Where do I choose the text from?
  • Hi to everyone! I don't write so often but I love knowing that this community is here if I ever have questions.
    When you are writing music for a text of the Mass, what text do you tend to use? The antiphons that are in the Missal or the ones in the Graduale (translated)? Do you choose always from the same source or you pick one or the other depending of different criteria? (Beauty, length, your own taste, etc)

    I started taking all texts from the Missal (except for the offertory antiphons) but right now I'm kind of wandering what's better... any opinions?
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,765
    I suppose it depends on what your end goal is, and what attracts you as a composer. You can't go wrong with the Graduale, but there also isn't an "official" translation that I'm aware of (although, I'd argue the Gregorian Missal's translations are as good as you're going to get). The missal is, of course, already in the vernacular and, ironically, it's hard to find the latin if that's what your'e after.

    One thing in favor of the pre-conciliar propers is that they have melodies already associated for them which can serve as compositional fodder, fwiw.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,167
    You may have more ready acceptance of compositions which use the Missal or Lectionary texts as printed. Because you can say, Look, here is the text we would sing. Instead of, Well, Father, it's complicated, there's no translation, but...
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,397
    The Latin texts in the Missal or Lectionary are the Church's official texts for all purposes except the preservation of the "Treasury of Gregorian chant". Currently they are taken from the Nova Vulgata, which edition supersedes the Sistine/Clementine Vulgate published in 1592 to fulfil the request of the Council of Trent for an authoritative edition of the Bible.

    This contrast started around 400AD when Jerome produced his (then) new translation, people did not change established singing texts in Latin. ;-)
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,060
    I like to set Latin Propers. If I have to write in English, I prefer to set Biblical texts that have been bowdlerized from the new lectionary.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    The translations from the Gregorian Missal are, I would argue, quasi-official, at least approved, since they were used for the Simple English Peppers, which has the Imprimatur of Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, AZ.

    The closest thing to an official translation of the entire text of the Graduale Romanum is that found in the 1965 Roman Missal, which was approved for liturgical use and never really superceded, since another official translation of the Graduale Romanum was never subsequently issued.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw a_f_hawkins
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,167
    That's the hot jazz version.
    Thanked by 2LauraKaz Salieri
  • Thanks a lot! You've been very instructive
  • CGM
    Posts: 690
    A couple other resources that might be helpful are

    — Some decades before the Gregorian Missal, Solesmes released a 1957 volume called Mass and Vespers, which contains Gregorian chant and English translations for Sundays and Holy Days. It's not the same translation as the Gregorian Missal, so it may make for an interesting comparison. Free at CCWatershed.

    — When Adam Bartlett began Illuminare Publications (the precursor to Source & Summit), one of the first volumes he released was a book of all the texts of the Sunday Masses (including readings and the proper antiphons) called the Lumen Christi Missal. He and a team of Latinists retranslated all the proper texts according to the rules laid down in Liturgiam Authenticam, recycling texts from the then-newly-translated Roman Missal whenever possible. It's a little gem of a book. It doesn't appear to be in print at present, but perhaps S&S has some unsold copies lying around, or might be willing to send a PDF to interested parties. Worth the ask!
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Simple English Peppers

    That's the hot jazz version.

    Auto-incorrect strikes again! (This is why I try not to type on my phone.)
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • francis
    Posts: 10,701
    I love singlish angel poppers!