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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

June 2, 2013

Approval committee revisited

evelyn @ 1:51 pm

Readers may remember my attempts last year to get answers to a number of composer enquiries regarding the National Liturgy Commission’s approval committee for settings of the new Mass translation.

In the course of the correspondence, I was criticised for commenting on the approval committee without having submitted anything to it myself. So I decided this year to test the water, and submitted two items in time for the most recent meeting.

The results arrived a week or so ago. The St Michael Gloria got through without any trouble, which was heartening. The other submission was the Christmas Carol Mass. It was rejected on two counts. First, it has only one Memorial Acclamation, and all three are required. Fair enough. Secondly, in the accompaniment, the committee didn’t like my leaving out of slurs when a syllable uses more than one note.

This last point was interesting. Because the melodies are so well-known, I had previously worked with only a single vocal line (with slurs) and chords. However, for the submission I added a simple two-stave accompaniment, separate from the melody version, and including the words but not the slurs. And I have to admit the committee may have a point: if the words are in the accompaniment, most publishers would probably insert the slurs also.

But what is really interesting is that this was expressed clearly and understandably, as follows:

“Slurs are missing for the vocal line
of the organ part of the submission
and should be added in line with the
slurs for the Melody setting.”

I’m not trying to be patronising here. One of the major problems which came my way last year was that a number of composers couldn’t understand the reasons given for the rejection of their music, or how they were expected to put it right. My own, more recent, rejection experience has been quite different, and that is a very good sign indeed.


  1. Thanks, that’s all very helpful info. But when will they update the Roman Missal Scotland relevant pages, for those of us who actually take the time to refer to it?

    Comment by Marian — June 3, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  2. Yes, I don’t know why that list has stopped. Will try to find out …

    Comment by evelyn — June 10, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

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