A few colleagues have asked me to teach them how to sing the Gospel lessons. If you wish to do this, then I hope that you will find my simple instructions and templates to be useful.
First of all, why do it? If you do it well, then people will probably love it. However, a well-read Gospel is almost always better than a poorly sung one.
The real reasons for me to sing the Gospel relate to honoring our Lord's words and experiencing special time with Him as I live into the texts while writing the music. I sense a Presence of Jesus while I do it. That feeling might be compared to why many become satisfied through contemplative prayer or saying the Rosary, to give just two examples. You may find that writing and singing the Gospel is valuable spiritual time seized right from the jaws of all the other demands you face.
I am offering these instructions piece by piece as I have time. Be patient. They should be useful to most priests, pastors and deacons, clergy of Catholic and Protestant piety. When completed, the cook book should include:
1. Structure for the presentation.
2. The four elements: Metrum, Punctum,
Question and Conclusion.
3. Templates in Microsoft Word and Mac Pages.
4. Instructions for using the templates.
7. Superscript notations.
6. Sample written Gospels.
7. A few audio clips.
8. A few video clips.
Fear not. The music uses just three notes, so almost anyone can sing the Gospel.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
Fr. William Thiele +
St. John's Church, Passaic, NJ
Structure for the Presentation
Procession with Alleluia verse, or per custom.
Salutation in position.
The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit. (or your spirit)
Sung on single opening note.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. (or Mark, Luke or John)
Sung as a metrum, with short ending punctum.
Glory be to thee O Lord. (or Glory to you Lord Christ)
Sung as a truncated metrum, 2 notes.
The Gospel lesson.
Sung in forms of metrums, punctums and questions in various forms as needed, and ending with the conclusion.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Said. (The Gospel is over.) However, some prefer to sing it. If so, it should be sung as a punctum.
Praise be to thee, O Christ. (or Praise to you, Lord Christ.)
Said. (The Gospel is over) However, some prefer to sing it. If so, it is sung as truncated metrum per the introduction.
Recession in silence or with music according to local custom.