Graduale or Responsorial?
  • I am going to display my ignorance here, but I'll bet I am speaking for those volunteer music leaders that Jeff alluded to in his post on implementation, the ones who panic.

    I am never going to get this straight until I sit down and write in every option for an entire Mass or even a season, which I am going to do for my own peace of mind over the next week or so. I've gotten a headache. I have to see it all laid out.

    In talking with people who know a lot more about this than I do, they invariably use "Graduale" and "Responsorial Psalm" as two different things. However, I don't see, looking at them, how they are different. Please note, I said "looking at them." We will get to "listening to them" in a moment. GIRM refers to the Graduale as the "Responsorial Graduale" and includes every option under the general heading of "Responsorial Psalm." Technically--if I do not violate some unwritten rule for mentioning it--the settings we are used to are called the "Gelineau Gradual."

    Is this another instance of "LA/LA County:" LA actually is IN "LA County," but when people say "LA County" they mean "not LA proper." (Pun accidental.)

    And so "Gradual" means specifically the Responsorial Psalm setting in the Graduale Romanum or Graduale Simplex, usually sung by a cantor and choir, and "Responsorial Psalm" means an English setting, usually sung by a cantor and the congregation. Have I got ahold of the right end of the stick?

    Since the Grail translation is still being used, I suppose that in fact a lot of congregations will not have to sell off their old copies of--this'll go fast, I promise--Worship or Gather. Is that correct? If so, it gives a lot more time for word about good hymnals to get out there.

    I am excited by the Vatican II hymnal and some other settings that this website points to, things that can replace what we usually hear. Some of the latter can be good but most are just flat, so in my head "Graduale" means "beautiful" and "Responsorial Psalm" generally means "bad."

    Comments?


    Kenneth
  • BGP
    Posts: 206
    Well....no they are different things. In the ordinary form of the Roman rite the responsorial psalm is a substitution for the gradual and in practice the gradual has been forgotten. they are both taken from the Psalms (typically). But on a given day the texts will not identical. They are different musically as well.
  • Since the Grail translation is still being used, I suppose that in fact a lot of congregations will not have to sell off their old copies of--this'll go fast, I promise--Worship or Gather. Is that correct?

    I wouldn't count on it. The Revised Grail Psalter was only released recently, and while it is the translation that new work is supposed to use, I don't think the older translations have been banned. I haven't checked the new editions of "the big three" to see which translations they include.

    I am excited by the Vatican II hymnal and some other settings that this website points to, things that can replace what we usually hear. Some of the latter can be good but most are just flat, so in my head "Graduale" means "beautiful" and "Responsorial Psalm" generally means "bad."

    Don't tell Jeff O that! The Vatican II hymnal has quite a few responsorial psalms composed by him.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,637
    For an illustration:

    Here's next Sunday's Gradual chant: http://isaacjogues.org/chantfiles/461/ Text: "It is better to trust in the Lord, than to trust in men./It is better to hope in the Lord than to hope in princes."

    The Responsorial Gradual has a brief text in two parts: an antiphon and a verse. The Gregorian setting presents it sung to an ornate, melismatic melody. The antiphon can be repeated after the verse. (In the EF it's rare to find this done.)

    The Graduale Romanum book specifies the proper Gradual chant for each Sunday. That Gradual chant is used on the 20th Sunday every year.

    In contrast, here's the text of next Sunday's Responsorial Psalm: http://noelchabanel.org/psalms/A_ord_20/ (This is Jeff O's site for Responsorial Psalm settings, including his own and those of other composers.)

    The Responsorial Psalm has a similar structure, with an antiphon and multiple verses. Most settings have a syllabic melody for the congregation to sing the antiphon.

    For Sundays, the Responsorial Psalm antiphon and verses are specified in the Lectionary book, according to the 3-year Sunday cycle of scripture readings. Its text therefore seldom matches that of the Gradual.

    So these are two different texts with (usually) two different musical styles. They are both "responsorial" in the sense that they are a musical response to the first reading. They are also "responsorial" in structure, inasmuch as they have the antiphon-and-verse structure. (For this reason, the antiphon or refrain is often called a "respond".)

