Confusion about Singing the New Mass Texts

Confusion about Singing the New Mass Texts
The revision of the English translation of the Missal means that the new texts have to be set to music for the sung parts of the Mass. There seems to be some uncertainty about using the musical settings of the new translation of the Missal. Hopefully the following points will clear up any confusion.
1. Parishes and schools may begin singing (but not saying) the new texts of the Order of Mass (i.e. Lord have mercy, Gloria, Creed, Holy, Eucharistic Acclamations and Lamb of God) from 1st January next year.
2. Parishes and schools can continue to sing musical settings of the current texts for as long as needed to make the transition from old to new until the new texts become obligatory in Advent 2011.
3. Some popular Mass settings have been rewritten using the revised texts, so parishes and schools may be able to continue singing their favourite Mass settings with some differences in wording.
4. Parishes and schools are encouraged to learn one or more of the seven Mass settings recommended by the National Liturgical Music Board (NLMB) for use in Australia. The process of publishing these settings has been slow because the final texts of the Order of Mass have only just been received. Check the NLMB webpage for updates about the availability of music for the recommended settings. You will find it listed under the Bishops Commission for Liturgy at

5. What information is available about publication is listed here:

The Revised ICEL Chant Mass in the Missal available for purchase 1 January.

Mass of St Francis by Paul Taylor – Publisher: Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation; sheet music from Central Catholic Bookshop (03) 9639 0844 and free recording found under Changes on the Melbourne Archdiocesan site, available for purchase 1 January 2011.

Mass Shalom 2nd edition by Br Colin Smith & Paul Mason – melody, choral arrangements, keyboard and guitar accompaniment. See Willow Connection Mass Settings Catalogue

Mass of Glory and Praise 2nd edition by Paul Mason - melody, choral arrangements, keyboard and guitar
accompaniment, instrument parts. See Mass Settings Catalogue at

Mass of Our Lady, Help of Christians by Richard Connolly - CanticaNova

Missa Magis by Christopher Willcock - Oregon Catholic Press

Mass of Christ the Redeemer by Bernard Kirkpatrick - Oregon Catholic Press

6. Of course, schools and parishes can choose Mass settings that are not on the 'recommended list'. The advantage of learning settings from the list is that (a) experienced and expert musicians have deemed them to be musically and pastorally suitable and (b) it means that there will be some settings that can be used for large national gatherings and that will be familiar to people as they move around the country on holidays, etc. The introduction of the new Missal offers a unique opportunity to have one or two good setting that all Australian Catholics can sing!
7. The new Mass settings should be implemented gradually by introducing them one part at a time, eg, sing a new 'Holy' for a few weeks but all the other Mass parts would be the 'older' versions. Then add a new 'Memorial Acclamation', for a few more weeks, etc. Dr Ralph Morton has written an excellent article about teaching new Mass settings in the upcoming (December) issue of Liturgy News.
8. The introduction of the new Missal does not mean that the entire repertoire of existing liturgical music will become redundant. It is only the musical settings of the Mass parts, not the hymns sung in liturgy, that will change.


Elizabeth Harrington