Pro Sponsis Mass vs. Votive Mass Options in the OCM
  • I’m reinvestigating the propers for the Nuptial Mass, and after turning back to the Ordo Cantus Missæ, I wanted to know why there’s a difference between the ‘Pro Sponsis’ Mass propers (#354; p. 130), and those for a Votive ‘Pro Sponsis’ Mass (#485; p. 168)?

    Do we have any idea what the intention was in recommending these options as distinct from one another (i.e. as opposed to listing all options on one page, or even all on both pages)? Would a ‘Votive Mass,’ in this case, be any different in terms of significance or intention?

    I know Solesmes wanted to exclude certain Neo-Gregorian melodies, but you would think that might mean excluding all the traditional options, not just listing some on one page, and listing the rest elsewhere.

    Of course, any and all insights are welcome (including educated guesses on the topic). Thanks in advance!
  • The Ordo Cantus Missae is not the work of Solesmes, the publisher is Libreria Editrice Vaticana and it is a "typical edition", meaning that it is an official edition to which other editions must conform. You may find useful the English translation Mr. Chonak did of the introduction HERE.

    Basically the point of the OCM is to tell you how to order the chants of the 1908 Graduale Romanum for use with the Novus Ordo Mass. The GR 1908 is still the typical edition of the Graduale Romanum, but the OCM tells you how and when to use these chants. The OCM does also provide additional chants not found in the GR 1908, and these are easy to see because they are notated whereas everything else is just names of the pieces which you then have to go look up.

    The OCM orders things such that neo-gregorian pieces are excluded as much as possible and "authentic" chants have been substituted in their place. However, it also says that none of the neo-gregorian pieces are are expunged from the Graduale; rather it is always permitted that those who wish may retain them.

    You will see on p. 155 the header:


    Thus, this section that runs from p.155-169 is devoted to ordering the neo-gregorian chants. This section is redundant in that all it is doing is providing additional neo-gregorian options for certain days/masses.

    The 1974 Graduale Romanum (likewise the 1979 Graduale Triplex, which simply overlays semiology) is a private edition of the Graduale published by Solesmes. It omits the options which are given in OCM p. 155-169, because it is their "in-house" edition and they apparently had no use for these options.

    The discrepancy you point out where the Mass 'Pro Sponsis' is given on p. 130 under the heading MISSAE RITUALES but on p. 168 under MISSAE VOTIVAE seems to be accidental. In confirmation of this, on p. 240 of OCM, you will see under the heading MISSAE RITUALES that IV. Pro Sponsis refers to both #345 and #485, so it is clear that both are equivalent.