A new musical setting for the new Mass

Catholic singer-songwriters ................ Jo Boyce & Mike Stanley

Catholic singer-songwriters ................ Jo Boyce & Mike Stanley

There are just a few months to go before the new translation of the Mass is introduced in England and Wales. Many familiar Mass parts will no longer be used. Catholic singer-songwriters Jo Boyce and Mike Stanley have written a new Mass setting: the Mass of St Bernadette – which has been tried and tested in parishes, schools and the Lourdes pilgrimage, and is proving very popular.

Jo Boyce said: “With the new translation, people are discouraged from paraphrasing the text. This can lead to some Mass settings becoming quite complicated.  We’ve tried to be accessible and singable. The plan is to make resources available as free downloads, available to all.”

Boyce & Stanley are also doing workshops and inset training for teachers and pastoral musicians.  The after-school inset is designed to bring teachers up to speed in one go.  Their new course: the Mystery of Faith  - has been devised to help teachers understand the changes in translation. Jo says:  “It’s an opportunity for catechesis on the Mass – to give them ideas and resources for use in schools.”

She understands why some have expressed misgivings over the new translation: “If you love the English language you can see its not the best use of English. As a songwriter I love language and the poetic use of words. And there’s a very valid argument that this translation does not serve well at that level. However, its what we’ve got to work with and there are many positive aspects as well, such as the opportunity for catechesis and to become conscious of what we are saying instead of passively reciting the words by rote.”

She added: “There are many passages which I find deeply moving – I actually like: “and with your spirit” - instead of and with you. It flows better and makes more sense.

“At the end of the day, God transcends our preciousness about translations. Prayer goes beyond words. This is a chapter in a long journey and will probably be seen as a bleep. In the meantime we take the teaching that we can from it and the opportunity to grow.”

The third collection of songs in the popular How Can we Keep From Singing? series goes on general release on Friday,  11 March.  This collection brings together a carefully selected group of songs and acclamations featuring work by well-known contemporary liturgical composers including Bernadette Farrell, Bob Hurd and Marty Haugen.

Unlike previous offerings in the series, this recording features a full band – including drums – on several tracks, while retaining the simple, accessible arrangements which have become the hallmark of the series so far.  All three CDs in this series provide a valuable reference point for parishes and schools looking to expand their liturgical repertoire.

Order your copy in advance for just  £9.99 (rrp. £10.99)  The first 50 advance orders will also receive a FREE BONUS Backing Track CD.

To book a training course or for more information see: www.cjmmusic.com/

Share this story