Fr. Columba Kelly's Entrance Antiphon for this Sunday - does it get any better?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,647
    As far as vernacular chant is concerned... does it get any better than this?

    It's just fantastic.
    1176 x 344 - 99K
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    absolutely gorgeous.
    Thanked by 1Ralph Bednarz
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Very lovely. And intonalistic! No bad tuning intervals at all.
    Thanked by 1Ralph Bednarz
  • How can I see what the chant is?? All these posts have got me interested!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    An excellent resource!

    If we look at the available collections of vernacular plainchant:

    Simple English Propers - Covers Sundays and Major Feasts.
    Anglican Use Gradual - Essentially a Psalm-Tone Gradual, useful for when there is limited skill amongst the choir as a preliminary form of chant before the SEP.
    By Flowing Waters - Useful for Saints' Days, but also as a general change from the SEP.
    Fr Columba Kelly Propers - Slightly more advanced antiphons.
    Communio with English Psalm Verses - Good for transition between Vernacular and Latin chant.

    These are all good ways to build up the skills of a choir, hopefully adding chants from the Graduale Simplex and the Graduale Romanum as things progress.
  • If this chant is used as the entrance antiphon this Sunday in the typical parish, how would it be performed? Since most parish choirs are off for the summer, would it be sung as a solo by the cantor? Beauty aside, would the antiphon’s length and construction mitigate against the congregation repeating the refrain after the cantor, even if it were printed in a worship aid? (Whether we like it or not, most congregations, at least in my experience, have no training in singing square notes.)

    Or would this chant antiphon be used as a solo prelude to a congregational entrance hymn, or replace the hymn? Or would it be sung by a cantor alone after a congregational entrance hymn? Would the cantor also sing psalm verses?

    Just some practical questions.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    Assuming that your church uses incense, the recommended practice would be to sing a hymn until the clergy reach the foot of the altar and sing the introit during the incensing of the altar. The antiphon would be sung with it's attendant psalm verse and gloria patri. However, in the ordinary form it is acceptable to finish at the end of the psalm verse or gloria patri if the clergy are standing and waiting to begin the mass.

    Solo Cantor, perhaps accompanied on 8' soft flute would be appropriate.
  • @Father Chepponis:

    A single Cantor (not anywhere near a microphone) will chant the Antiphon, following the Hymn at the Entrance Procession, when the Priest has arrived at the chair, immediately preceding the Sign of the Cross, and the Greeting.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Whether we like it or not, most congregations, at least in my experience, have no training in singing square notes.

    And that, in large part, is due to musicians saying this, then not giving neumes out or teaching them.

    Chant is something often best learned by rote and by listening. Most congregations don't know how to read modern notation either, they just look at the ups and downs and sing from memory, with the cantor or choir (just as they could with neumes). No reason they can't do the same with neumes.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    If this chant is used as the entrance antiphon this Sunday in the typical parish, how would it be performed? Since most parish choirs are off for the summer, would it be sung as a solo by the cantor?

    would this chant antiphon be used as a solo prelude to a congregational entrance hymn, or replace the hymn?

    Or would it be sung by a cantor alone after a congregational entrance hymn?

    Would the cantor also sing psalm verses?

    and, Yes

    Point is, ANY of your suggestions are far better than 99% of what is happening now.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Fr. Chepponis, interesting timing for your questions, and I would have just responded with a general "yes" to all of your scenarios.
    Summer/Ordinary Time is precisely an opportune occasion to make a switch from say the SEP to the Kelly, which is exactly what we've done out here in CA. After two or three years of confidence with SEP it's almost ideal to stretch the choir/schola singers' now innate understanding of phrasing, rhythmic precision and intonation with less formulaic melodic motives. We're enjoying these very much.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,031
    Father Chepponis, I imagine you know that Fr. Columba has shortened versions of these in his RM 2011 booklets, available at the archabbey website.
  • For those who want modern notation OCP is now selling Father Columba's chants in booklet form on their website. I think this will be of help to those who are hesitant to begin singing propers! Also, don't forget Fr. Weber's chant settings poster here on the website.

