10 September 2012

Resources for congregations at Sung EF Masses

Printable copies of the music and propers for various Masses have been made available here; they were originally developed for John Fisher House, the Cambridge Chaplaincy. They include some interesting features, such as the Offertory Verses. These verses, to which the Offertory Antiphon (or part of it) acts as a refrain, are theologically rich and musically and poetically very interesting. The Schola Abelis in Oxford frequently sings them; they are sung by a cantor, and at the end of verses the full schola repeats all or part of the antiphon. They are not for the faint-hearted, however, as they are difficult. They are optional in the Extraordinary Form, under the Instruction Musica Sacra of 1958, 27 (b) (and de facto earlier too I would assume, hence a 1935 edition of the verses, which are clearly intended for liturgical use). They are not in the Missal, so there is no obligation to sing them, but as it is permissible (and there is usually time) to sing extra things at the Offertory, nothing more appropriate can be imagined than the original verses which go with the Offertory Antiphon in the medieval manuscripts. An edition of the music for these verses, the one produced originally in 1935, is available on the Catholic Music Association of America site here (big pdf). You can also buy a 'Offertoriale Triplex' with the neumes from the oldest available manuscripts included; a putative restoration of the chants with a modern interpretation of the neumes is available for some of them here.

Offertory Confirma hoc, for Pentecost, with the ancient verses, sung by the Schola Abelis.
Those choirs which sing these Offertory verses may well want to provide the congregation with the text, and a translation, which is provided in these sheets.

03 September 2012

Ecclesiological Society Conference 2012

I am very happy to draw attention to this interesting event. The continuing scholarship on the Middle Ages sheds ever more light on the nature of Gregorian Chant, and is not a matter of merely academic interest to singers.


The Medieval Experience of Worship
Saturday 6th October
St Alban's Centre, Baldwins Gardens, London, EC1N 7AB
10.15 am to 5.15 pm

This conference will explore the experience of late medieval worship for clergy, musicians and people. It is based on a major three-year research project (www.experienceofworship.org.uk) with a strong focus on the relationship of building and ritual. The project has included the editing of key texts, the enactment and audio-visual recording of medieval liturgies in St Teilo’s parish church (near Cardiff) and at Salisbury Cathedral, the construction of a medieval-style organ, and the reconstruction of ritual objects, including flagons, bowls, pyxes, pax board, and vestments. Video materials and some artefacts will be on display.

All are welcome. People find that our conferences combine serious intent with an enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere, and are enjoyable both for experts and those new to the topic being considered. A hot lunch is included. There will be a second-hand bookstall. Everyone is invited to finish the day with a glass of wine.

Paul Barnwell: The nature of medieval worship
Gerallt Nash: Recreating St Teilo’s c.1520: structure and decoration
Sally Harper & Dominic Gwynn: Clothing the space: books, artefacts, vestments, and organ
Magnus Williamson: Sound, movement, and space: the view from the nave
Jeremy Davies Clergy, ritual and space: the view from the chancel
John Harper: The sensory experiences of worship

Small choir: Chant and polyphony in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Name of Jesus

COST: (incl. refreshments, hot lunch, glass of wine) £42.50 for members & guests;
£48 for non-members; £35 for under- & post-graduate students. Tickets are non-refundable.
Society’s website: www.ecclsoc.org General conference enquiries: conference@ecclsoc.org

Please book …… places @ £42.50 [member(s) and guest(s)]
…… places @ £48 [non-member(s)]
…… places @ £35 [under- and post-graduate student(s)]
(Once tickets have been booked we regret they are non-refundable)
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