Texts and music of Masses for Sundays, Feast-days and for the Dead, texts of Ordinaries, etc.
Complete texts and music for Sunday and Feast-day Masses, texts of Ordinaries, Eucharistic Prayers, etc., plus Masses for the Dead. References are given for the Readings, 1990.
The Gregorian Missal is intended for the faithful who participate in Mass sung in Gregorian chant. It is useful both for choirs and for the people in general, since the proper chants of the Gregorian repertory, as presented in the post-Vatican II edition of the Roman Gradual approved by Pope Paul VI, do not, as a rule, correspond to the song texts proposed in the present-day Roman Missal.
Vatican II declared: The musical tradition of the universalChurch is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than thatof any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that,as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integralpart of the solemn liturgy. (Constitution on the SacredLiturgy, n° 112). In addition, the Church acknowledgesGregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy; therefore,other things being equal, it should be given pride of place inliturgical services. (ibid, n° 116). And thus, to ensurethe preservation and careful fostering of this treasureof sacred music (ibid, n° I4), the collection of Gregorianmelodies for Mass was renovated by the Ordo Cantus Missoe of lune24, 1972, and made available for use by publication of the new,above mentioned, Graduale Romanum, (Solesmes, 1974), in orderto promote full, conscious and active participation of thefaithful. (Ibid, n° I4).
This Graduale Romanum, which our present Gregorian Missal follows,re-distributes the chants in accordance with the renewed liturgicalcycle and in order to accompany the new lectionary with its widechoice of readings. Furthermore, it enriches the Gregorian repertoryitself, since it puts back into circulation certain authenticpieces which were not used for centuries while setting aside manyinauthentic neo-Gregorian compositions of the 19th or early 20thcenturies.
The Gregorian Missal contains the Latin and English texts forthe complete celebration of Mass, with masses for all Sundaysand solemnities and for those feasts which take precedence overa Sunday. In order to limit the size of this volume, it was necessaryto omit the text of the readings. Only the references have beengiven.
All chant melodies - both for the Ordinary of Mass and forthe Propers - are presented in the traditional square Gregoriannotation with the added rhythmical signs.
Alongside the Latin prayers, in a second column, have beenplaced the corresponding texts of the official liturgical translationfor English speaking countries. These were created for the needsof the vernacular liturgy and they are printed here in conformitywith official directives, even though they do not always constitutea literal, word for word rendering of the Latin. The notatedGregorian chant pieces proper to each Mass, are generally followedby our own translation, printed across the full width of the page. Its only function is to facilitate comprehension of thesung Latin text, and it is in no way intended for use in the Liturgy.
The Introits and Communion antiphons of each Mass, as wellas the Offertory chants and other antiphons, are refrains meantto be alternated with sung verses taken, generally, from a psalm. Except for the Introit, these verses have not been indicatedsince they concern only the cantors.
The mode of execution for the various chants is definedin the course of the celebration of Mass. A distinction is madebetween the choir (which can eventually be divided in two) andone or several cantors. The choir consists either of a scholaor of all the people, according to the nature of each particularpiece and the capacities of the singers. And, in the words ofVatican II, it is important to take steps so that the faithfulmay also be able to say or sing together in Latin those partsof the Ordinary of Mass which pertain to them. (ibid, n°54).