Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three New Simple English Chant Masses in the Style of the Simple English Propers

We're now almost nine months past the implementation of the new translation of the Roman Missal. Many parishes have taken up the call of the Bishops of the English speaking world and have begun the implementation by singing the Mass Setting within the Missal itself.

This setting undoubtedly ought to become the default English Mass that can be sung by all English speaking Catholics no matter where they go. It should be the "go-to" setting that we use for inter-parish, or international English liturgies. My own parish has been singing this Mass Setting, particularly the Gloria – based on Kyriale Mass XV – since Christmas 2011.

This fall is a great time to begin to build your parish repertoire a bit further. What should you sing next?

I'm happy to introduce to you three new simple English chant Masses that are included in the forthcoming Lumen Christi Missal, which has now received full ecclesiastical approval and has gone to print (pre-orders are still being offered here, and books will be shipping in September).

Introducing (FREE DOWNLOAD):


These three "Simplex" Masses are composed in a simple chant style, very similar to the Simple English Propers, and can be sung very easily by average parish congregations.

Simplex Mass I is the simplest of all three, is in a major mode (mode 6), and is built upon a simple melodic pattern that is repeated and developed throughout. It is a great starting place for parishes that have never used a chanted Ordinary before, and will serve as a very nice compliment to the Missal chants in a parish's repertoire.

Simplex Mass II may sound familiar to some here, since I composed the Gloria over a year ago and posted it here, and since have completed the entire Mass. This Mass is in mode 8, and also is composed in a "formulaic" style. It offers some nice variety and can serve as a very strong Mass Setting that might serve well for Feasts and Solemnities.

Simplex Mass III is also in a syllabic style, but is more developed than Simplex Masses I and II. This setting is composed by Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB, and is in the minor modes (modes 1 and 2) that evoke in a particular way the breadth and depth of the Gregorian ethos. Once learned by a parish congregation, this Mass could serve as a wonderful Mass for the long stretches of Ordinary Time.

The following are some recordings of the first two Simplex Masses, for demonstration and practice purposes:

Simplex Mass I




Simplex Mass II



Please enjoy these new Mass settings! They are licensed in the Creative Commons and may be printed and copied for your cantors and parish choirs free of charge.