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Saint Joseph Mass

- Jacob A. Perkowski


PDF Sample

Use: General
Required Resources: Cantor, congregation, organ
Optional Resources: Unison choir
Language: English

Much like the quiet and righteous man for whom this setting was named, the Saint Joseph Mass is simple and straightforward, not in any way flashy or pretentious. In this work, Jacob Perkowski makes ample use of changing time signatures, but always attuned to the rhythm of the text. The occasional 5/4 meters, looking foreboding on paper, are easily sung by the congregation, as proved in its debut at Saint James Catholic Church in Charles Town, West Virginia.

The common Mass movements are included: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Amen, Agnus Dei; all in English.
The Kyrie may be sung by the deacon or by a cantor, echoed by the congregation.
The Gloria is written in three sections, the first and last based on similar music. The middle section has repeating melodies, making it easy to learn and simple to write the music for congregation (with repeat signs). This middle section is optionally sung by a cantor or unison choir rather than the people.

The Sanctus begins with ascending thirds in the melody; the Hosanna phrases are built on a descending scale pattern, making nice architecture for the movement.
The Mystery of Faith uses the text, "Save us Savior of the world …"
The Amen is solid and austere, the range being just a fifth.
The Agnus Dei is harmonically fluid, beginning on a G Major chord, before progressing through the key of D Major and ending in A Major.

In addition to the normal Mass parts above, the Saint Joseph Mass also offers three extra movements: Introit, Gospel Acclamation, and Communion Psalm.

  1. The simple Introit presents an original psalm tone, in four-measure Meinrad style. The proper antiphon and any psalm verses can be pointed for use. The Doxology (sung as the last verse) is given with the appropriate pointing.
  2. The Gospel Acclamation, recalling the modest nature of the piece, sets the "Alleluia" word only twice, in a stately fashion with narrow range (a fourth). A descant is included for the Alleluia text, as well as a Lenten refrain using "Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ."
  3. The Communion Psalm has a very beautiful antiphon, with text by Saint Thomas Aquinas, found in Matins for Corpus Christi: "O precious banquet, bringing salvation! What could be more wonderful than this?" A two-measure psalm tone follows, to which are sung any psalm verses desired. Two verses of Psalm 116 are included to show the pointing technique. A creative feature of this movement is a separately written Doxology, sung by the cantor (or unison choir) as the last verse before the final antiphon.

The Saint Joseph Mass is a restrained, yet fresh, setting, dedicated by the composer to the multi-generational "Josephs" in his family. It is loved and enjoyed by the parish to whom it was first introduced. Your congregation, too, will appreciate this well-crafted new setting, enjoying the subtle nuances of the music of this wonderfully talented young composer.


Order #: 3053
Price: 1 or 2 copies - $4.00 /
3-5 copies - $2.85 /
6+ copies $1.95


- Liturgical Settings
- Ordinary Time
- Cantor
- Congregation
- Unison Choir

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