The Lumen Christi Simple Gradual has now been off to print for several weeks, and we are very excited to announce that it will begin shipping on May 2nd! Details on ordering and pricing will be announced shortly.
Below is the foreword, which was written by Fr. Douglas Martis, director of The Liturgical Institute, Mundelein, and editor of the Mundelein Psalter. We are very grateful for this very generous and illustrative contribution to this effort.
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The Second Vatican Council teaches that the “musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art” (SC, 112). And yet, until recently, this rich treasury of the Church’s chant tradition had largely been unavailable to the faithful, exchanged for newly written texts and fresh musical compositions. While many have undertaken to offer various resources for Catholic liturgy, recent publications such as Simple English Propers and the Lumen Christi Missal have at last begun to give access to an ecclesiastical repertoire little known to postconciliar church musicians and unheard of to the Catholic in the pew. The Church has waited a long time for the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual, prepared for the praying church by Adam Bartlett.
Having been apprenticed to octogenarian Dom Columba Kelly, O.S.B., one of American Catholicism’s leading experts in both vernacular and Gregorian chant, Adam Bartlett is uniquely capable of responding both to the decades-old call of the Council and to the soul’s yearning for musical settings that do justice to the liturgical texts and honor the heritage of chant. He does so in a way that is comprehensive, intuitive and masterful. The compositions included in this volume—drawn so naturally from the Sacred Scriptures and clothed so nobly with the legacy of the Church’s musical heritage—offer to the Catholic faithful the surest entry into the mind of the Church at prayer.
This work is both courageous and selfless, borne of the deep insight of one who is thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the liturgy, capable of the delicate wedding of text and melody. This is not the kind of project that can be produced by corporations. Rather it is the result of tireless and personal effort owing to deep love for people of faith who join mind, heart, and voice with Christ himself who prays to the Father. In this volume, Adam Bartlett provides not only his own work, but an effort that cuts across cultures and generations. He stands on the shoulders of so many nameless predecessors who have made their unique contribution to the song of the Church.
This exquisite form of sacred music affords the Christian access to the sober and lasting beauty of the liturgy. It creates a sacred environment where life-giving refreshment is drawn from the deep wells of tradition. And over time, over a lifetime, the kind of prayer empowered by this liturgical resource will prove a suitable preparation for the Heavenly Feast.
Rev. Douglas Martis, Ph.D., S.T.D.
Director, The Liturgical Institute
University of St. Mary of the Lake
March 3, 2014