Missal texts, Graduale texts: Foreword to the Gregorian Missal
  • The Foreword to the Gregorian Missal says

    The Gregorian Missal is intended for the faithful who participate in Mass sung in Gregorian chant. It is useful both for choirs and for the people in general, since the proper chants of the Gregorian repertory, as presented in the post-Vatican II edition of the Roman Gradual approved by Pope Paul VI, do not, as a rule, correspond to the song texts proposed in the present day Roman Missal.

    If I understand the latest discoveries in this regard--enterprising scholars figured out that the Missal propers are for spoken Masses--this sentence turns out to be technically incorrect, except with regard to the Responsorial Psalm. The texts in the Missal are in fact not "song texts" at all.

    Am I right here?

    It's incredible that the confusion would be so widespread that even 20 years following the promulgation of the New Mass, not even the Solesmes monastery could discern Bugnini's intentions. It's hardly surprising that the confusion would so profoundly affect the current translation of the GIRM.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    One thing to be aware of. I was reading through Gregorian Missal ordo yesterday, and when it comes to the Sanctus, it says, plainly, it is sung by all.

    There you are. But this isn't a Vatican document. discuss.
  • One would have to see and analyze these "latest discoveries," assess their provenance in light of Church teaching (and long-standing practice, I might add), and (preferably) await an unambiguous ruling from Rome (if such a thing might be expected). I assume that would enlighten us at to why we should except the RP (and Alleluia verse, presumably), and not the minor Propers.

    As has been mentioned, you are dealing here with two tracks: The Missal track, which revised the Proper texts ground-up, following some sort of concordance with the new Lectionary (but with at least half an eye to tradition, if the Sunday Propers are indicative). And the Graduale/Solesmes track, which revised the order of Propers using existing chants. This they chose to do, rather than compose new (i.e., bogus) chants based on heretofore unset texts. That sounds like a concession to me (Rome to Solesmes) The Missal texts, on the other hand, seem better to reflect the minds of the reformers vis the Church at large.

    One remains free to question the soundness of those minds, of course.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    It's clear from Bugnini's memoir that the Missal propers are intended to be both spoken texts in read Masses, and the basis for compositions in the vernacular (I don't have the book in front of me so I can't give you the page number or quotation). The reformers apparently thought that the proper texts of the Mass were in need of reform, but for celebrations with Gregorian chant it was thought best to use existing repertory rather than neo-Gregorian settings of the new texts where they differ. It's like the LOH - in sung vernacular settings, the ICEL translations of the antiphons in the Latin LOH are the texts that are set to music, although these differ from the texts of the Gregorian antiphons indicated in the OCO.he intention of the reformers would seem to be - for sung celebrations in Latin, make use of existing Gregorian settings. For sung celebrations in the vernacular, if you want to sing the propers, set the Missal propers.
  • Well, the article deals with all of this is here. the whole thing stemmed from a 1968 questionnaire about new texts for recited Masses -- not as a replacement for existing sung texts. A couple of years later, everyone was suddenly confused about the purpose of these new texts.

    As for Robert's comments, please have a look at Christoph Tietze's piece. I don't think Bugnini, whatever his intentions, is a reliable source for legislative matters.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    For sung celebrations in the vernacular, if you want to sing the propers, set the Missal propers.

    Or sing the first option (chant from the GR) as an "alius cantus aptus."

    Or, put a lampshade on your head and dance around a statue of Pan.
  • Again, what I am saying in light of the Tieze piece is that the the G Missal is wrong. These are not song texts. By the way, this is not really controversial anymore. An amendment to change the translation of the GIRM was before the USCCB this year. It was narrowly rejected for unexplained reasons. No one questioned the truth that the current translation is completely fouled up.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    The notion that Masses in the vernacular would have special texts is....bizarre to me.

    Vatican II merely said that, under certain conditions, vernacular could be used in the Liturgy, but Latin was to be retained.

    I've never read anything in Sacrosanctum Concilium that said, "And we will make up special texts for when the Mass is in the vernacular."
  • Again, the point isn't vernacular or Latin. The point is recited or sung. Bugnini is all wet (if he indeed said this) in light of the actual stated reason for the Missal texts.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    You know, I wonder: did the priest even (originally) read the Introit, or Offertory, or Communion verse, or Gradual?

    I don't think he did. I think the choir sang it, and originally, he just listened.
  • Ok, have a look at the GIRM in Latin, #48

    Peragitur autem a schola et populo alternatim, vel simili modo a cantore et populo, vel totus a populo vel a schola sola. Adhiberi potest sive antiphona cum suo psalmo in Graduali romano vel in Graduali simplici exstans, sive alius cantus, actioni sacræ, diei vel temporis indoli congruus,55 cuius textus a Conferentia Episcoporum sit approbatus.

