Say a prayer for anyone working on missal production. It’s a monster of a job, and there are zillions of details to attend to. I don’t envy any of the good and competent people at ICEL or BCDW – they’ve had so many versions of the final text thrown at them, and they’re doing their best to cope under pressing deadlines.
Last Friday the BCDW sent out errata to missal publishers – nine pages listing all the mistakes to correct in the texts previously sent. Also included were dozens and dozens of music files to replace the ones sent out earlier. I think it is pretty much the way things like this go – as the publishers work on the texts, and as the officials proofread them again, they find mistakes. Almost all the corrections, I see, are minor punctuation details – add a comma here, delete one there, and so forth. A few of the corrections involve texts – sometimes in the prayers, sometimes in the rubrics.
Pray Tell won’t leak the BCDW mailing or post it at WikiSpooks. But we’ll let you know when someone else does. Maybe the person who sent it to us – we’ll never divulge the name, but I will say it is someone not connected to a missal publisher – will post it, or else the person who leaked it to them will, or maybe someone else who got the leak from our source will. That’s the way this thing seems to work.
I see some unfortunate mistakes in the ‘corrected’ music files for the U.S. edition.The familiar Robert Snow setting is with three flats, starting on G (I suppose purists would want four flats – but given the vagaries of notation history, it could also be considered “authentic” not to worry about a pitch which doesn’t appear in the chant). But the celebrant’s embolism (“Deliver us…”) is a half step lower with one sharp. No, they aren’t assuming the congregation will drop in pitch. The congregation’s final bit, “For the kingdom…”, is back up at three flats.
All the other missal chants prepared by ICEL are set with no sharps or flats, and ICEL has told us that the pitch is relative, not absolute. Sing it at any pitch that works, just like four-line Gregorian chant notation. I think the Lord’s Prayer, including the embolism and doxology, should be set the same way. Start on B.
The so-called “Christmas proclamation” from the Roman martyrology will be included in the U.S. edition, as we read recently in the BCDW newsletter. Here the pitch is consistent with everything else – no sharps and flats. But if you go up a fourth at the end, requiring a drop from F to B-flat, then you should really include a B-natural in the next phrase when it comes back down. Also – and this is just one opinion, fwiw – it’s unfortunate that the drop from reciting tone C down to F at the cadences is notated with just one C before the F, without respect to the accentuation. It would be more helpful for the singer to include the C only if it falls on an accent, as is done in all the prefaces.
What is Opus Dei doing with all this, do you suppose? Their publishing house, Midwest Theological Forum in Chicago, recently announced that they were carrying Vox Clara’s study edition of the missal with proper texts for the Sundays of the year. Yes, it’s very bizarre that Vox Clara, an ad hoc committee, is now publishing missal texts. It’s even more bizarre that other publishing houses were told they can’t publish study editions until after the missal appears. I guess Opus Dei has the right connections and certain policies don’t apply to them.
MTF says that orders will be filled starting February 1st. Meaning they’ve already printed it up. Meaning the last round of errata won’t be included. Maybe they’ve solved it some other way – nothing would surprise me any more in this saga.