Sanctissimus namque Gregorius - Musical evidence of the attribution of the chant to St. Gregory
  • Chrism
    Posts: 663
    I found this too fascinating not to share.

    image
    Art from the first page of the 1908 Graduale Romanum, above the Proprium de Tempore section beginning with the First Sunday of Advent.

    Source: Schola Sainte-Cécile

    This trope from the 11th-12th Century was sung in some form before the Introit of the First Sunday of Advent. It replaced an earlier trope for this Introit honoring St. Gregory, which had been composed by Pope Hadrian I (772 - 795), which was placed at the top of the Sacramentary given by Pope Hadrian to Charlemagne, the existence of which was attested to by Agobard of Lyons (d. 840).

    Latin: Sanctíssimus namque Gregórius cum preces effúnderet ad Dóminum ut músicum donum ei désuper in carmínibus dedísset, tunc descéndit Spíritus Sanctus super eum, in spécie colúmbæ, et illustrávit cor ejus, et sic demum exórtus est cánere, ita dicéndo : Ad te levavi… (& we continue the Introit)

    English: When the most holy Gregory poured out prayers to the Lord that He might surrender to him from above a musical gift in song then the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove and enlightened his heart to such a degree that at last he began to sing saying thus: "Ad te levavi..." (& we continue the Introit) (tr. Katherine Bergeron)

    Click to hear a 1974 Solesmes Recording of the Trope w/Introit at gloria.tv.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    (somehow, I missed this when it was first posted)

    Wow! That's so cool. Is there any other things like this in the old books?


    edit: the above link is broken, here's a newer video link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHnv7pIeN50
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 336
    Very nice!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,054
    Bumping for the great feast.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Just found this on Jaques Perriere's website, gregorianbooks.com. Is anyone planning to do this trope in honor of St. Gregory the Great before the Introit this Sunday?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,527
    We have just finished our choir practice, we will do this on Sunday. (EF)
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    That's great, tomjaw. I'm still not sure if we're going to do it or not. I'm waiting to hear back from Father. He's sometimes under tough time restraints.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Is it licit in the EF? I thought you must go directly from the asperges' collect to the introit? There's no "option 4"...
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,527
    Well we had a discussion and could not think of a reason why we could not do it between the Asperges and the Introit. Usually the Organ plays during the re-vesting...

    We do not usually start the Introit until the Priest reaches the foot of the Altar, as per the instruction in the Liber. So we will have time to sing this extra chant and not cause a delay to the Mass.

    As far as I understand the Mass and it's rubrics only come into effect when the priest reaches the foot of the Altar. Before hand we can sing anything suitable, even music in English (not that we would).

    Anyway the Asperges is not really part of the EF Mass. Also I have had a look around for any legislation and could not find anything. Of course this piece of music was written for and used at the EF Mass.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,576
    Is this licit in OF masses? I wouldn't use it this year, but in the future perhaps. And maybe an English translation, leading into the SEP Introit. It's a really beautiful "intro to the intro."
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Good question, Ben, but it says on the first post that it's from the first page of the 1908 Graduale Romanum so that should mean it's kosher, I would assume. We were going to sing it during the re-vesting as well, esp. since there's usually a little organ interlude at that time that won't be done now that it's Advent.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Interesting. I've never done an organ interlude there, usually just begin with the introit straightaway.

    Btw, Ryan, I know it's licit in the OF because almost anything's licit in the OF :)
  • Except singing the dies irae.
  • I sing the Dies Irae as a sequence at Requiems anyway. ;-)
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,335
    The comments on this thread today about liturgical law are interesting and enlightening.

    I learned, for instance, that such laws are for other people to observe; I only need to observe the ones I agree with.

    I also learned that the frontispiece of a book could be the vehicle for the promulgation of law. They never taught us that in canon law studies.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,851
    Please review the Forum Etiquette Guidelines.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,054
    Fr., just a word of advice, when people comment on other people's comments in a negative way, and without being specific, they just sort of sound sarcastic. I'm sure you wanted to be clear and helpful, so perhaps you wouldn't mind re-commenting?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I appreciate Fr. Krisman's point; to be honest, I didn't even think of the rubrics issue and thought it was a singable text in the 1908 Graduale Romanum, not just an illustration, as Father pointed out. Hope someone can weigh in on this definitively. It's a very interesting question.

  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,335
    Thank you, Kathy and Chonak.

    It is true that I find very distasteful comments on the Forum to the effect, "I know what the Church's norms are, but I'm going to do what I want anyway." Such blatant disobedience does not advance the liturgical life of the Church.

    That said, I do not in any way advocate ad hominem arguments. But showing the ridiculousness of a statement is not an ad hominem argument.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Just for the record, dear Father, I do not and have never advocated a single instance of "blatant disobedience" to liturgical norms, and if you ever find an instance of my advocating such on this forum, I'd appreciate it if you would bring it to my attention.

