Thursday, August 04, 2011

New chant resources

I have been busy updating the blog of the Schola Abelis: we now have ten 'pages', accessible from the labels at the top, on what we sing and why, the history of the schola and of the chant. In particular we have picked out a selection of videos of our singing, to give people an indication of what we are like. If you like them, you can even make a donation to the Schola.

I have also put up a new resource for Scholas singing at the Traditional Mass: a guide to the Mass, explaining exactly when to sing what, what cues to look out for from the sanctuary to indicate you are running out of time and so on.
I know this is a puzzle for singers not used to the Extraordinary Form; those used to it develop an instinct, but it can be hard to put it all down in black and white. When is the priest ready to be given the opening notes of the Creed, for example? When he has returned from the pulpit, got his maniple back on, and is at the centre of the altar facing east - not before, and not after! When do you start the Agnus Dei? After the Pater Noster, when at the end of short sung dialogue the choir and congregation sing 'Et cum spiritu tuo'. Not before, not after.

It was surprisingly complicated to put all this into writing, and many people helped me - the mistakes, which I look forward to correcting, are unfortunately my own. I hope it will be some use to ordinary parish choirs, who are increasingly asked to accompany EF Masses on special occasions, funerals and so on. On one occasion I was at such a Mass and the choir failed to sing the Agnus Dei at all. Here's the Agnus Dei video.

Please let me know in the comments where the Guide can be improved.


  1. Eriugena11:51 am

    Guidelines, perhaps, rather than guidlines...

  2. Anonymous12:21 pm

    Where is the typo?