I recieved my Lumen Christi Missal today
  • donr
    Posts: 970
    ...and I have a couple of questions.
    I noticed that the chants - tones and words are different from the SEP. What is that all about? Can someone explain?
    So if I get my pastor to purchase the missal, it will be difficult to use the propers in the SEP because people will be confused.
    The communion antiphons for Ordinary Time are for season use. So there is no one communion chant for a given Sunday.
    Am I to simply pick one from the list and run with it, or is there a method to use?

    thank you for your advice.

    All in all, I like the missal.
  • I'm glad to hear that you are overall happy with the Lumen Christi Missal, Don!

    Good questions, which I'm happy to address here, and will do more so in the coming weeks at Chant Cafe and elsewhere.

    I noticed that the chants - tones and words are different from the SEP. What is that all about?

    The "Simple Gradual" of the Lumen Christi Missal is a different collection of chants than is found in SEP. The first notable difference is in text. The texts used are from the Roman Missal, 3rd Edition, and from a translation project that translated the texts of the GR that are not found in the RM according to the principles of Liturgiam Authenticam, and in the style of the Roman Missal. This translation effort has received the episcopal Imprimatur of Bp. Olmsted of Phoenix, and is to serve as the basis of an international translation effort that is coordinated by the Association for Latin Liturgy in the UK. My preference would have been to do this translational work before embarking upon SEP, but being that this was something of a commission by the CMAA, I ask asked to use Gregorian Missal translations, so I did.

    And The other issue is in musical settings. SEP was written not for congregational singing, but for singing by an average parish choir or schola. The LCM is a book for the congregation. So the antiphon settings are aimed toward this end. The primary difference is in the length of text. I have found that congregations cannot repeat antiphon texts that are too lengthy. So the LCM "Simple Gradual" antiphons were selected from the proper with congregational singing in mind, and were composed toward this end. The melodies are through-composed and not formulaic as in SEP, therefore they likely will wear much better than SEP, which sought to serve as a mostly "stop-gap" collection to get people out the gate in singing propers for the first time.

    The communion antiphons for Ordinary Time are for season use. So there is no one communion chant for a given Sunday.
    Am I to simply pick one from the list and run with it, or is there a method to use?

    Like I mentioned above before, this is a book for the congregation, and presents what has been put forth as a congregational repertoire. The decision to use seasonal antiphons for Offertory and Communion in Ordinary Time was because of the immensity of the texts involved here. The expectation is that if parishes will begin introducing propers for congregational singing in some capacity, seasonal use will have to be the norm for some time (the precedent for this is the Graduale Simplex, and other liturgical legislation). This in no way precludes the schola exercising its own role, and I would expect the schola to do so –– This is why the entire Graduale texts are included in the main body of the book. But the "Simple Gradual" simply offers to parishes a repertoire of antiphons, taken form the new translation, that can be woven into a repertoire of hymns and songs so that they can begin to move in the direction of liturgical chant and propers.

    Spoiler alert: A cantor edition of the Lumen Christi Missal is now in the works that will include pointed psalm verses for all antiphons in the LCM, including simple chant settings for the choir and schola of the sung texts that have no melodic setting in the LCM. Stay tuned!

    Bottom line: The Lumen Christi Missal is a book for the congregation. The Lumen Christi Gradual will be a book for the parish choir and schola.
    Thanked by 2donr PMulholland
  • And I should add, Don, that the seasonal antiphons can be used as congregational refrains after the proper chant is sung by the schola. In fact, I've been doing this for the past several weeks now with great success. You could begin by singing any setting of the proper text, such as the Gregorian setting in the Graduale Romanum, and then follow it with a seasonal antiphon that the people may join in on if they wish. It's a lot better than singing any number of the usual Communion hymns and songs that we hear all to often in parishes across the country today!
    Thanked by 1donr
  • donr
    Posts: 970
    Adam, If I understand correctly, I can choose any one of the communion antiphons from Ordinary Time on any given Sunday?
  • That's right. Ordo Cantus Missae gives this permission in art. 3. Any proper antiphon from a given season may be sung anywhere during that season.

