Compatibility between US and UK Liturgical Resources
  • hazza590
    Posts: 5
    Hello,

    I am in an effort to restore sacred music to the liturgy in my local parish in the United Kingdom. Frankly, the music at the moment in my parish is lacking at best, and immature and embarrassing at worst. The Musica Sacra resources I have looked through seem to be exactly what I am looking for. Nothing of the sort exists in the Liturgy Office of England and Wales, the organisation that is supposed to be responsible for handling the music for the sacred liturgy.

    My question pertains to compatibility. I am new to this topic, so I was wondering if there are any variances between the mass propers and psalms of the liturgy between the United States and the United Kingdom. Essentially, will I be able to use the resources found on Musica Sacra, for instance, the Simple English Propers, the Gregorian Missal and the Parish Book of Chant (CMAA), for liturgy in the United Kingdom?

    Thank you for any assistance.
    God Bless You.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    In England&Wales the authorised psalms are still the Grail Psalms dated 1963, as the Missal says. In the USA I understand they have authorised an updated version - the Abbey Psalms. But the existing US resources use older updates, variously called Revised Grail, or whatever.
    My impression is that the antiphons are the same translations across the English speaking world, but I have not fully verified that, I have found no differences so far.
    For the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office: these are quite different.
    See the entry at the bottom of this page for the official and semi-official antiphons.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • hazza590
    Posts: 5
    Thank you for your reply. Looking at this coming Sunday, my Missal which uses the Grail Psalms says this: "You open wide your hand, O Lord, you grant our desires".
    However, the Parish Book of Psalms, a great resource says this: "The hand of the Lord feeds us, he answers all our needs."
    I'm guessing that this will not work.

    Do you know if there is a similar publication that uses the Grail Psalms with corresponding chant notation included? That would be an invaluable resource for parishes in England and Wales.
  • Andrew Malton
    Posts: 833
    "Antiphons" could mean several things.

    The introit and communion antiphons are the same in the Roman Missal in all English speaking dioceses: but these are the "reading" antiphons that are not always the same texts as the "singing" antiphons in the Roman Gradual. In general the Roman Gradual text does not have an official translation.

    The Responsorial Psalms are considered part of the Lectionary rather than the Missal, and the Lectionary in general is translated differently for each national Bishop's conference.

    There is no traditional Music (chant) for the Responsorial Psalms because their order and texts were devised only fifty years ago. There have been quite a lot of modern chantlike compositions for the various translations: but a complete set for the old Grail translation I do not know of.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    hazza590 - There is English Proper Chants by John Ainslie. That uses Grail63, with Introits and Communions for Sundays and Holydays from the Missal (according to the blurb). For Jeff Ostrowski's view see :- https://www.ccwatershed.org/2015/11/11/john-ainslie-english-propers/ , unsurprisingly the adjectives brilliant and stunning are freely deployed.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw hilluminar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    Andrew Malton - we could indeed have a long discussion, which would not help the OP. The CBCEW has never since about 1975*, AFAIK, authorised any texts independently of the published liturgical texts.
    How about this argument - GIRM just says authorised texts. DW: the Missal, qua missal, is for use within the Ordinariates, but the texts are authorised. Hence it would be licit, for the OF in England&Wales, to use those antiphon translations and the Coverdale psalms, as set, or being set, in various versions of the English Gradual.
    *probably before then
  • Andrew Malton
    Posts: 833
    So to avoid a long unhelpful discussion, the situation is:
    * The introit and communion antiphons from the Missal are textually identical in the US and the UK
    * The readings, including the psalm and its response, are textually different in the US, UK, and Canada, in general.
    * The Mass proper as found in the Roman Gradual has no approved English translation.

