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"Jubilate Deo Latin Chants"

“I desire, in accordance with the request advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed and employed as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy”

— Pope Benedict XVI

Sacramentum Caritatis §4

Introduction | Mass Chants | Hymns -Alphabetical list | Links to other sites


In April 1974 Pope Paul VI sent to every bishop in the world a booklet of some of the simplest selections of Gregorian Chant, much of it drawn from the Graduale Romanum. This booklet, called Jubilate Deo, was intended as a “minimum repertoire of Gregorian chant”. It is, in other words, an official Latin “core repertoire” for the Roman Rite. It was prepared, the Pope said, in order “to make it easier for Christians to achieve unity and spiritual harmony with their brothers and with the living tradition of the past. Hence it is that those who are trying to improve the quality of congregational singing cannot refuse Gregorian chant the place which is due to it” (Voluntati Obsequens).

Pope Paul VI gave permission for the selections in Jubilate Deo to be freely reprinted. The booklet was accompanied by a letter in which the Holy Father made this request of the bishops:

“Would you therefore, in collaboration with the competent diocesan and national agencies for the liturgy, sacred music and catechetics, decide on the best ways of teaching the faithful the Latin chants of Jubilate Deo and of having them sing them…. You will thus be performing a new service for the Church in the domain of liturgical renewal” (Voluntati Obsequens).

Jubilate Deo contains simple chant settings in Latin of the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Agnus Dei. It also provides musical settings for the dialogues between priest and people, such as before the Preface, and the Ite Missa est, the response to the Prayer of the Faithful, and others.

An, expanded edition of Jubilate Deo was later issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1987.

Unfortunately, the faithful were not taught these chants, and it is rare to hear any music from this collection sung in parishes today.

Its Latin selections, since they form a minimum repertoire of Gregorian chant, would allow us to finally fulfill the provision of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, which said that “steps should be taken enabling the faithful to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass belonging to them” (§54).

This is reiterated in the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM).

“All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy.…

“Since faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is fitting that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, set to the simpler melodies” (GIRM §41).

Most recently, Pope Benedict in his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, based on the October 2005 Synod on the Eucharist, said, “I desire, in accordance with the request advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed and employed as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy” (§42).

Thus Jubilate Deo includes selections that allow congregations to sing the parts of the Mass that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal calls “of greatest importance”:

“In the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, however, preference should be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those to be sung by the priest or the deacon or the lector, with the people responding, or by the priest and people together.” (GIRM §40)

In this, the GIRM follows the 1967 instruction on sacred music, Musicam Sacram §7, which says

“However, in selecting the parts which are to be sung, one should start with those that are by their nature of greater importance, and especially those which are to be sung by the priest or by the ministers, with the people replying, or those which are to be sung by the priest and people together.”

The recent decision of the US bishops to assemble a “core repertoire” of sacred music for liturgical use, as well as the anticipated appearance of a new English translation of the Mass, gives us an opportunity to reconsider the Jubilate Deo collection, which can also provide a model of a “core repertoire” of vernacular liturgical music.

As a contribution to the effort to make Jubilate Deo more widely known and to facilitate its use in ordinary parishes, Adoremus is providing downloadable files of the music (in neumes and/or modern notation) and MP3 files of the music, chanted by a choir, as they appear in the Adoremus Hymnal and from the CD recordings of the Adoremus Hymnal.

Related Articles:

The Birth and Death of a National Hymnal 1973-1976, Part I -- by Susan Benofy

The Birth and Death of a National Hymnal -- 1973-1976 -- Part II -- Seeking a "Core Repertoire" -- By Susan Benofy

Music Articles and Documents on the Adoremus website.


Mass Chants

MP3 link -- Adoremus Hymnal # JPG Image of Music with MP3 link
Kyrie 200 Kyrie
Gloria 201 Gloria
Verbum Domini p. 20 
Credo 202 Credo
Prayer of the Faithful Response p.26, B
Preface dialog p. 32, left column
Sanctus 203 Sanctus
Mysterium Fidei (1st version), Mortuam tuam … p. 46
Pater Noster, with introduction and embolism p. 84  and  p. 86
Agnus Dei 204 Agnus Dei
Ite Missa est; Deo gratias
Ite Missa est; Deo gratias (Easter)


MP3 link -- Adoremus Hymnal # JPG Image of Music with MP3 link
Adoro Te Devote 510 Adoro Te Devote
Alma Redemptoris (2nd edition only) Alma Redemptoris
Ave, Maris Stella 533 Ave, Maris Stella
Ave, Regina Caelorum 538 (2nd edition only) Ave, Regina Caelorum
O Salutaris Hostia - (Duguet) - 519 O Salutaris Hostia
Pange Lingua (Melody for Tantum Ergo) 391 Pange Lingua
Parce, Domine 365 Parce, Domine
Regina Caeli 546 Regina Caeli
Salve Regina 547 Salve Regina
Tantum Ergo 393 Tantum Ergo
Veni Creator Spiritus 441 Veni Creator Spiritus
Ubi Caritas 390 Ubi Caritas

External sites with helpful music resources:

Church Music Association of America -  www.musicasacra.com

A link to the 1974 version of Jubilate Deo (various formats): http://www.ceciliaschola.org/notes/jubilatedeo.html


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