The Saint John Fisher Missale
About the contents of the Missale
The digital version of the St John Fisher Missale is a work in progress. In its complete form it will consist of a number of PDF-files with the following elements:
- The Ordo Missæ (available with and without a short Kyriale)
- The Order of Requiem Mass with some Propers of Masses for the Dead
- A selection of the Kyriale containing music for several Mass Ordinaries, Creeds and some other chants
- Proper texts for all Sundays, all feasts of First and Second Class, and some other occasions (like Ember Saturdays or Rogations)
The texts provided here differ in several respects from the texts that can be found in most ‘Old Rite’ Pew Missals available today:
- The St John Fisher Missale is made primarily with Sung Mass in mind. Therefore, the Ordo Missæ indicates clearly what is sung at what point (e.g. it starts not with the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, but with the Introit), and it includes music for the congregational responses.
- Although the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum defines the Roman Missal of 1962 as the Missal of the Extraordinary Form, in many places practices not found in this Missal are still followed in obedience to custom, such as the Confiteor before Communion. The St John Fisher Missale includes many of these elements and marks them with ‘where customary’ or with similar words.
- The Missals and Graduals printed after the Council of Trent
contain only parts of the very rich tradition of medieval
plainsong. It seems that many of the chants removed from the
books at this time may still be sung (if not as liturgical
items, then as motets at a suitable point during Mass), and
explicit permission has been given for the use of some of them.
Since many of them can enrich the liturgy both theologically and
musically, a small selection of them are included here —
this makes the St John Fisher Missale probably the first
non-academic publication that makes this material accessible to
congregations. The additional chant texts fall into three
- The Offertory Verses, taken from the 1935 Offertoriale Romanum
- The Sequences, as found in the Sarum Missal, which would have been known by St John Fisher and sung in medieval England
- The Texts for the Kyrie, likewise from the Sarum Missal and, if not available there, from the Analecta hymnica.
- Where can music for these additional chants be found?
- Offertory verses: The music for the Offertory verses was published by the monks of Solesmes in 1935 in the Offertoriale Romanum, which can be downloaded for free at http://www.sinfonia-sacra.de/40355.html. A later edition with neumes, thus analogous to the Graduale Triplex (ISBN 2-85274-042-7), was published in 1985. It is still in print and available for ca. 25-30 Euros. A smaller selection of Offertory verses with neumes can be found at http://www.gregor-und-taube.de/html/materialien.htm.
- Sequences: Currently, there is no complete edition of the music for the Sequences of the Use of Sarum available. The Sequences of the Proper of Seasons are included in Nick Sandon: The Use of Salisbury, Moretonhampstead 1984-1999 (6 vols), but for those of the Proper of Saints (the great majority) one has to use the 16th-century editions of the Graduale ad usum insignis Ecclesiæ Sarum.
- Texts for the Kyrie: Music for all the Kyrie texts used here can be found in Anton Stingl jun.: Tropen zum Kyrie im Graduale Romanum, St. Ottilien, 2011, ISBN 978-3-8306-7468-9, available for ca. 20 Euros.