Pick a tune, any tune


Earlier this year I wrote a Hymn to St Mary of the Cross. I posted sheet music, setting it to the tune of Rockingham – a slowish tune in 3/4 time that was pretty and new to me.

I wrote the hymn in Long Meter to open up a wide range of tunes. By no means do I want to limit choirs to singing to one tune. But usually each hymn ends up getting stuck to a particular tune, which is handy when you go to sing something with a bunch of other people.

So I hand it over to you. I’ve picked a handful of tunes and recorded them – just me singing the melody.

Ave Vera Virginitas by Josquin de Pres.

Conditor Alme really old tune from the Divine Office for Advent – A treasury of Catholic Song (number 7) and Old Westminster Hymnal (number 2).

O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf German tune 17th century found in Around the Church’s Year by Maria Augusta Trapp.

Old Hundredth from the Presbyterian arrangements of the psalms into hymns.

Rockingham Melody adapted by Edward Miller (1731-1807) commonly sung to When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts.

a tune from Speier Gesangbuch found in the Old Westminster Hymnal (number 30).

Please pass this post on to anyone you can think of. And add comments if you have any other favourite tunes. There are so many Long Meter tunes out there! Even more if you add in Long Meter with Alleluias – like we sing for Bring, all ye dear bought nations, bring.

Then if we can settle on a tune I can do up some sheet music and try for a proper recording that might actually be pleasant to listen to.

First draft for next Sung Mass

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Plans are shaping up already for the next sung Mass at Mulgoa. The date is 9th October, the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.

I’m sticking with the same ordinary parts as before. The new propers I’ve just recorded tonight. This is not the interpretation of an expert – My background is in listening to the music at the Maternal Heart Church for a few years (1998-2007 roughly). I welcome feedback and any offers of recordings.

There’s a geek rule that says release early, release often. My main motive for getting these out so early is a week off next week and budding interest from unexpected sources.

First the draft booklet here: OctobersSungMass

Next the propers:


Gradual The Gradual and Alleluia are taken from the Liber Brevior – they put the text to psalm tones, except they keep the original “Alleluia”.

Alleluia This may seem very complex, but it gets easier with familiarity – believe me, I had to go over this many times for the recording! Most Masses the Rene Goupil site has very good recordings from the Monks of Solesmes, but not 17th Sunday After Pentecost. They do have a simplified tune for the Alleluia from Chantes Abreges. We did these last time but they were unfamiliar so harder to get a hold on.



Lastly, the extra communion hymn is Jesu dulcis memoria – this is just a random pick on my part. Last month’s Adoro te devote was great.

For responses and ordinaries see the earlier post To prepare for a simple sung Mass. Kyrie and Gloria from Mass 11, Credo 1, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from Mass 18.

You’re all set, you got your booklet, you got your recordings, listen, read, sing!

To prepare for a simple Sung Mass


It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

I miss singing the parts of the Mass.

Most of the information out there on how to learn to sing a Missa Cantata is aimed at established choirs. We don’t have a full time choir – I play the organ to accompany hymns for our usual Sunday Low Mass. Most of our regulars are young families without time for choir practice – also we live miles apart. In the past we’ve had a wonderful choirmaster come and sing the parts of the Mass solo, but that’s understandably a lot of work for one person and underappreciated when the people in the pews don’t know enough to join in.

So here’s the plan. Teach everybody in the congregation to sing. Aim for the stars, land in the clouds. Yesterday I handed out CDs and booklets after Mass for people to listen to. It was mostly rough recordings, but I did add some tracks from Music for the Liturgy.org taken from recordings from Solesmes at the end to give something easy to listen to. In case it helps, here are the rough recordings.

Music for the twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
responses – you need to know these ones
ordinary – I would really like you to know these ones
proper – if you could manage these ones too that would be great
00intro – talk, no singing

01Asperges – part of the ordinary of the Mass

02introit – part of the proper of the Mass – this is not the prescribed chant but the psalm tone of the same mode. It doesn’t match the psalm tones provided on the Rene Goupil.org site just in case you were looking for recordings to match their very well thought out score.

03kyrie11 – ordinary

04gloria – ordinary

05collect – responses

The next two tracks came from Rene Goupil.org and I won’t replicate them here. They were the chants abreges versions of the Gradual and the Alleluia for the day.
08Gospel – responses

09Credo1 – ordinary

10Offertory – proper

11prepref – responses

12sanctus18 – ordinary – ideally this would be the Sanctus from Mass 11, but to keep things simple I’ve picked setting from Mass 18. This is okay.

13pater – responses

14agnusdei – ordinary

15communion – proper – I love this one.

16itemissaest – ordinary

The booklets have been updated a little from the past blog post. Today’s link will give you the exact booklet I handed out yesterday. The booklet for the actual Mass will probably be a little different again. I’d like to add Adoro (te) devote as a communion hymn and some recessional.

There are some mistakes in the recordings, but I’ll leave them as is – you can see I’m not the expert, just this wife and mother. I’m hoping to get a male cantor at least for the ordinaries. I haven’t come across any rulings that females can’t lead the singing, but it still seems rather odd to me – odd to here a female voice start off the Kyrie and so on. We are blessed to have a priest who can sing very well, so there’s no worry on that part. All in all it should be a good day. Hopefully everyone will embrace it and we can make it a regular thing.

Next How the Sung Mass Went