CNP Logo CanticaNOVA Publications
Online Catalog
Musical Musings
Liturgical Planners
Submit Your Music
Contact Us
Company Description
Musical Musings: CNP Feedback

CNP Feedback - English Propers

Q. Dear CNP:

What exactly is the deal with English propers for the Ordinary Form? It seems like everywhere I look, there's a different translation for just about everything. Is there anywhere I can find the approved Introits, Responsorial Psalms, Gospel Acclamations, Offertories, and Communions for the Third and Fourth Sundays of Lent, for example? I'm trying to set the propers for my schola and it's driving me nuts!

Proper-ly Indisposed

A. Dear PI:

Here's the scoop on the Propers in English.

The Sacramentary has the following:

  1. Entrance Antiphon [Introit]
  2. Communion Antiphon

The Lectionary has these, of course:

  1. Responsorial Psalm
  2. Gospel Verse

The Offertory Antiphon was never translated into English [it's not even in the OF Missale Romanum in Latin].

All of the above texts can be found on the CNP Liturgical Planning Pages:

Third Sunday of Lent (B)
Fourth Sunday of Lent (B)

Absolute church music "purists" (which I'm not) would frown upon using those English texts for sung propers, insisting that they were never meant for singing [rather, they're for the celebrant to recite if there's no music at Entrance or Communion]. It's a very knit-picky point, as Jeffrey Tucker of CMAA has said. One can hardly chastise a parish for singing: "My eyes are ever fixed on the Lord," to a beautiful psalm tone at the beginning of Mass, rather than "Sing to the Mountains" by Bob Dufford.

As far as I know, the texts above are the only official English translations of the Propers. You may have seen others circulating. For example, the Gregorian Missal uses a more British translation after each of its chants; e.g. "My eyes are forever turned toward the Lord; for he shall release my feet from the snare..." These are merely informative translations, not necessarily meant for singing.

While we have the official Latin OF version of the Propers in the Graduale Romanum and the Gregorian Missal, and we have an official "substitution" in the Graduale Simplex, no provision was ever made for an official English singing version, much to everyone's current dismay. This may be changing, with the imminent publication of the Revised Grail Psalter, done at Conception Abbey in Missouri.

Hope this helps a little.

Gary Penkala
CanticaNOVA Publications

 Back to CNP Feedback Index

Home / Online Catalog / Musical Musings / Liturgical Planning
Submit Your Music / Contact Us / Company Description / Links

CanticaNOVA Publications / PO Box 1388 / Charles Town, WV 25414-7388

Send website comments or questions to: