One of the products of late Lockdown for me has been the creation of regular services. I produce a spoken service each day, in which all the words (apart from the Lord’s Prayer!) are either my own or are translations which I have made. The website to visit is www.todayspsalms.com.
(Having said it’s available each day, the summer holidays may soon get in the way for a week or so… Or I might be able to upload from where we’re staying. We’ll see).
I’m not sure whether the main focus of that work, though, is the translations of the psalms and the readings; whether it’s the creation of a tweet-sized responsory each day, focusing on modern issues; or whether it’s the chants which I’m using, Sunday by Sunday, in a fuller, sung version of the service. The latest service is now online on the Today’s Psalms site at todayspsalms.com/services/TP_9afterPentecost.mp3.
The chants are something that I’ve been meaning to address for a while. I’m trying to evolve a style which has alternate verses for congregation and cantor; the congregation ‘verses’ are more straightforward, the cantor verses slightly less so – although I might be accused of blurring that distinction a bit. They must also be tuneful. Some daily office/daily service texts are repeated a lot – I believe that with a few repetitions, congregations can pick up these chants with slightly more notes.
Of course, at the moment that aspect is rather academic, as there are congregations to test it out on!
It’s also a thought at the back of my mind that the same technique could be a starting point for setting other (not necessarily religious) texts.