Les Heures Gregoriennes
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    In case you missed this, a truly lovely edition of Latin-French Hours has come out. It was a joint project of Solesmes, Saint-Martin, and Clairval. Three volumes - and not cheap (especially in light of the strength of the Euro). You can go to the website at http://www.communautesaintmartin.org/spip.php?article91 and admire it in either French or English. (I don't know how to turn this into a live link - sorry.)

    And no, this isn't meant to trigger one of those debates about the old Breviary vs. the revised Liturgy of the Hours. I myself am happy at the good work so many are doing.
  • Geoff
    Posts: 22
    Do you know if this includes the full Office of Readings as well? Also, live link to the books.
  • Geoff
    Posts: 22
    Looks like no Office of Readings according to this web site. Still, this looks excellent! If only they would do an English edition...
  • Geoff
    Posts: 22
    More commentary at this website, with a large picture of two pages: Left Page and Right Page. I don't see any episemas over the neums, but they don't look like the ones from the new Antiphonale Monasticum either. Also, does anyone know how the system for chanting the psalms in French works? Finally, I wonder if this means that the new Antiphonale Romanum will be coming out sometime soon.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    When I was in Paris they had the most dreadful system of chanting the psalms in French. Tonal formulas which changed notes on the last syllable of every line, and often ended si-do. Not a drop of chant or Latin to be found during the hours at St. Gervais, Notre Dame des Victoires, or Sacre Coeur.
  • FX
    Posts: 6
    Publication of the « Gregorian Hours*»
    An event for communities and parishes
    desiring to celebrate the Liturgy of the hours
    * Official title (in French): “Les Heures Grégoriennes”

    Here we are: now, the publication of the « Gregorian Hours » is officially announced! It is with great pleasure and an unconcealed joy that we relay an excellent initiative leaded by the Communauté Saint Martin (French priests and deacons living in community the apostolic ministry).

    A staggering work

    We speak knowingly as we have had in our hands the draft version and followed step by step the meticulous work of the page design. In three tomes (two for seasonal and one for sanctorial), fruit of joints efforts from the Communauté Saint Martin (design, research, editing), the Atelier de Paléographie Musicale of Saint Pierre de Solesmes Abbey (Antiphonale Romanum critical edition) and from S.Joseph de Clairval Abbey (page design/layout representing hours and hours of work), without forgetting all the ones in charge of the Preces exact translation, until now this work has never been previously published in the world. And the result is, let’s be fair, astonishing!

    A book designed by liturgy practitioners

    Not only the idea to propose a reference book to celebrate the liturgy of the hours in gregorian with the french liturgical official translation is remarkable, but as soon as you take one of the volumes in hand you will notice that this is a book designed by liturgy practitioners. Whoever knows the Antiphonale Monasticum knows perfectly well the difficulty for a simple laïque to switch between books when you need one for the Ordinary, one for the antiphons of the evangelical canticles, one for shot readings, one for hymns, and at last, one for Preces. With the “Gregorian Hours”, nothing more than one book: everything you need is in the book for the time of the divine office. So it is a true French-Latin antiphonary, not official off course, but containing all you need for the Office daily.
    This is the ideal complement for the Office, for example to the now famous Latin-French Gregorian Missal published by Solesmes. The practical aspect of a liturgical book is essential. During prayer, and off course liturgical prayer, the physical prehension of a prayer book is also essential.

    An immediate possible usage for catholic parishes
    and religious communities

    Another essential advantage is the french translation in it’s official liturgical version (©AELF ) and the modal tones proposed in order to sing in french if you want to. It’s evidently really designed for an immediate possible usage in parishes or religious communities that are still more numerous to propose the celebration of the Hours of the Divine Office during Sundays or during the week. Until now, there was no convenient book of reference that would allow singing the office in the ordinary form of the roman rite. Now it’s done.

    1 Latin Psalter of the Liturgia Horarum (2000 edition)
    2 Gregorian notations edited by Saint Pierre de Solesmes Abbey
    3 Liturgia Horarum compliant antiphons
    4 Polychromatic liturgical edition
    5 French translation for liturgical use with typographic signs to sing the psalms.

    An unbeatable price!