    The point I'm trying to make is very simple. The Schola Saint Cecile in Paris were discussing the trope; it's also on the gregorianbooks.com website and the Monks of Solesmes have a recording of it so I just assumed (my bad!) from the fine reputation all these people enjoy that this was a legitimate option.

    Actually, the reason I brought it up was I wanted to learn more about it from more knowledgeable people than I, and I remain hopeful someone can shed light upon it.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,335
    I apologize, Julie, if you thought I was referring to your earlier comment as countenancing disobedience. I was not. I was referring to the comment by ClemensRomanus (and to similar comments made by others in the past).
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,054
    This is exactly my point. Sweeping generalized negatives are almost always taken the wrong way.
  • I just assumed it was okay to sing the Dies Irae as part of the "mutual enrichment" PE Benedict XVI envisioned. Perhaps I read too much into his comment. My apologies.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,851
    I fail to see on what basis this bit of sarcasm made any sense.
    I also learned that the frontispiece of a book could be the vehicle for the promulgation of law.
    Is someone proposing that it is unlawful to sing a troped introit?
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,335
    Is someone proposing that it is unlawful to sing a troped introit?

    It certainly was illicit when the 1908 Graduale Romanum was published. It certainly would be illicit in the EF today. (The law forbidding any one of us on our own to add or subtract from the liturgy did not originate at the Second Vatican Council.)

    As to the OF, wouldn't it be a more useful endeavor to discuss why folks think it would be wise or unwise to add this pious legend about Saint Gregory to today's liturgy?
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,576
    Great idea.

    If its a useful endeavor, why don't you share YOUR thoughts as to why it would be wise or unwise to include this in today's liturgy?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,610
    My personal view is that it would be unwise to include it in the Mass this Sunday because we have a wonderful Introit - Ad te Levavi. It is what the Church asks us to sing as the first option at the beginning of Mass, as it is printed in the Graduale Romanum. I happen to have the most recent edition of the Gradual right here in front of me. I don't see that text above.

    Is it an interesting thing to see? Absolutely.
    Might I sing it on my own before practicing the Ad te Levavi? Sure, why not.
    Do I ask myself questions and then answer them often? Yes, I do.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,527
    Fr Krisman

    I don't know whether your comment refers to me? but having read the 'rubrics' in the Liber and the rubrics in the Missale Romanum 1962, I can not see anything referring to what can be sung before or after Mass. Note I have not read Fortesque on this matter as I do not have a copy.

    In the EF troped Kyrie are banned by I think "TRENT", but not if you use the Sarum Rite or other Rites that allow troped Kyrie.

    Now a troped Introit... if you mean singing the verses, this is allowed, the 1962 Graduale Romanum has the verses for the Introit of Palm Sunday and of course the 'Psalmorum' has verses for most if not all of the Introits of the year.

    As I understand we can sing a song before and after Mass in the EF, this can be a former processional Hymn (Salve Festa Dies) or something in English from a Hymn / song book.
    In England it is the custom to sing the Marian Antiphon after Mass, rather than a Hymn - song.

    If there is a rubric / law that prevents the singing of chants / hymns / songs it should be posted to this thread.

    In the EF we are at least, in certain readings of the law, banned from singing in the vernacular during Mass, NOTE we never sing anything in the vernacular during our EF Masses.

    Our intention this Sunday is to sing the extra chant before Mass starts, and then when Mass starts we will sing the Introit in the usual way. Note when the Introit repeats after the verse / Gloria ... we will sing the introit as normal not with the extra text which is only meant to be sung as an introduction to the Introit. Just as we could sing an entrance / processional hymn as an introduction to the Mass.

    Once again I fail to find any law preventing this.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,335
    I think that St. Gregory's composing the music for "Ad Te Levavi" is a legend. And even if a late-6th century manuscript in Gregory's own hand and containing the musical chant were to be discovered, thereby dashing the notion of the story of authorship being a legend, I would see no reason why the story should be included at Mass. Should we be reciting the story of how "Silent Night" came to be written before we sing it as a communion song at the Christmas Mass during the Night?

    Tropes were composed in an era when people were unable to waste time watching TV.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,527
    Fr Krisman

    You may be right, it is a legend, but we intend to sing this in good faith BEFORE MASS, I do not believe that the person who wrote this music was a liar or even intended to lie.

    I personally think that the text of "Silent Night" is a load of rubbish (my wife is Swiss German so my children sing this in the original German). but this song can be sung in English or German BEFORE or AFTER an EF Mass.

    Furthermore this is sung during the EF Masses in Switzerland, this I think is illicit but the Swiss priests think that this is O.K. not that I would agree with them.

