Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Choral Gradual for Every Parish

More free music has become available to more people in the Catholic world and Catholic parishes during the last 12 months than the whole history of the Christian faith put together. So many remarkable and completely free resources have come online that it is easy to lose track.

Among the many impressive offerings is a complete Choral Gradual by Richard Rice. It uses the propers and appropriate Psalms from the modern Roman Missal to put together a complete music program for Mass.

I especially like that this form gets us away from the problem of hymn-based Masses, and uses the propers in a way that fits in with the way most choirs currently function. It also provides the essential foundation for development and progress toward the ideal.

Any choir that sings in parts can use these for this coming Sunday. To sing them uses the existing skills and requires no special capacity for language or reading.

The Simple Choral Gradual can be downloaded here.

Here, for example, is the entrance for the first Sunday of Lent. I would strongly argue that this setting is better and more it keeping with the liturgical function than any hymn you can find.

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