Since the reform of the Latin Rite in the 1960’s, the use of a three-yearcycle for the Eucharistic Lectionary has necessitated a reorganization of the minor propers of the Mass. The
published by Solesmes in 1979 has provided the Latin chant for the Mass, but therehas existed no English version. The great work of the Rev. G. H. Palmer and Francis Burgess, early in thelast century, to provide plainchant settings for the music of the liturgy,endowed the English-speaking world with a rich corpus of chant. It is tobe lamented that the Catholic Church did not draw on this heritage whenthe Mass began to be celebrated in the vernacular. The insistence on“modernized” English made this impossible. At the same time, the An-glican Communion was engaged in its own liturgical upheaval, and inAmerica the traditional
Book of Common Prayer
was replaced by a liturgy using more modern English. The Coverdale Psalter of the Prayerbook was replaced with a modern English Psalter. This has all led to the desuetude of
The Plainchant Gradual
of Palmer andBurgess and
The English Gradual
of Francis Burgess. Nevertheless, thePastoral Provision for Anglicans in the Roman Catholic Church and themany traditionalist churches that use the Anglican liturgy havere-awakened the need for a revision of the Gradual in English. The present work follows the structure of the
anddraws upon and occasionally incorporates the musicological work of Dr.Palmer (G.H.P.), Francis Burgess (F.B.), and Winfred Douglas (W.D.). This first edition gives the simpler chants in order to provide a practicalbook that can be used in most churches. Occasionally the ancient melo-dies adapted by Palmer are given as well.
The American Gradual,
edited by Bruce Ford, gives the more complex traditional melodies set to the 1979Psalter text. While this work is intended for the Anglican Use in the Catholic Church,it is hoped that it will prove useful to Anglicans and to Catholics as well.C.D.B.