My Take on Some of the New Settings
  • Disclaimer- These are my own views. Those who know me know that I have no musical education and can barely play melody and chords on the organ. A bit more liberal (not a ton) than the average member here, I feel that I still can throw out my opinion and start some discussion on the new settings.

    I only included settings from the "Big 3" because that's what I've been exposed to mostly. I have great respect for all the settings in the St. Michael Hymnal, Adoremus Hymnal, and Vatican II Hymnal but have chosen these because I have studied them closer than any others. Overall, I agree with a lot of what Adam Wood had to say in his reviews. I think the WLP settings are the best by far. OCP comes in 2nd with some very good options and some rather poor counterparts. I think GIA really dropped the ball when it came to the new settings and the new Worship hymnal. They have so many resources and could have done much better than what they did. You will notice there is only one new setting from GIA that is even worth mentioning and I didn't think that it was to great.

    I did this mainly to see what everyone else likes, what you are using or planning to use, and what you disagree with. So here it is:


    Mass of Christ the Redeemer-Kirkpatrick (OCP)- This mass is unlike anything I've ever really seen. I think the music is well crafted, yet very simple. I think OCP did a pretty good job finding settings to please fans of all different styles of music. This one suits my personal taste.

    Missa Simplex-Proulx/O'Connor (WLP)- I like simple settings with subtle changes throughout the music. This fits that style perfectly.

    Belmont Mass-Walker (OCP)- Very similar to Missa Simplex. I wasn't overly impressed the first time I saw this setting but it grew on me (especially after I saw some of the other new mass settings).

    Mass of Saint Paul the Apostle-Walker (OCP)- This setting is the mandatory setting in the Diocese of Cleveland. I've heard it at 3 or 4 different parishes. My only criticism is the music seems fragmented and some of the parts don't seem to fit with the rest of the mass. Not an overly horrible mass, though. Cleveland could have done worse.

    Mass of Awakening-Soper (WLP)- I was surprised to see a more traditional than contemporary setting by this composer. I think he did a pretty good job here. I particularly like the Gospel Acclamation in this setting.

    Mass of St. Frances Cabrini-Kiel (OCP)-Not overly impressed here but it is singable and has pretty good flow. Also surprised to see a more traditional feel to something from this composer.

    Mass of the Resurrection-DeBruyn (OCP)- I think Adam Wood said that this was a bit overdone. I get the same kind of feel. Overall, not too bad but not great either.

    Mass of Wisdom-Janco (WLP)- Very repetitive throughout the mass which sometimes might get slightly annoying. I do like the flexibility of the setting as illustrated on the WLP website.

    Mass of the Holy Angels-Chiusano (OCP)- I think this one is a little overdone like the Mass of the Resurrection. I like the 'festivity' of the mass and can see it being used on the right occasion.

    Mass for the Servant Church-Guimont (GIA)- This is the only new mass from GIA that I could even stand listening to. It sounds a lot like Mass for the City at the beginning of the Sanctus but I don't like it as much as Mass for the City.


    Danish Amen Mass-Kraehenbuhl/Frischmann (WLP)- This has always been right at the top of the list of my favorite settings. The changes are minor and the new translation fits the mass very well. This will continue to be one of my favorites.

    Mass in Honor of Pope Paul VI- Connor/Frischmann/Hommerding (WLP)- I was wondering how this would be adapted to the new translation but Alan Hommerding did an excellent job with this. I was afraid of losing this setting but it remains strong as ever.

    Mass for Christian Unity- Vermulst/Proulx (WLP)- This also seemed fairly easy to adapt to the changes as it was written to the original English text. This is a very simple setting and is always easy to listen to.

    Mass of Redemption-Janco (WLP)- I think this mass is one of the few that actually sounds better with the new translation. The Gloria is now through-composed and the Sanctus sounds a lot better. I know that a lot of people don't like the 6/8 meter but I like the setting a lot.

    Mass for the City-Proulx (GIA)- One of my favorite settings before the new translation. I like the older version better but this one still does its job. This is a great option for festive occasions.

    Mass of Creation-Haugen (GIA)- Say what you will. Yes, it's been overplayed for years. I like it more with the new translation. The Lamb of God is now liturgically correct. The Gospel Acclamation is still ridiculously bad but this mass is better with the changes.

    Heritage Mass-Alstott (OCP)- Nice, steady mass that is easy to learn for a congregation. I wouldn't be surprised to hear this more often as I travel around our diocese.

    People's Mass-Vermulst/Proulx (WLP)- The Sanctus and Gloria are both still pretty good (better with the original accompaniment) but the Memorial Acclamations have been "Proulx-ed" too much and don't seem to fit with the rest of the mass. This is one I still like and hope to hear occasionally.

    Community Mass-Proulx (GIA)- Very similar to the original. I'm sure this will continue to be used about the same as always.

    Mass of the Angels and Saints-Janco (GIA)- Once again, very similar to the original. I like the bass parts in this mass more than the melody. It's a fun mass to hear.

    Sing Praise and Thanksgiving Mass-Joncas (WLP)- This suddenly became very awkward. I grew up with this setting and have always liked it. I think it's usable but not the same as it used to be.

    Celtic Mass-Walker (OCP)- Not much flow here. Once again, usable but slightly awkward.

    I'd Like to See Revised (with little hope)

    Notice all three of these are GIA settings. Come on GIA, do something positive here!

    Mass in Honor of St. Andrew-Tuuk
    New Plainsong Mass-Hurd
    Mass of the Holy Trinity-Tuuk
  • Mike R
    Posts: 106
    I had the exact same reaction on Janco's Mass of Redemption: it sounds MUCH better with the revisions.
  • I just picked up a WLP sales tool for the new masses (since I'm not a DoM, I "don't get out much"). I found the Sopor, well "Soporific". And the Janco settings have finally made a case for Haugen/Haas: that they aren't Janco. Of course, we've done the Walker Gloria. Musically, it's not horrible, but I don't find the style appropriate.
  • Agree on the Walker Gloria - which is why you won't be singing it again. It's ICEL chant after Christmas ...

    As for the Tuuk Mass of the Holy Trinity, we should start a petition to GIA to revise it. I don't see how it costs them anything. Spend 30 minutes revising it, then make it avaliable on a "download" basis. Shouldn't be any investment at all for them, and some of us would buy it.
  • As to GIA and getting them to revise Mass settings... I have asked since they first announced the revisions if Proulx's "Festival Eucharist" would be revised. The response was a resounding "no." Yet when I get my copy of Worship IV, there it is revised in the hymnal but it is only available in the hymnal. I've asked them about a downloadable copy or permission to make revisions and was told there is a hold on allowing other revisions until such a time as GIA can examine the effectiveness of their current new and revised settings.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,170
    "there is a hold on allowing other revisions until such a time as GIA can examine the effectiveness of their current new and revised settings

    Translation: if we don't make enough money on it by doing nothing, then we'll think about doing something.
  • JQ, you're too quick!
    Lucky Mr. Soper's not Mr. Solip.
    I'll add some cents to the major publisher offerings discussion:

    Walker St. Paul- Kraftwerk, nicht Kunst, only if you "like" doing Gebrauchsmusick.
    GIA- I'd stay with "Simplex" or "Schubert/Proulx," give Haas "New World" a look (best contemporary other than Bolduc "St. Ann" WLP)
    WLP, besides Bolduc (which works so easily, but most here would rightly find too sing-songy) the Warner "Charity and Love" is sublimely under the radar.
    OCP- hmmm, hmmmm, always their "Achille's heel." Oh, sing Bob Hurd's Missa Ubi Caritas in Latin! Yea, dat's it.
  • I meant to say a few things about the settings based on hymn tunes and other songs:

    I like the Charity and Love Mass a lot. I think GIA did an okay job with the revised Land of Rest and Missa Emmanuel as they don't fit the new translation too well. Going away from the big 3, CanticaNova's setting of Thaxted and Wondrous Love are both very nice as well.
  • I'm greatly surprised no one has yet mentioned the excellent Mass settings available in the Vatican II Hymnal. While they differ quite a bit in complexity, with some that are super easy and others that are more demanding, they are all animated by a seriousness and artistic beauty that is worthy of the Sacred Liturgy. That is not something that can be said for many of the settings mentioned in the posts above.

