latin. It is more commonly called the Exsultet (rejoice) after the first word of the Latin text (cf. the music for the first page of the Exsultet).

    The Exsultet has its roots in the Old Testament rite of the evening sacrifice of praise at twilight. This lighting of the lights, especially for the Saturday vigil and for the most solemn vigil of Easter, was considered a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ. The light that had to be kindled for the reading from the ambo was singled out for this special blessing. Since the deacon had the responsibility of lighting this candle, he also had the privilege of pronouncing its blessing. This “praise of the candle” is already mentioned by St. Jerome in about the year 378. The Sacramentary tells us that if a deacon is not available, this Easter proclamation may be sung by one who is not a deacon. In this case the bracketed words “My dearest friends” up to the end of the introduction are omitted, as is the greeting “The Lord be with you.”

    The structure of the Exsultet consists of three different liturgical forms. The first is a proclamation of good news (a gospel) addressed (“Rejoice”) to four groups: the heavenly powers, the earth, the universal Church and finally, this particular assembly of the faithful. The second liturgical form is that of a solemn consecratory preface (“It is truly right …”), like those that introduce the Eucharistic Prayer and the one that is used for the consecration of the baptismal water. It lists seven reasons for rejoicing this night, each introduced with the formula “This is the night …” This is followed by seven effects of this night on God’s faithful people. The third form is that of a special prayer of blessing for this Easter candle (“Therefore, Heavenly Father …”). It is based on the form used for blessing the light used at Vespers, “the evening sacrifice of praise.” In Italy this solemn proclamation was sung from long strips of parchment that gradually unrolled as the deacon sang. Embedded as background to the text were illuminations that were seen “right –side-up” by the faithful standing nearby as the deacon unrolled the text over the front of the ambo (Cf. the illustration).

    The content has varied over the centuries, with additions, subtractions and rearrangements of the text. The current Sacramentary states that either the long or the short form may be sung and that the conference of bishops may also adapt the text by inserting acclamations for the people. The most notable omission in the current English translation is the reference to this candle as “fed by the melting wax, which the mother bee brought forth to make this precious candle.” In the official Latin version, this text occurs just before the phrase “Let it mingle with the lights of heaven ….” This reference to the “work of bees” has been restored in the sung version used at St. Meinrad for the Easter Vigil service.

    A chant setting of this prose text is really a kind of sung speech that follows the flow of each sense unit and phrase. The musical rhythm is that of the solemnly proclaimed text itself. The first part contains a special musical setting that has its origins in public proclamations of “Good News” such as the birth of the heir to the kingdom or the victory of an army over the enemies of a nation. It needs to be sung in a solemn manner to convey a sense of the magnitude of such news. The second part needs to be sung with careful changes in emotion and feeling according to the different reasons given for our rejoicing and the different effects this event is intended to produce in each of us. The third and final section should be sung as a kind of pleading prayer that this assembly may be filled with the blessings of Christ’s resurrection as it offers this special evening sacrifice of praise.
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 187
    How about a setting in Spanish? Audio?
  • Here's a Spanish setting that Br. Matthew Spencer (I believe he goes by Phat Matt on this forum) shared with me a while ago. I haven't used this setting yet, but he seems to have set it very nicely.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,635
    Another instantaneous and brilliant answer! What a world!
  • Thanks for the Spanish version, Adam... Our parish is largely hispanic. I'll give a copy to our pastor... if not this year, perhaps next...
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 187
    Thanks! Now for an embarrassment of riches, "Does anyone have the Spanish audio? Can anyone provide it?"
  • frdgss
    Posts: 2
    Janet,
    thank you for the complete Exultet. In this glorious discussion about "bees", I'm reminded that the image of the bee gathering pollen from the flowers to make wax and honey was an image beloved of the Church Fathers. I think (if I remember correctly) that it is St Ambrose of Milan who teases out the image of the bee gathering the pollen of Sacred Scripture and the Fathers (Tradition) to explain the great mysteries of our faith and to give Christ's Faithful People the "honey" of Divine Truth. It's a great image. I think someone should petition the Holy See for a restoration in the O.F Exultet - or just use the E.F. version anyway!
  • You can find a demo audio recording of the Spanish exsultet (Pregón pascual) that accompanies the PDF Adam Bartlett posted right here: http://www.marello.org/files/pregon-pascual.mp3. I hope it's helpful



    By the way, this is not the melody that is printed in the back of the Spanish Misal Romano, but rather is a setting that is closer to the original melody of the exsultet in Latin.

