Saturday, 15 August 2015

Downloadable booklets for Vespers

Gregorian Chant Hymns is a most helpful website that I mentioned in a post just over a year ago. As I said then, the site
"[...] promotes the learning of Gregorian Chant by making sheet music, recordings, translations, and instructions. There is a short guide to Gregorian Notation (those square notes) and to Latin pronunciation. Everything is available free of charge, in line with other great traditional music websites."
Work has continued at the site and there is now a section which makes available pdf (or .docx format) booklets for Vespers for every Sunday of the Year and a few major feasts. There is the basic booklet for ordinary Sunday Vespers which is supplemented by separate files for the Sundays after Pentecost which contain the Magnificat and Collect. Then there are booklets, for example for Advent and Lent, where the office is different from the regular Sunday Vespers with its antiphons. All of the booklets have texts and notation for Benediction and the Marian anthems which are usually sung in parishes after Sunday Vespers.

The booklets all have English translations - these are set out in a sidebar, rather than taking up a full column of a two-equal-column layout. I think this helps to emphasise the place of the translation as something subsidiary to the principal text and chant notation.

Many parishes that have the older form of Mass try to have Vespers from time to time. This is enjoyable both for the schola and the servers, and is a beautiful evening service for people to attend in praise of the Father. Gregorian Chant Hymns have done a great service in making booklet files freely available.

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