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  #1  
Old Dec 13, '11, 1:36 pm
Ora_et_Labora Ora_et_Labora is offline
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Question Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

I pray some of the Hours of the Divine Office (I usually use http://divinumofficium.com). Slowly I have been trying to incorporate chant into my prayers. The simpler set prayers, such as the Pater Noster and Magnificat I can sing more or less decently. What I would like to know though is how does one sing the Psalms? Are they sung "recto tono"? Where might I find information on this?
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  #2  
Old Dec 13, '11, 2:16 pm
liturgyluver liturgyluver is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ora_et_Labora View Post
I pray some of the Hours of the Divine Office (I usually use http://divinumofficium.com). Slowly I have been trying to incorporate chant into my prayers. The simpler set prayers, such as the Pater Noster and Magnificat I can sing more or less decently. What I would like to know though is how does one sing the Psalms? Are they sung "recto tono"? Where might I find information on this?
I love chanting the Psalms too, and picked this up through attending Vespers at Westminster Cathedral. On most days the service is fully choral and sung by the Choir, but 2 days a week the office is sung congregationally, and it's a joy to join the office in tuneful sound. I think the chants at the cathedral are pointed to both plainchant and sometimes to slightly more complex tones by Gelineau or Murray.

You may find this online guide about the different types of chant useful and hopefully interesting:

http://www.stutler.cc/russ/sing_psalms.html

Best wishes and happy chanting!
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  #3  
Old Dec 13, '11, 2:28 pm
opus101 opus101 is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

The times that I joined in w/ the sisters of a religious order, the psalms were chanted on one tone. Very simple and reverent.
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  #4  
Old Dec 13, '11, 5:32 pm
OraLabora OraLabora is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ora_et_Labora View Post
I pray some of the Hours of the Divine Office (I usually use http://divinumofficium.com). Slowly I have been trying to incorporate chant into my prayers. The simpler set prayers, such as the Pater Noster and Magnificat I can sing more or less decently. What I would like to know though is how does one sing the Psalms? Are they sung "recto tono"? Where might I find information on this?
Recto-tono is possible, our abbey uses recto-tono for Vigils and the minor hours, in French.

In directum is the next step up and is used for psalmody without an antiphon. Our abbey uses it for weekday Compline, in French (a more ornate French melody is used for Sundays). Lauds and Vespers are chanted in Latin Gregorian chant every day using all the psalm tones.

Are you planning to chant in Latin? I chant Lauds, Vespers and Sunday Compline in Latin, using the Gregorian psalm modes. It takes some practice and knowledge of Latin accentuation and rules around accents.

The hymns are also a logical place to start, if you plan to chant in the vernacular, try to find octosyllabic hymns; you can use some of the simple Latin hymn melodies for them and they'll work well in other languages.
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  #5  
Old Dec 13, '11, 5:40 pm
opus101 opus101 is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

I see that you are a Benedictine Oblate. What is that? A lay Benedictine or religious?
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  #6  
Old Dec 14, '11, 3:31 am
Ora_et_Labora Ora_et_Labora is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

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Originally Posted by OraLabora View Post
Are you planning to chant in Latin? I chant Lauds, Vespers and Sunday Compline in Latin, using the Gregorian psalm modes. It takes some practice and knowledge of Latin accentuation and rules around accents.

The hymns are also a logical place to start, if you plan to chant in the vernacular, try to find octosyllabic hymns; you can use some of the simple Latin hymn melodies for them and they'll work well in other languages.

The simpler prayers, such as the Pater, Ave, Magnificat, and Benedictus, I have begun chanting in Latin. I found some videos on youtube which have helped in that regard. I am trying to learn how to sing also the seasonal Marian antiphons, going for the simplex versions since I don't have music skills.

The Psalms I would like to eventually chant in Latin, but would be content to do so in English for the time being.
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  #7  
Old Dec 14, '11, 5:58 am
OraLabora OraLabora is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

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Originally Posted by opus101 View Post
I see that you are a Benedictine Oblate. What is that? A lay Benedictine or religious?
A secular Benedictine Oblate is a layperson (or priest or deacon) that has chosen to have a spiritual affiliation to a Benedictine abbey, and promises obedience, stability and conversion of life to that abbey. It's analogous to third orders, but is not a third order per se as we are affiliated to a specific abbey, not an order (Benedictine abbeys enjoy a considerable degree of autonomy).

We promise to use the Rule of St. Benedict to inspire our daily lives, as our life condition permits. Part of that promise is a promise to pray at least a part of the Liturgy of the Hours every day. It varies from abbey to abbey whether we pray specific offices or are left to pick those that fit our situation the best (this is the case with my abbey but I choose to pray the entire Divine Office daily, on a monastic schema).

More information here:

http://www.benedictine-oblates.org/

and here

http://www.osb.org/obl/
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  #8  
Old Dec 15, '11, 1:19 am
Russ of Tokyo's Avatar
Russ of Tokyo Russ of Tokyo is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

Quote:
Originally Posted by liturgyluver View Post

You may find this online guide about the different types of chant useful and hopefully interesting:

http://www.stutler.cc/russ/sing_psalms.html
I was surprised and happy to see this link. I first wrote that article when I was an Anglican, and later became a Catholic (last summer). So now I pray (and sing) the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours, and subsequently had to edit the article and add more material to reflect my new prayer life as a Catholic.

I have tried to juggle the LOTH book with the text in one hand and one of my collection of chant books in the other hand, but it was very distracting. Now I mainly use Psalm Tone II for all the Psalms when I'm chanting because it is simple and everything fits it. Some of the Hours are done on a crowded subway or at work so at those times I just move my lips and no sound escapes (or very little, I hope).

Good news is that the Mundelein Psalter has Psalm text, pointing and chants in one volume.
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  #9  
Old Dec 15, '11, 1:36 am
liturgyluver liturgyluver is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Psalms in the Divine Office

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ of Tokyo View Post
I was surprised and happy to see this link. I first wrote that article when I was an Anglican, and later became a Catholic (last summer). So now I pray (and sing) the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours, and subsequently had to edit the article and add more material to reflect my new prayer life as a Catholic.

I have tried to juggle the LOTH book with the text in one hand and one of my collection of chant books in the other hand, but it was very distracting. Now I mainly use Psalm Tone II for all the Psalms when I'm chanting because it is simple and everything fits it. Some of the Hours are done on a crowded subway or at work so at those times I just move my lips and no sound escapes (or very little, I hope).

Good news is that the Mundelein Psalter has Psalm text, pointing and chants in one volume.
How lovely to meet you here! I loved your article. It was fascinating and comprehensive but written in such an accessible way. Best wishes.
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