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Notes on the Book of Sung Gospels

Editor's Preface

Gary D. Penkala

The Book of Sung Gospels is a project arising from my years as Director of Liturgical Music at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. At the seminary, men were ordained to the diaconate at the end of their third or the beginning of their fourth year of formation. This provided the music staff at the college with a pool of eager deacons, willing to "try their voices" in their new privilege of chanting the Gospel at Mass. Using an ancient Gospel tone, I began setting these texts for the various major celebrations one encounters throughout a year of formation.

Because the seminarians were all ordained priests back in their home dioceses in the United States, the climax of their Roman training came when the entire North American College participated with the ordinandi and their families and friends in the Diaconate Ordination liturgy celebrated by an American cardinal or bishop in Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The very settings in this volume were sung at these ceremonies at the Altar of the Chair, and were sung elsewhere in Rome and also in the States, as the new deacons brought copies back with them. The Book of Sung Gospels is now available to churches, cathedrals, seminaries and religious communities which seek to add a heightened degree of solemnity to special liturgical celebrations.

May I acknowledge the help of several people in the compilation of this volume: first, Christopher Bord, who spent many evening and weekend hours typesetting all the Gospels in this book. Second, I must thank Elizabeth Bord, who not only gave up her husband-of-one-year on those many evenings and weekends, but who also proofread the drafts. Michael Dudis, a friend and student of mine, also assisted with the proofreading. Several priests, who were seminarians and deacons during my time in Rome, were instrumental in instigating and motivating this project. I mention in particular Fr. Michael Caridi, Fr. John Byrnes, Fr. Daniel Vallecorsa and Fr. Gary Linsky. A special thank you should go to my family and friends who have faithfully supported both CanticaNOVA Publications' entry into the church music market and the compilation of this particular volume.

Gary D. Penkala
CanticaNOVA Publications

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Part III: Practical Information 

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