Music for the traditional Office in English
  • Is there such music for the traditional Divine Office in English? Religious congregations might have composed some during the transition period right after Vatican II. Maybe an English version of the traditional Antiphonale Romanum. Thanks
  • davido
    Posts: 256
    The book you want is the Monastic Diurnal, a work of Winfred Douglas, an Episcopal priest, early 1900s. He did a ton of adaptions of chant into English, and was the editor of The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal)
    The book is available as a reprint
  • Amen to Canon Douglas's Monastic Diurnal Noted!
    It can be had from the Lancelot Andrews Press, who have made reprints of quite a number of liturgical books and music- including the St Dunstan's Psalter (Coverdale), which every choirmaster should have on his and her shelves.
    Thanked by 2Adoremus bgeorge77
  • frga
    Posts: 1
    Also of interest would be the work done by the Gregorian Institue of Canada in the translation and setting to music of the Sarum use breviary. It is a work in progress:
    https://hmcwordpress.humanities.mcmaster.ca/renwick/breviary/
  • BGP
    Posts: 213
    The Monastic Diurnal resources mentioned are of course of the monastic rather than Roman office and use the official Anglican translations. Douglas’s adaptations are pretty decent.

    There was a sung Sunday vespers book published by St. John’s Abbey/Collegeville using the 1964 interim translation (English of the 62 Roman ) I got rid of my copy. As I recall every piece of music was a novelty complete with the name of the individual who composed it. Almost as if everyone at the Abbey school was given a text to compose for. Baffling.

    There is a Sunday Compline booklet from that time period set to the proper Gregorian music in modern notation.

    There was also a monastic vesperal published in 1958 by St Scholastica convent In Arkansas. It’s of the (catholic) monastic diurnal translation. The adaptations are not great.

  • I love the Lancelot Andrewes Monastic Diurnal and it's musical aid, Monastic Diurnal Noted---but note well!--if you get the Monastic Diurnal Noted you NEED the Monastic Diurnal to sing it.

    I wish that Canon Douglas had lived to make a Monastic Matins Noted to go with the Monastic Matins that Lancelot Andrews publishes. That would be, for me, the summit of a catholic (and Catholic!) English office.

    And yes, too, to St Dunstan Psalter. I have... let's see... seven copies? One for every member of my family. It is our family office. I psalm-tone chant the antiphon or chant it from the Anitphonale Monasticum or Monastic Diurnal Noted, depending on how energetic I'm feeling and how attentive five little monk(ey)s are being, and then we sing one/two psalms and perhaps Magnificat or Nunc Dimittis, then Kyrie etc Pater etc Domine exaudi etc and collect. Then Marian antiphon. Then bedtime. And then the abbot and the prioress get a glass of wine.
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 29
    I'm inspired by your comment bgeorge77. I have the Lancelot Andrewes Diurnal, but not the Noted volume or the St. Dunstan Psalter. How do these three books combine into the chant monastic office in English?
  • Bruce E. Ford
    Posts: 412
    In the original edition of The Plaisong Psalter, of which the St. Dunstan Psalter is a reprint, each psalm is set to only one psalm tone, whereas antiphons in more than one mode are often paired with the same psalm in The Monastic Diurnal Noted. Consequently, The St. Dunstan Psalter cannot be used with the Monastic Diurnal Noted. G.H. Palmer's The Psalms 8 Canticles at Mattins & Evensong notated to the Eight Gregorian Tones from the Sarum Tonale furnishes each psalm with pointing to be used with every psalm tone. This book is commonly called by its cover title: The Sarum Psalter. I doubt that the book is in print of is likely to be reprinted, but perhaps used copies can be secured.
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 29
    So then I gather that the Monastic Diurnal Noted has chants for the complete office from the Monastic Diurnal, except for the psalms?