advice for beginner choir looking for chant or easy polyphony to sing during offertory 22 sept.
  • cathystox
    Posts: 10
    Hello, One of our priests is leaving and has asked our choir to sing at his last mass vigil of 22 September. We are singing some part of Mass VIII and we have been offered the offertory and one communion song. Would Adoro Te Devote be appropriate for the Communion song, and I am hoping for suggestions from you for the Offertory. Thank you ever so much!
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,361
    I do believe that Adoro Te Devote would be appropriate for Communion.

    If you would like something quite easy try Wesley's "Lead Me Lord",_Lord_Wesley_SS.pdf

    Tallis' "If Ye Love Me" is a little more difficult:

    Or you could choose a hymn for your choir to sing such as "The King of Love My Shepherd Is" or "O God Beyond All Praising."

  • cathystox
    Posts: 10
    Thank you! We only sing in Latin. There is another choir at the same mass, who does the English hymns.
  • Adoro Te is certainly appropriate for Communion. In addition to the chant, there is a fairly straight-forward motet by Gounod, if you wanted to do something in parts.
    Of course you could use Ave Verum or Anima Christi as well - both are available in chant or parts.

    September 22nd is the week following the Seven Sorrows (Sept. 15). So you could choose something Marian for the Offertory. Lots of choices there - overt would be Stabat Mater; less so would be the Ave Maria or a Magnificat. Could also do Ave Maris. Each of those choices could be done in parts.

    Stabat - Anonymous has a very nice traditional arrangment. :) Relatively simple.
    Ave Maria - Arcadelt is fairly easy. Could be done in either 2 or 4 voice.
    Magnificat - there are any number of faux bourdon arrangments which would combine chant alternating against parts. Relatively easy, fun for the choir, stirring musically. You could have 3 or 4 voice arrangements.
    Ave Maris - there is a nice arrangement by Caspar Ett which could be either 2 or 4 voice.

    If you want something other than Marian, perhaps Iesu Dulcis Memoria in chant might be a good choice; or Bonus Est by Palestrina (3 voice). If you do the Bonus Est, you'd want to use a chant verse between repeating the Bonus Est as it is fairly short (I typically use tone 4E on the verse/s).

    Hope this helps!
  • cathystox
    Posts: 10
    Thank you for taking the time and your thoughtfulness. Those are some pretty good options.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,528
    If this is Ordinary Form (the anticipated Mass for the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time*), Ubi Caritas would not be a bad choice for offertory (the justly famous motet setting by Durufle is simple in distilled simplicity, but I would not consider it a beginner level given some treacherous spots for amateur singers) given the themes of the path of true discipleship:

    If you have enough singers to cover the six voice parts, Stanford's "Beati Quorum Vita" (the text of which also has some harmony with the readings about the path of true discipliship) is like honeyed wine:

    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • WGS
    Posts: 218

    You haven't mentioned whether or not your choir can accommodate arrangements for mixed voices.

    However, in any case, I recommend the Secunda Anthologia Vocalis - commonly referred to as Ravanello. In this collection, you'll find quite a few Latin motets set for three equal voices.

    It's all on line at Click on "Resources", then "Choral Works in Latin".

    (You may even find ways for these to work for mixed voices.)
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,433
    Ubi Caritas by Ola Gjeilo is stunning, too, and not extraordinarily difficult.

    Kevin Allen has a volume of simple 3-part motets which are great for beginning choirs.

    I just found some 3-part pieces on CPDL the other day which might be worth a look:

    O Deus, Ego Amo Te

    O Jesu, mi dulcissime (Anerio)

    O Felix Anima (Carissimi)

    These SATB pieces are very doable:

    O Sacrum Convivium (Molfino)

    Panis angelicus a 4 (Casciolini)

  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 269
    A REALLY REALLY easy but effective Communion motet is Adoremus in aeternum by Allegri (he of Miserere fame). It also includes some chant. You can find it on CPDL.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,433
    Great suggestion! One of my top favorite pieces. We sing it at Benediction when the priest is reposing the Blessed Sacrament.
    Thanked by 2Mary Ann CatherineS
  • bonniebede
    Posts: 751
    That is gorgeous, and strikes me as a nice piece to introduce a choir t singing plaing chant. Thanks.
  • CGM
    Posts: 425
    Also "Jesu Rex admirabilis," a lovely and simple 3-vc. piece by Palestrina.

    Edition here, by our own Noel Jones.
  • WillWilkin
    Posts: 25
    Thank you JulieColl for the link to Gregorio Allegri's "Adoremus in Aeternum." The church choir in which I sing has only sopranos, altos and tenors, but if our very talented director (and organist) sang the bass part, then maybe we'd have a 4-part choir to sing this lovely piece!

    Especially exciting to me is the combination of a 4-voice polyphonic opening and close, surrounding a gregorian chant in the middle. Yet for all that beauty and sophistication, it seems accessible to us if properly rehearsed!

    Here is the English translation I found:

    We will adore for eternity the most holy Sacrament.
    Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise Him all ye peoples.

    Because his mercy is confirmed upon us:
    and the truth of the Lord remains forever.

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost:
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

    Also thank you to CGM for linking music to Pergolesi's "Jesu Rex Admirabilis" in only 3 parts, so our cantor could be right with us tenors, even if called "bass" in the attached music....

    I sent him both pieces in pdf and hope he'll consider giving our choir the challenge when we return from summer vacation.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 102
    I saved a bunch of these. Thanks!