    The better path is to sing the proper proper, of course, but this permission can be very useful during transitions or for the purposes of training a congregation.
    Thanked by 1donr
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Echoing Adam's sentiment - I found some resistance when using the propers during Christmastide last year, but switched to "seasonal" antiphons during Lent ... they were much better received. There are plusses and minuses to this. The congregation still didn't quite understand propers, seems like they heard them more as "new hymns," but they were at least not hostile to the inclusion of propers.

    "Brick by brick."
    Thanked by 3Paul F. Ford donr Jenny
  • donr
    Posts: 970
    Is it preferable to choose one and stick with it for a few weeks then change to a new one. Or would it be better to say pick two or three on a rotation.
    Right now I am singing the communion SEP with the choir and cantor but the congregation does not sing along. So I would agree that doing an easier one and repeating if often might encourage more singing.
  • donr
    Posts: 970
    Ryan we have been using your organ settings. Thank you for you hard work.
  • Does anyone know: is there a projected date for when the organ accompaniments will be completed for the Lumen Christi Missal?
  • I also noticed that the Lumen Christi missal has different translations from the CMAA's Simple English Propers; would it be possible to create a version of the Lumen Christi missal where the antiphon translations are the same? Is this something we can look forward to in the future?
  • @Don: There are many ways to approach this. If your goal is congregational singing of propers you have to give people something that is achievable, for sure. Simpler settings and much repetition will probably offer the most success at first.

    @DanielC: There is no projected completion date for organ accompaniments, but settings will begin to be posted online very soon.

    @Bach: The LCM uses the new translation of the Roman Missal as its foundation. This is the translation that SEP *should* have used, but the decision was made (mostly beyond my control) to use the Gregorian Missal texts, despite my desire to use approved texts. There certainly won't be an edition of the LCM with SEP translations, but I can do better than that. Look for the Lumen Christi Gradual next, which will be SEP 2.0, and all in full accord with the Lumen Christi Missal. Stay tuned!

  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Adam, when you say SEP 2.0, do you mean you're going to write new antiphons, or keep the current ones with revised texts? I had thought about that before ... same antiphons (with small changes, obviously), but using the translation from the missal.
  • bgeorge77
    Posts: 190
    Hey folks, help this dense guy out: I'm trying to figure out how I can start singing the psalms from this book, but since the psalm verses aren't pointed, how can I do that? I know that there are tone systems on page 1086... but am I missing some formula to apply those to the psalm verses?
  • Ben: the LCM is a book for the pew. The Lumen Christi Gradual will be the complementary book for cantor and choir. Cantor editions will be posted at the Illuminare site in the meantime.
    Thanked by 1bgeorge77
  • Ryan, I'm leaning toward new melodies.
    Thanked by 1ryand
  • Will you have online tutorial videos just like for the SEPs? This is a deal breaker for me as I am slowly learning how to read music and I need all of the help I can get.
    Thanked by 1a1437053
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,161

    Do you have a timeline on the Gradual? I was thinking of buying my choir the Missal, but maybe to wait for the gradual now?
  • @benedictgal: Practice recordings will be coming, yes.

    @Kevin in Kentucky: There is no timeline yet, though the LCM could still be useful for a choir, though not the cantor. If you intend to have your choir sing psalm verses, you may want to wait for the gradual, otherwise the LCM offers a complete supply of antiphons which can service a choir quite nicely.
    Thanked by 1benedictgal
  • I received my copy a few days ago. The book cover/binding is of high quality. The design is very tasteful and dignified--worthy to be placed in a church. The content, print size (of the text), and music is splendid. The Psalm antiphons are singable on first hearing and have that "Gregorian" sound. A concern/complaint is the size of the page numbers. I know this is a missal and not a hymnal, but larger, bolder print for the page numbers would be useful. This is especially true where the liturgy of the day does not start at the top of the page. Randomly, I have given the book to various people and said, find page # such and such. Every person, including the pastor, had difficulty finding the spot; every person mentioned the difficulty in flipping pages and trying to read the small print for the page number. In a future printing, this might be something to consider. The other concern/criticism is the English/Latin layout of the mass. There are just too many pages to flip. I would prefer to just have the English mass all by itself. Also, rather than the OF Latin mass, why not have a separate section for the EF? I think that it is nice to have all the mass settings, but to reduce the size of the book, I would just prefer to have the ICEL chants. That would be sufficient. A few older members of the parish mentioned that the book was too big to hold. In spite of what I have just written, make no mistake about it.: This is a significant publication of the highest importance.
    Thanked by 1Adam Bartlett
  • Very interesting feedback, Joseph Michael. I'm grateful for the kind words, and know that different people will have different goals and see different values in the different dimensions of this book.

