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Chant the Rosary… in Latin!

by Richard Poe
Saturday, July 7, 2007

7:00 am Eastern Time
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5 Comments

posted 07.07.07, last updated 08.27.07

Graphic of Rosary

The Rosary is a chain of beads used for counting prayers. Roman Catholics recite the Rosary as a special devotion to the Virgin Mary.

In addition to reciting the Rosary, one may also sing it. There are many ways to sing the Rosary. The method described here is just one of them. No single approach is authorized or mandated by the Church. Still, the technique set forth below carries a certain weight of tradition, for it draws, wherever possible, on the most venerable customs and practices of our Catholic ancestors.

Most of the prayers recited in the Rosary — the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, the Salve Regina and so on — have been sung for centuries in the form of Gregorian chants. I do not know if these chants were ever used for the specific purpose of singing the Rosary, but it seems likely.

Wherever I could find free audio files on the Internet featuring traditional chants corresponding to the Rosary prayers, I linked to them here. In several instances where I could not find traditional chants — (or, in the case of Salve Regina, could not find a recorded version which included the necessary coda, “Prayer Concluding the Rosary”) — I commissioned composer David Yeagley to write new chants in the traditional style.

DEDICATION

To the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, I dedicate this work. And to my readers, I commend the “Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” declared by Pope Pius XII on October 13, 1942, in which he prayed to the Blessed Mother, “Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.”


A Work in Progress

As of this writing, I have not yet found or commissioned a chant for the Apostle’s Creed, but will fill this gap when I can. For better or worse, I set a goal of posting this article on July 7, 2007 — the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year of the new millennium — and so I have, warts and all.

This is still a work in progress. If any readers know of free audio links of traditional chants which would help complete or enhance this page, please e-mail your suggestions to me.

Traditional-minded Roman Catholics eager to begin chanting their Rosaries, will, I hope, find the resources below of some assistance. If even a few inquiring souls are encouraged thereby to embark upon a deeper, more rigorous, exploration of Christian chant, and of the mysteries of the Rosary itself, my efforts will have been well spent.

Tutorial

Chant the Rosary in Latin


LESSON I: How to Pronounce Latin
LESSON II: Learn the Latin Prayers
LESSON III: The Sacred Mysteries
LESSON IV: The Rosary Beads
LESSON V: Learn the Latin Chants
LESSON VI: Chant the Rosary
LESSON VII: Timesaving Tips


Composer David Yeagley: master of liturgical chant (see his blog at BadEagle.com)

Special Thanks
to David Yeagley

In assembling this tutorial for chanting the Latin Rosary, I used existing recordings of traditional Latin chants wherever possible. In the case of some Rosary prayers, however, I could find no recorded chants on the Internet corresponding to them. That is where composer David Yeagley — a noted expert on liturgical music — entered the picture. I commissioned him to write new chants in the traditional style, to accompany the orphaned prayers.


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FreeRepublic Comments


07/18/2007 2:19:17 PM PDT


Comments

5 Responses to “Chant the Rosary… in Latin!”
  1. ScreamingBolshevik says:

    Don’t forget the Luminous Mysteries, which are said on Thursdays. Although they are a recent addition, they are nonetheless edifying and no less worthy of meditation.

    They are:
    1. The Baptism of Jesus
    2. The Wedding at Cana
    3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
    4. The Transfiguration
    5. The Last Supper

  2. Richard Poe says:

    Don’t worry, ScreamingBolshevik. I have not forgotten the Luminous Mysteries.

    As you may have noticed, I am still working on the footnotes. I plan to include a comment on the Luminous Mysteries, explaining what they are, and why I chose not to feature them in this particular tutorial.

    My understanding is that the Luminous Mysteries were proposed by Pope John Paul II, but are still considered optional.

  3. Richard Poe says:

    A woman named Katherine posted a touching testimonial at David Yeagley’s blog BadEagle.com. Addressing Dr. Yeagley, she wrote:

    From BadEagle.com:

    “You have given new meaning to the recitation of the rosary. As a lapsed Catholic, I have not said the rosary in a very long time, but after listening to you, I will say it every night along with your chants, which are absolutely beautiful! My mother listened with me, and she was very excited to hear an American Indian chanting the rosary (she is also American Indian [Cherokee], and she has a deep devotion to the rosary). She is also very musically inclined, and when she listened to your chants, she began to harmonize perfectly with them. I got goose bumps all over me. What a beautiful way to pray! I have not prayed much in a very long time, but this has inspired me to do so again. Thank you for the beautiful and inspiring work!”

    Posted by Katherine at July 9, 2007 08:08 PM

  4. Netmilsmom says:

    Mr, Poe, you are correct; the Luminous Mysteries are optional. In fact, ALL mysteries are optional. The suggestions of certain days for certain mysteries are just that, suggestions.

    I pray the Sorrowful Mysteries exclusively. Keeps me grounded as to what Our Lord did for us.

    Thank you for the Latin chant. We need this so badly. I’m hoping to learn the Whole Rosary by January when the TLM starts in my parish.

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