    Hope this helps to add to the picture.
  • OK, first off, I said the V2 hymnal excited me because in my mind English propers are mostly bad. I wouldn't be excited by the V2 hymnal if I thought they were also going to be bad, now, would I? I am sure Jeff O read it exactly as I meant it, although the Jeff I know is Jeff T.

    But this drives home my point. I read Latin comfortably, use the L. Usualis all the time for practice, have regularly attended a Latin Novus Ordo, etc, and it was not obvious to me. How about those 'panicked' volunteers Jeff (T) was talking about?

    For the normal song leader, that will have to be respectfully and helpfully explained. BETTER if the average person could just flip open a book and see it all laid out. Going deeply into it, yes, that takes work and is fun, if you have time. I am deeply into the entire service for Whit Sunday from the L.Usualis as my thing to really "know" this summer. But that is not what we are talking about here.

    My confusion remained after several years of thinking about it off and on. I did not on one day open all the available books to compare, which I could do, but again, most song leaders couldn't. If > could not see the difference clearly,then your average song leader might not be able to. A better answer might begin, "That is easy to confuse, but here is what the different terms actually mean..."

    They might, you know, feel emboldened to ask a SECOND question.

    One point remains unclear. From the GIRM Jeff T linked for us today:

    "In the Dioceses of the United States of America, INSTEAD OF the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary, there MAY be sung either the RESPONSORIAL Gradual from the Graduale Romanum, or..." the GS or another version.

    So it reads like the GR is a substitute for the Responsorial Psalm. What I meant by parishes' selling off their copies of the Big Three (Is that how we call Sauron on this list?) is that if the translations are not radically different and they can insert the new propers, they won't want to spend the money right now. THAT gives them time to discover how beautiful the Vatican II hymnal is.

    Other than that,that does clear things up, and I thank those who took the time to explain it. But you might want to keep in mind when hashing things out, you may be leaving people in the dust and it is not their fault.

    I thank everybody.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,637
    If you haven't read the universal GIRM in Latin yet, to compare it with the US GIRM at these points, it's worth the study to see the differences.
  • Here's a good short answer, from part of what Chonak said:

    "For Sundays, the Responsorial Psalm antiphon and verses are specified in the Lectionary book, according to the 3-year Sunday cycle of scripture readings. Its text therefore seldom matches that of the Gradual (ADD: WHICH WAS DETERMINED ACCORDING TO THIS PRINCIPLE).

    So these are two different texts with (usually) two different musical styles. They are both "responsorial" in the sense that they are a musical response to the first reading. They are also "responsorial" in structure, inasmuch as they have the antiphon-and-verse structure. (For this reason, the antiphon or refrain is often called a "respond".)"

    Those sentences are very helpful and just what the doctor ordered.
  • As for comparing GIRMs--skipping the obvious joke as I could probably hit NIH with a rock if I threw REALLY hard---that is the kind of thing that would be a useful thread on this site, clearly labeled as for the diehards. Personally, I do have the training to understand it, and will probably do it, so thanks for the suggestion.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,041
    One can readily see that the gradual in say the gradual romanum is a different text than the psalm on the lectionary, however, who can tell me WHY they are different?
    It must have to do with the history of so called reform.
  • Protasius
    Posts: 468
    In the beginning of christian services (in late antiquity) the graduale was in fact a responsorial psalm, although matching the readings cycle of that time. In the strive to beautify the mass soloists began to sing ornate versions of the gradual verses. Because this took an enormous amount of time if applied to a whole psalm and to retain the beauty thereby introduced, the gradual began to be shortened to just a few very ornate verses of the psalm.

    As the gradual is really complex and a matter for soloists, many choirs in the 20th century only recited it recto tono or sang it to a psalm tone setting as the one by Rossini.

    When the liturgy was reformed after the council, the option to sing the responsorial psalm was included. This once again consisted of several psalm verses and tried to include the congregation through response verses and was rather easy to translate to vernacular languages. It also easily harmonized with the new 3-years reading cycle.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    In the ordinary form of the Roman rite the responsorial psalm is a substitution for the gradual

    That (agenda-laden) statement is not really accurate.