    Si ad introitum non habetur cantus, antiphona in Missali proposita recitatur sive a fidelibus, sive ab aliquibus ex ipsis, sive a lectore, sin aliter ab ipso sacerdote, qui potest etiam in modum monitionis initialis (cf. n. 31) eam aptare.

    Even with my pathetic Latin, I can see that this says that the Graduale is for singing, and the antiphon texts in the Missal are for the priest to recite.

    #87 reiterates the same thing. Graduale for sun Masses, Missale for spoken Masses.

    The English translation is hopelessly confused. It really makes no sense at all.

  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    OK, I have the big Bugnini book with me now - the relevant sentence I was thinking of is at p. 891:

    "The entrance and communion antiphons of the Missal were intended to be recited, not sung, and to inspire the creation of suitable songs in the vernacular." (my emphasis)

    Now, I realize that the official justification for introducing "Missale propers" was the bit about having texts for recitation, but I suspect that the secondary reason is what was operating in the background. Just a theory...but the whole business of introducing antiphon texts for recitation strikes me as bizarre. The "two track" idea Richard describes above seems to me to be a more plausible explanation of what they were going for: they wanted to reform the proper entrance and communion antiphons just as much as they did the collects, readings, and chants between the readings; not messing with the Gregorian repertoire (beyond a general reorganization) is a concession to the sacred music camp, and Solesmes in particular.

    The Tietze article clears up a lot of confusion, but I think it would be wrong to draw the conclusion (hinted at, I think, in his article) that composers such as Fr. Weber (or Richard Rice) who have been setting the Missale propers are somehow on the wrong track. In fact, what they are doing is very much in harmony with part of what the Missale propers are intended to be; and whatever one thinks of the ICEL translations, they are officially approved liturgical texts. The fact that there is an official English translation of the Graduale Simplex but not of the Graduale Romanum is telling: is it perhaps that no one thought the latter endeavour necessary, in light of the Missal texts? It would be strange to argue that a setting of an approved ICEL translation of an entrance antiphon, set beautifully to a neo-Gregorian melody, is somehow liturgically inferior to a text from the Gregorian Missal or some other translation not approved for liturgical use sung to a psalm tone.

    Looking at this from another angle: how important is this debate, really? I have in the past been captivated by the idea that it is the immemorial tradition of the Roman Rite that there is a unique proper Introit text (etc.) for every celebration, just as there are proper scripture readings, collects and prefaces, which in recent practice have been usurped from their rightful places by the Other Suitable Songs. But this idea doesn't hold up to scrutiny: it isn't completley true historically (the Tridentine Missal has its repetitive phases, e.g. after Epiphany and in the final Sundays after Pentecost). And for all intents and purposes, the modern liturgical reform has jettisoned the idea of a musical proper of the Mass in favour of a wide range of options--Musicam Sacram uses the term "proper" only in scare-quotes, and this in the original Latin. The lone exception--perhaps--is the Ordo Cantus Missae whose embodiment is the modern Graduale Romanum and which represents an ideal. However, even this allows all kinds of flexibility and deviation from the proper scheme "pro opportunitate." There may be something after all to the audacious claim of Music in Catholic Worship that "the former distinction between the ordinary and proper parts of the Mass with regard to musical settings . . . is no longer retained [in the modern rite]."
  • So interesting from the Bug! What a man.

    That passage from MCW is fortunately now in the dustbin of history.

    In any case, I certainly agree that a musical Missal antiphon should be welcome. What we really need is some sort of unity between the propers, but I guess that goes without saying. The idea of new, reduced propers in the New Mass--for whatever their purpose--was disruptive in the extreme.
  • Also, it is a VERY good thing that there are no official "translations" of the Graduale. That permits scholas to sing actual translations, even in an elevated language.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Another datapoint ...

    Papal Archive
    Pope Paul VI
    Apostolic Constitutions
    Missale Romanum (April 3, 1969) [English, Italian, Latin, Portuguese]

    [FYI. Paragraphs are not numbered, this is the twelfth]


    Quod reliquum est, licet textus Gradualis Romani, ad cantum saltem quod attinet, nοn fuerit mutatus, tamen, facilioris intellectus gratia, sive Psalmus ille Responsorius, de quο S. Augustinus et S. Leo Magnus saepe commermorant, sive Antiphonae ad Introitum et ad Communionem in Missis lectis adhibendae, pro opportunitate, instaurata sunt.