    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • For the sake of comparison,
    Consider Fr. Weber's setting of the same antiphon: Week 19 per annum. 2012.pdf
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,647
    Our choir sings year round due to the televised Mass (though we do not do a weekday rehearsal during the Summer and less polyphony), so they will sing it. It is printed in the worship aid, but the length of this particular antiphon makes it unlikely there will be much singing. However, they do sing the settings from the Lumen Christi series quite well when we use those.
  • Hear, hear! Amen and amen to what Ben said above. The whole notion that there is something rather frightful about square notation is totally bogus. The chants that the average congregation would be asked to sing are hardly of any greater difficulty than the non-chant that they sing. So there are only four lines: so what. So the notes are square: so what. Most of the people 'read' music even if they really don't read music. They pick it up by osmosis, by rote, and by enjoying figuring out how to read it. Chant notation is no different. It is much more fun. It is Catholic. It is high time that we stopped coddling our people and assuming that they are musical cretins. They aren't. It isn't as if we were asking them to sing an offertory such as Jubilate Deo. It takes not a whit more 'training' for ordinary people to sing, say, an Englished Gloria by Fr Columba in square notes than it does for them to sing what they normally sing to round ones.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 990
    I agree, MJO. For several years, I transcribed chants into round notes for the assembly, but I realize now that it was just my fears getting in the way. The schola sang both, depending on what was available.

    In my current parish, the director puts square notes in the program if it's chant, and round notes if it's not. As far as I know, he's never gotten any negative feedback about that - even if we've never explained what a quilisma is. People sing the best they can.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • We routinely sing Father Kelly's chants and are always impressed - and many times react the same "does it get any better?"
    At our early Mass the schola chants the introit with a cantor on the verse, usually no more than two vs. The whole procession is very brief; might last 90 sec. If the antiphon is complex like the one cited, then the congregation will be directed to merely refer the text in their missallette while the choir sings. I have found that participation in a short entrance rite can be very fulfilling even without congregational singing as they are free to engage the action of the Priest (as Christ) , who is proceeding thru the congregation and following a cross to the altar, - The image of sacrifice becomes very clear and is reinforced by the psalm, often very intimate prayers of Christ - expressing distress from the threatening enemies (even on the happiest celebration). The antiphon and verses , when sung by the schola are not a fanfare announcing a theme, but the actual sound of Christ praying for us today. I gladly defer to my Master, letting his voice sound first, setting the tone and texture for the first time I take my part to sing the "Lord have mercy."
    Even when the choir rehearsal is off during the summer we still sing together and could sing this chant with with no more prep than what can be accomplished thru email. I would not do any chanting without a schola leading.
    Thanked by 1SrEleanor
  • JSHermanJSHerman
    Posts: 10
    Is this part of a larger work (i.e. a Fr. Kelly gradual)? If not, it really should be.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    This is so lovely, but I wonder if an episema and/or a dotted punctum or two might be appropriate at some of the cadences.
  • JSHermanJSHerman
    Posts: 10
    Thanks SrEleanor. I should have been more specific.

    Most of the scores for propers indicate that they are a "pre-publication release." I just wondered in what capacity this publication would exist. A bound Columba Kelly gradual (with pointed psalms) would be a real game changer.
  • This is so lovely, but I wonder if an episema and/or a dotted punctum or two might be appropriate at some of the cadences.

