Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary

Some projects are planned and thought out; others just drop in your lap…

It was brought to my attention a short while ago that the Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary had disappeared from its former online home. For those not familiar with it, the AG&S is a independent work created by David Allen White that offers Minor Propers and other material for use alongside the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. It’s a very handy resource for Anglo-Catholic Episcopal clergy who would like to use the Minor Propers and contains contemporary Rite II material paralleling the current Roman use, traditional Rite I material paralleling classic Roman use, and Spanish-language material as well.

Here are the editorial principles from which it works:

This book is a revision of the Anglican Missal for use with the 1979 Prayer Book. Unlike the earlier work, the text of the Eucharist is not printed so as to be used for the celebration, but only as a guideline. . . .

In selecting the proper anthems, this book uses a general pattern as follows: Introits and Communions generally agree with Missale Romanum cum Lectionibus, 1977, when that use was compatible with Anglican use; otherwise they generally agree with Martens, Traditional Anthems of the Eucharist, 1975. Offertories nearly always agree with Martens, because modern Roman use does not appoint an offertory. Graduals, alleluias, and tracts usually agree with Martens in Rite I, but in Rite II they agree with Gradual Psalms and Alleluia Verses, 1980-1990, published by the Church Hymnal Corporation. Where this latter source suggested only “ad lib.” alleluias, or fails to suggest any at all, Missale Romanum cum Lectionibus was normally used as the source, since an “ad lib.” option is not in keeping with the format of this book. For propers which do not appear in these sources, anthems have been selected from other sources, including some unfamiliar anthems found in missals from Ireland, England, and Spain which include supplements for local communities. This was done to avoid repetition of the same anthems for various propers. Finally, it should be emphasized that this is a general guideline, and there are a number of variations from it. . . .

Rite I English anthems use the 1928 Prayer Book as the form for psalms and canticles, and any text derived from them. For texts from other parts of the Bible, the King James version was used. For texts from non-scriptural sources, the Anglican Missal was preferred, but other sources have also been used.

Rite II English anthems use the 1979 Prayer Book for psalms and canticles, and The Common Bible for texts from other parts of the Bible. For texts from non-scriptural sources, the Roman Sacramentary was often the source.

Spanish anthems use Libro de Oración Común, 1989 for material from the Prayer Book, and the Nácar-Colunga translation of the Bible for other Scriptural texts. For non-Scriptural material, Misal de la Comunidad, 1976, was the preferred source. The Spanish-language material is the equivalent of English Rite II, and anthems which appear only in Rite I texts do not have a Spanish form.

Thus, it is solidly rooted in current traditions of use. My only real beef with it is the format in which it travels…

It has circulated in three different formats: WordPerfect files, MS Word Documents, and PDFs. In each case, each occasion or week is its own discrete file. As a result, the collection is massive; an extant printed version runs over twenty volumes! The paradigm under which they were created was fundamentally that of print—which makes sense as the original preface is dated 1991. As an internet resource in an age of digital media, it is crying out for a new format.

The original source documents are the WordPerfect files. The Word docs and PDFs were created by Glenn Hammett, the former online host of the resource, in 2000. As I delved into the question of where the files were, I learned that Fr. Hammett had passed away as had his service provider: that’s why the web site has gone down. However, the former custodian of the site gave me contact information for David Allen White.

In the interest of getting the material circulating again, he has given me permission to host the AG&S files. He adds these three caveats:

  1. First of all, it predates the Revised Common Lectionary and Holy Women, Holy Men, therefore you will not find these uses here. It remains for someone else to adapt it to those sources.
  2. Second, in order for these pages to display properly you will need the following fonts installed in your computer: Garamond, Antique, Cataneo, and Ceremony. Ceremony was designed by Fr. Tobias Stanislas Haller. Most people who would be interested in this book know who he is and how to contact him. [The Ceremony font is available for free download here.]
  3. These files are being converted from WordPerfect, the program in which they were created, to Rich Text Format. This makes them better than any previous files you might have seen that were in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat (which I did not create), the reason being that over the years I have made corrections here and there, but only in the WordPerfect files, because WordPerfect remains my choice for word processing software.

The files are still in the process of conversion to the .rtf  format from WordPerfect. However, the Temporal Cycle and the Saints’ Days & Holy Days are done, and I will begin uploading them shortly. Once this is done, I will link to them. Too, I am working on an interface to make the collection more readily accessible.

Ideally, I’d like to do further conversions on the files. I’d like to 1) convert them into html for even broader circulation, and 2) database them for enhanced versatility. As noted above in point 3, there is a formatting issue in the current files; the collects and other items begin with a drop-cap. However, these are laid out by means of tables in the current set-up, and Word won’t let you use a drop-cap within a table. This is easily fixed with modern html/css, but it takes time to convert all of the files and is likely not something that will be accomplished soon.

So—what exactly are we talking about in terms of time? When will these files be available again? Very shortly, I hope. I expect the finished files to be available by the end of next week with the main hold-up being an effective interface. Of course, that’s not the only thing on the docket… Here’s a glance at my current workload:

  • An edition of the St. Bede’s Breviary for the Companions of St. Luke (OSB): This is at the top of the list and is almost done. This edition uses a four-week psalm cycle, seasonal antiphons for all of the psalms and canticles, and an expanded array of canticles for the slot after the first reading at Morning Prayer. I’m in the final data-entry/testing stages here.
  • Transcription of the Anglican Breviary: This has begun, but has not yet been unveiled. That’ll happen very, very soon. At that point, I’ll also solicit help from the various people who have volunteered to assist with it.
  • Collect revision for “A Great Cloud of Witnesses” (formerly HWHM): This is also underway and needs to be in decent shape by the end of the month…
  • Dissertation revision: The dissertation is being transformed into a book for regular people to be published by Liturgical Press. There’s an early Fall deadline on this one, so expect a lot more posts in the near future on early medieval monastic formation, liturgy, and biblical interpretation!

Then there’s the day job, the girls’ activities, the staying married, and all—needless to say, it’s a busy summer. Donations to help defray hosting costs and to help underwrite some of this work are gladly accepted from those able to do so!

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About Derek Olsen

I'm a layman within the Episcopal Church with a PhD in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. My chief job is keeping up with my priestly wife and our two awesome kids. In addition to that, I earn a living, run the St Bede's Breviary, listen to loud goth/industrial music, and do some stuff for the church. I currently serve as Secretary to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music where I'm also co-chair of the Calendar committee and chair of the Digital Publications committee.
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4 Responses to Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary

  1. God bless you! I had a fright after the last outage, when Bishop Hammett died, and saved the PDFs one by one. Since then, however, I believe they may have slipped through the cracks of one or two PC replacements, so you’ve really saved me on this one.

  2. david pintar says:

    I look forward to seeing the Anglican Gradual and Sacramentary again. I had “bookmarks” for them in a file–but never actually downloaded them; I recently went to find something there–and the links had disappeared! All the best, DK Date: Fri, 6 Jun 2014 12:22:28 +0000 To: dkpintar@hotmail.co.uk

  3. Steph Houghton says:

    While I think this is a useful document, I think that it needs to have the introits appointed in the first prayerbook of Edward VI to be called Anglican. :-)

  4. Pingback: Anglican Gradual & Sacramentary Back Online | haligweorc

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