    This is the first piece of feedback I have received on the size of the page numbers. The thought had not occurred to me. If this is something that is generally troublesome for people, it would not be difficult at all to increase the page number size for future editions.

    When you say "English/Latin layout of the Mass" are you referring to the Order of Mass? The use of Latin in this edition is actually quite minimal, with the exception of the Gregorian Ordinaries, which are partitioned in a separate section of the book. Making this edition EF friendly would be almost impossible, I fear, due to the differences in calendar, thus the decision was made for this book to be exclusive to the OF.

    Thank you again for the feedback!
  • Since my first response, I've increased my "survey". This afternoon, 6 out of 6 people were able to find the page number with no problem! :) A solution would be to "train" the congregation how to use the book. This would be especially true of the first Sunday vigil (Saturday) Mass. The people at that mass would have the responsibility of putting "the ribbon" at the right spot. Also, I would put the "page number" on the top of the hymn board--in red. EVERYONE said they would be proud to have such a book in the pew. "It would show more respect for the Word of God etc...."

    Another suggestion would be to put the longer mass prayers--the Confiteor, the Gloria, the Creed--on the inside of the front cover for quick reference.

    Every musician/liturgist needs to see this book.

    Regarding the EF, I would just want the Ordinary of the Mass.
  • Several people, to whom I showed the Missal, asked if they could purchase one for home use. Nice!
  • Thank you for the added feedback, Joseph Michael. I now recall how large the numbers are in conventional "missalettes". Pretty large, so I could see how people might gawk at first at these page number sizes. These numbers, though, are on par for a book like the Mundelein Psalter, etc., though I concede that they could use to be a bit larger.

    I'm glad that most are favorable toward the book!

    May I use some of your quotes above for an upcoming Chant Cafe post, "first reactions"?
  • JennyH
    Posts: 106
    I too would also be interested in a future edition that matches the SEP
  • john m
    Posts: 134
    Just got my copy this afternoon. Initial impression: VERY classy publication. Exemplary of the noble simplicity and dignity of the Sacred Liturgy. It happens that the Psalm responses for Holy Week and the Easter Vigil are those which we have been singing for the past three years, so the parishioners know them already. That is a definite plus.

    The negative that struck me upon paging through it: were we to replace our present hymnal (Worship, Third Edition) with this volume, it would be difficult to get everyone on the same page (literally!) for the readings. As we print an Order of Worship with all the music every Sunday, the main reason we keep a book in the pews is for the readings. With Worship3, we print, and post on the hymnboard, a hymnal number for the Liturgy of the Word. Were we to publish a page number, the page numbers in the LCM are small and insignificant enough that people, especially the older folks, would get lost and stay lost throughout Mass. A further concern is that the Liturgy of the Word for each Sunday does not begin at the top of a page. In my 25 years' experience, parishioners do not come to Mass already knowing what Sunday it is today - most learn that by being informed after they arrive. I can understand this because when I was growing up Catholic, I was in the same boat, and knew almost nothing of the Liturgical Year until I was hired as a Catholic music director fresh out of state college and was forced to learn. I didn't even know what the 3-year cycle was. I look at this from the standpoint of Catholics - good, faithful people, doing their best - who are not liturgy geeks like me. They don't know. They wouldn't know where to look in the book. They don't know whether we're in Year A, B or C. They need a number posted so they can find it. A big, easy to see number. In a future printing, it would be great if this could be the Lectionary number, but I don't how practical that would be from an editorial standpoint.

    I hope you understand I am not griping - just observing. The book is a splendid publication and huge step forward for the reform of the Reform.

  • @john m: Truly? The people in your parish can't turn to a page number in a book? Is this what we've really come to? I find this rather hard to believe.

