Metered settings of the Ordinary
  • brahms8
    Posts: 21
    Father told me in one of our monthly meetings that several "sources" have indicated that the pace of the music at Mass is monotonous and too "Latin sounding", which is causing some to leave. He's a saintly pastor and is trying to be a shepherd to the entirety of the flock. Still, it is a little frustrating because it's probably a small number of people, but anyway... We sing the Weber Propers, but those belong to the choir, so people don't have to sing those anyway, which makes it unlikely that they are the central source of contention. And I'm not going to deprive the choir of the opportunity to sing edifying liturgical music...

    I can only conclude that some do not like chanting the Ordinary (in English, mind you!). So I think a way forward is to find a nice metered setting. Recommendations? Or can y'all direct me to posts that have discussed this already?

    Many thanks,
    Daniel
  • MarkB
    Posts: 865
    The Missa Simplex by Richard Proulx and Michael O'Connor is nice, even though it's unmetered. Accompanied on organ, it doesn't have to sound that "chanty" and it should fit in with the style of the other music you are programming.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgjz-drOy5U

    The Heritage Mass by Owen Alstott is a very good metered setting, and lots of people know it because it is widely sung.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLnBHqogu-4
  • davido
    Posts: 655
    Two best options are:
    1. Mass of St Francis by Horst Buchholz. The best English, metrical setting.
    2. Heritage Mass is respectable. High churchy. Not as well written as the Buchholz.

    The Buchholz is in the Adoremus Hymnal, or PM me or Dr Buchholz.
  • I can second Heritage Mass.

    Mass of St. Francis Cabrini is good too and is pretty popular in my diocese. I'm a little tired of it for that reason, but it is a very well written setting.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    If you can find it, try Healey Willan's "Missa Sancta Maria Magdalena" adapted to the 2010 ICEL text (it was originally composed for the 1662 BCP English text); it is in the Ignatius Pew Missal.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,248
    I second the recommendations of Mass of St Francis (Buchholz) and Heritage Mass. You could do a lot worse. Other options would be Proulx’s Community Mass or his Missa Simplex.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • Salieri,

    I believe the Missa Sancta Maria Magdalena is also in Hymnal 1940, but I don't have my copy at hand.
  • davido
    Posts: 655
    The Missa Sancta Maria Magdalena is in the 1940, with the Anglican words, obviously, not the Roman Missal words.
    The Missa Sancta Maria Magdalena is great music, but it is likely your congregation will perceive it as very old fashioned music. It will clash stylistically for anyone who also has to do contemporary music.
  • but it is likely your congregation will perceive it as very old fashioned music. It will clash stylistically for anyone who also has to do contemporary music.


    Exactly why one ought to choose it. It sounds too "otherworldly" for modern ears.
  • Carol
    Posts: 773
    I sang for a funeral Mass (OF) last week with an organist other than my usual one and he played an accompaniment to the ICEL chanted Holy Holy (as per OCP) which was very different than I am accustomed to hearing. I usually get a custom accompaniment which is very plain and a series of mostly minor chords. The different organist played something more interesting and major-y. Sorry, I am not educated enough to be more specific. Fortunately, I was not thrown off, but it was startling! Any ideas on what I heard? If you know, I'd love to see it so I am not so startled if this ever happens again. Thanks!

    Sorry,I should have made this a new discussion perhaps.
  • CGM
    Posts: 583
    Another good modern, metric setting in English is the Missa pro editione tertia, here:
    https://www.benesonarium.com/roman-missal
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • brahms8
    Posts: 21
    Thank you all for the recommendation so far! To give some context, things are pretty good musically at the parish. We are using the Saint John de Brebeuf hymnal and singing Fr. Weber’s chanted propers. A Latin Mass was started at the parish when I joined as music Director, and it caused a bit of consternation among longtime parishioners. I think them singing chanted settings of the ordinary feels like a takeover by the Latin mass. And it probably just sounds too minor to them and not upbeat, so something with a fixed beat but that is still noble is what I was looking for. I have used Richard Proulx settings here and there, and I like them, but it’s nice to look for something different. I’m excited to explore these suggestions!
  • Paul Jernberg's Mass of Saint Philip Neri is excellent.
    Thanked by 2Bri ServiamScores
  • PolskaPiano
    Posts: 233
    Hi Brahms8!

    I think you're right on the money to look at the Ordinary. I've been trying to move from a more CCM sound to something with gravitas that the people will accept. Here has what worked for us:

    We normally chant a simple Kyrie, but during Advent and Lent, we use Mass of No Greater Love (Joncas) Kyrie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03W2AZKnG6o (We sing it at a faster tempo than the recording)

    Gloria: A New Mass for Congregations, Carroll T. Andrews (Revised 2011 edition avail)
    Gloria: Mass of St. Frances Cabrini, Kevin Keil

    Sanctus: A Community Mass, Proulx
    Sanctus: People's Mass, Vermulst

    Memorial Acclamation: David Kraehenbuehl (WLP, now GIA)
    Memorial Acclamation: A Community Mass, Proulx

    Amen: Danish Amen
    Amen: A Community Mass, Proulx

    Agnus Dei: A Community Mass, Proulx
    Agnus Dei: Mass of Remembrance: Haugen
    Agnus Dei: Holy Cross Mass, David Clark Isele

    Mass in A Minor- Strassburger (Lit. Press)
    Liturgical Press has a few items that are quite nice, actually. https://litpress.org/Music?categoryElanId=MU!MUMS&name=Mass-Settings&sortBy=title


    I had a very successful run with a blend of People's Mass (Sanctus), A Community Mass (Memorial Acc and Agnus Dei) and Danish Amen. They blended well.

    Good luck

  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,248
    I also use @CGM 's Mass setting recommended above, and it is quite lovely
    Thanked by 1CGM
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    A friend shared this with me recently and it is also quite nice.

    Mass in Honor of St. Cecilia by Richard Fitzgerald:
    https://www.ilpmusic.org/category/MassofStCecilia.html
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 162
    As a pewsitter who prefers chant but has appreciated well done metered I would say that one of my last parishes did a good job alternating the ordinary between chant and metered. When using metered, similar suggestions as Polska Piano. I think for the Gloria the Carroll Andrews is very good, very singable and will have the "upbeat" vibe while staying sacred that apparently certain vocal pewsitters in your parish desire. We used the Alstott Sanctus which is very easy to sing and fit well. For the Agnus Dei we used the David Clark Isele. The Kyrie was something simple (not in English ).
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,392
    I would vote for the Alstott Heritage Mass. There are some perks: it's a little more "up" sp your pastor may like it. It isceasy to sing, and it has choral descant parts and orchestral parts.