A new book of Mass propers in English and Latin has appeared from our friends in England: Fr. Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory has published Graduale Parvum: Introits.
The book contains entrance chants on simple melodies, much in the style of the Graduale Simplex and ICEL’s Roman Missal ordinary chants. Here’s an example:
The book has some attractive advantages. The melodies are freely adapted from the authentic Gregorian chants in the Graduale Romanum and often preserve their melodic outline, so they’re a step up for choirs that have used more formulaic English adaptations. In addition, the English texts are all from standard, well-known sources approved for liturgical use by the Holy See: the ICEL Roman Missal and the Revised Grail Psalter. They’re fully notated, including the psalm verses, in attractive, readable chant notation.
American readers can get the book from the CMAA Shop web site, a little easier and slightly cheaper than ordering it from the UK.
Incidentally, in 2002, Fr. Nicholls spoke at the CMAA Sacred Music Colloquium about the propers and the task of promoting them; the talk has an introduction by Jeffrey Tucker, and included some examples from the book’s draft at the time, which the gathered participants sang.