Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: Ad Completorium - Compiled by Steven van Roode

As many of you know, the situation for liturgical books concerning the sung office in the Ordinary Form is somewhat complicated and difficult. Not all of them are even published yet! Not to mention the size of the books are usually on the larger end of the spectrum.

However, with Steven van Roode's new resource, Ad Completorium, one can easily sing compline (night prayer) according to the official liturgical books in Latin. Compline is a wonderful office to begin with, since it is on a weekly cycle, it's shorter, and almost never changes for the feast day, giving it an ease that is good for beginners to the office. It also makes a great introduction to the office in latin, if you are already praying with the English editions of the Liturgy of the Hours, as it is very easy to draw parallels between the english and latin, and to feel more comfortable with it, since Compline is on a weekly cycle, instead of 4 week cycle.

It opens with the Ordinary section, providing musical notation for every text spoken in the liturgy, encouraging it to be sung, which I find very desirable. He even goes so far as to notate the confiteor, so that it is clear that it be sung (for those not as familiar with it), even though this step could certainly be seen as unnecessary, but is a great way to encourage the sung liturgy, even if parts are sung recto-tono, which in some cases, is actually the norm many times, such as parts in the minor offices.

Interestingly, even the rubrics were in Latin, allowing this book to be used in a multi-lingual parish context, or even outside the English-speaking world.

As I was flipping though it, I found that every single text (in Latin) needed to sing Compline at any time of year or any feast is found inside. It contains all of the Marian antiphons, all of the responsories for holy week, and all of the psalm verses pointed for easy singing. The book itself is printed in red and black, making it very easy to read with the red rubrics and other characters in red.

Lastly, in the back, the psalm tones are listed, along with the tones for the readings and collects. I was also pleased to see 6 pages of the hymns, containing all of the various tones and texts needed throughout the year, including several tones for Te lucis ante términum, Christe, qui, splendor et dies, and others.

You may recognize Steven as the typesetter of Bartlett's Simple English Propers, as well as the Lumen Christi Missal, which means you'll get the same high quality, beautiful typesetting. I'm a big fan to Steven's typesetting style, especially his attention to small detail, as you can see in some small details below. To be honest, I can't put my finger on exactly what he does, but whatever it is, it looks good.

For those wishing to take a closer look, check out this PDF preview of a few selected pages to give you a feel for the quality of the book.

This book can be purchased here for $12.94.

Good work Steven!

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