• lmassery

The first proper antiphons I used at new parish

About 11 years ago, I introduced sung communion antiphons for the first time at my current church, using Andrew Motyka's Communionantiphons.org I still often return to this excellent resource. Andrew takes a portion of the antiphon text (in English) from the Roman Gradual and sets it to a simple refrain in the same mode, like a responsorial psalm. Here are several features I appreciate about this collection:

1. The simplicity of the website. It is so easy to find what you are looking for.

2. Each feast has it's own pdf document and recording. It takes me literally 5 seconds to copy and paste the 2 links and give them to my cantor.

3. The pdf contains a cantor and organist page.

4. There are plenty of verses to use with Meinrad Psalm tones to cover the length of the procession.

5. The coolest part - they match the mode of the Roman Gradual or Simple English Propers. So that means, as long as you make sure the final notes match, you can sing the Latin Communio or the Simple English Propers communio first, then transition into the refrain. I've done it where I begin and end with the SEP.

6. The Roman Gradual antiphons sometimes match the Gospel better than the Roman Missal Antiphons, so it's nice to have a complete resource for them.

Here's an example: The 24th Sunday of Ordinary time on September 11th this year: The Gospel is the parable of the Prodigal Son, the lost sheep, and the woman who lost 10 coins. The Gospel ends with the phrase: "In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents." The Roman Missal communion antiphons are general antiphons, "How precious is your mercy, O God..." and "The Chalice of blessing which we bless..." But the Roman Gradual antiphon for Year C is directly from the Gospel: "I say unto you: there is joy among the Angels of God for one single sinner who repents." It makes far more sense to use the Gradual antiphon on this feast. Why did the Roman Missal ever change them?! (Rhetorical question - don't answer that)

Take a look here and a listen here to the wonderful setting of this antiphon from communionantiphons.org

Now if you sing the Simple English Proper chant first, making sure it ends on a D (same final note), it will work well. See the pictures below.

The constructive critiques of this collection: occasionally the "modal-ness" makes the refrain tricky to repeat for amateurs, especially for ears accustomed to only Major/minor. This improves over time as the assembly hears more modal music. To put it in the worship aid, I find the refrain on the pdf is sometimes too wide as an image, so I have to make it super small to fit the page, or type-set the refrain myself. All in all, communionantiphons.org is a treasure. Thank you, Andrew Motyka.

Edit: The collection is available as a book from Lulu press, with fully written out psalm verses!

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