Monday, 4 June 2012

Two fine books for the Novus Ordo

Although I often post here about the usus antiquior, I do celebrate the Novus Ordo in the parish for most of our public Masses. The concern of Pope Benedict to promote a renewed sense of the sacred in the celebration of Mass has had its effect in the publication of many books and resources - see New Liturgical Movement and the Musica Sacra if you are a Church musician and don't already know of the high quality, copyright-free resources that are there to help your choir aim for the best.

Two books that have kindly been sent to me by the publishers illustrate this trend. Les Editions de Solesmes have produced "Singing the Mass" which was put together by Christopher Barlow of Sydney, and approved by Cardinal Pell. It contains the sung Order of Mass in Latin and English, and a selection of Masses from the Gradual which would constitute an ambitious repertoire for a parish choir - much along the lines that my own has managed over the past few years. Musical notation is "square notes" throughout, which I think is sensible - choirs need to learn how to read the traditional notation and with practice, it becomes easier. The book looks and feels like something made for serious worship, printed beautifully on light, off-white paper. You can order copies from the Solesmes website at 25 euro each. There is a 50% discount for orders of more than 50 copies.

Another fine production is the new CTS Daily Missal. This is a substantial book, which contains readings for all Sundays and weekdays. The Order of Mass, marked with a coloured edge, has parallel texts in Latin and English, with the sung texts as provided in the new ICEL altar Missal, together with the corresponding Latin sung texts. Again beautifully bound and printed, with six coloured ribbons, this missal would be a treasure for those who go to daily mass. (The CTS also sell a Sunday only Missal.) In the tradition of hand missals for the people, there are plenty of devotional prayers included. The missal can be ordered for £45 from the CTS.

These resources are a reminder of the value that we place on the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and of all materials associated with it. The tell us in their own way, that we only give the best to Almighty God.
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