Based on hymn tunes, here are 24 Simplified Anglican Chants, 18 (regular) Anglican Chants, and an Anglican Chant in Jazz Style with Black Gospel Hallelujah (fun!) including directions for use.
All the SIMPLIFIED chant tunes for placing into your bulletins are located in the EXTRAS (ZIP) file.
Chanting the Psalms is a practice that goes back thousands of years to the time of ancient Israel. Indeed, the Book of Psalms is the hymnal of Israel. Speaking the Psalms is an anomaly, because Psalms are for singing. It is easy to picture the shock that might have appeared on the faces of Israel’s musicians if they could witness the widespread practice of speaking Psalms in American parish worship today. To understand their reaction, just imagine celebrating someone’s birthday, for example, by speaking the words to the birthday song. The effect would be comic.
When Robert Knox Kennedy popularized “Simplified Anglican Chant” in 1979, many people were emboldened for the first time to sing the Psalms. Far easier than full Anglican Chants, this newer form has fewer notes in the tune. When these chants are based on already familiar hymn tunes, they become even easier to sing. Leaders who wish to encourage the singing of Anglican Chant might even find that Simplified Anglican Chant is a step in that direction, preparing people for the more complex form and building up their confidence until they are ready to try.
William Bradley Roberts