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Mass of the Angels

- Richard J. Clark


PDF Sample

Audio Samples:
Kyrie Gloria (resp)
Gloria (non-resp)
Gospel Accl (Lent)
Sanctus Agnus Dei

Audio Sample Notes

Audio Sample Help

Use: General
Required Resources: cantor, congregation, organ
Optional Resources: SATB choir
Language: English, Latin & Greek New 2010 Translation

This new Mass setting is based on the popular and familiar Missa VIII (De angelis), which was the standard chant Mass sung in many parishes immediately prior to Vatican II. Richard J. Clark, Director of Music at Saint Cecilia Church in Boston, has used melodic fragments from this chant Mass to construct his new setting. His organ accompaniment is harmonically creative and very well written, with the melody always in the top voice to fully support the congregational singing.

This is a complete setting, with Gospel Acclamation and Credo in addition to the other typical movements. Included are:

  1. Penitential Act C (response in Greek or English)
  2. Gloria (response in Latin)
  3. Gospel Acclamations (Alleluia and Lenten options)
  4. Credo (response in Latin)
  5. Sanctus
  6. Mystery of Faith A, B, C
  7. Amen
  8. Agnus Dei

The Penitential Act (performance available on YouTube), set for cantor and congregation, with choral harmonies, uses one the Missal texts for Option C, "You were sent to heal the contrite..." The congregational response is given in Greek and English: "Kyrie eleison, etc" or "Lord, have mercy, etc."

The Gloria (performance available on YouTube) opens by quoting Missa VIII directly, Gloria in excelsis Deo; et in terra pax hominibus bonæ voluntatis. This can serve as a congregational refrain, or the movement can become a through-composed setting by omitting repetitions of this text. The main body of the movement is written in homophonic style for SATB choir, or may be sung in unison by cantor alone or by the congregation (in the through-composed option). The final refrain (when sung in the responsorial option) includes a soprano descant, and is followed by the literal Amen melody from Missa VIII.

There are two Gospel Acclamations, one using an "Alleluia" text and one a Lenten acclamation (performance available on YouTube). Each uses melody patterns from the chant Sanctus. Optional choral harmonies are included, as well as an accompanied melodic pattern for the cantor's verse.

The Credo can be handled responsorially, with the congregation singing the opening phrase of Credo III, "Credo in unum Deum," accompanied by organ, as a refrain. The cantor (unison) or choir (SATB) would then sing eight verses, in pairs, to a recurring pattern, with a refrain after each pair of verses. The congregation also may sing the full text to the recurring pattern. The movement ends with the Amen music from Credo III.

The Sanctus (performance available on YouTube) can easily be sung by the congregation in unison throughout, accompanied by a strong organ part. There are also optional SATB choir parts that add festivity, including a soprano descant on the last "Hosanna in the highest."

The three new texts for the Mystery of Faith use these chant Mass fragments for melodic material:

A. "We proclaim your Death..." – quoting the Amen from the Gloria
B. "When we eat this Bread..." – quoting the intonation of the Gloria
C. "Save us, O Savior..." – quoting the beginning of the Agnus Dei

All are set for cantor, congregation and organ, with optional SATB choir.

Music from the end of the chant Gloria returns for the Amen, which is sung twice: once in unison, once with choral harmonies.

The Agnus Dei (performance available on YouTube), with music from the same part of Missa VIII, can be sung by cantor and congregation, by choir and congregation, or by all these forces.


Order #: 3136-2
Price: 1 or 2 copies - $4.00 /
3 or more copies - $3.25


- Liturgical Settings
- Ordinary Time
- SATB Choir
- Congregation
- Chant
- Latin / English

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