Behind the Scenes at the LMS Pilgrimage to West Grinstead

The Schola

The Team

The Celebrant

The Thurifer

The rest of the photos are HERE on Flickr


Music for 6th Sunday in Easter A

‘Two become One”  A confessional booth in Ronda, Spain
Hymns for the 6th Sunday in Easter  ‘mutual enrichment’ style:
The Introit is Vocem Iucunditatis
Spread the news with a voice of joy; let it be heard, alleluia speak it out to the very ends of the earth; the Lord has liberated his people. alleluia! alleluia!
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
Praise the Lord Ye heavens adore Him
Praise my soul the King of Heaven
All People that on earth do dwell
The Offertory is Benedicte Gentes
O nations bless the Lord our God, let the voices of his praises resound, he has restored my soul to life and he has not suffered my feet to stumble, blessed be the Lord who has neither rejected my prayer nor turned his mercy away from me alleluia.
O all ye nations, praise the Lord
Bless the Lord, my soul (Taize)
O Bless the Lord
God of mercy and compassion
I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you again, alleluia, and your heart will rejoice, alleluia.

Thematic Hymns for 6th Sunday in Easter: ‘God’s love for Us’

Love, divine, all loves excelling
Blest are the pure in Heart
God be in my head and in my understanding
Praise to the holiest in the height
God is Love, is the care
Love is his word, love is his way
The King of Love my Shepherd is
Praise my soul the King of Heaven
The Lord’s My Shepherd
Come Down O Love Divine
Breathe on Me O Breathe of God
Now the green blade riseth
O Praise Ye the Lord
This is my body, broken for you

Don’t forget it’s the last Sunday in May so how about a Marian Hymn for the Recessional

And if you have a CD of 1980s Responsorial Psalm settings at home, then you’ll probably like these:

Unless a grain of Wheat.
All you nations sing your joy.
YH, I know you are near.
Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust.  REMEMBER THAT ONE?!!!

Singing the New translation of the Roman Missal PT1

Reasons why the new translation of the Roman Missal will be a glorious thing:-

My favourite, so far, of the new Gloria’s is Jeffrey Ostrowski’s:
Closer to home, Marty Haugen has written a Mass Setting called the ‘Storrington Mass‘.  Sadly, due to parish commitments I most probably won’t get the opportunity to pop over to Storrington to see whether their parishioners will be singing said Mass. However, I do know that conveniently there are parts available for a variety of instruments to accompany this Mass, presumably this is too encourage the congregation to bring their own instruments along. These include brass quartet, timpani, flute, oboe and handbells. I wonder if you can play the setting on any old handbell or they need to be tonal. Unfortunately, it is ranked as ‘DIFFICULTY LEVEL: E’ which sounds terribly high (not actually sure what the scale goes up to but lets asssume it is F) so I think it might be too tricky for our parish. Not sure either if we have any spare timpani knocking around.

Mother Riccarda has a Brighton Bus

She may not quite be a saint yet, or have a memorial, but she does have a bus. I was crossing the road on Saturday and spotted this:-

Last year on 5 July, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed Mother Riccarda, who was baptised at our parish, “venerable”  in a ceremony at the Vatican. She may not have been beatified yet but in Brighton, it is the greatest accolade to have your name emblazoned on one of the buses. People still alive are on single buses and the dead on double-deckers.  Mother Riccarda is number 411 just after the Prince Regent’s bather Martha Gunn.

More on the bus-can be found HERE

Jacques and his incredible Gregorian Book database

The photo is of my grandfather’s Liber Usualis from 1904 that I have recently been given.

I met Jacques on the course with Dom Yves-Marie at St James’s, Spanish Place.  He has sent me a link to his web page which lists all the Gregorian book references he finds from the Internet and beyond.

Arranged chronologically, it is an incredibly thorough database not just of key book publications but includes encyclicals and Motu Proprios, as well as French and English history.  Jacques says he started this list “because all these events are important to understand the life of the Church.”  He also says he decided to start this database after attending the chant course at Portsmouth Cathedral run by Chris Hodkinson ” to first fix in my head all the books they were talking about at the workshop…. books that I had never heard before!”

Have a look. It is quite brilliant.  I particularly love the fact that he has shopping links. He will actually tell you whether a particular edition is available somewhere online. Genius. Update: The shopping list is compulsive. I have just spent £45 at, the self-publishing site. If you put in the voucher code BOOK355, you get 20% off any purchases. 

If you are book buying and looking for a discount, another very useful site is All the latest voucher code discounts for most online stores. Works in UK as well as in the USA

Fifth Sunday of Easter (A) – Some ‘Canticum novum’ music suggestions

Hymns for 5th Sunday in Easter (A)

This Sunday we are all singing mainly from the same hymn sheet. “Pourquoi?” Je vous entends crier. “Surely the bishops of England and Wales can’t have imposed a policy of mutual enrichment that quickly?”   Indeed they have not. However, this Sunday, the Extraordinary and the Ordinary Form share virtually the same propers, with the exception of the Communion proper, and it is astounding how rarely that actually happens.

So this might be an ideal time to think about how the texts of the propers can ‘mutually enrichment’ the hymns or music that you choose for this Sunday’s Mass. Remember there might be an ‘ideal’ when it comes to singing the music of or at Mass but if you are singing every Sunday, you also have to be practical. Only do what you can manage. It is better to sing something simple well than to sing something difficult badly.