    Consider, John, that there is no more than one, big, black, ornate divider line per page in the book. If you post the page number on the hymn board, or print the page number in your program, all people have to do is find the big black line on that page, and your job is done. After this there is no need to turn pages, other than to find the Order of Mass or Ordinary, if they choose, and perhaps the antiphons of the Simple Gradual which have big, bold, black numbers next to them. The LCM added several pages to the book in order to re-print antiphons and readings that are repeated in years A, B, and C. Once you find that black line, there is no page flipping. This is a no-brainer book compared to hand missals that have you flipping to 4 or 5 different sections for one liturgy! If you can get people to the right page – and you should be able to if they can find page numbers in the upper right hand corner – then they are all set for the entire Mass. Pretty simple process! Much easier than most resources, in fact.
  • I should comment on this also:

    I too would also be interested in a future edition that matches the SEP

    I honestly don't believe that this would be allowed by the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship. The Lumen Christi Missal has been published with the authority of this agency, and has received every possible Ecclesiastical approval. A requirement of this office is to use the translations of the antiphons of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, where possible.

    The Introit cycle is essentially the same between the Graduale Romanum and Roman Missal (OF), and about half of the time is so for the Communion Antiphons. If I were to include both Roman Missal antiphons and Graduale Romanum antiphons (as has been done in the LCM), there would literally be two different translations for each Entrance Antiphon for Sundays and Feasts. This would be not only bizarre, but also would really confuse the faithful, I fear.

    So the Lumen Christi Missal has done the grunt work needed to harmonize English translations of the GR with the new translation of the RM. This was a long and painstaking process that received the Ecclesiastical Imprimatur of Bp. Thomas Olmsted, and has been embraced and adopted by the Association for Latin Liturgy in the U.K., a group that desires to produce a complete translation of the GR that fully integrates with the new translation of the RM for universal use throughout the English-speaking world.

    This is no light issue, and the decision was not made lightly, but extremely deliberately. The antiphon translations found in the Lumen Christi Missal can form for us a foundation for textual unity moving forward as more and more composers set the texts of the proper in English, as much of the future of liturgical composition should entail.
    Thanked by 1PMulholland
  • I should comment on this also: / I too would also be interested in a future edition that matches the SEP / I honestly don't believe that this would be allowed by the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship. The Lumen Christi Missal has been published with the authority of this agency, and has received every possible Ecclesiastical approval. A requirement of this office is to use the translations of the antiphons of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, where possible. / This is no light issue, and the decision was not made lightly, but extremely deliberately. The antiphon translations found in the Lumen Christi Missal can form for us a foundation for textual unity moving forward as more and more composers set the texts of the proper in English, as much of the future of liturgical composition should entail.

    I hesitate to enter into a discussion that has already been treated in so many places by so many different people, and documented in so many places on this very forum.

    That being said, it might be helpful to "encapsulate" some of the areas that have been treated by the forum in the past (with considerable documentation):

    1. The SEP translations are approved for liturgical use by several bishops, including the Ordinary of Corpus Christi, TX. According the USCCB Secretariat, one bishop speaks for all in this matter of the texts (in the USA). I have heard others question the wisdom of the Secretariat in this matter, but (for myself, at least), his ruling is final.

    2. In terms of approval for the music itself, it is not needed, according to the Secretariat of Divine Worship, since it is chant, which is approved "by its very nature" for divine worship. Again, I have seen others questioning the Secretariat's judgment on this matter, but, for myself, I do not. But, again, this has no bearing on the texts themselves.

    3. While it is true that the USA GIRM has allowed the Missal antiphons (the ones written for Masses without music) to be used as the basis for liturgical composition, it is also important to realize that those antiphons were never meant to be sung. (URL)
  • @Jeff (aka Paul_O...)

    Please hear me – I'm not saying in any way that the SEP translations are not approved for liturgical singing! This is my own book, for heaven's sake. Of course proper efforts were made to make sure that these would be licit for liturgical use.

    This being said, there has been no shortage of confusion when people have heard or seen the texts of the Simple English Propers, and then compared them to the same texts (in different translation) in the new edition of the Roman Missal. The conflict between the texts of the GR and RM is maddening, and for the faithful it is perplexing and disorienting. This is why the LCM has undertaken this effort to use the new translation where possible. It's just the right thing to do, given our current situation. And because of it the faithful are put at ease. In the end, I believe that the SEP should have waited for this translation effort to take place, and then use these texts, but that would have meant two years without Simple English Propers, and history has now shown that a serious opportunity would have been lost. But, moving forward, it seems rather clear that the new translation should be taken as the basis for liturgical texts, and the Lumen Christi Missal has done just that.
  • I should also add congratulations on a very beautiful book that seems destined to do a tremendous amount of good for the Catholic Church. (The Lumen Christi Missal).
  • Thank you Adam,

    Having used the SEP since the BETA days, I have been a constant promoter of its use, but also find myself an apologist for the propers (so is anyone that does them for the OF). Not merely just for doing them, but for the obvious differences between the SEP and the RM.
    I will look forward to the publication of a Gradual, but wonder aloud if you would publish the simple gradual from the LCM?
    Those of us outside of the USA could use your Simple Gradual and a future Gradual that you propose.

    Wonderful and important work you are doing? Thanks again for all your efforts!
  • Heath
    Posts: 908
    "SEP, which sought to serve as a mostly "stop-gap" collection to get people out the gate in singing propers for the first time."

    Adam, kudos to you (and the CMAA) for the SEP project . . . a wonderful "stop-gap" it is!

    If I may mention what I envision as the next step towards the Gregorian Propers themselves: Fr. Samuel Weber's "New Gradual".


    I'm not sure of the status of this collection, but if it's ever collected and bound, it will be another great book to have in the loft!
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    I received my Lumen Christi Missal today and I echo many of the positive remarks. I ordered a single copy to replace the pulp "missalette" that I'm embarrassed to carry around.

    1. The binding and typesetting are worthy. It makes me proud to hold these types of books compared to the newspaper print. This is the first thing people see, and I don't mind when they judge me with a cover like this.

    2. The clear organization. It is new to think of a three year cycle, but I think that is because I am used to the seasonal pulp that has dates. There is some kind of gravitas to have the entire three-year cycle, reinforces the idea that we are in fact a "Bible-based Church." If LCM us selected at a parish, it would be best to constantly remind the people of the Sunday # and Year. Especially as we move towards the propers, we won't ever need song numbers from the OTHER texts. All practicing Catholics should be able to at least identify the year we're in.

    3. A serious focus on the texts of the Mass means the propers have an equal stature to the readings. No more searching for the entrance and communion antiphons FAR away from the readings.

    4. Calling the Mass Settings, "Mass Setting Fifteen" instead of "XII - Pater cuncta" is especially clever. Are people scared of Roman Numerals like they're scared of Latin because they're from Rome? Only suggestion is a large Arabic number (15) next to the text for those who'd prefer that kind of thing.

    5. I REALLY REALLY like the Devotional Prayers and Various Rites and can forsee these being some of the most used pages. Those pages turn this text from great gift for first sacrament celebration, but for ANY SACRAMENTAL or R. EDUCATION PREPARATION. Very well selected. If you haven't already, all you CATECHISTS: TURN TO PAGE 1009-1011 ! ! ! or 1015 ! 1024 ! The only suggestion is to print a grey band to make it easy to find like the Order.

    6. Too much to praise. I take the sales job. What's the commission?

    Now for the other. May the perfect not ruin the great.

    - The Order of the Mass seems overwhelming to me. Maybe I got used to the red/black simplicity of the cardstock "corrected translation". Maybe too many options? Also, where are the ICEL chants!? (Even OCP had the ICEL chants. I guess they're in the back somewhere?) Consider including those chants and contrasting those chanted ordinaries with the rest of the Order by reducing the size of the rest of the Order. For example, page 804-806 might have the dialogues MUCH smaller in size, followed by the ICEL Kyrie in bold. (Latin or English or both). Same for p. 816: Dialogue smaller, ICEL Sanctus ready for chanting. [MINOR ISSUE]

    - And last that Graduale / Missal decision.

    At first, I was very disappointed not to see the SEP/Gregorian Missal texts. At the end of my initial reactions, I thought: If the GR's propers are our chanted goal, why not have the English/Latin text have pride of place? (Were they even included?)

    I didn't understand, how after years of propaganda pushing the GR/SEP propers, the product for which I had the biggest hope didn't toe the line.