    I am sure that if you looked at the various music we sing as motets during our EF Masses in England (U.K.) you would find many things to be unacceptable to your tastes. You may be right, some of the old Office Hymns we sing as motets express sentiments that are not part of our normal experience in the modern Western world.
    We do not hand out translations so very few of our congregation understand what we our singing anyway so this it not a big problem. Most people come to listen to the music, of course they can and some do join in with the Ordinary.

    If there is a rubric that forbids the singing of certain texts BEFORE Mass, do let us know and we will not sing this on Sunday.

    N.B. We do not usually sing an Entrance Hymn before Mass, and usually start with the Asperges. On Easter Sunday we sing the ancient Processional Hymn Salve Festa Dies, before the Vidi...
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,576
    purple bold

    The label of 'Gregorian chant' obviously proves that St. Gregory the Great was the author of all music in said genre.

    /purple bold
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Fr K:

    1) The "story of silent night" isn't in an approved liturgical book. Whatever the purpose you think this may have held in the 1908 gradual, it was found in an approved liturgical book.

    2) Again, we're talking about before Mass, not before communion.

    Let's have a discussion, not create our own strawmen.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    It really is a fascinating discussion and I think Tomjaw's explanation is most convincing.
    The fact that Father re-vests after the Asperges pretty much proves the point that Mass has not yet begun, since the celebrant must be vested in the chasuble before he can begin the prayers at the foot of the altar.

    On another note, may I ask for some prayers for the Diocese of Brooklyn where our Latin Mass is located at St. John's Cemetery chapel? The "knockout game" is becoming more and more of an issue in NYC and in Brooklyn. My oldest son lives in Flushing and takes the bus to St. John's law school, often late in the day, and we travel to Brooklyn every Sunday so I'm becoming concerned, esp. for my son. (There's probably not much chance that gangs will be roaming the streets on a Sunday morning, esp. in a cemetery, but it is disconcerting nonetheless.)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,610
    Do you think the men who put together the 1908 Gradual wanted you to sing the text found in the art as a part of the Mass? If they did, why wouldn't they also put that text in front of the introit for the first Sunday of Advent?

    Also, the following graphic is allegedly going to be printed in the 2024 Graduale Romanum, but I don't think it is intended to be sung during - or before or after - Mass.
    701 x 826 - 154K
    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,851
    This book has information on the manuscript source (Urb 602 from Montecassino) for this Beneventan trope.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    It's amazing to trace this back to the manuscript! It says in the footnote that some of the words had to be read with ultraviolet light.

    I did a little digging of my own and found this program from the Schola-Sainte-Cecile for the First Sunday of Advent, 2009, which includes the Trope L'Introit following the Asperges.
    Thanked by 1Jacques Perrière
  • I would object to using the trope, not on rubrical grounds (I have not even close to enough EF knowledge to do so), but for another reason.

    It distances the proclamation of the text from the singers. Instead of being a psalm sung by the choir, it is putting the words in the mouth of Gregory. It's indirect praise, a statement of fact rather than a proclamation.

    Consider the difference:

    1. There is no God.
    2. A fool says in his heart, "There is no God."

    Of course, the trope above doesn't completely invert the meaning of the Introit the way my example does, but the structure is the same. One is a theological statement, and the other is a declaration of what someone else said.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,527
    We sang this today, all went well and no one complained!

    We even had a few unexpected guests, the senior MC of the Latin Mass Society and two directors of other chant / polyphony choirs.

    The plan is to do this again next year.
  • Yep, we sang it this morning too, second time after last year. That went well. We reminded our priest before Mass about the trope.
    For the timing: we left a few seconds after the Asperges to let him go the side where he vests. Then we were already at "et sic demum" when he started to climb the steps to the altar. The end flowed naturally and we launched the Introit Ad te levavi.
    After Mass our Priest said he was happy about it.
    _________________________
    My opinion about this trope: it's all about remembering at the very beginning of the liturgical year what is Gregorian chant: a sung prayer inspired to men by the Holy Spirit who descended as a dove on the shoulder of St Gregory the Great. It does not really matter if St Gregory did or did not compose the Introit Ad te levavi but under his direction was codified a good set of propers, starting by Advent. And through him we know there is a whole community of anonymous monks, clerics, saints who composed the various pieces. Perhaps one of them is visiting the CMAA forum as we speak... Et Spiritus Sanctus illustravit cor ejus.
  • Oh! Was reading Summorum Pontificum and realized St Gregory the Great is mentioned (3rd paragraph):
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20070707_summorum-pontificum_en.html

