A focal point for those interested in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in Dundee and the Diocese of Dunkeld.
For people new to the Latin Mass, one of the most immediate differences experienced between the Old Rite and New Rite, is the role of music within the liturgy. Firstly, everything is sung in Latin, with distinct parts being reserved for cantor/schola only (the Propers) and other parts opening up to congregational participation (the Commons). This is quite a departure from the vernacular hymns usually sung in the New Rite which are effectively a replacement of the original Propers.
Secondly, due to the nature of the liturgy, the music that is sung is highly prescriptive with Propers and Antiphons being specific to, not only the liturgical seasons and special Feast Days but also to each and every single Mass celebrated throughout the year. This leaves very little room for church musicians to place their preferences ahead of liturgical needs. Indeed, the church musician becomes much like the artist of iconography, subordinating his/her artistic individualistic expression in order to glorify God through the instruments of beauty, religious imagery and symbolism.
However, the important thing to note is that the central function of the music is to embellish the most significant parts of the liturgy, drawing the listener into the mystery of God and prompting them to lift mind, heart and soul in prayer.
With all of this in mind, we would like to provide our Latin Mass Community with the tools to sing and pray the liturgy as fully as possible. When attending Mass at St. Joseph’s Convent, you will find music leaflets at the back of the Church, but for those of you who are truly enthusiastic, we offer you the opportunity to learn the essential chants at your leisure.