    NOW AFTER READING THIS and other THREADS, I have come to understand some of the larger issues and your rationale (no need to repost, as it's repeated a couple of times above). I'm still wondering if the sung GR/SEP text could be one of the options next to the spoken Missal text, with an emphasis on the sung text (singing is the norm for most Sunday Masses). But overall, I think you've done a good job at persuading me to trust in your choices. (I mean, all of this for someone who isn't even in a choir.)

    Thank you for the work you've done, I had so much hope in this text and at the end of it all, you exceeded my expectations. (For your ethos, but for that last section in the back.)

    José Francisco
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    P.S. If a stable propers text is finally selected, or if the Gradual and Missal texts live side-by-side in English and Latin, then each parish can select their own Graduales? Some the Bartlett G, others Weber's G, others Palestrina and the trove offered by this website, or the GR itself.
  • Can I trade in my stop gap for the real thing? I wish it had been advertised as such. Just sayin.
  • I received my copy a few days ago and I am so incredibly impressed!! This is so far beyond what I was expecting! It has EVERYTHING! And most important, it truly exemplifies "Noble Simplicity". It's beautiful, but at the same time its actually DO-ABLE. My only regret is that, since we recently purchased the SEP, we can't afford to move over to these. Maybe if the material becomes more available online, then I could print out programs, especially using the Seasonal and Common/Votive Antiphons. Those are such a blessing. This is truly a modern day Liber Usualis. I honestly can't praise this enough! Only if it would have come out before the New Translation kicked in, then I would have gotten this and paired it with a St. Michael's Hymnal for hymns (we're a Religious Community with the Divine Office, Marian Antiphons, closing hymns, and a few die hard OCP-ers) instead of having jumped on the V2 Hymnal (though great but not ideal for our situation) and SEP (also wonderful but not as complete or practical), we would be set.

    The only Criticism/Question I have about the LCM is: is there a reason that the notated antiphons, especially the Proper ones, are separated from the readings/resp. Psalms section? It seems it would be easier to have the notated Propers and Readings together, lessing the need for page flipping, and have only the Seasonal Antiphons in a separate section.

    And that is honestly the only criticism I have for this Missal! The music director for the Seminary saw it and was so incredibly impressed that not only was she screaming when I saw her (literally, little embarrassing), but she has promised to push hard for its implementation into the seminary's liturgical music formation.
    Thanked by 1ElizabethS
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I also received my copy last week and am taking a bit longer to review it.
    Where I see LMC as a primary statement and "tool" to re-invigorate a Catholic ethos into the stagnant, big publisher model that would stay in the pew pockets is paired with a weekly ordo of music that is "homegrown" from parish to parish and which would be in all ways legally reproduced to satisfy parochial concerns that people used to call "themes" or "song of the day."
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    Will there be video or audio recordings? If so, when?
  • SpeakNSpirit, that is exactly what I want to do in our parish! We're on board and scheduled to phase out OCP's Music Issue this summer and replace with St. Michael's, and hopefully in maybe a couple more years to replace the missalettes with LCM. I was so excited by Adam's comment above where he said he was going to make a gradual to go with these. That, paired with the organ accompaniments (when those become available) should actually make this a realistic enterprise to undertake in my parish. VII hymnal is beautiful, but not practical for our parish at all (plus, I have to admit, I am a real hymn-lover - though I do understand and fully agree that the propers should be done - and I like the selection of St. Michael's much better than VII).
  • May I also add, thank you to Adam Bartlett for making these books. Although I often feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle, I know that many people in my parish truly appreciate what they call the "completely different feeling" that Mass has when I use the Simple English Propers in my cantoring and with my choirs. I was looking and searching for ages for something beautiful and permanent to possibly replace "missalettes" with, and finally, the LC Missal is here and seems to be everything and more that I was hoping for. Now I finally have something comprehensive to approach our pastor with that will answer all our needs.
  • When the accompaniment becomes available, I wonder if it will include chords. I know this is rather controversial since it would seem to invite the use of guitars, but I argue strongly for its practicality. Most parishes, at least in my diocese, are rural and/or lack resources such as a properly trained organist, or even an organ at all. If you look at the sales of OCP's accompaniment books, I would wager that the guitar accompaniment is far more popular. I'm not saying that we should all pull out our guitars and have a Gregorian Jamboree, but that the usefulness of 'guitar' chords reaches far beyond playing the guitar.

