New psalm and alleluia settings for the US and Canada missals
  • I would like to offer my website as a resource to anyone looking for a musical setting for a psalm or acclamation. I set the words exactly as they appear in the Missal (Grail version for Canada), to tunes that are simple and singable. The music is all available as a free pdf download (and there's an electronic version to listen to if you like). We've been doing the US and UK psalms for a few years, the Australia/New Zealand ones for a year, and we've just started doing Canada. http://www.musicformass.co.uk Hope this is useful. Kate Keefe
  • Dear Kate,
    Congratulations on this very worthwhile and ambitious project. Thank you for making it freely available to all.
    Unfortunately, Canada uses the an altered version of the NRSV for the Lectionary for Mass, including the psalms, and no longer uses the Grail. There is an indult in place for parishes to continue to sing the psalms contained in the now-very-old-and-almost-obsolete CBW III national hymnal (Grail settings). The CCCB's (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops) music committee has now published alternative psalms and encourages everyone to abandon the old Grail settings in favour of the alt-NRSV translation. So you may wish to revise your Canadian offerings to the alt-NRSV text.
    Thanks again.
  • And then there will be a copyright problem to solve, unfortunately. Because the CCCB have not been open to republication of the lectionary text, neither on the internet nor in physical form.

    Maestro : what do you mean by an "indult"? As far as I know the use of the CBW III Grail psalms is still commonplace, and of course tolerated because in Canada everything is tolerated. But is there a formal statement, or episcopal "indult", somehow legitimizing their continued use? If so, who issued it?
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,347
    Honestly, I've been in church music forever, and don't understand how the Canadian Bishops can make this any more confusing for people. How can those people who have no education in church music (and it's pretty hard to get educated as far as I can see) or those who have no interest in it understand any of this? Ugh.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • I was using the term 'indult' quite loosely, meaning, as you described, that it is commonplace (and I seem to remember reading somewhere that the psalms in CBW III were still allowed, but I cannot find the reference). In this revised document, it does state quite clearly that the Grail are allowed: http://nlo.cccb.ca/images/stories/pdfs/guidelines_liturgical_music.pdf

    I also have it in my head that the Grail psalms are universally allowed in English places, even if the norm is another translation, but again, I cannot for the life of me remember why I think this.

    This document certainly allows them, even if it is inconsistent with the current Lectionary. However, this document does play fast and loose with certain traditions and rubrics!

    As to the Lectionary problem, as I understand it the CCCB approved and then published the NRSV without recognitio from Rome. Rome refused and thus a re-write was needed, which is why it is an altered version of the NRSV. So you can find the older version online as PDF (and the Weekday version) but the updated version is still be worked on. Sundays and Solemnities and Ritual and Votive Masses are available. Weekday still pending.

    It is a total shambles and reflects very badly on the competence of the CCCB's Liturgy Office.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,347
    It is a total shambles


    Whew... glad it's not just me.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,555

    It is a total shambles and reflects very badly on the competence of the CCCB's Liturgy Office.


    I left Canada in 2007 and have never been tempted to return. If they forced me to, I would become a bartender in Toronto.


    Thanked by 2BruceL Ben Yanke
  • I'd rather live in Canada than the U.S. For almost every conceivable reason.
  • Thank you very much indeed, gentlemen, for all this helpful information!` It's difficult to work out what's going on from outside, so this forum is invaluable. I managed to lay my hands on a (Canadian) missal with the new Mass translation, and it gives the psalm as two parallel versions, the Grail and the NRSV. Since I was setting the Grail psalms anyway for the UK, Ireland, the US and Australia/New Zealand, it seemed a good idea to add the Canadian version which is often slightly different. If anyone finds these settings useful, while we're still in transition, they are extremely welcome to use them. I think we'll keep well away from the other version until the picture clears a bit. I gather the US bishops are also looking at the Revised Grail version, but that's as much as I know at present. Thank you very much for your help, and keep singing. Kate Keefe
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,395
    The (old) Grail version unfortunately would be an obstacle in the US. It is used in the Liturgy of the Hours edition here, but not in the Lectionary for Mass. The Lectionary is sui generis, and most parishes stick to it, since people in the pews read the text in their booklets.

    The Revised Grail is also approved for use here, and will be used in the next edition of the Lectionary, years away. But until then, it's not used much.