  • benedictgal
    Posts: 753
    At least you guys are not going to have to listen to the the drums beating along the Mohawk, as I have had to over the course of two years. Our pastor uses the OCP version which is a very loose paraphrase of the exultet (all the angels dance for joy) sung to the beat of a drum. I can understand doing this in Angola or Camaroon, but, not in Texas. It's pretty bad.
  • godfrey
    Posts: 19
    Hello Everyone,

    Found this site and found the discussions quite interesting, even if sometimes they stretch the limits of my knowledge of music. :)

    Benedicatgal, I am familiar with the setting you speak of, the Mass of the Risen Savior, by Roc O'Connor, one of the St. Louis Jesuits.

    Since everyone is discussing the English setting of the Exultet, and how it is missing the double reference to the bees, I thought I would provide a hint of things to come. Attached is a PDF of the draft translation of the Exultet found in the Grey Book.
  • Hurray, yippee... the bees are back! Is this the same godfrey who gave a beginning schola a mini chant workshop in Shreveport when we were just beginning (almost 2 yrs ago)?
  • godfrey
    Posts: 19
    Sorry janet, I just use godfrey as a more classic variant of my name. Never been to Shreveport. I'm Canadian.
  • wrong godfrey... thanks for the post about the new translation, though!
  • ktleslie
    Posts: 2
    I am so happy that I found this thread! I was able to print out the PDF of the Exultet which I need to sing in Chicago this weekend. Thank you!
  • ktleslie
    Posts: 2
    And this is the first time that I have accessed this site. I'm very excited to have found it! I'll have to come on more often.
  • I guess what we still lack is a modern notation pdf of the Missal version... anyone?
  • Here is the modern notation PDF of the Missal version. It prints on ledger size paper (11 X 17).
  • JDE
    Posts: 532
    Dr. Ford, would you mind providing the Finale file? I would love to use this, but would prefer to reformat it to fit letter size.

    Thanks
    Y
  • Here is the Finale file. [Oops! I got this message: "You are not allowed to upload (English Exsultet Finale 2008.mus) the requested file type:", so may I have your e-mail address?]

    You might send me a copy of what you produce, so I can have it for my students.

    Blessings,
    Paul
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I am amazed, looking at these versions.

    Question: are priests bound to sing a particular edition at Mass? Or can they sing anyone's adaptation, based on chant?
  • JDE
    Posts: 532
    Dr. Ford, it's yurodivi at excite dot com. Thank you very much!
  • Ok, I am reading through the gray book Exsultet....

    Honestly, as much as I am in support of the other new Missal texts, I have a hard time imagining singing some parts of this new English text.
  • benedictgal
    Posts: 753
    We had the drum beats again. It was awful. I called the USCCB to seek clarification and the gentleman was not very helpful. He accused me of trying to circumvent my diocesan office of worship until I told him we do not have one. He then suggested that I call the Archdiocese of Portland and I spoke to their director of divine worship. She told me that she had not heard of that version of the exultet, but, she agreed with me that the texts should not be changed.

    Does anyone have the exact name of this setting? Does OCP publish this? She asked me to find out. If OCP is still doing this, they are in serious violation of Liturgiam Authenticam.

    The setting was just downright awful and the music was very disjointed. Furthermore, direct references to God the Father were removed and the felix culpa was mentioned in passing.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 4,959
    Hi, benedictgal. Godfrey posted the title above.

    Is this what you heard?
    http://www.ocp.org/songs/6807
    (You can play a recording on that page.)

    It is simply idiotic.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 339
    It sounds ridiculous. Especially together with the bongos in the background.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 339
    Chonak,

    What do you think of this one instead?

    http://www.ocp.org/songs/16418
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 4,959
    Rather pleasant, eh?

    While there are advantages to using the standard chant melody, I wouldn't wince at hearing that version by Fr. Willcock. :-)
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,797
    Yikes. I just came back from the adoration. Very disturbing. Me and my curiosity.
  • My pastor has had a traditional Exsultet roll/scroll made, with illuminations oriented to form a visual narrative for the congregation as the deacon unrolls it while singing. While our roll is not quite as spectacular as this one http://www.adeva.com/faks_detail_en.asp?id=84 , it's pretty darn spiffy.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 816
    "includes parts for cantor, two-part choir, toms, conga and bass drum"

  • benedictgal
    Posts: 753
    That hamms commercial was funny. I hate to say it, but, the drums sounded exactly like what I endured during the Easter Vigil. In fact, you could seguey "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac into the mix. I keep seeing visions of Mick Fleetwood and Roger Taylor (Duran Duran) coming into the fray.
  • Thanks for the Exultet in English -- round note and square one. Does anyone have a copy in Spanish? I'd really appreciate it since I don't have access to a sacramentary and it is a job to adujust the Spanish text.

    thanks!
    pat
  • O'Connor's? Ouch!
    Willcock's? Rutteresque, A schmidgen of JERUSALEM (more of the "England's gardens green" feel.)
    Why bother?