    A better way to state the relationship would be:
    The Gradual is the predecessor to today's Responsorial Psalm, which has largely replaced it in both legislation and practice. The Gradual, however, is still available as an option.

    (People with agendas and opinions can then discuss whether taking that option is good or bad, whether the present state of both legislation and practice was intended by [the Council / the Pope / the whoever], and whether that was a good or a bad thing. But to act as if PRESENT legislation concerning the Ordinary Form considers the Responsorial Psalm a SUBSTITUTE for the Gradual is pretty bogus.)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,637
    Adam, would you spell out some details of where the Responsorial Psalm has replaced the Gradual in legislation and where it has not?
  • Adam...you and I have gone around on this subject before (a war of Adams, if you will....). We disagree, and I think reasonable people can disagree on this issue. But I do take issue with your statement that says that we who actually believe that statement are some how driven by personal agendas. My personal agenda is to do what the Church teaches regarding liturgy. If she comes out and says "The Responsorial Psalm is preferable", I may not like it...but I'll joyfully employ it and it alone.

    Right now we have a problem. We have a lectionary that refers to the Responsorial Psalm alone. However, we have the Graduale Romanum, which we can all agree is the official book of music for the Roman Rite, that has a Gradual. This is a disconnect that needs to be addressed. You are correct that the GIRM refers primarily to the Responsorial psalm....but what are we to say about the Graduale Romanum? I don't think this is something we can answer until the Holy See addresses it directly.
  • The Responsorial Psalm is a contrived effort to involve the people in singing a changeable part of the Mass.

    This immediately requires dumbing down the music so that anyone can sing it. The original intent of an Antiphon followed by the psalm has become a psalm sung in the form of US tv, with commercials inserted. Does this improve the impact of the meaning of the psalm upon the people?

    No.

    It was a mistake to do this.

    Churches should sing the psalms in a way that people can spend time reflecting upon the meaning of the psalm. A return to the Gradual would do this. Anytime that Catholics are expected to pick up a piece of paper and sing something different from it at Mass each week is a time that many people choose not to participate, which was not the intent of the "creation" of the responsorial psalm. It was to involve all the people in immersing them in the true and original non-metrical psalms of the church. It fails.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    You are correct that the GIRM refers primarily to the Responsorial psalm....but what are we to say about the Graduale Romanum?

    1. The GIRM is legislation on how to perform the Mass. The Graduale is not.
    2. The present GIRM was promulgated (is that the right word?) AFTER the Graduale, which suggests that if they are in conflict, then the GIRM supercedes.


    The language in the GIRM that refers to the Gradual in place of the Responsorial Psalm COULD be interpreted in such a way that the old-cycle Gradual is not to be used. But I believe in a generous interpretation of legislation.
    So, assuming the GIRM does in fact say that you can use the Gradual in place of the Responsorial Psalm, it still seems clear that doing so would be a second option. By the interpretive precedent this crowd sets with regards to hierarchy of options (Propers first, suitable songs last), the "Responsorial Psalm is preferred" understanding seems logical.

    But maybe it isn't preferred, how should I know?


    What I do know is that they are either equal (you can do either one) or that the RP is preferred (default is RP, but you could do the Grad if you wanted).
    And the "flip-flopping" of that second interpretation into "the responsorial psalm is a substitution for the gradual" is problematic, and sounds (to me) like revisionist traditionalism (or traditionalist revisionism).
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    FNJ:

    To me, this is not about the style (contemporary psalm settings verses melismatic chant), but rather about the text.
    That is: which Psalm does the Church want being read/sung/chanted/listened-to/meditated-on after the First Reading?

    I think the present Lectionary answers that question.

    Sing it like a Gradual if you want to, or in Anglican chant, or with a steel-drum band.

    Or sing the old-cycle Gradual if appropriate to your circumstances.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,637
    Just a reminder, Adam: the norms in the Graduale are legislation too: they are copied from the "Ordo Cantus Missae", one of the several books that constitute the Missale Romanum.

