The well's run dry . . .
  • I'm doing my level-best to make liturgically appropriate selections for offertory anthems for my choir to sing during Lent, and I'm coming up empty.

    1) All of the choral works I've found that are chant-based (making my selection based on the offertory chant that appears in the Gregorian Missal) are for 5-voice choirs or more, and for a level of ability that surpasses the size and current abilities of my talented but humble volunteer choir (Palestrina, etc.);

    2) None of the suggestions I find in other resources are liturgically (or musically) appropriate in my book, and I'm trying to steer away from the overly-Protestantized lists available from the "Choral Anthem Project" over at the NPM website.

    Perhaps I'm setting my bar too high, and should consider introducing the concept of chanted Propers (in English in my case) during Lent. My fear is that there will be grumblings in the choir and from certain sectors of the staff and congregation if I try this.

    Any suggestions?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "should consider introducing the concept of chanted Propers (in English in my case) during Lent. My fear is that there will be grumblings in the choir and from certain sectors of the staff and congregation if I try this."

    I cannot understand why they would grumble, they are not even singing in latin. Nothing else works, maybe you can tell them they have something to offer for Lent. I'm sure God will be pleased for their 'sacrifice and humility' for singing them. I think Lent is a good time to introduce a bit of 'real' sacred music. (well, as long as you try very diplomatically, so you don't loose your job.)
  • David:

    Nothing anywhere says that the offertory or other parts of the mass MUST be chant based. Remember that the compositions must simply be liturgically worthy and of a high caliber.

    On CPDL there is a Grancini motet for three voices "O Bone Jesu" that is pretty easy and beautiful. There is also a setting of "What Wondrous love is This" by Christiansen, sold by Concordia I believe. For Lent II, try using "Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies" from OCP (Trinitas division). It is for SATB, acappella choir, and it is all chant. While I'm mentioning Trinitas, there is also a setting of Wondrous Love from them, by a religious brother whose name I can't recall. It is scored for men's voices, but can be done SAB. It weaves a chant melody into the last verse. If you go to their website you can view a preview.

    Those are the ones that I've used that I can think of off the top of my head.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,616

    Just went through this same excersize a coupla weeks ago. Hope this helps. I have a bunch that I got from the links on this thread.
  • David,

    Here is what I am doing:

    Ash Wednesday: Powell “Cast Me Not Away”
    Lent 1: Schalk “He Who Dwells”
    Lent 2: Roberts “Seek Ye the Lord”
    Lent 3: Howells “Like as the hart”
    Lent 4: Hayes “Grace”
    Lent 5: Bach “Aus der Tiefen” (BWV 131, mvt. 1, up to the vivace)
    Lent 6: Lassus “Improperium exspectavit”

    We are also doing Farrant “Lord, for Thy tender mercy’s sake” as a brief communion motet (sandwiched between congregational songs) each Sunday, and Philip Godfrey’s gorgeous “Lord, who hast formed me out of mud” on Ash Wednesday for the imposition of ashes.

    Much of this repertoire (Farrant, Godfrey, Roberts, Hayes, Bach) is repeated from last year, which is why I think we will be ok putting all of this together. It’s a bit ambitious, but I am confident! :)
  • The Roberts, by the way, is available on Handlo is kind of like CPDL, except you pay for each PDF, usually $13 or so.
  • Felipe

    By the looks of your list, especially the Howells, I'm assuming your parish is exercising the option of using the cycle A readings. We're using the cycle B readings, so none of these (except Lent I) would probably fit liturgically for me.

    I do love that Howells, though. I've got my choir learning it, and we're going to sing it for the last Sunday before Lent.
  • David,
    Check out the Alessandro Scarlatti Motets on CPDL. We are doing "Exaltabo Te"
    and "Justitiae Domini"- both are SATB, mostly homophonic, with just enough
    counterpoint to make them interesting. The choir picked them up fairly easily.
    In the EF, "Exaltabo" is the offertorium for Ash Wednesday & "Justitiae" for L III.
    (Confession) I accompany them very lightly. It helps greatly for amateur singers!
  • David,

    Actually year A readings are mandatory for RCIA Masses.

    Psalm 42 is an ok choice throughout Lent, I think, especially that setting. Lent is about baptism....?
  • Felipe Gasper:

    Can you quote a reference for the year A readings being MANDATORY for RCIA? I do know that the scrutinies are based around them, but is it not possible to celebrate the scrutinies without the year A readings? I'm not sure what the documents say, so any light you can shed on that for me I would much appreciate.
  • Sure. Check §150 of the RCIA, and look at the Lectionary at the ritual Masses section for the scrutinies. It’s there, in black and white.

    So, to revise what I wrote earlier, year A readings are mandatory for scrutiny Masses, not at other times. My mistake.
  • Thanks Felipe.

    Well that means we're doing it wrong this year. Of course, at this point, the meetings have been had, discussions been had, etc. so it'll probably ruffle more feathers than it's worth to make it right for this year. But I'll keep that documentation in mind so that when we discuss it for next year we can set it right and do what is proper.