Review of Simple English Propers
A must-have for those serious about liturgy!
I worked in parish liturgy for years, even attending a university course on the subject, and until I recently had no idea what the Propers were. Considering that my specific interest was liturgical music, this seems almost criminal.
Adam Bartlett's work Simple English Propers seeks to fill a gap in liturgical resources, and to encourage the knowledge and practice of something which has almost universally fallen from use, despite liturgical documents giving official 'pride of place' to chant.
This book is designed for use within the Ordinary Form of the Mass. It presents the Propers (Entrance, Offertory and Communion) as per the Graduale Romanum, for all Sundays and Feast Days (as per the liturgical calendar of the United States).
The book is written in the four-line staff of Gregorian Chant, which I found a bit daunting, simply because I am unused to it. There are instructional pages at the beginning of the book explaining the basics of the notation used in the book and how to read it. Even so, I think this is something that would be more easily learned by doing.
Along with instruction on how to read the chant notation, the first pages of this book also include references to liturgical documents and writings regarding chant in liturgy. I would dare to say, from reading those references that we should all know what Propers are, and chant them regularly.
The book itself is a nice page size and is written on off-white paper. The text size is also easy to read. The index is written for both the English first lines (incipits) and the Latin equivalents. A ribbon to mark the weeks might be a nice addition.