    « Eminent among the Popes who showed such proper concern was Saint Gregory the Great, who sought to hand on to the new peoples of Europe both the Catholic faith and the treasures of worship and culture amassed by the Romans in preceding centuries. He ordered that the form of the sacred liturgy, both of the sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office, as celebrated in Rome, should be defined and preserved. He greatly encouraged those monks and nuns who, following the Rule of Saint Benedict, everywhere proclaimed the Gospel and illustrated by their lives the salutary provision of the Rule that “nothing is to be preferred to the work of God.” In this way the sacred liturgy, celebrated according to the Roman usage, enriched the faith and piety, as well as the culture, of numerous peoples. It is well known that in every century of the Christian era the Church’s Latin liturgy in its various forms has inspired countless saints in their spiritual life, confirmed many peoples in the virtue of religion and enriched their devotion. »
    Thanked by 1Chrism
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    It really is a charming piece of music. We sang it after Mass, and I included the picture of St. Gregory, the score and a short summary of the trope in our handout.

    P.S. The Schola St. Cecile included it in their music program for today as well.
  • SMR
    Posts: 13
    We sang it before the Introit at our EF Mass. It took the place of an organ interlude while we waited for Father to vest after the Asperges. It was quite nice.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437

    You can hear the women of the Schola St. Cecile sing this after the Asperges on the recording of the first Sunday of Advent here.
  • As the chant historian Peter Jeffery states in his admirable book 'Translating Tradition' (which tears apart Liturgiam Authenticam) "Contrary to much popular belief the tropes were not banned by the Council of Trent - they were simply not included in the 1570 Missal..."

    There is a Missal in Lambeth Palace Library from either 1574 or 1576 that has a musical appendix that includes several troped Kyrie settings and a troped Gloria for Marian feasts.

    Until, Fr. Ron Krisman can show otherwise, I believe his suggestion that tropes are banned is in fact incorrect, and I challenge him to show the evidence from canons supporting that they are banned as a fact.

    " Secondly: Summorum pontificum confirmed juridically that the Latin Church had lived for some four decades under the dominion of a lie. The Vetus Ordo had not been lawfully prohibited. Much persecution of devout priests and layfolk that took place during those decades is therefore now seen to have been vis sine lege [force without law]. For this so long to have been so true with regard to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which lies at the heart of the Church's life, argues a profound illness deep within the Latin Church. And the Big Lie was reinforced by multitudes of Little Lies ... that the Council mandated reordered Sanctuaries ... that the Council mandated exclusive use of the vernacular ... The de facto situation created by the Big Lie and the Little Lies combined ought not to be regarded as normative. Its questionable parentage must give it a degree of provisionality, even (perhaps especially) to those who find it comfortable to live with. The onslaught upon the Franciscans of the Immaculate suggests that there are those, high in the Church's administration, who have still internalised neither the juridical findings of Summorum pontificum nor its pastoral call for harmony."



    One can compare in many aspects of reforms associated with the Holy Ecumenical Council of Trent to the reforms associated with Second Ecumenical Sacred Council of the Vatican. In both cases, popular consensus does not represent reality.

    Holy Tradition is bigger than you or I. It is an unstoppeable timeless force for good.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Bumping this fascinating thing to the top for today.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • To bump or not to bump,
    that is the question
    which from every good chum
    an answer beckons.
    True, when in a slump
    the forum seems to be,
    to get us over the hump
    one can with glee
    into the archives jump
    and sort of reckon
    that his favourite lump
    of long gone pickins
    will all doldrums trump,
    and, as a beacon,
    guide us past the stump
    of topical ennui
    to thus from scholastic dumps
    our spirits free.

    (This is in no way a grump over Ben's bump.
    Rarely has a bump been so cleverly, yea, so smartly,
    so sensibly and appropriately pumped from out the bowels of our archival dump.)

    May this Adventine introit the harbinger of a new year of chant growth in all our churches be!

    Thanks, Ben.
    (Perhaps this scrumptious bump should become an annual Advent Sunday treat.)


  • just do it.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,527
    But we now use the Tridentine Missal..., o.k. some of us could use the Sarum that of course still has tropes of the Ordinary.

    Does any Missal still in use have a troped Ordinary?

    Of course the the Trope referenced above is a Troped proper, of which a whole volume of the Analecta Hymnica is dedicated.

    Anyway we sang this again this year (it is before Mass so does not effect the Rubrics)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • A troped Ordinary of sorts is most definitely in use in the Ordinary Form - looking at the third option for the penitential act.

    In fact, as a bit of a laugh, I adapted a Sarum troped Kyrie to one of the forms from the ICEL Roman Missal once upon a time.
  • *bumpity bump bump*

    We are singing this at our Society chapel next Sunday. Right before the Introit. Found this out today, right after we locked down our polyphonic mass for Midnight Christmas SOLID. (This is what happens when you have six former choir directors in your choir.) It's great to be alive.