Brief Book Review: Mass of Joy and Peace – Tenth Anniversary Edition

Mass of Joy and Peace – Tenth Anniversary Edition
by Tony Alonso

Why does it matter? The implementation of The Roman Missal – Third Edition in 2010 brought about an (over?) abundance of musical settings for the texts of the Mass. While many of these remain less than memorable, several continue to find homes in worshiping communities around the country and world. Even fewer remain a “go to” choice season after season, year after year. Mass for Joy and Peace by Tony Alonso (GIA) is one of those settings. Scored for SAB voices and boasting an easily recognizable melodic hook, Mass for Joy and Peace remains versatile and accessible ten years after its first publication.

Why is this significant? The tenth anniversary edition of Mass of Joy and Peace contains the entirety of the original published edition. What makes this new version incredibly appealing, however, are the additional contents that truly “round out” this setting. Springs of Water, a delightful Sprinkling Rite, uses the same melody as the Gloria and Gospel Acclamation. An additional through-composed Glory to God offers communities another option of the original setting. Similarly, verses for the Gospel Acclamation that utilize the Lectionary texts for every Sunday of the year are also included. These additions make an already useful setting even more practical and accessible.

What intrigued me the most? Perhaps my favorite part of Mass of Joy and Peace Tenth Anniversary Edition is the setting of Eucharistic Prayer II. While I have previously used this particular setting with much success, it was always somewhat burdensome to navigate between the original score and the separate Eucharistic Prayer edition. This new version includes both, making the singing and praying of these prayers even easier. The presider part is not for the faint of heart, but certainly stunning if prayed well!

Kudos. The engraving is clean and legible. Intentional blank pages to facilitate page turns shows consideration for the needs of pastoral musicians.

Next Steps. I hope that GIA will release comprehensive settings of additional Masses in a similar format, giving more options for the sung prayer of the people of God.

Tony Alonso, Mass of Joy and Peace – Tenth Anniversary Edition, GIA Publications, Inc., 2020, 68 pages.

REVIEWER: John T. Kyler

John T. Kyler serves as Liturgy and Music Editor at Liturgical Press in Collegeville, Minnesota. An instructor in the Emmaus Institute for Ministry Formation and a regular contributor to GIA Quarterly, John holds a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Theological Studies from Saint John’s University.

2 comments

  1. Thanks, John. It IS a “go to” choice! It was the second one we learned after the 2010 Missal introduction, and remains in the rotation. A great thanks to Tony for his inspired/inspiring composition, and kudos to GIA for continuing to herald accessible music for the the assembly and the Church.

  2. The repetitions in the “Glory to God” part mean the composer didn’t do a good job. Through-composed, adhering strictly to the text as-written is the only proper way to set the Gloria and other liturgical texts to music. The melody is like a bland lullaby from a children’s cartoon. Far from a “go-to” setting for me, this setting didn’t make the cut because of its textual and musical deficiencies. Yawn and no thank you.

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