Mass Settings

I've always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments. (John Barrowman, actor, author)
Mass setting refers to the music composed for 
the Ordinary of the Eucharist, or the Order of MassThese are the parts of the Liturgy that are reasonably constant without regard to the season or date, and that don't change.
 
At first, these parts were chanted in unison, as they often still are today. But during the Middle Ages, composers began adding harmony. The Renaissance introduced the first "settings" with all the parts linked together using cohesive musical themes. The scale of these settings continued to grow through the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, as more solos and bigger instrumentation were added; developing a distinction between "concert masses" and those actually intended for liturgical use.

Since the Second Vatican Council, the movement for liturgical reform has resulted in many new Mass settings of a more functional nature being composed, using a variety of popular and ethnic styles to encourage congregational involvement.
 
Scroll down to learn more about the Mass settings we use at Immaculate Heart of Mary...
Explore the historical and scriptural background of the texts of the Ordinary as an opportunity to sing our parts of the Mass with renewed vigor...


Mass of Renewal

posted Nov 20, 2015, 12:35 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 12:36 PM ]

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. (Romans 12:2)
This is Curtis Stephan's inspiration for this setting, that we sing during Ordinary Time. Arranged for SAB choir with accompaniments easily accessible for organ or guitar, the Mass parts are connected by a triumphant, ascending main theme. He describes his motivation for composing this: “We have the beautiful opportunity to rediscover what it is that we proclaim and celebrate every time at Mass. I pray that this particular 'renewal of [our] minds' can truly transform us into the body of Christ.”
 
Curtis Stephan began playing piano at age five. But in college, he began to write music as a release. "Every day was a battle to see purpose in my life, to really believe that there was hope – that God had something in store for me that was meaningful and exciting," the singer-songwriter related. "So I ended up sitting at the piano and pouring my heart out through music. It has always been the best way to understand and express my emotions." After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music and master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of Northern Texas, he answered the call to be a Youth Music Minister at St. Ann's Church in Coppell, Texas, a parish with 18,000 members. "I felt like that was what I was supposed to be doing. I really want to promote a message of hope for people with my music," he says.

Missa Emmanuel

posted Nov 20, 2015, 12:31 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 12:32 PM ]

Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting. (Henri Nouwen, Dutch Catholic priest and author)
While we wait during Advent, we learn Missa Emmanuel. Designed for “instant” participation, this folk-chant setting by Richard Proulx is an adaptation of the popular chant
VENI, VENI, EMMANUEL. 

Richard Proulx was an American composer and editor of church music, who had a long association with Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral. When he created Missa Emmanuel in 2002, he noted that its simplicity and familiarity became useful “in order to provide maximum opportunities for the congregation to clearly hear its own voice.”

The chant, 
VENI, VENI, EMMANUEL, originated as a processional in a 15th century community of French Franciscan nuns living in Lisbon, Portugal. In the 19th century, Anglican priest John Mason Neale translated a collection of seven Roman Catholic Antiphons from the 9th century known as “The Great O's” for their opening invocation. (One antiphon per day is chanted for the last seven days of Advent, and each one, beginning with the interjection “O”, greets the Savior as one of the different biblical prophecies He fulfills.) He set his English translation to this chant, which has become Advent’s most popular hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Mass of Charity & Love

posted Aug 27, 2015, 4:04 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Aug 27, 2015, 4:04 PM ]

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart... (Pablo Casals, cellist, conductor)
Steven C. Warner joined the Campus Ministry staff at the University of Notre Dame in 1979. He explains his inspiration for composing this Mass setting...

"Every Wednesday for nearly twenty years, I've had the privilege of leading the priests of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in their evening community Mass. Early in the Lenten season last year, we sang, unaccompanied, the beautiful Benoit hymn Where Charity and Love Prevail. It was during the singing of this hymn, surrounded by the sound of all the men's strong voices, that I began to hear other texts simply flowing from those four simple phrases: the Kyrie, the Holy, and the Lamb of God."


At its heart, the noble integrity of Dom Paul Benoit's tune makes this simple setting perfect for the more restrained season of Lent. Arranged for unison choir with occasional descant, it can be performed unaccompanied, or with guitar or keyboard. 

Mass of Creation

posted Aug 27, 2015, 3:54 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 12:19 PM ]

The next few decades will determine whether we will pass on a planet to future generations (and indeed to all life) that is sustainable and life-giving or a planet devastated and dying. This may be the single most important issue facing us today. (Marty Haugen, composer)
When Marty Haugen became the music director of a suburban church outside St. Paul, MN, the parish had a well-developed music program including a large choir; a guitar ensemble; a children’s choir; a handbell choir; and two organists. But each of these groups was using whichever Mass setting suited their needs and instrumentation best. He quickly realized that if a parishioner attended a different weekend liturgy than usual, they might not be able to participate in much of the music, including such critical pieces as the Eucharistic Acclamations or the Lamb of God.

So he composed the 
Mass of Creation to provide a mass setting that could be used for all the groups of his parish. He and its publisher, GIA, believe it became so successful because it was one of the first to fulfill a need common to many parishes: a single mass setting that could be used by different ensembles with various instrumentation.  And due to its popularity, Tony Alonzo has even adapted a bilingual setting of it.

For its 25th anniversary, Marty said the “Mass of Creation, written for a very specific community with its own gifts and its own quirks… has surprised and delighted me by taking on a larger life for so many other communities—as my children have surprised and delighted me by their accomplishments as they have moved from childhood to adulthood. While there are those who may not like or use the setting for various reasons, it has become a staple in parishes in the United States and other parts of the world, in no small part due to the fact that it crosses lines of musical style. In the end, a musical setting is nothing more than a frame for the words that we offer—in thanksgiving, praise, petition, and hope.” This parish sings it during the Christmas season.

Chants

posted Aug 27, 2015, 2:55 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Sep 6, 2015, 12:51 PM ]

To chant is the most sublime and exalted activity in this world. (Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
“All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy…  It should be borne in mind that the primary purpose of the translation of the texts is not with a view to meditation, but rather that they be proclaimed or sung during an actual celebration.  Language should be used that is accommodated to the faithful of the region.”
(General Instruction of the Roman Missal)
 
The musical settings of liturgical texts in the Roman Missal Third Edition were prepared by the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

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Kyrie Eleison Download Watch 
Gloria Download Watch 
Preface Dialogue Download Watch 
Sanctus Download Watch 
Memorial Acclamation Download Watch 
Agnus Dei Download Watch 
The Concluding Rites Download Watch 
Dismissal Download Watch 
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Preparation for Mass

posted Aug 27, 2015, 2:55 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Sep 6, 2015, 12:51 PM ]

Almighty eternal God, behold, I come to the Sacrament of your Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as one sick to the physician of life, as one unclean to the fountain of mercy, as one blind to the light of eternal brightness, as one poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. I ask, therefore, for the abundance of your immense generosity, that you may graciously cure my sickness, wash away my defilement, give light to my blindness, enrich my poverty, clothe my nakedness, so that I may receive the bread of Angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, such contrition and devotion, such purity and faith, such purpose and intention as are conducive to the salvation of my soul. Grant, I pray, that I may receive not only the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood, but also the reality and power of that Sacrament. O most gentle God, grant that I may so receive the Body of your Only Begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, which he took from the Virgin Mary, that I may be made worthy to be incorporated into his Mystical Body and to be counted among its members. O most loving Father, grant that I may at last gaze for ever upon the unveiled face of your beloved Son, whom I, a wayfarer, propose to receive now veiled under these species: Who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

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