Litany of the Saints?
  • Hi Everyone,

    Does anyone have a copy of the litany of the saints in english appropriate for all saints day? Not for liturgical use, but for at my homeschool group's all saints day party. I just got permission to sing it with my makeshift schola of friends, replacing the horrid Becker version that has been used in years past. I love my homeschool group. I could go on forever about it, but I won't bore you to death.

    Note that accompaniment is not needed nor is it possible in my situation (since we are NOT bringing a guitar), though if you have one with accompaniment, please feel free to share it anyways.

    Anyone have anything?
  • 36 Comments sorted by
  • Just make sure you don't forget to insert Origen at the proper point.
  • That's great, Adam.

    What would anyone reccemend putting after "Be merciful to us sinners"? Insert intentions? Does anyone have them already written up for the feast of all saints?
  • Mark,

    I do hope you're kidding.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • Of course Mark was kidding, D.
    Ben, our 2nd grade has a yearly "All Saints" pageant play sort of thingy, this year on Friday. I'm adding the chanted litany, minus "Lord save your people..." with the kids' patrons invoked by me, kids/parents "pray for us." I will use a guitar. Bringing a "guitar" is NOT tantamount to letting the smoke of Satan out of a Pandora's box in either devotional or liturgical situations, particularly a classical guitar played well by someone with manicured nails on their picking hand.
    Yeah, I know the mantra, RotR won't be complete 'til the last guitar is smashed over the last liturgists skull an' all, but trooping that sentiment out as some sort of badge of orthopraxis is, well, unnecessary and incorrect, even according to legislation. You can associate "guitar" with Robert Johnson, Les Paul or Dimebag Darrell all you need to. I can associate it with Claudio Monteverdi, Fernando Sor or John Dowland. We okay now?
    Thanked by 1ParleyDee
  • Charles from Visalia has the right idea. Here is the litany for solemn occasions from By Flowing Waters.

    We are encouraged to restore the ancient practice of singing Litany of the Saints for Solemn Occasions for the entrance procession for the First Sunday of Lent. St. Mark’s Day (April 25), the three days before the Ascension, and St. Isidore and St. Maria’s Day (May 15) are also days when litanies to implore God’s protection against calamity and God’s blessing on the crops are traditionally sung. The litany is especially effective on All Saints Day as the Entrance Song or the General Intercessions.

    The Litany of the Saints for Solemn Occasions may also be used during the principal celebration of the six special periods of prayer mentioned in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, §331, and elaborated upon in the Appendix of the U.S. Bishops (the precise dates can be found in the particular calendar which applies to each community):

    Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
    Week/Day of Prayer for General Needs of Humankind
    Weekdays of Preparation for the Coming of the Holy Spirit
    Week/Day of Prayer for Human Rights and Equality
    Week/Day of Prayer for Harvest and Fruits of the Earth
    Week/Day of Prayer for World Justice and Peace.

    See the Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts, dated January 16, 1988, of the Congregation for Divine Worship (USCC Publication 219-5), §22, and the Ceremonial of Bishops, §261. The Litany takes the place of the Entrance Song and all the Introductory Rites up to the Opening Prayer. In the solemn form of the procession, the people assemble in a suitable place other than the church. The presider is dressed in alb, stole, and cope. After a suitable gathering song, the presider greets the people and he (or another priest or a deacon) gives a brief introduction. The presider then says an opening prayer (several alternatives are suggested in the Ceremonial) and then puts incense in the censer. The deacon announces, Let us go forth in peace, and the procession moves to the church. When it reaches the church, all go to their places; the presider reverences and incenses the altar; then the presider goes to the chair and exchanges the cope for a chasuble. At the end of the Litany, the presider sings or says the Opening Prayer of the Mass.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Ahh! I should have checked my copy of BFW. Thank you very much, Paul. That's exactly what I need.

    By the way, you posted a PDF that doesn't appear to be a scan. Is a PDF of BFW available for download anywhere?
  • What? Origen doesn't belong? As a computer guy, I think of him as the patron saint of Unix.

  • I have all the pages of BFW in Quark and now in InDesign. I am getting ready to publish a supplement with all the new translations, as well as the new indices and, of course, the corrections.

    Is there anything you need in particular?
  • No, nothing in particular. I was just hoping there was one, since searching through a PDF is sometimes easier (for quick things) than going downstairs, getting out the book, etc...
  • Thank you for asking about this. This will be the second year I lead the Litany with our homeschool group, and I used my copy of BFW. I have to admit I was using the Easter Vigil version; I did not look further to find the other version! It will be handier to have the .pdf file, thank you, Paul.
  • problem

    in English, there are some lines that do not allow for completing the melody of the invocation (ie., saints with single syllable names) so that the peoples response starts a minor third lower than the cantor on that line... this bothers me immensley (musically speaking. does anyone else have this issue? in the latin there is no single syllable saint name so the end of the invocation by the cantor always completes the descent of the third before the people respond on the same tone.
  • No, I can't say I've ever run into this. I guess the congregation just knows that either it ends high or low, and either way, the response is the same. IDK, I guess having a strong schola leading the responses also helps.
  • The only saint I can think of who would have a single-syllable name in Latin is Job (feast day: May 10). Maybe Seth, I don't know whether he's a saint; and there may be others among modern saints. Basically any foreign word is indeclinable in Latin, so unless a one-syllable name has a Latin equivalent (e.g., Juan), it will remain one syllable in the vocative if added to the litany.

    Anyway, whether in English or the conceivable Latin case, is there any reason it would be problematic to stretch the name over both syllables of that minor third (Saint Lu-uke)?
  • Mark... yes, that is what 'I' do because it seems more natural harmonically to have the note sustaining that is being 'picked up' by the congregation. How do you perform it?
  • I've never had to sing the invocations myself, but it sounds better that way to me too.

    I certainly think that if it had come up in the Latin, that's the solution they would have arrived at as well. You can see a similar thing in the Litany of Loreto, where very short invocations ("Mater Christi," "Virgo clemens") get a two-note (la-sol) melisma on the first syllable that longer invocations do not require. They don't just start on the lower note and plow ahead. Neither should short names in the Litany of the Saints be left dangling on the upper note.
  • Yes...

    Following this example, the first word would receive two punctum.

    So for Saint Mark (in the Litany of the Saints) another way to do this would be...

    Sa-aint Mark

    but I still like it better the way I do it now which is

    Saint Ma-ark
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • I don't think that the lesson to be drawn is "You would lengthen the first syllable," so much as "You would keep it musical, respecting the natural accents of the text." "Sa-aint Mark" sounds terrible! Nobody would do that.
  • Say-aint Mark that dude what wrote the shortest Gospel? :)
  • Mark

    You would be surprised at what people will do!
  • Maybe it's because I've already been conditioned, but ending on that upper note sounds just fine to me when the accent is on the last syllable (e.g. Saint Celestine) That's what I did last night.
  • i grew up singing the litany in latin only and cant get over hanging the note.
  • I have no problem with ending with the upper note, even when the word is more than one syllable. It just depends on where the accent is. The ICEL version does this, by the way.
  • Ben:

    Yes... I know ICEL and other English publications do the same, but it still goes against my aesthetic.
  • Can anyone provide me with either a scan of the music or a copy of the latin texts from the latin litany from the Simplex, or another latin version that would be appropriate for an extra-liturgical gathering on All Saints?
  • Ben, the Litany from the Graduale Simplex is identical to the one found in the Graduale Romanum.
  • This is probably a ridiculous question, but why was the Litany changed to include either the Kyrie eleison section or the Pater de caelis, Deus section instead of both (like the traditional way)?
  • Thank you, Steven! Exactly what I need.
  • Ending on the high note at this cadence in the Litany of the Saints is like using abrupt mediations in psalmody, lessons, etc. Pothier found them acceptable. Mocquereau found them objectionable. The Vatican edition prescribed their use, but in 1912 Solesmes obtained an indult permitting the normal (paroxytonic) ending to be used with oxytonic texts (i.e., those in which the final syllable is accented). Combining the last two (single) notes of a formula like this into a two-note neume would not be idiomatic. Following Pothier you would omit the final note when singing oxytonic texts. Following Mocquereau you would use the normal paroxytonic ending (re-ti), placing the final accented syllable on the final (low) note. I prefer to end on the high note.
  • Would it be apropriate to sing the litany during the communion procession? And regardless of where it is sung, is it necessary to sing all the sections or can one adapt it to the length of the procession? Thanks Bruce for all your work on BFW. I don't use it as much as I would like since my pastor isn't a chant fan, but pedagogically I think it's particularly suited for weekday school Masses. It's a great way to introduce chant to catholics at any age.
  • The Litany of the Saints could be used in two places:

    - at the beginning of Mass, replacing the Introit, Penitential Act and Gloria. After the Litany has been finished, the celebrant continues with the Collect (cf. Ceremonial of Bishops 261, although here the option is only given for Lent)
    - at the time of the intercessions, replacing the Prayer of the Faithful (cf. Ceremonial of Bishops 899 and 943, although here the option is only given for de Dedication of a Church and of an Altar)
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Does anyone know the answer to my previous question about the change in the Litany of the Saints?
  • Earl Grey:

    PAUL Ford compiled By Flowing Waters. I compiled The American Gradual. Two different men, two different publications!~
  • My mistake! I knew that, but got it mixed up since I saw your comments above. I have both books in my libraryand am equally appreciative for your efforts. I have used your English version of the communion antiphons with my choir, which I paired with the Mundlein psalm tones. An excellent way to introduce chant, modality, and propers to a choir without having to contend with Latin.
  • I'm bumping this because I'm leading the Litany of the Saints for our homeschool All Saints Day party and wanted to incorporate the new translation. Would anyone have a .pdf or something that I could work the English translation?
  • Mea culpa, I just realized I can use the ICEL version linked above!