I have received an e-mail from Dr. William Renwicke, who is a professor of music and doing some excellent work on producing an edition of the Sarum Office with Gregorian chant – http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~renwick/sarum-downloads.htm.
This collection is most impressive and is obviously not being done for gain by sealing everything up with copyrights. This painstaking work is freely available for all, and this is most generous.
He wrote to me about an expansion of his research project, Music of the Sarum Office. He is undertaking to provide an English language translation and musical setting of the noted breviary in parallel with the already developing Latin version. His intent is to develop two separate English language documents, one a faithful rendering of the original, primarily designed for study purposes; and a second, performing version, which will attempt to organize and streamline the content and rubrics so that it is more readily useable in worship.
This could be a great opportunity for the future Ordinariates by providing a traditional Catholic Office from the pre-Reformation Anglican patrimony, or at least sources of antiphons and hymns in English with plainsong that can be used with the Prayer Book Matins and Evensong.
Like the existing series, this will be published in a series of PDF documents available on-line. This format seems appropriate for the following reasons:
1) The work is of interest to a limited circle of scholars, liturgists and performers.
2) This format will permit updates, revisions and corrections as newer or more reliable information becomes available.
3) Users will be able to print the portions that interest them without the necessity of purchasing the entire work.
4) Publication can occur in a timely manner. It is hoped that the first instalments will be ready for publication in the next six months.
In order to make this publication of the highest quality, Dr. Renwicke invited me to join an Advisory Board that will be made up of 4-8 scholars, liturgists, and performers. In this way he hopes that I will be able to contribute expertise, knowledge, and experience where appropriate. Members of the Advisory Board will be invited to review and comment on each instalment prior to its publication, as their schedules permit.
At this stage he has a draft of the Psalter, plus the Temporale up to Christmas. Dr. Renwicke asks me if there are one or two people who could contribute to the work as members of the Advisory Board. Do we have any readers with a serious level of liturgical studies and access to source material who would like to help? If so, please contact me at:
anthony dot chadwick at wanadoo dot fr
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