    The GIRM's publication date doesn't automatically imply an intention by the Church to supercede the OCM. After all, the OCM was updated in 1986, so it has co-existed along with the GIRM. Any conflict between the two needs to be resolved by an inquiry to Rome, and in truly doubtful cases, liberty to follow either is presumed.

    The OCM's effect may be limited, admittedly, as the decree accompanying it says it's in force for Masses sung in Latin. It doesn't say whether vernacular Masses are governed by it.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    liberty to follow either is presumed

    I'm good with that.

    My issue is not with the Gradual. My issue is with agenda-driven, inaccurate interpretation.
  • Why did this arise (with the rest of the propers as well)? Why did they not connect up the options more closely?

    A more joined-up way of doing what they wanted to achieve might have been something like (1) take the existing texts of the antiphons and redistribute appropriately as thought necessary for the purposes of the calendar and the thematic three year lectionary (2) maybe compose new ones if necessary to fill in gaps (3) restore the possibility of more verses but make it optional how many of them you use (4) give the option of using the gradual chant or other appropriate music (and either Latin or vernacular of course). Gives a range of options where everyone is obviously doing the same thing broadly speaking, but can do it in different modes as appropriate.
  • newmanbenewmanbe
    Posts: 76
    Adam Wood: What do you mean by old-cycle?
  • Fortunately, for many reasons, I do not have an axe to grind in this discussion. I have been asking a series of questions that a "clueless, panicked volunteer music leader" might ask.

    At a couple of points, the new GIRM adds a paragraph just for the US, and it is important to attend to that. I quote again from the relevant passage on the Responsoial Psalm.

    "In the Dioceses of the United States of America, INSTEAD OF the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary, there MAY be sung either the RESPONSORIAL Gradual from the Graduale Romanum, or..." the GS or another version.

    That would indeed seem to give "pride of place" to the Lectionary Responsorial, as opposed to the one from the Graduale Romanum. Therefore, I think a lot of the sniping does come across to the outside observer as unattractive. The beauty of the Mass sure gets lost.

    And it would help if people made clear AN ENGLIGH TRANSLATION of the setting in the Graduale Romanum. While I can sight read Chant, I had a hard time understanding where anyone would get the permission in a regular Mass to have part of the Liturgy of the Word be in a foreign language. Joseph Ratzinger was quite clear that the Liturgy of the Word be in the vernacular, and I doubt Benedict XVI has changed his mind.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    Adam Wood: What do you mean by old-cycle?

    The ordering of the Psalm texts onto particular Sundays for the Gradual predates the current ordering of Psalms in the Lectionary.
  • Sorry - looks like I failed to get across my point - I was referring to the texts but did a bad job of it.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    At a couple of points, the new GIRM adds a paragraph just for the US, and it is important to attend to that. I quote again from the relevant passage on the Responsoial Psalm.

    "In the Dioceses of the United States of America, INSTEAD OF the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary, there MAY be sung either the RESPONSORIAL Gradual from the Graduale Romanum, or..." the GS or another version.

    That would indeed seem to give "pride of place" to the Lectionary Responsorial, as opposed to the one from the Graduale Romanum.

    Yep.

    And it would help if people made clear AN ENGLIGH TRANSLATION of the setting in the Graduale Romanum. While I can sight read Chant, I had a hard time understanding where anyone would get the permission in a regular Mass to have part of the Liturgy of the Word be in a foreign language. Joseph Ratzinger was quite clear that the Liturgy of the Word be in the vernacular, and I doubt Benedict XVI has changed his mind.

    Thank you.


    And for the chant-preferring crowd, I'd like to see a re-ordering of the Chants in GR so that a Gradual with the "right" text can be easily found and sung AS THE Responsorial Psalm.
    But that's probably a non-starter, as anyone with a mind to sing melismatic Latin Graduals probably also prefers the current ordering.
  • BGP
    Posts: 206
    Wow this thread has really imploded. My take.. It would seem that since the Graduale is gregorian chant and the Responsorial Psalm is not, than given that Chant has "pride of place" (could be translated 'first place') according to the magesterium. Then the Graduale is prefered.