    Last good news you don’t want to neglect: its price! During subscription period all the three books are yours for 165 EUR (55 EUR per book). Given the content and the quality of the work it’s yet a good rate. Should you compare with the 4 tomes of the Libraria Editrice Vaticana sold 60.90 EUR per unit, it would lead you to 240 EUR without the French translation, without the musical score! Other comparison: the 4 volumes of the liturgy of the hours in French will cost you around 50.5 EUR each, 202 EUR total without Latin and again without the musical score. In addition, if you want to sing, you’ll need to buy another book entitled “Sing the Office” (in French: Chanter l’Office” that will cost you an extra 55 EUR. Again that will lead you near 260 EUR. On internet, that won’t be easier to find a cheaper set of book. For example: Alapage.com proposes the whole lot for 293 EUR. So you can see now that it’s not a very profitable operation for the Communauté Saint Martin.

    For parishes and communities:
    rediscover the musical heritage of the roman Church

    Some may ask if it is reasonable, today in the 21st century, to launch the edition of a liturgical book in Latin with the French translation aside as Latin is not taught anymore at school and Gregorian plainsong disappeared from all parishes nearly 40 years ago. Others could ask if communities and parishes still interested by the Gregorian plainsong could simply use the old books containing all the needed stuff and with some little adaptations celebrate the liturgy according to the ordo of the roman office as defined by the Council. Or simply adopt the extraordinary form of the roman rite… That would be easier isn’t it?
    But in that case they would be mistaken on the veritable target of this book which is to implement in the light of the faith all the requirements of the Holy Father and legislation of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council who has for the first time in the roman rite history “canonized” the musical Gregorian repertoire as it proper chant, on December 4th 1963 in De Sacra Liturgia. The Council had asked for a revision of chant books and that a new edition arises. That’s exactly what has done the Communauté Saint Martin when in perfect concordance with HH the Holy Father Benedict XVI, they see a new liturgical movement hatching, movement that the Cardinal Ratzinger was already encouraging.

    The sense of gregorian plainsong in parishes nowadays

    Launch a new Latin edition in the ordinary form of the roman rite is quite a bet for the Communauté Saint Martin. As a reminder, this community of priests, founded by Father Guérin in the seventies, had a sound intuition: live as priests and diocesan deacons (they are not monks) to the service of bishops, a pastoral ministry in community.
    And in that community life, very often in parish, the liturgy has the first place, always executed with great care, in its Latin or French expression, off course in the ordinary form of the roman rite. Because “ordinary” never means “banal” or “common”, but “in accordance” with the order of things. The pastoral ministry in provincial parishes is to be daily rooted within the reality of a population always more confronted to an increasing secularization. Liturgy, in its genuine expression, comes to help the ministry’s spirituality, who draws from its texts, gestures and hymns the power to lead the flock. Liturgy is also for the flock the place of an expression surpassing the small and subjective expression of a local community, as these gestures, these words (Latin) and these chants (Gregorian) are precisely those of the universal Church.
    Whoever has already experiment the Gregorian plainsong in an average parish has noticed its evocation power, its natural adaptation to what it allows to express in prayer. It is striking to state that despite all the previous centuries’ attempts, the Gregorian plainsong keeps an undeniable pertinence since the VIII or IX centuries. Prophetic, the Gregorian plainsong, which “surpass infinitely music” (dom Joseph Gajard), aims to give an educative and cultural expression that exceeds the borders of a country and of social classes. The Gregorian needed not to be reserved to monks. And the Communauté Saint Martin, a community of diocesan priests without complex, is quite modern. These priests are offering this wonderful present to the French-speaking part of the Church (while we’re waiting the adaptation of this gigantic work to other languages). It has to be mentioned that the project leaders had asked a formal approval to the Congregation for the divine worship to use this work and it is with an implementation decree signed with great enthusiasm by HE Cardinal Francis Arinze that they received such an authorization. Let’s now take advantage of the “Gregorian hours”!

    Subscription – Acquisition - Support

    The « Gregorian Hours », expected by many of you, are now available. If you subscribe (until May 2008) or send us your order, you’ll receive your copy as soon as it is produced (November 2008).
    Launch offer: 165 EUR (10% discount)
    A subscription is opened until May 31th 2008 to acquire all three volumes now for a preferential rate of 165 EUR (instead of 195 EUR).
    Standard offer: 195 EUR (all the three volumes)
    So that everyone be free to participate to the Church prayer!
    Support offer: 220 EUR (all the three volumes)
    To the one desiring to help and support the Communauté Saint Martin in this duty for the Church and the liturgy, we propose you a support rate: 220 EUR all the three volumes.

    Download order form: HERE

    To send by postal mail to:
    53 rue du Château – B. P. 34
    Email : hg@communautesaintmartin.org
    Phone: + 33 - 02 54 52 48 10
    France : by cheque (in EUR only) to “Cté St-Martin – Heures Grégoriennes”
    Switzerland: Additional information will be provided to you.
    Other: Bank transfer to “Cté St-Martin – Heures Grégoriennes”:
    IBAN: 76 1440 6013 1077 8878 9318 753 – BIC: AGRIFRPP844
  • FX
    Posts: 6
    @ incantu : modal tones for psalms in French :


  • Geoff
    Posts: 22
    Hmm, taken a second look and I think I see the new oriscus symbol there. I bet it's the new Solesmes style. Anybody have any experience with the new Solesmes method?
  • Those French psalm tones are interesting and I have been testing them when praying Heures Grégoriennes.

    Where are they sourced from? I am writing an article for a presentation I will be doing at the next colloquium of the Gregorian Institute of Canada and I would be interested in including them as an option for vernacular (French) psalmody but would like to properly credit them.


  • wjcb112
    Posts: 19
    Rather a lot of generalised comments, but I wonder how many people are actually using the Heures Gregoriennes, and what their experiences have been?

    For my part, I have been using the HG twice a day (Lauds and Vespers) since the beginning of Advent for singing in Latin. My Latin is a bit uncertain, and also my French. Previously I had been chanting in English, using Coverdale and Briggs and Frere, but found the Solesmes books incomprehensible.

    My experience has been that the HG are actually good and very easy to follow, although some Gregorian Chant experience is needed. There is much duplication (which leads to the high price - 3 volumes), but the upside is that page flipping is minimised, and it has the look and feel of a book designed for serious daily use.

    One thing which would be useful though is some form of support group, or people to talk to. Is anyone else out there also using it please?
  • FX
    Posts: 6
    Yes I Of course use it a lot, and so does our gregorian Schola. A very convenient set of " books, very well designed, pratcical and so good to use, with so much pleasure !
  • I have been using Les Heures Grégoriennes since I received the volumes last November. I am fluent in French (and can read, though not understand, Latin fluently), so it has been a big help for me. I chant almost daily except when I travel on business, or when family obligations interfere (or when it's too hot in my small oratory in the summer). I gave an exposé on the books at our last colloquium of the Gregorian Institute of Canada in Hamilton last month. Overall I am extremely pleased with the work within the limitations of the LOH. As a lay Benedictine I am obliged to part of the office as time allows, but am allowed either the Roman or Monastic offices. Given the realities of a professional life, the Roman is easier time-wise.

    I'd be interested in a group to compare notes on how to use it, and for the LOH in general.
  • I might add that they also produced a 3 CD set that includes ALL the diural antiphons of the LOH, all of the diurnal hymns (first stanzas only), responsories, and the first verses of every psalm. It's all properly organized (MP3 files) so you can find the appropriate chants for the appropriate day (ordinary days, feasts propers and commons, temporal, etc). Even if you don't chant Les Heures Grégoriennes, this CD is very valuable for learning how to chant antiphons, hymns, the psalm tones, etc. It's 25 Euros, you will have to write to them for the ordering info; they sent a coupon with Les Heures and I mailed it in with my 25 euros to get the CDs.
  • "Les Heures Grégoriennes" making a come-back in a 2nd edition:
  • wjcb112
    Posts: 19
    Does anyone know if a version of Les Heures Grégoriennes is planned for an iPad or a Kindle or other reader? Or indeed something similar for the Antiphonale Monasticum? Preferably so that the computer manages the Page flipping. Or who might know the answer to the question?
  • wjcb112
    Posts: 19
    As part of the "Thy Kingdom Come" project in London UK, Lauds from the Heures Grégoriennes is being chanted every weekday from Ascension Day (25 May 2017) to Pentecost in the Church of St Andrew by the Wardrobe in the City of London (near Blackfriars) at 8.00 am. All welcome to listen or sing. Details on https://sites.google.com/site/wjcbailey/ Midday Office (Alton Abbey - Anglican Benedictine) also being sung in different locations over the same period.