    I believe they're implied.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Yes, I'm sure you're right. You can just feel them there, can't you, esp. on "ever." : )
    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka
  • Since I had the great privilege and honor of adapting Fr. Columba's Missal Antiphons
    into modern notation and harmonizing them for the OCP publication (I have been a student of Fr. Columba's for many, many years) I feel that I am in a good position to answer some of the questions that have come up in this posting. First, the Antiphons
    are really too melismatic for a choir. They are best suited to a cantor or at most a very small schola. As those familiar with his work already know, the rhythm is based on Cardine's understanding of semiology and the importance of the oxytonic syllable.
    There are modal and melodic structure pitches and the rest of the notes are ornamental. It becomes difficult to perform this delineation of primary and secondary melodic notes with multiple singers. Because of this, Fr. Columba has composed for each setting a shortened "Congregation refrain" in the same mode and echoing the melodic shape of the Antiphon. This can be sung by the congregation between the strophes of the Psalm since they are easy to remember (they are very syllabic) . OCP has printed a pew edition with the melodies only, in modern notation. All of the square neume figures (e.g. podatus, torculus, porrectus, etc.) are identified in the modern notation by slurs (so that those familiar with Cardine will know which notes receive their proper full syllabic value. In the course of production, the OCP staff omitted the slurs from the pew edition, which gives the unfortunate idea that all notes are equal and potentially "hammered" in the same way. The director will have to refer to the square notes on the St. Meinrad's website or the six volume OCP accompaniment edition (with Psalms written out). The accompaniment edition thankfully retains the slurs. Fr. Columba has used the melodies and modes of the Antiphons from the Gradual where they remain the same as in the new Missal. New Antiphons were created for the new Missal Antiphon texts. OCP has decided to publish approximately 400 of these Antiphons and Psalms including all Sundays and major feasts ( all optional texts from the Missal have also been set and will be published by OCP). The real genius of these settings (besides the fact that they respect all of the traditional idiomatic melodic modal nuances with regard to the given English text) is that they can easily be combined with the Latin Gradual (where the texts are in agreement, of course). They can be used in many different ways, from just
    having a cantor sing the Antiphon once, through singing the complete attached Psalm
    with Doxology (interspersed with the Congregational refrain and concluding with the
    repetition of the Antiphon. The OCP editions will be available by the end of the year.
    The original intent of OCP was to create an English Gradual, but ultimately they chose
    not to include the Offertory Antiphons since they do not exist in the current Missal.
  • donr
    Posts: 949
    RJayH457, do you know what the reasoning was behind OCP creating this collection?

    Was it that they see a return of Propers and want to capitalize on the wave?

    Do they see CCWatershed and Illuminare Publications as potential threats and need to squash them before they get to big?

    Did Archbishop Sample have anything to do with it?

    Or did they finally read the docs of the Church and decide to start following it?

    I'm not trying to be snarky, I'd really like to know.
  • I didn't recall seeing offertory settings in the pdf on St Meinrad's website. If they do exist, it's truly unfortunate that they are not available.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I did as much research in forum archives as I could afford time...
    Is it my imagination or are Modes not designated pro per in the Meinrad settings?
    MJM, AB?
  • donr
    Posts: 949
    Melo, If you look at the Fr. Kelly's notation on Meinrad site, the designations are at the beginning of the Antiphon lyric in English notation not Roman.
    So the Entrance for the 19th week in OT is in mode 7. not VII
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • donr, I can't answer as to OCP's motivation. I can tell you that this project has been a learning process for all involved. Nothing like this and of this scope has been done
    before by a major publisher. Fr. Columba had written articles for them in the past
    for their "Today's Liturgy" and he felt that their enormous "presence" in the field
    would allow these antiphons to potentially reach a greater audience. OCP owns the
    rights to the melodies in modern notation and the accompaniments only. St.Meinrad's
    retains the rights to the square notation. Unfortunately, for most parishes, square
    notation is "the kiss of death" so this project was meant to be as "user friendly" as
    posible for singing Mass Propers with no prior knowledge necessary. I have to give
    the folks at OCP credit for doing this. as the concept and understanding of the Gradual was new to many of the editors. The royalties for the texts have to be enormous and
    while many musicians will "dable" with the Communions, the Introits are another story.
  • Andrew C, there are some Offertories found among the "older" settings on the
    St. Meinrad's website (check out the Requiem) but Fr. Columba has not adapted the
    majority of the Offertory texts at this point. We can hope.
  • donr
    Posts: 949
    RJayH457, I also give the folks at OCP credit for doing this.

    I will be waiting to see what your accompaniments look like.
    I have been converting his square notation into round for a while now, so I don't know about the round notation holding any kind of copyright protection, like the harmonization would.

    I think its great that a greater audience will be able to start using these and I appreciate you letting us know about the project.