www.MusicForMass.org - The Lyric Mass Suite Downloadable Files

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".

Accompanying instruments and future approved texts:   The Lyric Mass Suite's Mass settings were conceived to be sung by the assembly with an SAB vocal ensemble, accompanied on the organ (or other keyboard instrument),  with other instruments ad-lib. For convenience however, these SAB vocal ensemble (choir) parts are scored here with a 2-staff organ/keyboard/piano reduction which includes chord names. Toward the future use of this collection, these music settings were created with modular motifs - that when re-sequenced - will accommodate the proposed phrase structures of a more literal English translation, when such a revised translation is approved for use.

Useful computer information

How do I view and print .PDF files? 
All music scores published here are in .PDF files (Adobe Portable Document Files).
Though created originally in Finale, available here as .PDF files they can be view and printed with Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is free software and can be downloaded and installed from: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. Note: Adobe Reader is also available in versions to download and view .PDF files on the Linux and Macintosh operating systems.

How do I play MP3 music files? 
Windows' Media Player and Apple's QuickTime Player will both play MP3 files. One or both will typically be already installed on most computers. Windows' Media Player is part of Windows' operating system and QuickTime is available at: 
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/. These reasonably accurate MP3 music files are not recordings, but are generated by Finale from the notation scores, using vocal "Ah"s instead of words for the SAB choral harmonies, and are accompanied with a piano sound patch. Actual tempos used will depend on acoustics, room size and one's musical tastes.

How do I return back to this page? Click on the Back Arrow of your browser to return to this page after listening to an MP3 file. Close (or minimalize) Adobe Reader to return to this page after viewing/printing any score. If your score appears distorted, magnify image to full size. When you print out your score on your printer from Adobe Reader the image should be as sharp and clear as if printed from Finale.

Click on any Finale generated MP3 to
hear a composition.
Click 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.

1a. Lord Have Mercy
MP3 1b. Kyrie Eleison

MP3 2a. Glory to God in the Highest
MP3 2b. Glory to God in the Highest

MP3 3a. Alleluia - motif from 2a. Glory to God
MP3 3b. Alleluia (Glory to You ... Lenten text) - Sine Nomine paraphrase
MP3 3c. Alleluia - Coventry Carol paraphrase
MP3 3d. Alleluia - harm. of the trad. Gregorian Alleluia
MP3 3e. 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

MP3 4a. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
MP3 4b. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord - Noel Nouvelet paraphrase
MP3 5a. When We Eat This Bread and Drink This Cup
MP3 5b. Lord By Your Cross and Resurrection - Lasst uns erfreuen paraphrase
MP3 5c. Christ Has Died, Christ Is Risen
MP3 6a. Amen - motif from both 2a Glory & 3a Alleluia
MP3 6b. Amen - Sine Nomine paraphrase
MP3 6c. Amen - a cappella SAATB

MP3 7a. Lamb of God / Agnus Dei
MP3 7b. 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. 

3.) Never allow the vocal ensemble to be perceived as only supplying alto and baritone harmonies. If the 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 assembly 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: 
    i.)   the unison melody sung by all,
    ii.)  the ensemble's women singing soprano melody balanced with the
men singing baritone harmony as 2-parts, or
    iii.) the ensemble's voices singing the soprano melody balanced among both alto and bass as 3-parts. 

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.
Copyright © 2005 by Daryel A. Nance, all rights reserved.  Please contact us at: MusicForMass@swbell.net .      Created with  SeaMonkey 1.1.9 Composer (Mozilla)

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