Missa ex Corde (Mass from the Heart) is a Roman Catholic Mass setting composed by Glenn Fowler for the 2010 ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) translation of the Roman Missal.  The work is copyrighted and is published with the approval of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) Committee on Divine Worship and with the permission of the ICEL.

For me the Latin phrase Missa ex Corde has many meanings:  the direct gift of the Mass from Jesus to the Church; the response of the church in prayer and adoration back to God; and personally, my gift back to the Lord and Church for all of the blessings in my life.

The setting started with a Gloria in Excelcis Deo chorus I had done in the late 90's.  It sat unused until the Spring of 2011 when I decided to apply my free music time to composing an entire Mass.  Even if it were never used, it would at least channel energy otherwise spent grousing about other settings into a constructive activity.  So I set out to address and transform my complaints into a musical and liturgical prayer.  I strove for:
  • natural cadence - the music and lyrics should feel like they were made for each other
  • individual melodies weaving through an overall musical theme
  • one congregation/presider friendly key for the entire setting
  • minimal use of repeated phrases (although allowed by USCCB and ICEL)
  • lyrics first, melodies second, instrumentation last
  • enough variety to last a liturgical season and still remain fresh
  • incorporation of Latin and a capella voice (not strictly chant because of modes and accidentals)
Of course most of this is highly subjective - the proof will be in the hearing and singing.

The project has progressed to the point where its ready for more exposure.  The melody lines and chords for the entire setting have been engraved, along with SATB for a few appropriate pieces.  Basic audio demos are also complete.  Current work includes:
  • keyboard arrangements and engraving
  • Alleluia verses (73 verses X 3 Alleluia settings - incorporated into my daily prayer); Alleluia A done, 2 to go
  • better recording with mixed voices