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Sue’s post made me think that when I moved away from you all in 2014, there was absolutely no Chant in my neck of the woods. I like an evening Mass, so adopted the habit of going to the Saturday evening Mass at one of our local churches, (at that time 4 in the parish), now, with the merging of two parishes there are 13... But at the time, it was simpler, and I saw that there was never any ‘music‘ at the moment of the offertory, so I offered (!) to sing the Gregorian Offertory for the Sunday. This I did regularly, with mixed reactions, including one from a holiday-maker (we‘re a seaside resort) who came to me at the end of Mass when I was gathering my stuff, and asked me wonderingly: “how is it that you sing like a nun?” Just think about that for a second: in many people‘s minds, Gregorian Chant belongs in convents and monasteries.... How SAD is that?? So keep up the good work!!

A couple of you know that I periodically go to teach singing (vocal technique, not the chant as such) to religious communities up and down this vast country, “la belle France”, following what I used to do in the UK. Well recently, I was at an enclosed Benedictine monastery I have been going to twice a year since 2015, on a retreat this time, though I did do some teaching while I was there, and they asked me to sing the Offertory at their daily Mass. They are beautiful singers, by the way, they could make recordings, that sort of level, so it was a bit daunting to get up and hold forth, from the people’s side, to the astonishment of my fellow lay mass attendants...! But it was great to do, and got me singing again.. I just wanted to share this with you.

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Sue, I’ve just managed to read your post from 6 days ago, with the useful link to O quam glorifica. I’m slow, too... you’re very kind about the sight-singing, I suppose it’s just years of practice. But I do find the Gregorian notation so much easier than the modern. As long as I can “get” the mode, more or less, and don’t get tangled up in half tones...!


Sue Morris
Sue Morris
03 בנוב׳ 2020

Thanks very much for this Jennifer. I've signed up to receive chants from the Neumz site. I am a bit slow on understanding where to find things on this blog so it has taken me ages to comment. It's interesting hearing of your chant experiences in France and I'm in awe of you being able to sing the propers so beautifully from a standing start at rehearsal! At the moment I am singing occasionally at St Barnabas Molesey and I sang at the Solemnity of All Saints. It takes a lot of practice to be confident in a chant to sign unaccompanied, I am not sure whether I'm being brave or foolish but I'm plunging in. Fr Richard wanted the…

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