Gregorian chant waning

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Interest over time. Web Search. Worldwide, 2004 – present.

Looks like gregorian chant is on the way out. Interestingly it is more popular in the Philippines. There is an annual swell of interest towards the end of the year – maybe in the lead up to Christmas.

Interest over time. Web Search. Worldwide, 2004 – present.

Interest in the Latin Mass seems to follow suit, except popularity peaks in Peru.

Optimists keep speculating about increasing interest in gregorian chant and the Latin Mass, but it might take something more to get that going. What do other minority groups do? Do we need some big event? Some big spectacle? But that’s not really what we’re about.

But maybe Google Trends is not what we should use to measure success.

On the other hand, prayer and the bible have steady popularity, with hotspots in Africa.

Maybe I should go do something else for a while…

P.S. Divine Office looks more promising (and seems to beat Liturgy of the Hours)


Missa Cantata simplicissimo

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12th Sunday after Pentecost – just your average Sunday – or is it?

Have you heard the term “four hymn sandwich”? It’s been bugging me lately. We have a newish Latin Mass community and its still putting down roots. I’ve volunteered to pick hymns and even play the organ (!) for Sunday Mass, but I really miss singing along to the parts of the Mass like we did in the days when we went to Maternal Heart of Mary Church, Lewisham. Now, not everyone knows the parts to sing along. The best way to learn is to have everyone singing them regularly – not just for special occasions. The best way would be to learn the everyday, simpler music first and work your way up to the big occasions.

So, this is the plan: to have a sung Mass once a month. To make booklets to make it easy to follow and CDs to give people a chance to learn the parts at home.

FirstSundaySept.pdf is the booklet.

There are three grades of music to learn.

  1. The Mass responses – Amen and Et cum spiritu tuo.
  2. The Ordinary of the Mass – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Ite Missa Est.
  3. The Propers – Entrance hymn/Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion hymn.

Now the first are pretty easy. The second are a bit more challenging, but you can choose whichever Mass setting you can manage. Mass XVIII is the simplest – intended for the simplest of masses.

The third level, the propers, are very intimidating, but again, you don’t have to use the elaborate chants which set the standard. You can sing the texts to psalm tones.

Rene Goupil is a website with all the propers for all the Sundays and feast days of the year. In pdf and mp3 recordings – even some with videos! They give the standard elaborate chants along with a simplified version from a book called Chants Abreges. They also give an extremely simplified version – all the texts sung to the one psalm tone – typed up on 4 pages ready to sing. It’s all spelled out, even the Gloria Patri.

The booklet I’ve put together has the Mass responses, ordinaries from Mass XI, Credo I and Mass XVIII, propers to the psalm tone matching the settings in the Liber Usualis, except for the Gradual and Alleluia which I’ve typed up from the Chants Abreges. I’ve put in the readings too, thanks to the Mass Propers available from Maternal Heart of Mary Traditional Latin Mass Community.

Next is to patch together a CD. I’ve already mentioned the mp3s available through Rene Goupil. The Ordinaries are available at the site Antoine Daniel Mass Ordinaries. You can see the full collection at

Until then, hope you enjoy the booklet – 16 pages a5.

Next installment (with CD tracks) To prepare for a simple sung Mass.