The theme for 5th Sunday of Easter in the Ordinary form are the words of Jesus, “I am  the way, the truth and the light.” which in the Laudate hymn book is conveniently indexed in the ‘Trust/Hope/Guidance” section – sadly when you see the hymns listed in this section it reads like a roll-call of music from one of my 1980s school Masses. I can picture Mr Lewis with his 12-string guitar as I type this.

Thematic Processional hymns :

Be thou my vision

Christ is made the sure foundation

Christ is the world’s light

Good Christian men rejoice and sing

Be thou my vision or Lord of all hopefulness. Don’t choose both of these hymns as I once did. They both have the same tune.

Christ the Lord is risen today.

Opening music mutual enrichment style:

At St Ms we have dropped the opening hymn during the Easter Season and we are singing the Vidi Aquam (during the sprinking rite) followed by the Introit which this week is Cantáte Domino. If you have never sung Gregorian chant I would not recommend starting with an Introit this Sunday from the Graduale Romanum. Gregorian Chant might be the ideal and when sung well it is sublime (I still have a long way to go to put myself in the category)  but when sung badly it is the last thing that will aid devotion. You do not want to send the congregation dashing back to the folk Mass in the neighbouring parish.  If you are not up to the Graduale standard yet, I would recommend singing a simplified form of the Introit text. In the Graduale Simplex. on P.172 there is a simplified version of the Cantate Domino Antiphon with the Psalm 97 verses set to  Mode VII. There are also Adam Bartlett’s Simple English Propers which are very good.  If you are the guitar player at your Mass and your priest is your number one fan, then I would suggest Daniel Schutte’s ‘Sing a new song unto the Lord.’ It might be folky but at least you are getting closer to singing the correct text.

Other ‘sing to the Lord’ hymns but not necessarily proclaiming ‘canticum novum’ are:

Sing of Christ, proclaim his glory – Beethoven’s Ode to Joy

Sing all creation , sing to God in gladness – French 18th century hymn

Responsorial Psalm:

Instead of singing the RP this week, how about a simplifed version of the Graduale Romanum lesser Alleluia? This replaces the Gradual in Easter time.   There is one HERE on Rene Goupil.


In both EF and OF the offertory proper is Jubilate Deo universae terra. There is an option in the Graduale Simplex on P.175 for the Jubilate Deo antiphon with Psalm 46. You could even sing the Taize chant ‘Jubilate Deo’  which is fun to sing as a round.


The Communion Propers vary in the rites. The option for year A in the OF is Tanto témpore  which is quite long for a Communion proper.  In my experience the Communion Proper is always the chant that gets practised the least, and in the OF often gets dropped just before Mass because we have not had time to rehearse it. During Communion is a great time to sing an appropriate office hymn. The last couple of Sunday’s we have sung ‘Ad cenam Agni providi’  the Vespers hymn up to Ascension Day. It is very beautiful and like many Office hymns, seems to sing itself. If you feel your Latin is not there yet then you could always sing ‘At the Lamb’s High Feast’ instead.

Here is a recording of Ad cenam Agni providi. Dom Ives Marie  would not approve of the huge gaps at the quarter-bar lines.


Marian Hymns for May – Salve Mater Misericórdiae

On the 28th May at the LMS pilgrimage to Our Lady at West Grinstead as a Recessional hymn we will be singing the Salve Mater the great 11th century Marian hymn in Mode V.  I am hoping this hymn will be on the Mass sheets so everyone can join it.

Salve mater misericórdiae, Mater Dei, et mater véniae, 

Mater spei, et mater gratiae. Mater plena sanctae laetitie, O Maria!

Hail, mother of mercy, Mother of God, and Mother of pardon, Mother of hope, and Mother of grace, Mother full of holy joy, O Mary!

A rather polished recording with tons of reverb.

I rather like this recording – it’s those Spanish monks. More gusto

The score in square notation

The score in modern notation

If you know anymore about the history of this hymn then drop me a comment.

28th May LMS Pilgrimage to West Grinstead

LMS Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead in honour of Our Lady is 28th May.

Schola Scholastica, my new female voice schola are singing for the Mass.

The Mass is Our Lady’s Saturday in Paschaltide.

The details are on the Arundel and Brighton LMS website HERE

Music for all the Propers HERE

Joseph Shaw has uploaded his recordings of all the Propers to Gloria TV:

Video of Introit HERE

Video of Alleluias HERE

Video of Offertory Beata est Virga HERE

Offertory Motet SSA   Ave Maris Stella – Greig;  Score on Choral Wiki HERE

Video of Communion Unde Huic HERE

Bloggers gagged on Universae Ecclesiae

A new instruction on Summorum Pontificum is released and no can talk about it.  Why?  Because Blogger is well ++ggered.

Head to the Catholic Herald for a commentary on Universae Eccesiae or leap over the pond to Fr Z’s blog where he has recorded a podcast. Meanwhile the  virtual world of clerical collars remains in deafening silence.

It is Friday 13th after all…

UPDATE:  I’ve decided that the Google Blogger Outage today is of far more interest than the Summorum Pontificum instruction. In a week when Google have announced the importance of the future of ‘cloud-computing’ as they launch their ‘Chromebook‘ suddenly a huge online service has crashed locking users out of the account and leaving blogs in read-only mode. For the number two brand in the world, this is a major, major disaster. What is particularly worrying is if this were to happen to one of Google’s other key services like Documents or Mail. As soon as users begin to doubt the reliability of  a particular platform and start considering backing up their content somewhere else the brand is doomed. Google’s previously untarnished image is starting to crack.