Does anyone use the Graduale Simplex on a regular basis?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,696
    Are there any parishes (in the world) that use the Graduale Simplex (nearly) exclusively?

    To what extent (if any) do you use the Graduale Simplex in your program?
  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    I have used it occasionally, when the nature of the chants makes it useful, for example, I am using it for an upcoming retreat where the rehearsal will be an hour long, one day before Mass. But not on any regular basis.
  • I learned about this book briefly in a summer course a few years ago. The impetus for the creation of the Graduale Simplex seems to have come from Annibale Bugnini and Dom Eugene Cardine. Monsignor Schuler has this to say about it:

    An effort to introduce a simpler chant for the Mass produced a Graduale simplex, which was a failure from the beginning. It neither pleased the progressive liturgists who wanted only the vernacular, nor the musicians who pointed out that it was a mutilation of Gregorian chant as well as a misunderstanding of the relationship between text and musical setting with reference to form. They objected to the use of antiphon melodies from the office as settings for texts of the Mass. An effort at an English vernacular version proved to be even a greater disaster.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 892
    I have use By Flowing Waters but not the Latin Simplex
  • It is near-impossible to lay your hands on the Simplex anyway. It turns out that there is only one library in all of Australia which holds a copy available to use.
  • I know of no parish that uses By Flowing Waters exclusively but somewhere near 20,000 copies have sold. The women's schola of the Cathedral of Saint James in Seattle uses it at Sunday Mass. We use it weekly at my seminary and I hear that other seminaries use it as well.

    "The musicians who point out that [the GS] is a mutilation of Gregorian chant as well as a misunderstanding of the relationship between text and musical setting with reference to form" are in error; the chants come from the antiphonals and from other ancient resources.

    What is wrong with using the "antiphon melodies from the office as settings for texts of the Mass"? Aren't the texts primary?

    I hope that Msgr. Schuler last comment was not directed to By Flowing Waters. Does anyone know?
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    Prof. Ford, I believe this Msgr. Schuler quote predates By Flowing Waters by at least a decade.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • It is near-impossible to lay your hands on the Simplex anyway.

    What do you mean?
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood Ben
  • Simon
    Posts: 153
    Never use it for masses. But note: the GS is a treasure trove of ancient antiphons - many of which are difficult to find in other modern publications.
    Thanked by 2SkirpR hilluminar
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,696
    It's very intriguing to me that this book exists, that it remains the #2 option for the Roman Rite in most cases, and yet no parish can be identified as using it on a regular basis. There are plenty of parishes that use the #1 option and a plethora of parishes that use #4... but #2 is somehow just missing from the earth...

    I've heard the argument that if a parish can use the Simplex, they could probably do the GR and should. While yes, they should use the GR if they can - there are really no choirs in transition that can't quite get to the GR yet and are using the Simplex regularly?

    It just boggles my mind when I think about it.
    Thanked by 1SkirpR
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
    Given the quality with which we're currently performing the chants from the GR, I probably should have started with the GS, but why hold back? In some respects, the only way to get better at something is to do it, and it is slowly improving so I'm reluctant to step back now.
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    When my parish reformed the music program, I actually used the GS for a bit for the schola Mass. What made it most difficult was printing all the translations in weekly programs or seasonal booklets (we tried both). It's ostensibly for parishes without the resources to prepare the GR chants, but you have to have the resources to get the translations out there (unless, of course, your congregation (a) is fluent in Latin or (b) doesn't care about knowing the translation).

    Then we got the Vatican II Hymnal, and it was clear that a much better option would be to use the SEP, since these texts were already in the Hymnal, and they were simple enough when we could not prepare the GR chants. CCW posting simplified versions of the graduals, alleluias, and tracts (from Chants Abreges or Richard Rice) have also been a huge help.

    So to me, the GS no longer has the ability to fulfill its original purpose, since I can achieve the same result (propers, chanted to mostly syllabic settings) for no cost except toner and copy paper, and the texts (in whatever language) are already in the pew.
  • redsox1
    Posts: 217
    I use SEP much more regularly than anything else. I have occasionally used the GS, but I use BFW more often, particularly for Introits if the congregation is singing the antiphon, especially during Advent and Lent.
  • The G.S. is used weekly at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Seattle.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    We use By Flowing Waters regularly; during Lent, MANY entrance and Communion antiphons are taken from it. During Easter and Ordinary Time, a couple of the Communion chants from it are used. Occasionally, a setting from it is used as the responsorial psalm.
  • rogue63
    Posts: 410
    I use both BFW and Aristotle's excellent settings frequently here in Lawton, OK, in addition to my own adaptations of the original melodies. I think the GS is designed to facilitate congregational singing, and it is useful for this. Especially the real "responsorial" style of psalmody: I find that BFW really hits the mark for immediate participation from the faithful. Sometimes I have adapted or created my own settings when I disagreed with Dr. Ford's choices, but the GS is an under-utilised resource for many of us.

  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072
    Since this got bumped: Columba Kelly's shortened versions of the entrance and communion antiphons (available on the St. Meinrad website) are nice for this, as well. You do have to point your own psalm verses, etc., but I expect most of us do that a lot anyway.
  • I use it on a daily basis (week day masses), but I can't find any accompaniment; So I have to invent it on the spot and that's sometimes a bit sloppy.

    About the fact that there isn't one available: I print the antiphons (and psalms) I need.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,023
    Our Schola uses it every week, along with my own English adaptations when I disagreed with Dr. Ford's version. We use BFW often as well.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    I've started using BFW a little more often. I was using the SEP mostly. Some of the melodies are quite pleasing such as one of the introits for the Common of Holy Women "Justice You love and wickedness You hate..." I prefer to use this over the same SEP text.
  • svaillan
    Posts: 39
    We use the Simplex (mostly BFW, but also other english settings) at the Basilica of SS Peter and Paul in Maine for the Saturday 5:30pm mass. This mass had always been "low energy" in terms of congregational singing so I needed to take a different approach. We first introduced the dialogues to get people in the habit of responding in song. I began using the same setting of the ordinary every week until they were comfortable with that and then added the simple propers. After a several years we now have a beautiful, very simple liturgy that people feel familiar enough with to be comfortable singing.