    Even though the text of the Roman Gradual, at least that which concerns the singing, has not been changed, still, for a better understanding, the responsorial psalm, which St. Augustine and St. Leo the Great often mention, has been restored, and the Introit and Communion antiphons have been adapted for read Masses.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    adapted? That's one way to put it
  • Just a few weeks ago I attended a lecture given by Fr. Dennis Gill, director of the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on his newly released book Music in Catholic Liturgy: A Pastoral and Theological Companion to Sing to the Lord, published by Hillenbrand Books (LTP). In the lecture he clarified, as he states in his book, that the change in the 2003 English (American) translation/adaptation of the GIRM will be corrected in the forthcoming GIRM, with the release of the new Roman Missal.

    Therefore, the English translation will accord with the Latin that Jeffrey T. posted above: When the antiphons are sung they are taken from the Graduale Romanum or Graduale Simplex. If the antiphon is not sung it is to be recited from the Roman Missal.

    I'm not sure of the series of events that led to this, but it is now acknowledged that the 2003 USCCB adaptation was an error and it will be corrected. I wish that I had the page number of Fr. Gill's book as a reference but I do not have the book in front of me.

    Interestingly, he also affirmed that translations of the texts of the Graduale Romanum ought to be taken from the (one, singular) approved liturgical translation as it is mandated by Liturgiam Authenticam. I detailed this in a previous post found here.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    My understanding is that this new translation was proposed at the recent USCCB meetings but rejected.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    My $.02 on a low laptop battery: semantics. The entrance song (as the Missal translates "Introit") is still the entrance song whether it is sung or recited, just as the Gloria is still a hymn even when it is read and not musicalized.
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 774
    [From Adam's embedded post:] "This tells me that the Vatican has given us approved translations of the proper antiphons of the mass, even if the U.S. Bishops won't."

    As far as I know, the Vatican has never been in the business of providing approved translations of anything; that's what Conferences of Bishops are for, and a significant part of why they were set up in the first place. Which is why the Proper texts are such a fascinating problem: the only truly official "translation" of the Graduale texts are the Latin originals. To the extent that they are sung in the vernacular, and to the extent they don't concur with the Missal texts, it would seem to me any heretofore approved English translation of the relevant Scripture (and we have had several to date, in various liturgical contexts) would be acceptable. Of course, there is still the question of non-scriptural texts...
  • Jeffrey: Is there a written source for this information? I don't see any mention of the GIRM in the news release from the latest USCCB meeting. Like I mentioned, it is stated explicitly in Fr. Gill's book that the 2003 adaptation for the processional antiphons has been reversed. I will post the quote when I can get my hands on the book.

    Richard: You said "...it would seem to me any heretofore approved English translation of the relevant Scripture (and we have had several to date, in various liturgical contexts) would be acceptable."

    This does not seem to be what Liturgiam Authenticam 36 says. LA says:

    "...it is of the greatest importance that the translation of the Sacred Scriptures intended for liturgical use be characterized by a certain uniformity and stability, such that in every territory there should exist only one approved translation, which will be employed in all parts of the various liturgical books."

    The Graduale Romanum is a liturgical book. What LA seems to be saying here is that the vernacular translations of the scriptural texts that we have in the Lectionary, in the Divine Office, in the Ritual, in the Gradual, etc., etc., need to be uniform. Therefore the scriptural texts that are approved by the USCCB for use in the Lectionary, such as the Revised Grail Psalms, will be the exact same scriptural texts (translations) that will be employed in the next edition of the English language Divine Office, and in any other vernacular liturgical book that uses the same scriptural texts. That is, if the USCCB will be faithful to the Liturgiam Authenticam mandate. I suppose that LA does say "should" and not "must".

    It seems, though, that if the USCCB is not going to "officially approve" an English translation of the Roman Gradual then we can, de facto, achieve the same result by using the approved translations of the Lectionary and the Revised Grail Psalter that coincide with the scriptural portions of the Gradual. It seems that this is the best way to remain faithful to the mind of the Church on this issue. The vast majority of the Gradual is composed of the Psalms. The remaining non-scriptural texts remain problematic, but at least using the Revised Grail Psalter (with recognitio, of course) seems to satisfy the requirements of LA 36.

    Does anyone disagree with my interpretation of LA 36?
  • Here is the quote from Fr. Dennis Gill's new book:

    It is important to note at this point that option one for the Entrance chant has been amended as of November 2007 by the US Bishops so that the antiphon provided in the Roman Missal is no longer among the sung possibilities for the Entrance chant. The antiphon in the Roman Missal was never intended to be sung but rather to be recited when no singing occurred. This amendment also applies to what is currently in the General Instruction for the Offertory and Communion chant. Confirmation of this amendment awaits a recognition of the Holy See.

