Looking for some chants in English
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 226
    I'm looking for the following Gregorian chant in English, and wondered if anyone already knows of a version available before I do any of my own translating. I've looked through the CMAA site and St. Meinrad's site but didn't see these:

    Te Deum
    Christus Vincit
    Litany of Loreto (and/or All Saints)
    O Panis dulcissime
    Jesu nostra refectio
    Jesu dulcis memoria
    (these are all from my Cantus Selecti)

    AND

    Any good classic Catholic hymns for Saint Joseph and Our Lady you could recommend? I pulled some Christmas carols from the CMAA downloads, and Hail Holy Queen and Let All Mortal Flesh Be Silent, just because I recognized those. What else might be good?

    I'm looking for songs that are hearty and singable and traditional, to use in the English class at the seminary when I do my monthly "sing-along-in-English" visits to the English class.

    I'm working on an English Anima Christi - I'll post it when I'm done for critique, correction and sharing.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 319
    Good Our Lady hymns
    O purest of creatures
    Mary immaculate, star of the morning
    I'll sing a hymn to Mary
    Holy Virgin, by God's decree
    Immaculate Mary (the Lourdes hymn)
    these last two are very singable
    Tell out, my soul (the Magnificat)
    St Joseph
    Dear husband of Mary
    Also note Dear St Joseph pure and gentle, guardian of the Saviour child.
    this was known as the hymn for a happy death, because the chorus is 'Teach O teach us how to die'
    When I was at school we used to sing 'Teach our teachers how to die' so maybe one to avoid?
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 197
    Litany of Loreto in this thread. https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/2061/litany-of-loreto-litany-of-the-b.m.v.#Item_9

    Litany of Saints (as on Easter Vigil) is in the Roman Missal.
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,860
    Te Deum is available in the official translation in Paul Ford's book "By Flowing Waters", at p. 394.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,465
    Jesu dulcis is found in translation set to its proper tune at no. 650 in The Hymnal 1982
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,865
    Salieri beat me to it.
    Actually, there are quite a number of Englished Latin office hymns in the 1940 and the 1982.
    Also in The English Hymnal of 1906.
    The ones in The English Hymnal appear with real square notes, too!

    Also, if you can find one, Sir Sidney H. Nicholson's A Plainsong Hymnbook is a collection of Englished office and other hymns, set with square notes.*
    This book is out of print and rare, but is a collector's treasure.
    I you can find a copy, snatch it up.
    (I see that there is one available from Amazon for 58 pounds.)
    It was published in the 30's under the auspices of Hymns A & M.

    Also, you could invest less than $20 in the Lumen Christi Hymnal, which has several hundred translated office hymns with their historic plainchant tunes (in addition to several hundred very fine SATB hymns).

    Another really fine source for English chant is Canticum novum, by Fr Anthony Ruff, which may be had from GIA. This little book has many psalms, antiphons, hymns, and other English chants which would be ideal for novices.

    Not to be overlooked is the Palmer-Burgess Plainchant Gradual, a reprint being available from the CMAA.
    This, as most know, is the Graduale Romanum translated into Old Church English.

    Finally, Chonak just above suggested Dr Paul Ford's By Flowing Waters. I would second this as a superb source of English chant for novices as well as more experienced chanters.
    ______________________

    *Contents of Sir Sidney's hymnbook include English versions of the Lenten and Advent proses, several sequences, Ave verum corpus, and a generous collection of office hymns, devotional hymns, eucharistic hymns, saints' hymns, seasonal hymns, and more.
    Thanked by 2CatherineS CHGiffen
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 226
    The book recommendations are useful. It's expensive and sometimes unreliable to ship books overseas, so I would tend to order only ones which had an abundance of good choices in them. PDFs of old out-of-print hymnals are sometimes helpful if I'm just going to choose a few hymns to print out.
  • It may be a good idea to consistently bring something like Lumen Christi or the 1940 hymnal at some point. Many seminarians' only music training and therefore awareness of musical resources occurs in Seminary. When they get out to parishes and want to sing the things they sang in Seminary, it would be good if they thought "Lumen Christi is the hymnal I want this parish to get"
    Thanked by 1WGS
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 226
    @liampmcdonough - I live in a non-English speaking country south of the equator, so they are unlikely to celebrate in English, ever. But I go to the English grammar class once a month to give them a break from grammar and teach English chant/hymns. These are first and second year seminarians. I am taking advantage of the opportunity to give them an environment in which they can a) sing freely, even if they don't have much skill, since this in itself can help with confidence and ability and b) learn the melodies of common Gregorian chants and good hymn melodies (even if using English text) so they have that in their ears for the future.

    So for instance last semester we worked on the Our Father (English) in the same melody as the Latin chant, Credo III in English (they had never sung a Creed ever, but now they will recognize the melody of Credo III...sneaky!), the Missa de Angelis ordinary.... I thought this semester I'd also bring some traditional hymns, since the texts are pious and the melodies tend to be quite singable and memorable.

    My goals (which are flexible, since I don't know where this might go) are to give them a joyful hour and a half of singing and fun, while planting seeds of useful things....
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 226
    This experiment has carried over into the fall semester. Three days a week they do normal English classes, and on one day a week I drop in and do an hour and a half of singing and prayers in English. One thing the professor and I agreed on was to give them something concrete to do with the English, something relevant they can show their peers and families. So in the first half of the semester we worked on them being able to sing the ordinary and some hymns for a weekday Mass in English as well as being able to say all the responses, and understand and read the readings. (A dozen students who were already good at English got pulled aside to do a different project, researching and presenting about the lives of English saints.)

    To my surprise they managed (and they managed without me leading! I had to travel for other work that week, and they sang by themselves! I was so proud.

    Anyway, they are really having a wonderful time, the rector is thrilled that they are doing something fun and useful, and for the second half of the semester (well, a bit less by now, due to some interruptions) we are going to do the themes of Adoration and Christmas. So some songs and prayers in English for Adoration, and a few Christmas carols and Advent songs in English. Then at the end of the semester they can put those to practical use in a) Adoration and b) a short presentation for their peers.

    They tend to find the Gregorian chant more difficult than hymns, because of the unusual melodies. So we'll start on those first to have more time to practice. "O Come All Ye Faithful" they will already know by melody, and just have to learn the new text.
  • Bobby Bolin
    Posts: 373
    MJO, is Fr. Ruff's Canticum Novum in square notes or modern notation?
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,576
    Here's an old Te Deum I found. I think it started by transcribing Paul Ford's into square notation and I wound up making a few changes. It uses the same translation but the melody moves at different points on occasion.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen