Thursday 13th March 2014
The leading publishers of liturgical music, Decani Music, are to publish a new Mass setting written by a priest of the ordinariate. The Mass of St Gregory, performed for the first time last month at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, Soho, London, was written by the parish priest there, Fr Mark Elliott Smith. The words are those of the new translation of the Roman Rite and Fr Elliott Smith's hope is that once it is widely available, it might be be used at any Catholic Mass, whether by ordinariate or diocesan Catholics.
Fr Elliott Smith , whose own background is steeped in the Anglican choral tradition, now intends to start work on a version of the setting to the words of the Ordinariate Use liturgy, which integrates centuries' old Anglican prayers into the Roman Rite. He also has plans to compose something which could be suitably sung at Evensong.
Interest in the Mass of St Gregory has been considerable since its first peformance; the ordinariate has received enquiries about it from the United States and continental Europe as well as from the UK.
Fr Elliott Smith says his main intention was to produce something which was tuneful and joyous, which would be singable by a congregation, but with an optional choral part which would be within the capabilities of a parish choir. "I am very pleased indeed with how it's been received. It's the first time I have made a serious attempt to get something I have written published and I am delighted that it's to be made available", he said. The Mass of St Gregory score will be available to buy, via Decani Music, later in the year.