Liturgical music projects looking for composers?

Many of the texts of the sacraments are not yet set to music. The appendix to the rite of infant baptism has sets of acclamations, hymns, and troparia that have received scant attention from composers. Confirmation and marriage have introits and communions that remain unset, not to mention offertories based on those in the gradualia. Candidacy and the ordinations of deacons, presbyters, and bishops have unset ritual texts, as do the institutions to reader and acolyte. The dedications of churches and altars are similarly neglected. And then there are the yet-to-be realized opportunities for songs of praise after communion, to be sung by all, of course.

Can others suggest other unmet musical needs?


  1. Won’t a good majority of these texts be revised as the rest of the Roman Ritual is translated according to LA?

    1. Translated by whom? Hasn’t ICEL been told to stop translating things?

      (And even if they do, won’t the Faceless Men of Vox Clara just change it all – again?)

  2. Many of the Latin texts of the reformed liturgical books are also not set to chant/music. Since we await new English translations of these, according to the norms of Liturgiam authenticam, by the relevant and competent Church authorities, perhaps talented composers can work on the Latin texts first. There is, afterall, a revival of Latin chant in many parts of the Church, and it would be excellent if these new texts can also be clothed in beautiful music.

    1. I’d be curious to know which Latin texts of the OF you are referring to.

      In relation to what Paul is saying, I think it is a great idea. It is indeed a challenge when one would like to utilize the music as outlined in the rituals, but there is no vernacular equivalent. While it is true that many of the existing texts will need to be retranslated, the timeline on them is unknown. That shouldn’t prevent people from trying to fill the musical void that exists.

      1. Maybe I’m not understanding your question correctly. I’m refering to the Latin antiphons and responsories in the Latin texts, such as in Liturgia horarum and others, e.g. printed in the Ordo paenitentiae n 48.

  3. Some of these texts were set in ICEL’s 1981 Resource Collection. Very few of these pieces found their way into mainstream hymnals or annual resources.

    The litany of the sick in the pastoral care rites.

    I have yet to see a good setting of the litany for a funeral vigil. I’d like to see more settings of the psalms in OCF 347.

  4. Great suggestions, Todd. I lament that the ICEL 1981 settings, many by Brother Howard Hughes, haven’t gotten greater use.

    Yes, Simon, but we need musical settings of the vernacular texts more than of the Latin.

    ICEL is still in business, Chris, but VERY busy. I believe that they are working on the second edition of the Liturgy of the Hours.

    Sean, I have compared many of the texts I am talking about with their Latin originals and I don’t think they will need any revisions, à la LA.

  5. How about through-composed settings of the official texts of the Magnificat, Benedictus and Nunc Dimitis for the Liturgy of the Hours so that the whole canticle can be sung by all present rather than sung by alternating sides?

    I know some settings already exist but getting them into more of the hymnals/music resource books along with the paraphrased settings could be a help.

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