|www.MusicForMass.org - The Lyric Mass Suite
The Lyric Mass Suite - concepts and features
For the assembly: The musical settings of the Lyric Mass Suite were composed with very accessible lyrical melodies, either as original contemporary melodies or paraphrases of traditional melodies, that sing themselves and are written in a comfortable vocal range for a congregation. This very accessible music - rich in repetitive motifs - was written with the intention that the printed music notation scores required by the musicians, may not necessarily be also required by the assembly - who will already have the Mass texts in mind or in hand from other worship resources. Care was taken to create melodies that support the literal approved texts for the Mass, thus avoiding the need for the text variations found in some popularly used settings. All music settings of Mass texts are published with the approval of the Committee on the Liturgy, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, for use in the United States. These stylistically connected music settings form a system of interchangeable Mass parts. If so desired, only a subset of these Mass settings needs to be switched in and out of use as required to create a sense of the changing of liturgical seasons. This allows the assembly to not have to completely change all of it's currently sung Mass part settings, at the same time, with beginning of every new season.
For the SAB vocal ensemble (choir): The Lyric Mass Suite was especially written to integrate a vocal ensemble's harmonies (choral singing) into the people's full participation in singing the Mass. Care was taken to create choral harmonies that arise out of unisons and return again - back and forth throughout - to support the assembly, without obscuring the assembly's song. These choral harmonies were written for an SAB vocal ensemble (also usable as SB or SA) of any size with average skills. The choral parts are themselves melodic and are therefore enjoyable to sing; but, at no time over shadow the primacy of the assembly's song. Included are formulary-tones for chorally singing literal lectionary texts as might be needed (i.e. the Gospel verses). The flexibility of these music settings might hopefully encourage multiple smaller vocal ensembles to participate at several Sunday Masses, in addition to "the choir Mass", enhancing the worship experience of the community.
A musical synergy exists among all whenever a worshiping assembly is led by a vocal ensemble. ("synergy" n. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual parts.) This natural synergy happens because the sound produced by a vocal ensemble is the sound of "group singing" - which is indeed the same kind of sound as the assembly itself produces. This synergy can occur irrespective of whether the vocal ensemble is a gathering of unison or two part voices, a modest vocal ensemble of balanced harmonies, or a fully trained choral ensemble. One can experience this synergy either live, or hear it in the recordings of large gatherings, singing for example the music of the Community of Taizé, in which a vocal ensemble is leading by supporting the assembly. The dynamic of the larger group (the assembly) being led by a smaller group (the vocal ensemble), along with minimal cuing from the animator of the assembly (the cantor), and with the inclusion of a separate solo vocalist as Psalmist, seems to be the ideal arrangement of musical roles for Mass as is described in our church's liturgy documents. The music available on this website which was written for the sung parts of the Mass is a collection of music settings for the assembly, led by a vocal ensemble, and is known as the "Lyric Mass Suite".
instruments and future approved texts:
The Lyric Mass Suite's
Mass settings were conceived
the assembly with an SAB vocal ensemble, accompanied on the organ (or
other keyboard instrument),
other instruments ad-lib. For convenience however, these
SAB vocal ensemble (choir) parts are scored here
2-staff organ/keyboard/piano reduction which includes chord names.
this collection, these
settings were created with modular motifs - that when re-sequenced -
will accommodate the proposed phrase structures of a more
when such a revised translation is approved for use.
Useful computer information
do I view and print .PDF
do I play MP3 music files?
on any Finale generated MP3 to
hear a composition.
on any PDF score below and it will be available for printing.
Permission is required for legal free use in worship. Compositions must
be reprinted unaltered with the copyright notice.
Lord Have Mercy
Glory to God in the Highest
Glory to God in the Highest
Alleluia - motif from 2a. Glory to God
Alleluia (Glory to You ... Lenten text) - Sine Nomine paraphrase
Alleluia - Coventry Carol paraphrase
Alleluia - harm. of the trad. Gregorian Alleluia
Glory and Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ ... Lenten text
|MP3F MP3G||3Ft1. Formulary tone 1 (2-3 phrase texts) - Key F Key G Key A Key Eb|
|MP3F MP3G||3Ft2. Formulary tone 2 (4 phrase texts) - Key F Key G Key A Key Eb|
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord - Noel Nouvelet paraphrase
When We Eat This Bread and Drink This Cup
Lord By Your Cross and Resurrection - Lasst uns erfreuen paraphrase
Christ Has Died, Christ Is Risen
Amen - motif from both 2a Glory & 3a Alleluia
Amen - Sine Nomine paraphrase
Amen - a cappella SAATB
Lamb of God / Agnus Dei
Lamb of God / Agnus Dei
Suggestions on how to teach and use this music.
1.) The vocal ensemble should introduce a new piece of music as "ambient background", thus creating a "subliminal learning" exposure for a couple of weeks or more before expecting the assembly to attempt singing a new setting. Possible moments are before or after Mass. There are refrains on the "Refrains, Acclamations & Hymns for the Assembly" page that were written as teaching tools for some parts of the Lyric Mass Suite. These refrains are the same music but with alternate texts - usable much like a Taizé refrain for the assembly with a vocal ensemble.
2.) When you first start to use a setting, in the beginning have your musicians use only the unison melody within the actual worship with the assembly for a couple of weeks. Only after a melody is known by the assembly will it be the time to carefully introduce the ensemble's harmonies during worship. Though this body of music was written with the purpose of integrating a vocal ensemble's harmonies into the assembly's singing of the Mass, the assembly's unison melody (the soprano part) is paramount and must always be clearly perceptible. Melody perception in these settings is supported by SAB harmonies that open out of a unison melody line, then return to unison melody, and open again into SAB harmonies.
vocal ensemble to be
perceived as only supplying alto and baritone harmonies.
assembly is singing it's melody and suddenly hears only alto and
baritone, not balanced with the melody, coming back to them from the
vocal ensemble, the
will perceive it's melody has disappeared and typically stop
singing. For these music settings to work the
assembly must auditorily perceive one of the following:
4.) The flexibility of these music settings will hopefully encourage multiple smaller vocal ensembles to be available at several Sunday Masses to enhance the worship experience of the community.
REMINDER - Free use in worship when permission is requested and confirmation is received. All musical notation currently published here, including texts, are someone's intellectual property (unless noted as public domain) and are registered under U.S. Copyright; but, are available for free use in worship when permission is received. Scores published here can be accessed and previewed immediately as .PDF files ready for printing -or- listened to as Finale generated MP3 audio files; but, require permission for legal copying and use in worship. Click here to request the legal permission for free use in worship.