    The Vatican II Hymnal contains nine plainsong settings in English (Weber's Mass has two settings within it), and I find them all quite singable and lovely. Esguerra's pair of settings are especially singer-friendly, and so is Ostrowski's Mass in honor of St. Anne Line. Our local parish adopted the Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the congregation is singing strongly with it. What a dramatic and wonderful change towards a sacred music idiom!

    There are also three English metrical settings, and then a whole host of Latin settings.

    All of these are also available online for FREE, at Corpus Christi Watershed, which means, you don't have to fork over precious resources to the big publishers when you can get even better music from generous composers who just love sacred music.
    Thanked by 1Aristotle Esguerra
  • I am surprised that the OP did not include the ICEL chant settings of the Mass since these are the default ones found in the Roman Missal.

    About the only one that I have heard is the revised "A Community Mass" setting, which I use at my dad's parish for the Sanctus, Memorial and Agnus Dei. I use the revised Gloria from "A New Mass for a Congregation."

    At my parish, we use the ICEL settings, which are wonderful. I would use the ICEL, but, since I do not read music, I need to really learn the chants well enough to teach them to the faithful.
  • PK,
    I think Bobby's intent was stated initially to whit he'd stay with "the Big Three" as most of the lemmings the all we like sheep have stray-ay-ay-ay-ayed, er..."pastoral musicians" shop there quite frequently! I mean, they obtain their valuable resources from them, they who are working seven days a week non-stop, printing 7K Missals, Hymnals weekly at a clip!
    See what the Adam's, JMO, FNJ, the Fords, Mr. Rice, Dr. Tietze, and soon Mrs. OZ have to put up with?
    Let's see if JT's checking the comboxes:
    Fr. Zed, as well as a number of other fave RCC bloggers are helping link the consumer to things like Mystic Monk Coffee, right? Maybe JT and Z should enter into a wholly righteous alliance to put links for Lulu (is that its name?) and other sources for their products? I'm mildly surrpised JMO's not already there.
  • We are keeping the David Hurd "New Plainsong" Sanctus, Great Amen, and Agnus Dei. With a slight change in the opening phrases, the new text of the "Holy" fits perfectly. We taught this to the congregation "by ear".

    Our default "Gloria" is the ICEL chant, sung antiphonally.

    For festive liturgies, we are singing the "Gloria" from the Mass in Honor of Blessed John Henry Newman by James MacMillan. The congregation loves this setting. It is published by Boosey Hawkes. It only took two months to receive a reply as to obtaining permission to print the music in a mass program.

    The Mystery of Faith is a chant setting by Michael Olbash who posted his music on this Forum many months ago.

    In the Vatican II Hymnal, there are some wonderful chant like settings by Fr. Weber.
  • Re: Vatican II Hymnal

    Love the hymnal but, as Charles said, the likelihood of hearing anything from it around here is somewhere slightly below 0% (unless David/PaxGaia has a nasty plan up his sleeve). Hopefully the St. Michael, Vatican II, and/or Adoremus Hymnals do go mainstream in the future but the outlook is bleak.

    Re: ICEL Settings

    Our parish is doing the ICEL Gloria and it sounds very nice. The rest of the mass (especially the Memorial Acclamations) sounds great as well. I didn't include those because there has been plenty of discussion about them already. My input is not much different than anything I've read on here.
  • HAHA, well, nasty plan? I have a few of those ... most don't involve the Vatican II hymnal though ...

    We are actually getting Worship IV for our church. Since we print the order of worship in the bulletin each week, we're not BOUND to anything in it - I basically needed a hymnal that had a decent selection of hymnody that is familiar, and GIA HAS improved on the "altering texts" front. The Vatican II hymanl and St. Michael's hymnal were not preferable for us due to several reasons.

    But printing in conjunction with the hymnal is great; we already use material from By Flowing Waters, some of Fr. Weber's settings, Andrew Motyka's Communion antiphons, as well as Gregorian chant. The hymnal is basically there so that I don't have to print "The Church's One Foundation" or "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise" into the bulletin along with everything else.
  • And of course "A Living Faith" or whatever the neutered name of Faith of Our Fathers is these days.

    Sorry for completely butchering your user name btw.
  • If we sing Faith of our Fathers THAT one definately WILL be printed in the bulletin for exactly THAT reason ...

    and don't worry about it!