    One is free of course to use the RePsm.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    What we need is a second volume of Simple English Propers for the Liturgy of the Word. I'd especially love to see eight simple Alleluia refrains paired with a melismatic verse in English, corresponding to the mode of the Gregorian proper.
    I've been thinking about trying to piece something like this together using the AG, but I have yet to be able to put it into practice at my parish.

    Probably the biggest obstacle to doing the same with the Gradual is that the responsorial psalm text is published in the missallettes. Even though there are several options for the responsorial psalm, not even considering the Gradual, people seem to object when the words are different than what they have in front of them. I hope that eventually congregations will have the same objection when the Entrance and Communion propers are not sung!
  • newmanbenewmanbe
    Posts: 76
    Except the cycle has been re-done for the three-year Sunday lectionary cycle, which was done first. Old-cycle sounds more like for the EF.
  • I just LOVE incantu's suggestion about a SEP Vol. II.

    Let me make it clear that I am most emphatically in the Chant-preferring crowd. I was surprised to find out that, so far as I can tell, only three Cathedrdals that have, as a regular part of their ministry to the faithful, Latin Novus Ordo Masses on Sunday morning. Those three happen to fall right in a line: the original See, Baltimore, then DC, then Arlington, VA. I'd love to hear of any others.

    XVI has made it clear, by making all Papal Masses Latin, that the centrality of the normative text is to be honored, and I wished more bishops did it. Make that ALL bishops. And every parish should have a High Mass where the congregation chants its parts in Latin. XVI has also expressed a wish that Catholics be formed in the Latin Minor Propers so that at pilgrimages they can sense their unity.

    However, as that is NOT going to happen by November 27, so let's keep it to the practical.

    I am trying to clarify the options. The sniping does NOT help. Suggestions like incantu's are a blessing.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    It would seem that since the Graduale is gregorian chant and the Responsorial Psalm is not, than given that Chant has "pride of place" (could be translated 'first place') according to the magesterium. Then the Graduale is prefered.

    No.
  • Here's to hoping for an official translation of the Graduale Romanum, though I fear we'll be waiting quite a while. SEP, vol. 2 for Graduals and Alleluias/Tracts would be awesome.
  • lmbsaflavin, many of the GR propers (for the three-year lectionary) were left on the corresponding days, and new ones created by centonization (borrowing part or all of the music from another Mass and putting new words to the music). For some Sundays there are different propers (one or more of the chanted ones) to better match the lesson of the individual year A, B, or C. The newly-created ones, in general, fit the lessons quite well. The funny ones are the ones that were left on a Sunday where the event to which they refer is no longer in any year's lessons for that Sunday--and that even happened at the Council of Trent, which standardized the (single-year) lectionary; c.f. the Offertory referring to Job's boils, which has an anecdotal story to explain why it was kept when the corresponding lesson was no longer read in the "new standardized lectionary".

    For my sanity, I have compiled an Excel spreadsheet showing the correspondence (and lacks thereof) between the LU and English Gradual (Palmer/Burgess) propers (Tridentine and Anglican 19th-century lectionaries, respectively) on one hand, and the Graduale Romanum and the Anglican Use Gradual on the other. (I work in an Anglican church with sung propers et cetera, I direct a schola that sings for the EF and sometimes for a chanted OF, and I regularly sing at our parish's Vigil [OF, of course].

    The Palmer/Burgess English Gradual has two parts: one is the translated Liber propers set to a single psalm tone for each type of proper (Introit, Gradual, et cetera)--very much like Fr. Rossini's psalm-tone propers for the EF--and the other part is those same translations set to their actual chants from the LU. The language is that of the KJV/Douai-Rheims-Challoner. Both parts are in a modern five-line notation in treble clef with eighth notes, quarter notes for lengthened notes, and whole notes for reciting tones.

    David Burt's Anglican Use Gradual is the GR propers translated into the KJV/DRC-style English and set to the Palmer/Burgess psalm tones. However, Mr. Burt decided to notate them in four-line Gregorian notation.

