Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hymn Tune Introits: An Annual Collection

I've just received an advance copy of the WLP winter catalog. It features a very gracious interview with me, and gives the first notice of my forthcoming book, a handy annual collection of my Hymn Tune Introits.

The Hymn Tune Introits paraphrase and rhyme the Entrance Antiphons of the Mass so that they may be sung to any Long Meter (8.8.8.8.  iambic) hymn tune, such as Old Hundredth, Duke Street, Conditor Alme Siderum, or Deo Gratias.

It was important to me that this first publication be printed without musical notation, because some parishes do not have significant musical resources. In the past, such parishes might not be able to learn to sing propers in any form, and musical notation would be confusing. Now they can simply sing this version of the Antiphon to a tune they already know by heart. This is a very basic way of singing the propers, a no-excuses resource that any parish at all can use.

The propers of the Mass are ordinarily scriptural, and they express a prayerfulness and theology that is hard to match with any hymn text. They are also universal. Like the lectionary, the propers have a unifying power, uniting the Church in a common prayer throughout the world.

I'm honored to have a small part in helping to recover this important part of the Mass.