This conference has been postponed.

A Workshop in English Chant in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal
Saint Mary’s Church
939 Charlotte
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49048

Is the music at your parish the best it can be? The promulgation of the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal can mean dramatic change for a parish music program. It can be a new beginning. Whatever the status quo in your parish, the future can be one in which the music is intimately connected to the liturgy. To make that possible, the celebrant, the people, and the schola must discover how to “sing a new song.”

In practice this means a shift away from singing only hymns and common Mass parts. Instead, chanting the propers of the Mass can take on a primary role. This is the new emphasis of many Church officials and a great hope of those who have labored so hard for this new and beautiful translation. The normative ideal is Gregorian chant, as the Second Vatican Council said, but an excellent step is to sing chant in English.

Chant in English was something that began to make headway in the early 1960s in the Catholic world but was then swept away with the experimentation of the late 1960s. Today, there is new enthusiasm for English chant such as we find in the new translation of the Missal. Many composers are hard at work writing English settings.

This one-day event will be the first in our times that seriously focuses on English chant as part of a broad transition in parish life. We’ll concentrate on the Missal chants, including seasonal chants, learning them as a foundation of parish life. Among these will be the Creed and the Our Father, with the new settings as found in the new Missal.

We will also cover new approaches to singing the propers of the Mass in English, starting with the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion chants. We will also take a new look at the Psalm singing between the readings, with approaches that will make them more beautiful and solemn.

The workshop will be practical, showing how every parish can have beautiful music that is part of ritual – an approach that will revivify parish life with a new love of solemnity and tradition. The presenters will also show you how to make all this happen without spending vast amounts of money on resources or new staff. The goal is to provide an upgrade in the music program of your parish, to coincide with the release of the new translation in Advent 2011.

Singing the Mass is a great way for the congregation and the schola to learn the new text. And if the new Missal can be presented in a liturgical framework that emphasizes prayer and solemnity, the Missal is more likely to be learned and embraced by this generation of Catholics, who can grow to know and love it more readily.

Who is this for?

  • Existing singers in Catholic parishes
  • People who have never sung in Catholic parishes but have an interest in the issue
  • Priests who worry about Missal implementation
  • Music professionals who want to learn about the Roman Rite
  • Directors of religious education who have some liturgical responsibilities
  • Deacons who need to understand singing as part of liturgy
  • Laypeople interested in the new translation and its role in Catholic life

The Workshop will begin at 9AM with registrations, and the participants will sing at the 4.15 anticipated Sunday Mass. Lunch will be provided at no cost (but donations accepted).

“The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”—Sacrosanctum Concilium; #116; Vatican Council II.

Jeffrey Tucker is polyphony director of the St. Cecilia Schola Cantorum in Auburn, Alabama, and managing editor of Sacred Music. Arlene Oost-Zinner is the chant director of the St. Cecilia Schola and a faculty member of the Sacred Music Colloquium sponsored by the Church Music Association of America.

10:00-10;30 Introduction
10:30-11:45 Missal Chants
12:00 Lunch is provided
1:00-2:00 Introduction to the Propers
2:00-3:00 Learning the Propers
4:30 Mass