Text Discrepancies between Choir and Altar Books
Note: This page (like most of this site) is a work in progress. Please notify me of any errors you find: organistAL at aol dot com
The following table identifies textual discrepancies between the Roman Missal and the chant books for the Proper of the Mass for Sundays and the feasts contained in the first volume of the Graduale Novum and on this website. There are additional discrepancies in the ferial Masses and other feast day Masses that are not included here, as well as the antiphons, responsories, and hymns for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, and Good Friday. Further discrepancies between the Graduale Romanum (1908 Vatican edition) and the oldest sources for the chants are marked with an asterisk. A thorough investigation into exactly when these alterations crept into the Missal is beyond the scope of my interests, but two documents included in the front of the Missal, available in English translation, give some idea: Cum Sanctissimum of Clement VIII, and Si Quid Es of Urban VIII. Seventeenth-century printers, apparently on their own initiative, published editions of the Missal with texts altered to conform to the Vulgate Bible. These alterations were strictly forbidden by one Pope, then accepted by his successor. Some of the altered texts also made their way into the chant books. Peculiarly, in the 1951 revision of the Proper for the feast of the Assumption, the Missal uses the text of the Vulgate psalter for the gradual, whereas the chant books use the text of the Pius XII (Bea) psalter. The texts of the oldest known liturgical books can be compared in Dom René-Jean Hesbert's Antiphonale Missarum Sextuplex. I am very grateful to Fr. Nicholas Eichman, F.S.S.P., for his assistance in compiling this list.