Another new setting

Jeffrey Honoré, the dirctor of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan choir, has composed a new Mass setting. Selections from the setting can be found on the webpage.

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15 comments

  1. Interesting. This setting would not have got through the approval process in England and Wales, which requires that the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamations and Great Amen are unified by being based on the same musical material.

    1. I am glad we don’t have that rule in the US. The three things are very different texts and forms, and, while I understand that ideal behind the rule is to underscore the essential unity of the anaphora, a better rule would be more general and proscriptive rather than prescriptive: e.g., the texts should not be set to music in a way that undermines the essential unity of the anaphora.

      1. Not sure about different forms. They are all acclamations.

        The test is to imagine that the priest is chanting the Preface and EP text to a simple tone, and then see if all the acclamations fit comfortably into it without gear-changing.

      2. Paul

        The Sanctus is not an acclamation as such: it is a hymn. Nor is the Amen, as such.

        The way that rule was written, is smells of a desire to eliminate any music that was not written before the rule was written…..

  2. Karl.. but the Sanctus and the Amen, in the CONTEXT of the Eucharistic Prayer, as one, single, proclamation and prayer of Praise to the Father – they are acclamations.

    One has to understand these texts in their ritual contexts, especially in the reformed liturgy – NOT, how they served art music composers, who composed settings outside of a ritual context.

    1. I think that is too rigid if it’s an exclusive framework, and not one that was adopted by the Council Fathers. It’s certainly an option, but not the only reasonable one.

      Also, plenty of preconciliar composers composed *within* the liturgical context, and the Council took pains to avoid entirely excluding that music from the reformed liturgy. A rigid approach that effectively proscribes such music entirely is not a good working rule from the perspective the conciliar reform.

  3. The guidance here in the UK isn’t that the Eucharistic Acclamations should be based on the same melodic material – which many composers are doing anyway – but that “settings of the Eucharistic Acclamations should offer the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamations and Great Amen as a unified setting”.

    Chris Walker does this rather well in his rewrite of “A Celtic Liturgy” (as he did in the original) where the acclamations don’t use exactly the same melodic material but they are united by their tonality.

    Paul Inwood does this equally well in his “Coventry Acclamtions”: the Amen is harmonically, rather than melodically, connected to the Holy, making the link much more subtle than in some settings around at the moment.

    1. Effectively, because there were no memorial acclamations composed before 1970, that has the perhaps intentional effect of musical amnesia not envisioned by the Council Fathers. If it is read restrictively in that way, it’s not a good rule.

      Even within the compositions of the last 4 decades, the quality within a given composer’s setting can often be highly variable, so that it’s more appropriate to mix-and-match, as it were rather than sticking to the unity of the musical setting, without compromising at all the sense of the anaphora as a unity. The intention of the composers is not dispositive in this regard….

    2. Actually, Nick, the melody of the Amens in my Conventry Acclamations is an almost exact repetition of the three “heaven and earth are full” phrases in the Holy, not to mention the three “Blest is he who comes” phrases, so yes, melodically connected as well as harmonically.

    3. Yes, of course. My point was simply that, because of the change of time signature, the musical connection is more subtle than some other settings. I was, clumsily, being complimentary.

  4. Regardless – these are still acclamations…because they acclaim the prayer that the priest prays in our name…. while the musical genre or approach can differ.. their liturgical function is what is primary, not musical variety, or concerns about any “musical amnesia” as you put it. The Council Fathers, and the liturgical movement that preceded and flowed from the council – was concerned about the Eucharistic Prayer, the great prayer of thanksgiving. This is at the center ofthe context for understanding that they are acclamations…

  5. Karl, you’re fighting a losing battle here, I’m afraid.

    Read Gelineau on the history of Mysterium Fidei and the memorial acclamations in the postconciliar EP. It is quite clear that all these interventions (French for “interpolations”) in the Prayer are considered as acclamations, as indeed are the more numerous examples in some of the EPs for Masses with Children.

    The Order of Mass itself reinforces this. Many Prefaces end “as without end we acclaim” or similar words before the Sanctus. The rubric introducing the Memorial Acclamation runs “And the people continue, acclaiming:” and the rubric introducing the Great Amen says “The people acclaim:”

    They may have different literary forms, but they are all functionally acclamations.

    1. Actually, you are conceding that they are different literary forms. That was my point about the textual forms. There is nothing in the reforming documents that *requires* that they be composed of a piece and *excludes* a mix of compositions for them. On that score, I don’t think I am fighting a losing battle, as it were.

      1. Karl, I’ll bite here in your favor. I think it to be very restrictive to view these only in the ways listed above. Your comment at 12:13 above to David is right on the money. Whether we want to agree or not, I think it is tough to argue to composers like Victoria (a cleric) really didn’t intend that their Sanctus settings weren’t part of the liturgy. Gelineau’s thoughts on the post-conciliar changes are well-known, but not the only “correct” interpretation. A liberal, diverse understanding of the Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, and Amen are the best path forward.

    2. Paul,

      Are we now quoting the Vox Clara translation of the Missal as authoritative? The Latin prefaces almost all end with sine fines dicentes, with only an occasional sin fine clamantes (e.g. the first preface for martyrs or the fifth preface for ordinary time). “Without end we acclaim” seems to vbe a VCism. Moreover, several of the prefaces speak of our joining in the angels’ hymnum (e.g. all the Easter prefaces). The rubric says that the celebrant and people cantans vel clara voce dicens. So if we look at the Latin there is not a lot of “acclaiming” going in connection with the Sanctus.

      You are, however, correct that in connection with the Mysterium fidei the verb acclamat is used.

      I’m not sure a lot can be made of the specific phraseology in either case, but it is good to remember that even when dealing with the new “corrected” translation of the Missal a good principle is caveat lector.

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