Ordo Cantus Missae

Thanks to Liam for suggesting we look at the introduction to the Ordo Cantus Missae. I’m especially indebted to Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988) which, we think, has yet to be officially translated into English. You can find the translation of the first edition in the Liturgy Press compilation Documents on the Liturgy.

It might be that another Latin edition is in the pipeline somewhere to bring this document up-to-date with the third edition of the Roman Missal. It’s about due, for the 1988 edition of the OCM postdated MR2 by seven years, and the first edition goes way back to the early 70’s, pretty much on the heels of the Ordo Missae of MR1.

Over the next few weeks we’ll take an extended look at this overlooked piece of post-conciliar liturgy documentation. It might do us well to understand exactly what we’re dealing with here.

What is the Ordo Cantus Missae? The Order of Chant for Mass is part of the Roman Missal. The book “lists the assignment of chants from the 1961 Graduale to the celebrations in the revised General Roman Calendar,” writes Mr Chonak. The OCM is not a hymnal as such–you have to look to the Roman Gradual itself for the actual stuff that will get the chant out of your own mouth.

Here on this site, we will look at the introduction to this document which describes some of the changes in the chant repertoire as the musical treasury of chant moved from the 1962 Missal to the post-conciliar celebrations of liturgy. This is contained in an unnumbered eight paragraph section.

We will look at legislation on singing at Mass (nos. 1-18). Third, this introduction provides a how-to for using the main body of the OCM (19-21). Next, an interesting bit on singing psalms during Communion (22-23). And lastly, four numbered sections on the Kyriale.

On the scribd site, feel free to access the decrees which appear before the introductions of the liturgical documents from the CDWDS. These are dated 1972 (for the first edition) and 1986 (for the second). We’ll begin posting in earnest tomorrow. Meanwhile, any comments as we begin this journey?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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