Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Age of New Music for Mass

I just finished a workshop on sacred music--culminating in two ordinary form Masses and one extraordinary form--and it struck me how different this was from previous years. The singers were better, the Masses were better organized, people had more information coming into the workshop thanks to sites like NLM, but, most substantially, it is a critical feature of all the Masses that we had a huge quantity of material available to sing that has come online only within the last year.

Among the resources used:

American Gradual by Bruce Ford
Choral Gradual by Richard Rice
Gregorian Missal
Chabanel Psalms
Communio by Richard Rice

as well as plenty of material on CPDL

The music was of exceptional quality. Twelve months ago, most of this was not available. We are living in amazing times, a renaissance for great music for Catholic liturgy, most of it free for the download, free to photocopy, free to share and sing.

It strikes me more each day how grateful we should all feel that the age of exclusive, proprietary, and restricted music for Mass--which has been the source of much of the non-liturgical music that has come to dominate Mass--is coming to an end.

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