    The IGMR at para 362 requires the lectionary text choice to be rite approbatum. Does that include translations from official books from other uses, such as the DW? I guess... maybe... I'm sure you'd find someone to disagree, though.
    Thanked by 1hazza590
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,047
    For the USA, per its version of GIRM 61, *sung* (but not recited) responsorial psalm texts can be from any translation that has been approved for liturgical use, and that's a much bigger group than what's provided in the Lectionary and materials based on it. I am not aware of any prior liturgical approvals being abrogated yet. It's a sensible grandfathering provision in terms of pastoral liturgical practice on the ground, as it allows compositions using approved texts to continue to be used rather than trashed in a rush with periodic translation updates.
    Thanked by 2Andrew Malton chonak
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,302
    To answer part of the OP's question, the materials in the Parish Book of Chant can be used in E+W because they are in Latin, and so can the Latin chants in the Gregorian Missal.

    You should probably also consider the Graduale Parvum produced by Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory, which provides simplified settings on the official texts. It's sold by the Association for Latin Liturgy, and I wrote about it here. For Americans and Canadians, you can order it from us at CMAA also, but ALL is closer to the OP.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • richardUKrichardUK
    Posts: 76
    I cantor the 8 am Sunday Mass at a parish in the UK (Novus Ordo but with Latin Ordinary). I have used the Bartlett "Simple English Propers", sung acappella, ever since the parish priest asked me to take this on. After about a year he said "the propers you're chanting don't quite match those in the parish bulletin". I looked and saw that was the case. The Bartlett seems a more florid and flowery version of whatever version the UK propers are. But he said it was ok to keep using the Bartlett because nothing comparable was available in Britain. He didn't think it was an earth-shattering problem, as I am cantoring acappella anyway.
  • CGM
    Posts: 488
    richardUK, I would guess that the issue with SEP vs. bulletin propers is that
    — the bulletin propers are probably drawn from the Roman Missal, which gives one set of proper texts, while
    — the Simple English Propers offers a different set of proper texts, using translations of the Graduale Romanum, whose texts are sometimes the same as the Roman Missal (e.g. most, but not all, of the Introits), and sometimes at quite a variance from the Roman Missal (e.g. the Communios).

    The SEP/GR also features a lot of textual variation per year, to match the three-year lectionary cycle, while the RM texts are simply a one-year cycle which does not vary to reflect the readings.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,302
    Incidentally, Bartlett's subsequent book, Lumen Christi Simple Gradual, has more elaborated melodies than Simple English Propers, and its English texts are a mix: some drawn from the Roman Missal, and some newly translated from the Graduale Romanum, with USCCB approval. So that gives us US folks another option.
    Thanked by 1GerardH
  • hazza590
    Posts: 5
    So that gives us US folks another option.


    As a brit, I envy my American brothers and sisters who have access to so many great resources with USCCB approval. It shouldn't take 55 years to provide chants for the Propers of Mass. This is why all we get are atrocious hymns.

    I will go ahead and use Simple English Propers and Parish Book of Psalms and see if anyone kicks up a fuss.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw roy2
  • quilisma
    Posts: 131
    I wouldn't worry too much about the fact that the translations don't match exactly. Just invoke the alius cantus aptus principle and you can get anything past. And, as we have frequently discussed on this forum that really does mean ANYTHING ! Wheat and chaff come to mind....
    Thanked by 1GerardH
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    The nearest thing to official translations of the GR for E+W is the Processional , CBCEW gave formal approval for the project, but AFAIK has not formally approved the translations.
    I agree with @quilisma don't worry too much, nobody else does, even though here we have not formally unbolted the stable door, as USCCB has.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,302
    Isn't anyone in the UK interested in that Graduale Parvum? It comes from your Birmingham, not the one in Alabama. :-)
  • hazza590
    Posts: 5
    Isn't anyone in the UK interested in that Graduale Parvum? It comes from your Birmingham, not the one in Alabama. :-)


    I had a look, but I like neumes too much.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,302
    Can you clarify? It's in square chant notation. Are you looking at an old version?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    chonak - I hope there are some, but in this area I have been trying for years to get any recognition of the idea of using antiphons instead of hymns.
  • hazza590
    Posts: 5
    Can you clarify? It's in square chant notation. Are you looking at an old version?


    You are right, I was looking at an old version. Unfortunately the Graduale Parvum consists only of the Introit. They plan to release the rest at a later date.