    It wouldn't take up much room at all to pop up a letter over the staff every few measures, and certainly couldn't hurt. It would simply be a charitable gesture to us lowly musicians who have full-time jobs, or otherwise occupied, but still wish to volunteer what little we have to do what little we can to contribute to the "Noble Simplicity" of the Divine Liturgy

    (sorry for the rant)
    Thanked by 1WittManWilson
  • It really becomes an issue of who we want to attract.

    Any hymnal with guitar chords is a direct indication that there is little interest in attracting trained musicians to lead music in the church. I would suggest that extremely basic organ accompaniments of two or at most three parts for manuals only would be a very welcome addition to any hymnal, especially as C instruments could also play them - there are a huge number of music students out there on strings, flute, oboe and more who could be brought into "active participation" at Mass.

    Guitars, unless played sensitively, send the wrong message. If guitarists can pick out their melodies and play the independent melodic lines of such an accompaniment, that's one thing, but the moment they begin to strum chords...you are placing pillars where there should be shifting sand dunes in the music.

    Really, you are better off singing a capella than with guitars or piano playing chords. The Church of Christ is known for great singing, there is one right down the road here...no instruments permitted.

    OCP's books are more popular because of the chords. You're absolutely right. But using guitarists or pianists who can only play chords is like using a reader who can't read adverbs and skips over them. We love guitarists, but await some sort of second coming, when they all can and want to play Bach and Albeniz...they don't have to give up strumming....she strums, doesn't she? But they need to go on beyond that. They deserve it, the Mass does too.

  • francis
    Posts: 10,344
    now THATS a guitarist I wouldn't mind having play during the liturgy...
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • agreed....have used classical guitarist before...esp. for things like Riu, Riu Chiu...
    problem is often placement so that the entire congregation can hear the guitar on softer passages....
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Virtuosic playing, certainly! As such, I'd find it distracting during the liturgy. Maybe afterwards, à la an organ postlude?
  • True that, Mark!
    However.......hmmmm....something quieter or shorter during the post-communion "reflection"? Perhaps, eh?
  • That is so true, frogman. Our music director uses her guitar to get the note for the ICEL Chants and it is rather jarring. When she and her group do regular songs, strumming is in full effect. This would really be detrimental to any hopes for chant.

  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Any hymnal with guitar chords is a direct indication that there is little interest in attracting trained musicians to lead music in the church...

    Really, you are better off singing a capella than with guitars or piano playing chords...

    But using guitarists or pianists who can only play chords is like using a reader who can't read adverbs and skips over them.

    My goodness, that seems a bit harsh to me. Some churches don't have the option to hire a pianist or organist who can read more than the chords, through some combination of not being able to afford a professionally-trained musician, or simply lack of anyone available (rural areas, etc.)

    According to your condescending judgments, I probably shouldn't even have been a church organist, as guitar chords are what helped me stay afloat when I first started to learn the instrument and had to learn 4 hymns ever week! I guess I should have just given up right then and there b/c I wasn't "good enough" for church...
  • I don't think that the comments were meant to be condescending. They seem to express, more than anything, an expression of angst over having to reduce everything to the level of a guitar.

    While OCP may list guitar books as one of their top sellers, I would submit to you that this is probably due to the lack of parishes taking liturgical music seriously. Down here, the situation is quite bad. Strumming reduces the sacred nature of what we are supposed to sing at Mass. I would rather have no guitar music at Mass.
  • Do chords belong only to the guitar? I find this assumption rather silly. Pianos play chords, as do organs and harps. Why do we assume that if chords are included, they automatically invite sub-par guitarists to strum along? I work full-time all week, have three small children, and play organ/direct choirs at two parishes on the weekends. For me, I would be reluctant to purchase music/accompaniments that don't include chords because it makes it a lot easier on me (and I would never invite a guitarist to strum along with me on the organ, even though I've played guitar since I was 9). If you want these editions to be practical to as many people as possible, you need to realize that different people have many different situations, backgrounds, and levels of expertise. If your goal is to get this liturgical music played only by classically trained musicians working in Catholic churches, you may be slimming down your market substantially and catering to the select few that currently follow this forum.
  • Unfortunately, the reality, at least down here, is that chords do attract guitarists. And, it's not classically trained, but those who strum.