Use: Advent, Lent
Required Resources: SATB choir, congregation, organ
Language: Greek & English New 2010 Translation
This wonderfully-crafted Mass setting by Harry McMurray makes use of motives from Chant Mass XVIII, the Missa Deus Genitor alme.
The Sanctus and Agnus Dei themes also come from the simple chant Mass found in Jubilate Deo and in many missalettes and hymnals.
Missa Deus Genitor alme is for use during Advent and Lent, so there is no Gloria in the chant Mass, nor in Dr. McMurray's setting.
The movements are:
- Mystery of Faith A ("We proclaim your Death, O Lord...")
- Agnus Dei
All the movements are in English except the Greek Kyrie eleison; the Mass is accompanied except the Mystery of Faith and Amen, which can be sung a cappella.
The Kyrie eleison maintains the traditional nine-part format, but in a creative way.
The cantor intones the chant phrase, with light organ accompaniment; the congregation repeats it, with a fuller accompaniment; and the SATB choir sings an expanded, metrical version of the phrase.
This scheme is repeat for the "Christe eleison" text, the first "Kyrie" section repeats, but with a new SATB ending.
The Sanctus is a through-composed, metrical setting of the familiar chant.
The texture is homophonic, with easily singable voice parts, doubled by organ.
The Mystery of Faith is a choral harmonization of chant motives from the Sanctus.
The Amen harmonizes the simple 3-note version (G G A).
Like the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei is a metrical version of the chant melody.
The cantor sings the text, "Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world," over a light accompaniment.
The choir and congregation finish each phrase with "have mercy on us" or "grant us peace."
McMurray's Missa Deus Genitor alme is an effective piece of liturgical music, based on Gregorian chant, but taking it a step further with choral embellishment.
It's a beautiful example of modern music based on our chant heritage.