Gregorian Chant Hymns
There's a great new website with resources for learning and singing chant hymns:
Gregorian Chant Hymns
The website has five sections, and begins with an "Invitation to Learn Gregorian Chant"
The Roman Catholic Church has a rich tradition of hymns and other devotional chants that have been used for centuries at Feast Days and the Liturgy of the Hours.
Many recent hymnals retained a few hymns (e.g., Adoro te devote, Ave Maria) in either Latin or translated versions; therefore, some hymns continue to be sung in the liturgy.
Many beautiful hymns have gradually been forgotten, yet are sung in monasteries and fondly remembered by older generations.
A renewed interest in chant has been followed by an increase in teaching of chant hymns to choirs and congregations.
Contributors to this website are schola directors who are riding this wave of enthusiasm.
We have benefitted from and are grateful to others who created websites with free music and audio downloads especially for the Mass Ordinaries and Propers.
When teaching, we observed that choristers were very interested in and easily learned hymns, but we also noted a lack of easily accessible free downloads.
We also learned that recordings are a very effective way of teachig both choristers and the congregation.
Recordings are the modern conveyance of an aural tradition.
Hymns that may seem unattainable upon a quick glance at a score, can easily be taught to adults and children.
Individuals with minimal music training are very capable of learning challenging hymns.
In one example, we taught "Te saeculorum principem" (Vesper hymn for the Feast of Christ the King) to a volunteer choir.
This hymn became a first step for many who (a) realized that they could learn new music, (b) became aware of the existence of many beautiful Catholic hymns, and (c) were introduced though these hymns to the Liturgy of the Hours.
This website focuses primarily on hymns and devotional chants.
It serves as an educational tool for all ages and purposes (e.g., teaching individuals, choirs, parishioners, or for listening pleasure).
This section contains (currently) about 65 Gregorian chants.
Most of these are hymns, but other popular chants (like antiphons) are also included; for example, Asperges me and Vidi aquam.
Every chant is available:
- With chant music displayed on screen and an audio file
- As an mp3 download
- As a musical score or text download
- As a translation download
The audio files for most of these chants are recorded by the Schola Sanctæ Scholasticæ from London UK.
The singing is beautiful and clear, and would make learning these chants easy and enjoyable.
The music for the chants, in addition to being downloadable, is taken from the Parish Book of Chant, available from CanticaNOVA Publicaitons.
In this section one can find JPEG graphics for all the chants, such that one could include the chant in liturgy sheets or congregational booklets.
These materials are made available for personal, congregational, or institutional use; but may not be sold for profit.
Pre-made booklet files are available for:
- Mass text in Latin (OF) with Missa VIII (De Angelis)
- Music for Mass and Benediction
- Weekday Order of Mass (EF) with Missa VIII (De Angelis)
- Exposition and Benediction
- Tenebræ – Holy Saturday
- Latin Mass Hymnal (OF)
- Mass text in Latin (OF) with Missa I, VIII, XI,and XVII
This section has a helpful:
- Guide to Gregorian Notation
- Guide to Latin Pronunciation
The Sources page lists the contributors, performers and supporters for the chants on the website:
- Schola Sanctae Scholasticae, London UK
- Saint Cecilia Abbey, Isle of Wight, UK
- Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland
- Church Music Association of America
- Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, France
Article written 29 July 2014