Those Gorgeous Willan Introits

No music for the Roman Rite is preferred to true Gregorian melodies for the propers, though alternate settings can be useful for provided new textures and variety. It is especially difficult to find English material that really works as a viable replacement. So when one does come across a collection of high quality, something that impresses time and again, it is cause for true celebration.

For this reason, our own schola continues to return to the wonderful book Gradual and Introits by Healey Willan. They are expertly crafted. The voicings are exciting for every singer. They are beautifully composed to highlight the text. They can be worked up quickly with great effect. A director and singers can feel very confident with them. I’m just thrilled to have found these and I highly recommend them for any schola – not as a permanent replacement for the Gregorian but as an interesting substitute.

Here is the wikipedia entry for the composer.  This particular set of propers seems to have been prepared for Lutheran use, as striking as that seems.

The CMAA created a helpful index to the book for the ordinary form of the Catholic Mass. They are provided by as a free download for the whole Church.

Here is the entrance for today.

One Reply to “Those Gorgeous Willan Introits”

  1. These Willan propers are wonderful, and I hope they can be widely used now that they're available here.

    One of my favorite forms of the propers other than the purely Gregorian chant form is chant interspersed with fauxbourdon. I am thrilled every time when the choir blossoms into harmony in this form.

    A very prolific composer and arranger of such propers is Bud Clark, years ago an organist and choirmaster in several large Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. He posts his work at the link below and asks a $1 per page donation via PayPal, only from those who use his work in church.


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