Gregorian Chant settings for Eastern Rite Vespers, Matins, and Divine Liturgy
  • Moses
    Posts: 10
    Has anyone seen this yet? A monastery in Canada has released a selection of Gregorian Chant material for Eastern Rite services. The link to the site is https://www.archdiocese.ca/articles/orthodox-hymns-made-available-gregorian-chant . I can't wait to hear this used in parishes.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    I'm not sure why you'd want to do this?
  • Moses -
    Many thanks for this.
    There is much here that could be useful in various ritual situations.
    I noticed the particular kinship betwixt 'O Gladsome Light' and the introits of several Western solemnities - such as All Saints' and several Marian feasts.

    You have provided a valuable resource, both musically and literarily.
    Many thanks.
    Thanked by 2JonathanLC CHGiffen
  • I really like these simply because there is a new middle ground between East and West which includes some theologically sound texts. I would love to adapt it to Gregorian chant as a Latin Rite chanter would perform it, but include the ison. The melodies are very beautiful, thank you for sharing!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,516
    I'm with Jahaza. As an easterner, we have our own chants and have no need for Gregorian, however beautiful it may be. Sounds like another in a long line of Latinizations.
  • I think it is an interesting project... but I don't think I would say that it is Eastern Rite (unless I'm missing something). It is Orthodox, which I would see as different in a key way. For me, that would lead me to simply categorize as "interesting" rather than "useful".
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • Moses
    Posts: 10
    Here are more permanent links to the material.

    For the sheet music and the Gregorian History Article:

    https://www.archdiocese.ca/sites/default/files/orthodox_liturgical_hymns_in_gregorian_chant.pdf

    And for the recordings that the monks have done:

    https://thechoir.bandcamp.com/album/orthodox-hymns-in-gregorian-chant

    I think that their adaptation of "Kyrie Fons Bonitatis" used for the hymn "Only Begotten Son" is amazing.

    In response to the question, "Why are they doing this?" I found in the monks' essay, on p. 15, their answer:

    "Practically speaking, in the world of Orthodox chant, our interest in Gregorian lies in its accessibility to western congregations, who are unaccustomed to chromatics, micro-tunings and complex vocalizations. Our Plainchant is entirely diatonic, and the older repertoire - favoured in this collection - tends to be syllabic in movement (i.e. one note per syllable, to a maximum of three). Moreover, the Gregorian melodic formulae have become archetypal to the western ear. All of this facilitates assimilation and performance by English choirs. A further blessing lies in the monody itself: this material can be performed by a choir of one, or two, if ison is used; but if more are to be found who can sing, unison is wonderfully easy for congregations to learn."
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,516
    As an easterner, I would say Gregorian is as strange to modern ears as anything from the east. It has been roughly 50 years since most U.S. Catholics heard Gregorian with any kind of frequency, if at all.

    I have gone to liturgies at Orthodox parishes that have significant numbers of English speaking converts. They seem to have no difficulties with chromatics, micro-tunings and complex vocalizations, if their singing is any indication, and I think it is. They do it really well.

    I see this whole project as being intellectual curiosity with no practical application. I would put it up there with re-writing the Beethoven 9th in square notes. It might be fun to do, but of what practical use is it?

    And lastly, not that this is seemingly ever a concern in the west, it ain't our Tradition.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,440
    Perhaps Western-Rite Orthodox, if any, would take an interest in this.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,516
    Good point, and I am not sure what they use. They are rather rare and I don't think there are many of them.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 639
    We have a whole passel of them in Tyler. (Used to be Southern Baptist, then the entire congregation decided to go Orthodox.)
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,516
    We have a whole passel of them in Tyler. (Used to be Southern Baptist, then the entire congregation decided to go Orthodox.)


    Doesn't that sound like a creation of a mad scientist? LOL
    Thanked by 1bhcordova