These specially prepared communion antiphons from the Graduale Romanum include the Psalm verses (according to the Nova Vulgata) set to the corresponding tones, as described in the rubrics for singing the Mass (De Musica Sacra).
The earliest definite rubric about the Communion is found in the Ordo Romanus Primus (ca. 750/770 A.D.). It says : Nam, mox ut pontifex coeperit in senatorio communicare, statim scola incipit antiphonam ad communionem et psallunt usquedum communicat omnis populus. In other words, as soon as the Pope has begun to distribute Holy Communion in the senatorium (which is where the VIPs stood), the schola immediately intones the Communion antiphon (chanting it in alternation with the subdeacons) and they continue to chant until all the people have received Holy Communion. The then Pope makes a sign to them to sing the Gloria Patri, and so when they have repeated the antiphon [repetito versu] they stop. Thus should the Communion antiphon be intoned as soon as the priest has said the Ecce Agnus Dei and begins to distribute Holy Communion.
These antiphons and Psalms still represent the ideal for all Catholic parishes, as recommended in the General Instruction, and also fill a gap in the existing chant books. The Gregorian Missal includes the antiphon but not the Psalm verses. The Graduale includes the references to the Psalm verses, but its Psalter is very incomplete, so getting the actual text of the verses usually requires another book, a psalter of some sort, ideally with music. Such books are long out of print and very difficult to come by.
The CMAA, then, is very pleased to offer these full versions of the Communion antiphons, including the full Psalm verses, as a free and quick download, week by week, as they become available. They will continue to be listed in alphabetical order. The sincere hope here is that more parishes will use them as a means of singing what the Church asks us to sing, and thereby assist in maintaining the most beautiful and solemn setting for the reception of the Holy Eucharist. Special thanks to Richard Rice, director of the Canticum Novum Schola of Greater Washington, DC, who prepared these editions. To support this project, please consider joining the CMAA.
- Liturgy and Church Music, by Benedict XVI
- A Chronicle of Reform: Catholic Music in the 20th Century, by Msgr. Richard Schuler
- The Reform of Church Music, by Justine Bayard Ward
- Ideology and Liturgy, by Robert Skeris
- Gregorian Chant as a Paradigm of Sacred Music, by William Mahrt
- Critical Reflections on the Bugnini Liturgy: The Divine Office, by Laszló Dobszay
- Graduale Romanum 1961 (These PDF files have a text underlay that makes them searchable. You can download them and pull up any page with a graphics program to create the graphic, or merely print and copy it without restriction.)
- Full Text of the entire Graduale 1961
- Proprium de Tempore (Propers of the Liturgical Year only)
- Proprium Sanctorum (Propers of the Saints)
- Ordinarium Missae (Kyriale)
- Index of the 1974 Graduale (find the chant for the new rite and use the files above)
- Kyriale Romanum (This file is a font-based Vatican edition)
- Missale Romanum -- The full missal in its classical form ("Tridentine Rite"; "Old Mass"; "Old Rite")
- Choral Public Domain Library
- Gregoire: free chant notation software
- Musicam Sacram (1967)
- Voluntati Obsequens (1974)
- Sacrosanctum Concilium (1963)
- Chirograph on Sacred Music (2003)
- Letter of Pope John Paul II to Artists (1999)
- Motu Proprio: Tra Le Sollecitudini (1903)
- General Instruction of the Roman Missal, including US Adaptions (2003)
- Chants of the Vatican Graduale by Dom Dominic Johner (1934) (Full text)
- A New School of Gregorian Chant by Dom Dominic Johner (1925) (Full text)
- Copyright notice concerning of the Liber Usualis and the Graduale Romanum: not renewed and thereby public domain under US Copyright law.
- White List 1947 (archival purposes only)
- Documents from the White List: Papal Legislation on Music (archival purposes only)
- Black List 1922 (archival purposes only)
- "Gregorian Chant, The Greatest Unison Music," by Georgia Stevens (Musical Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 2 (April 1944), pp. 205-225.