    So, when I am preparing the propers for the church where I work (where the choir really does not like reading chant notation and resists learning it), I figure out what the correct propers for the day are, and photocopy the ones that exist in the EG, and transcribe into modern notation any that are new in the GR/AUG. Every week, I set out for my choristers:
    Introit
    Processional Hymn that follows it (a very high-church Anglican thing, and we sing all the verses always, and no one ever complains about the length of the service)
    psalm (Anglican chant or plainsong responsorial)
    Gradual
    Tract or Alleluia (+Sequence) as appropriate
    Offertory (which is always followed by a hymn and a doxology)
    Communion (which is always followed by one or two motets/anthems/solos and then by at least two Communion hymns)

    That church does not sing the psalm verses for the Offertory or the Communion proper, just the antiphon. You'll also notice that high-church Anglicans do both the appointed psalm (in the OF spot, between OT and Epistle) and the Gradual (after the Epistle, in the EF spot). That way, no one has to choose between them LOL

    There are also motets and anthems for four-six weeks in the mix, as well as hymn descants and pages for Communion Settings (that's what the BCP calls what we would call a Mass setting) if they are not in the hymnal, and anything else we need.

    After the service, they put them back onto the correct piles, and I file them away for next year. I'd sort of been doing them on the fly, but last year starting with Advent I, I have been creating all three years' propers for each Sunday and feast and filing them, so if I drop dead, someone knows what's going on.

    I do something similar for my schola, except that I photocopy the propers including the Epistle and Gospel from Mass and Vespers or from Corpus Christi Watershed and make packets, and leave them on the singers' chairs, and everyone keeps their own sets of propers in a personal binder at home and just 'loads up' their music folder with what they need.

    This really is the way to keep it all straight--plan it out, then create packets (or piles) for the propers so you don't have to juggle books.
  • Another very useful answer. That is one lot of work. When I was a song leader in my last Protestant Church, I slaved over those packets. Useful, but very, very headache-y.

    As are coming up on a new Liturgical Year, are you happy enough with the files that you might be able to share them? That would help a LOT.

    Kenneth
  • I just noticed that I used the word "Mass" in the first paragraph above in its meaning in the Liber: all the propers for a single day are called "Missa <<Introit incipit>>" in the Missale Romanum (in Latin). For instance, the set of propers for the feast day of a sainted pope is Missa <<Si diligis me>>. (The doubled < and > signs are standard; I hope they display properly!)

    It gets confusing because settings of the Ordinary are also called a 'Mass', e.g., Mass of St. Frances Cabrini, which is NOT the propers for that feast day, but a setting of the Ordinary. Missa Luna is not propers in honor of Selene, the purported ancient moon-goddess (or at least we don't think it is)...
  • BGP
    Posts: 206
    amindthatsuits,

    I appologise for my snipe above. I know that it does not help. I was emotionally reacting to the implication on the part of Mr. Wood that I was "revisionist traditionalist" I'll bugger off now.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    I'm sorry for causing emotional reactions.

    I just think that it does not help "the cause" (good music, RotR, better fidelity to liturgical norms, whatever) to read into documents in a manner similar to what traditionalists often accuse progressives of.

    Like taking a particular understanding of a general principal (full, active, conscious participation // chant has pride of place) as a reason to supersede otherwise clear specific guidelines (Introit as first choice over some hymn // Responsorial Psalm as first choice over the Gradual).
  • I have been known to go on, so don't worry about that. We all have to watch our tone.

    And I keep forgetting to add "Kenneth," as amindthatsuits is just a handle.

    As I made explicit, I am trying to get the information all in one place on each question for the paradigmatic panicked, confused, volunteer music leader, and I think we have this one covered. Thanks to one and all!!!
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    This thread has been fading, but some of the things discussed here and in some similar threads have been sticking with me.
    The Gradual is the predecessor to today's Responsorial Psalm, which has largely replaced it in both legislation and practice. The Gradual, however, is still available as an option.
    This was well-put, Adam. Thoughtful, charitable and accurate.

    But nothing but a terse "no" to the 'pride of place, therefore Gradual' comment?