    Does anyone have any information on this that is more recent?

    Also, I would be very interested if anyone has a different interpretation of LA 36, or a reaction to its apparent insistence upon "uniform" translation of the liturgical books, among them the Graduale Romanum.
  • I suspect that Gill has not seriously investigated the issues surrounding the translation of texts from the Graduale Romanum.

    If one were to replace the biblical texts in the Graduale with the corresponding verses from an approved modern translation of the bible, he would not end up with a TRANSLATION of the Graduale texts. The replacement texts would often lack the liturgical relevance of the Latin.

    The texts in the Graduale are not drawn from a single Latin translation of the Bible. Some are from the Vetus Itala, which is a translation of the Greek Septuagint. "Resurrexi..." the first word in the Easter Day introit, means "I have risen," or "I arose." This verse in the Vulgate begins with "Esurrexi..." which means "I stood up."

    In compiling The American Gradual I planned to extract the psalm texts from the 1979 Prayer Book psalter and the other biblical texts from the RSV. I soon discovered that I could not adhere to my plan too rigidly without results that were occasionally ludicrous.

    The redactors of Liturgiam authenicam had good intentions. They were reacting against the pedestrian paraphrases of liturgical texts that ICEL produced as "translations," and against the use of "trendy" biblical translations that captured the imagination of the clergy. But, as Peter Jeffery points out in his excellent monograph, TRANSLATING TRADITION, their solutions betrayed appalling ignorance about the history of biblical translation in the liturgical books of the Roman rite. Jefferey, who is a conservative Roman Catholic chant scholar, disdainful as anyone of ICEL's previous translations, argues that the work of CDW ought to be informed by a profound scholarship that is not at all evident in this sweeping edict.

    I was thrilled when I first read Liturgiam authenticam; but when I learned that Jeffery was was critical of it, I read his book, and I came to share his point of view. Liturgiam authenticam is simplistic and creates as many problems as it solves.

    I recommend that everyone concerned about translation of liturgical texts read his book.
  • Bruce-- This is fascinating. I followed the Resurrexi example you cited and it is in fact both different in the Vulgate and the Nova Vulgata. I suspect that this will also be the case with many other texts of the liturgy, not just in the Graduale Romanum. I would be very curious to see a study that compares the official Latin liturgical texts with the "approved" Latin editions of the scriptures, both the Vulgate and the Nova Vulgata.

    I have only browsed Peter Jeffrey's book, but will make a point to read it.

    What strikes me about this whole thing is that Liturigam Authenticam is asking for something that the official Latin liturgical texts apparently don't have: scriptural-textual uniformity across all of the liturgical books. It seems to be a noble desire on the part of the Vatican, and I suppose that we should still follow the instruction out of obedience. Still, I would like to see to what degree the various Latin liturgical texts vary, say, maybe a percentage. And the question might be asked as to what affect this variation truly has on the liturgy. For example, should the "Resurrexi" introit even be cited as being from Ps. 138, or does it vary enough to be considered as a source in and of itself? I would suspect that the variations are minimal enough that it can still be considered Psalm 138, and that the essential significance of the text could be communicated (translated) faithfully in a variety of ways.
  • Adam:

    I won't attempt to reply to your comments and questions because I cannot do so nearly as well as Jeffery has. If you read the book more than cursorily, I'll be eager to know what you think of his answers.

    You wrote: "What strikes me about this whole thing is that Liturigam Authenticam is asking for something that the official Latin liturgical texts apparently don't have: scriptural-textual uniformity across all of the liturgical books. It seems to be a noble desire on the part of the Vatican..."

    Jeffery would say that such uniformity is alien to the Roman rite and, if imposed, will mutilate it.
  • Bruce--

    I really appreciate this conversation. I was previously unaware of this reality. Thank you. I would look forward to discussing the topic further after reading the Jeffrey text.
  • I think the rejection of the revised GIRM translation is in the USCCB minutes posted online
  • I read through the transcript posted here but saw no mention of this. The only mention of changing American adaptations of the GIRM was in regard to the Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Given the several spellings of author Peter Jeff____ ...

    Translating Tradition
    A Chant Historian Reads Liturgiam Authenticam
    Peter Jeffery, Obl SB; Introduction by R. Kevin Seasoltz, OSB
    Specifics: Paper, 168 pp., 6 x 9
    Price: $21.95

    Preview here: