Signum Magnum… origins, sort of.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    While going to print the propers for the Assumption (since we do the Pius XII Mass and I only have 1934 editions of the Liber without an insert for the 1950 feast), I noticed that Arthur Connick had prepared propers for St Louis from the propers of Paris and Chartres (found here). The introit is the same for both, and is identical in most aspects to “Signum Magnum.” As late as the 1950s, we find the same bad tendency inherited from the neo-Gallican movement to prefer Scriptural texts over non-Scriptural ones, even for the introit, which is the proper chant most commonly found with non-Scriptural texts (the Alleluia of February 2 being a notable exception, Sequences aside).


    Now maybe Dom Gajard mentions this (cf. La nouvelle Messe de l'Assomption, GAJARD, Joseph. Revue grégorienne, vol. 30, no. 4, 1951, p. 121), but I don’t have access to this.

    The origin of the other new propers remains a mystery, and I will never ceased to be annoyed that they replaced and then tinkered with the Gradual instead of leaving the original alone (there was no reason to do any vandalism whatsoever, as it happens).
  • madorganist
    Posts: 868
    For the introit Signum magnum, the Graduale Triplex has the marginal note cf. 473 474. 473 is indeed the introit In virtute. 474 is the introit Probasti, Domine.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Ah yes. I don’t have a Triplex (I need one, but it’s low priority at the moment)… and In virtute tua is “authentic” (I actually don’t care that much when it comes to completely new feasts…but in any event, I missed that the melody of the original is indeed in the Roman liturgy already) But the principle remains the same: Solesmes and Pius XII’s curia put together a new Mass on neo-Gallican principles, adopting a melody for martyrs twisted for a confessor (presumably seen as martyr-like having died in the Crusades, and the text seems somewhat fitting) for Our Lady, which hardly makes much sense at all.

    The real reason for this post was because I couldn’t find the origins online; the orations and readings are discussed at some length, but not the chants. Hopefully it will be useful to others.
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  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 490
    Unpopular opinion: Signum magnum is nicer than Gaudeamus. At least it is unique to Assumption, whereas Gaudeamus is really a MadLibs catchall and unless you hear the one or two key words, you are not sure if it is All Saints or some other day. The Assumption is a late dogma; insofar as it is a de fide matter but was not defined until 1950, I do not begrudge a new introit suited to the day.
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  • madorganist
    Posts: 868
    Regarding the gradual, I see that the same text from the feast of St. Cecilia is indeed used in the novus ordo books. It's unremarkable, because they did get a few things right. What I find astonishing, however, is that the post-1950 Missal has the text from the Vulgate, but the chant books have it from the Pius XII (Bea) psalter! Is this a unique occurrence of a chant from the Proper of the Mass using the text of that edition?
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  • rich_enough
    Posts: 944
    This Forum post from 2015 might be helpful.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Thanks, though I note this post doesn't always show up if you search… :(

    Anyway, that gets to the heart of my point: the gradual is taken from, but is not identical to, the gradual in the Saint-Gall manuscript and in the 1908 edition. No one really seems to know where the offertory and communion came from, not entirely, which is just… "great."

    Re: Signum Magnum, I oppose it on principle, especially because, as with all things, they couldn't help themselves, plus it's in the 1974 Graduale Romanum alongside Gaudeamus.
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  • madorganist
    Posts: 868
    Offertory cf. Exaltabo, In omnem terram
    Communion cf. Ecce Dominus veniet

    IMHO the text of the offertory Inimicitias as it stands is unfitting for liturgical prayer—a text entirely addressed neither to God nor to man. The addition of the introductory words from the previous verse, "ait Dominus Deus ad serpentem," would rectify the problem. It pleases me that they dropped this chant from the novus ordo books, although it is still listed as an option in the Ordo Cantus Missae.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    I think it’s fine. But the problem is shoehorning Scripture where it previously hadn’t been.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,426
    I will be in Switzerland so they will be doing Signum Magnum, but they usually replace the Propers with German songs. I suspect my parish in England will have Signum Magnum at the Low Mass and Gaudeamus at the sung Mass, as we have had many times in the past.
  • Tom,

    Explain how you can swap Introits?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,426
    @CGZ. We will use the old Propers (Int. Gaudeamus) for at least one of the Masses, and possibly the new Propers (Int. Signum) for the other

    We have no Missale Romanum published after 1955, and most only have an insert for Signum Magnum and the rest of the new Propers. One of our priests will usually say the new Propers for a Low Mass, and the ancient Propers for the Sung.

    Our old Parish priest would open the Missal and see Gaudeamus mention how much he likes it and not notice the insert with the new Propers.

    One of our present priests is not a fan of the 1950's and 1960's so will usually follow the older calendar.

    We have a young priest staying with us, that thinks he should do 1962, so tries to follow the 1962 calendar using the older Missals, he may see the insert and say the new Propers!

    All these priests were trained to say the N.O. Mass, and have not been trained in a traditional seminary.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 924
    I'm just baffled with the ease with which one can presumably pick and choose missals in the old rite, at least, so it seems. “1962? Hmm. Not a fan of the 50's and 60's, I'll stick to the previous edition.” What's the canonical basis of this approach?

    I'm just curious, because in the novus ordo, this would be unheard of, wouldn't it? “2010? No, I have 1973 still around, it’s practically the same.” Does that actually happen?
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 490
    smvanroode

    Agreed. The only analogue I’ve seen in the NO is a few superannuated and retired priests who covered extra Masses at Christmas and Easter, or funerals of a close friend. These didn’t really read out of the Missal anymore, some because of severe vision problems, some because they are disobedient and will do whatever they want. The former pretty much fall back into reciting from memory the old translation because they’ve never been well enough to see the new one so well; the latter ad-lib the whole thing and it comes out sounding like the old translation, but with a few glosses. I don’t know that there’s a deliberate choice of the older book in the latter case, but rather a continuation of ignoring the book in the same way they’ve been doing since 1968.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    uh well Steven, you surely are aware that propers aren't even specified in the new form. That is, while you're supposed to read what's in the missal, you're freed from that if you sing a hymn, whereas at least in the old missal, you're bound to read what's in front of you no matter whether the Mass is sung or simply read, whether there is a hymn or organ or not… and I am not even fazed by someone using Gaudeamus, because it's an option in the 1974 GR, suggesting that someone realized within twenty-five years that in fact Signum Magnum was a bad idea!

    Also, the difference is that the rest of the Mass is virtually the same (and even for priests using 1962, there's no obligation to read the name of St Joseph in the Canon.)

    and the canonical basis? The pope doesn't care about a lot of things, he won't know the difference, and he wants to destroy my religion anyway, so it's much better to do the right stuff while we're at it.
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  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 924
    The pope doesn't care about a lot of things, he won't know the difference, and he wants to destroy my religion anyway, so it's much better to do the right stuff while we're at it.

    You left me speechless...
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,426
    I have no clue as to what a 1962 Missal is... Is it,
    a) The typical edition June 1962
    b) An edition published May 1963 (with the changes up to December 1962
    c) Is it an older edition that was in use in 1962
    d) The new version published by the FSSP (I was involved with the beginnings of this project)

    Also various people have been given permission to say the old Holy Week, as for this, https://lms.org.uk/sites/default/files/u8/introduction_0.pdf
    https://lms.org.uk/sites/default/files/u8/a_note_on_the_cdf_decrees_cum_sanctissima_and_quo_magis_issued_25th_march_2020.pdf

    I am not sure what the legislators are doing, but it is clear that even they are confused. So going back to a stable Missal say 1940 or 1930 could be a good compromise! Being stuck in 1962 has no historical precedent, so why should canon law be applicable to a situation it does not foresee?

    As for the N.O. Mass various individuals are making the texts up or using a former translation, at least we are using a Missal and Calendar that was published as the main form of the Roman Rite.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Steven with all due respect, I don't know how you can be speechless. The pope has been very clear that he doesn't like people like me, that he doesn't understand us, and that he wants to suppress the traditional Roman rite, so since virtually everyone agrees to one extent or another (except for some of the lay supporters of the SSPX and some of the French trad clergy in the former PCED communities…) about the problems of the 1962 liturgy, or, failing that, they're understanding of those who feel that way, we might as well do the traditional liturgy to the extent possible in our own parishes, chaplaincies, or whatever basement in which we might find ourselves and in our own homes.

    tomjaw, that's the other thing: even the SSPX doesn't use strict 1962… now they don't go hard for pre-1955 like some priests or communities, but even Holy Week isn't exactly 1962…
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,129
    I think formally the "!962 Missal" is whatever PCED says it is, that seems to be the definition in Summorum Pontificum, they were given the task of interpreting the rules and implementing them.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    The PCED no longer exists, and all of this now is subject to the whims of a certain English archbishop. That aside, the PCED never actually specified though, and if you read the linked post their priests made it clear that they didn’t follow 1962 even without St Joseph in the canon. Their ordo never did follow strict 1962 as well.
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  • madorganist
    Posts: 868
    As incongruous as it may sound, I knew a retired priest who, after the 2011 Missal came out, continued to use the previous American Sacramentary when offering Mass for the residents of his retirement community with the old (Tridentine) offertory prayers sotta voce in Latin. Did he request or receive permission for either practice? Doubtful! These things happen. Does the local Ordinary have some leeway to permit limited use of old/outdated liturgical texts for pastoral reasons? The Byzantines would just call it oikonomia and not worry about it, but we have our own tradition and rules in the West. PCED gave explicit permission for the repetition of the Confiteor before Communion, Benedicamus Domino instead of Ite missa est on ferial days, the use of prefaces from the old Missal that had been changed in 1960, and observance of suppressed octaves. The novus ordo is so full of options, it's only fair that we can have some too!
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  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    If you pick and choose which Missal you want to use from beyond the approved options, and therefore elevate your own opinion over that of the Church, then you are no better than the liberal cafeteria Catholics who decide that God should be referred to in the feminine because "they know better". I'm tired of seeing people just doing what they want according to their own whims and making an appeal to "tradition" to justify it. We have a Magisterium for a reason.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,426
    @Schönbergian
    If you think the Church has clearly told us what Missal we should be using you are sadly mistaken... I notice that key parts of the N.O. Missal are banned in some places including Latin, the ritual book with the music of the Mass (G.R. 1974), various vestments and actions in Mass. So even in N.O. land we have no uniform Missal that you can follow, or uniformity in practice. In effect we have a Missal promulgated by legitimate authority, and an unprinted Missal of the spirit of Vatican II, that is whatever the holder of the Vatican brain cell happens to wish at that moment. Let alone the whims of the local Ordinary, that seem to bear no reference to the rubrics printed in the N.O. Missal.

    As for the so called 1962 Missal or Missal of John XXIII, these are not necessary the same thing, and we have yet to have any clarity as to what we should do. Various individuals produce (so called 1962) Ordo for the TLM, but these have no official authorisation, and rely on guess work as to what local Feasts should be said. We have whole series of contradictory letters and instructions that do not take into account of the rubrics of the various Missals that could be described as 1962.

    As one priest has said "1962 it depends on the month", we forget that the changes were coming think and fast, so fast that the producers of the books could not keep up. Change after change was proposed, and then quickly changed back.

    So the Vatican is equally guilty of picking and choosing, so how can any rule be binding if it is not clear?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,129
    At the time, at least up to 1966, it was clear what was in force in Latin, at any given time in a given place. The vernacular permitted in 1965 was of course dependent on a translation process which varied by language, and even by country, and local directives for implementation. Even in 1969, in any English speaking place one could find in Notitiae an authoritative approval of particular Missal edition(s) for that place. So there is no doubt what the Heenan/'Agatha Christie' indult authorised. The lack of clarity only starts with Quattuor abhinc annos and its use of '1962' as a definition. However the disobedience dates from a lack of policing of the Heenan and similar indults. And perhaps even more strongly from a rejection of VII by bishops such as Sheehan of Baltimore, who banned any use of Latin as soon as the vernacular became available.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    Tradition is the difference, Schönbergian. That you fail to see so is really incredible.

    I also don’t think it’s disobedience in any meaningful sense if you’re not being policed (though I have read that the LMS general meeting had to use 1967 for years) and if you know why 1962 was chosen but aren’t the target audience so to speak. Even Lefebvre was apparently willing to compromise on pre-1955, never mind not strict 1962.
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  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    Tradition is the difference, Schönbergian. That you fail to see so is really incredible.

    Just saying "tradition" while ignoring why we have a hierarchy and a Magisterium is merely used as an excuse nowadays. The same appeal to tradition sparked the Protestant Reformation, and the papacy sure as hell acted as poorly as they are right now.

    I find it astonishing that the same people who rail against the 2011 Missal for its many options have no issue, and even celebrate, picking and choosing from various Missals of different eras. So which is it? Or, as has become typical in this forum, is it just another chance to smugly look down at the OF proles in the remainder of the Church?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,426
    @Schönbergian
    The 1920's Missal that we usually use on the altar and the newly printed 1962 Missal published by the FSSP, have perhaps 1-2% difference between them. While you complain about us picking and choosing, you still have not told us which 1962 Missal we should use.
    Tradition and tradition are two different things, I follow the timeless Traditions of the Church, not the traditions of the 1960's.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773

    Just saying "tradition" while ignoring why we have a hierarchy and a Magisterium is merely used as an excuse nowadays. The same appeal to tradition sparked the Protestant Reformation, and the papacy sure as hell acted as poorly as they are right now.


    It's not an excuse. Well, you obviously think it's one, but the difference once again is that I do all of the things which I'm supposed to do, and believe what I'm supposed to believe, and so does my priest; furthermore, he does indeed pray una cum Papa nostro Francisco when he prays for the pope. That's the difference between us and liberal Catholics as well as the early Protestants who did not believe the right things and who very quickly stopped worshipping correctly.

    Holy Week and a few of the days with similar ceremonies (Ash Wednesday, Candlemas) are the only significant changes; this is the only time where the proper changes. The former PCED never followed the 1962 rubrics for some things as it is, so those things have had tacit approval for years. The commemorations scheme is entirely different, true, and the rules for votive or Requiem Masses are as well, but more often than not, thanks to the prevalence of low Mass, you're not doing anything especially illicit if you add collects or whatever, and you're restricting yourself more than anything if you follow the pre-1962 rules.

    I'm still incredulous that you don't see the difference between us and liberal cafeteria Catholics; they're not even trying to believe the entirety of the orthodox and apostolic faith or worshiping accordingly, and while as musicians, it's very hard to accept that some people don't have to deal with the junk and may even get to do pre-1955 (at least for Holy Week) without any drama, you don't have to lump us in with people who are teetering on the edge of schism (some have already gone there…).
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