    I'd just like to point out that it's not just phrases from documents (whether "read into" or not) which support the Gradual, but also a historically-informed understanding of how the Gradual fits in to the dramatic 'arc' of the Liturgy of the Word. Dr. Mahrt has written extensively on this (see here in particular).

    Yes, the RP is the norm now, 'both in legislation and in practice'… "preferred" not only in the GIRM, but also in the U.S. Bishop's "Sing to the Lord" document. And, if congregational singing is how we interpret 'active participation' (though Bl. JPII has argued otherwise), then yes, the RP is probably preferable. And yes, the RP is more immediately accessible than the Gradual, and therefore in many situations may be the more pastorally prudent choice. But to me, "pride of place" insists that we recognize that the Gradual is really more native to the Mass than the RP, that the RP is better suited to the Divine Office (from where it came, I understand), and that the Gradual is better suited to proclaiming the psalm itself and fostering meditation in preparation for the Epistle.

    All that said… I'm curious what resources exist for English adaptations of the Gradual. I know of Bruce Ford's "American Gradual," Paul Ford's "By Flowing Waters," and the Anglican Use Gradual (not my preference); somewhere on my hard drive I might also have the Palmer/Burgess. Are there others?

    To me, an "SEP Vol. 2" would best contain Graduals, plus Alleluias/Tracts which may or may not have responsorial "refrains."
  • Remarkably, I just got on after a traumatic night at work. (I do catering on the side and tonight one young man sort of went well over the limit, which we found out two minutes after I stepped behind the bar to relieve someone who had been there all night.) So I am decompressing.

    I will check on the terms, because Chant is certainly given pride of place, but there is nothing wrong with chanting the Responsorial Psalm in EngLish. It's just not Gregorian chant, although it is close if we are just talking about the straight chanting of Psalms.

    But GIRM is quite clear: the normal preference should be for the Lectionary Responsorial, and not the one from the Gradual. Rome has spoken.

    Won't stop me from studying the Gradulae Romanum, and I have been blessed by singing it in choirs.

    And now, good night.

    Kenneth
  • But I have been greatly blessed from the discussion and learned a lot. I am glad I started it.
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    Maybe I'm jumping in too late, but I think a lot of folks could benefit from the Simplex responsorial psalms! In fact, I believe that if settings of the Lectionary psalms flowed as well as those in the GS (there are some that come close), those who prefer the GR Gradual would be more willing to use them (whether with or without the congregation singing the response). The beauty of the GS psalms is in making the refrain an integral part of the whole (musically speaking), in contrast to the vast majority of modern settings which are disjointed. Maybe one purpose of the GS was to provide an example of how responsorial psalms ought to be done.

    Of course, there's always an issue with those lectionary responsorial psalms that have a long refrain (GS ones are always short). But perhaps someday the type, structure and voice of the psalm itself will suggest the manner of performance (i.e., direct, responsorial, with or without congregational participation).
  • Maybe I didn't read carefully here but it seems to be that it is also relevant that the authentic Graduale dates from the earliest centuries - the first chant that we know of really, the very core of the music for Mass, the most elaborate and beautiful of all the chants, the archetype of Christian music and all that followed, and the same with the text: embedded as part of the ritual through all its development and history. The Responsorial Psalm dates from...1969. And it isn't even a stable musical form; it is just a text.

    So, legislation aside here (and legislation, as we know, changes with one committee to another), the Graduale and the RP aren't really on the same level.

    Parish practice today might make certain demands, and even the modern rite might seem friendlier to RP than Grad but there is no point in disregarding the substance of the musical/historical/ritual point here.
  • Far be it from me to downplay the ritual importance of anything. I've chanted at least parts of the Rosary in Latin since I converted.

    However, I am taking all this under advisement, working through all those wonderful downloads provided by one Jeffrey A. Tucker, and seeing if I can make sense of it for your average music director. I do so love the discussion. I have gotten a couple of "good question" responses, so I am not the only one wondering about these things. I've learned something every time.

    Peace.

    Kenneth
  • Jeffery, I think your answer was perhaps the most concise and reasonable one I've read on the subject. Bravo!