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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/23

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THE CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA


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Mass, Music op the. — Under this heading will be considered exclusively the texts of the Mass (and not, therefore, the Asperges, Vidi aquam. Litanies, Prophe- cies, etc., which in the Roman Missal are found more or less closely associated with the Mass in certain seasons of the Church Year), which receive a musical treatment. These texts comprise those which are sung (that is, recited in musical monotone with occa- sional cadences or inflections) by the celebrant and the sacred ministers (who will be referred to as priest, deacon, and sub-deacon) and which are styled "Ac- centus " ; and those which are assigned to the choir and which are styled "Concentus". For the sake of con- venience of reference the Concentus may be divided into the following classes: first, those which are found in the section of the Roman Missal under the heading "Ordinarium Missae " (namely, the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei) and which will be briefly referred to as the Ordinary; second, those texts which are found under the headings "Proprium de Tempore", "Proprium Sanctorum", "Commune Sanctorum" (namely, Introit, Gradual, Alleluia- Verse, Sequence, Tract, Offertory, Communion) and which will be referred to briefly as the Proper, a ser- viceable but ambiguous term frequently used to describe these texts.

The "Graduale Romanum" (together with the Missal) provides plain-song melodies for all the texts styled Accentus or Concentus. The Accentus must be plain-song, and must be that plain-song which is found in the present typical edition, styled the Vati- can Edition, of the " Roman Gradual ". The Concen- tus, if sung to plain-song melodies, must also be in the approved form found in the Vatican Edition of the "Gradual"; but these texts may employ "modern" (as opposed to " medieval") music, provided the musi- cal treatment is in every way appropriate as indicated in the ' ■ Instruction on Sacred Music ' ' , commonlj^ styled the "Motu Proprio", issued bv Pius X on the Feast of St. Cecilia, Patron of Church'Music (22 Nov., 1903). This "modern" or "figured" music is customarily styled in Church decrees simply miisica, and the plain chant or plain-song is styled canlus (chant). The serviceable distinction will be employed throughout this article: chant, chanting, chanted, will refer to plain-song melodies; music, musical, to figured music.

I. Accentus. — These chants should never be ac- companied by the organ or any other instrument. The priest intones the Gloria (Gloria in excelsis Deo) and the Credo (Credo in unum Deum). The choir must not repeat these words of the intonation, but must be- gin with Et in terra pax, etc., and Patrem omnipo- tentem, etc., respectively. The priest also sings the Collects and post-Communions and the Dominus vobiscum and Oremus preceding them. Amen is sung by the choir at the end of these prayers, as also after the Per omnia saecula sa;culorum preceding the Preface, the Pater noster and the Pax Domini . . . vobiscum. The choir responds with Et cum spiritu X.— 1


tuo to the Dominus vobiscum preceding the prayers, the Gospel, and the Preface. Both of these choir re- sponses vary from the usual monotone when occurring before the Preface; and the Amen receives an upward inflection before the Pax Domini, etc. Indeed, the Dominus vobiscum and its response vary in melody for all the three forms of the Preface (the Tonus Solemnis, the Tonus Ferialis, the Tonus Solemnior found in the "CantusMissalisRomani"),asdoalsothe chants and responses of the Sursum corda, etc., pre- ceding the Preface. It would be highly desirable that choirs be well practised in these special "tones" since exact correspondence with the form used by the priest is not only of lesthetic but of practical value; for any deviation from one of the "tones" into another may easily lead the priest astray and produce a lamentable confusion of forms which ought to be kept distinct.

At the end of the priest's chant of the Pater noster the choir responds with Sed libera nos a malo. The sub-deacon chants the Epistle, the deacon the Gospel. The respective responses (Deo Gratias and Laus tibi Christe) are merely to be said by the ministers of the Mass, and are not to be sung or recited by the choir. This is clear from the fact that the "Roman Gradual" does not assign anv notation to these responses (see " Ecclesiastical Review ", Nov., 190.3, p. 539). To the deacon's chant of the Ite missa est (or Benedicamus Domino) the choir responds with Deo gratias. A Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites permits the organ to supply for this response wherever this is customary (see "Church Music", May, 1909, 175-6), provided the response be "recited" in a clear voice (see "Church Music", May, 1907, 229). The chant melodies for all these choir-responses are given in the Vatican "Gradual" under the heading "Toni Com- munes Missae". It is customary in many churches to harmonize the chant-responses and even to depart in some details from the melodies officially assigned to the chant-responses. In summing up the legislation in this matter, the "Motu Proprio" says (No. 12): "With the exception of the melodies proper to the celebrant at the altar and to the ministers, which must be always sung only in Gregorian chant, and without the accompaniment of the organ, all the rest of the liturgical chant belongs to the choir of Lc'vites and, therefore, singers in church, even when they are laymen, are really taking the place of the ecclesiastical choir. Hence the music rendered by them must, at least for the greater part, retain the character of choral music. " But while the choir is thus permitted to respond in music or in harmonized chant, good taste might suggest the desirability of responding in unharmonized chant according to the exact melodies provided in the "Toni Communes Miss;c".

Inasmuch as the Vatican "Gradual" ismcantmerely for the use of the choir, the complete Accentus of the celebrant and ministers will not \h) found there. The Missal contains these chants in full (except, of course, the chants for the prayers, prophecies, etc., which are