Singing liturgical prose texts to the rhythm of speech. The term is from the Latin cantus, “song.” Since ancient times, psalms and canticles, prayers, dialogue, scripture, and other liturgical texts have been sung to many types of melodic formulas. For Anglicans, the most familiar types of chant until recent times were plainchant and Anglican chant. Since the 1950s many other chants have been introduced, based on the rhythms and stresses of modern speech. The most famous are the psalm tones composed by Joseph Gelineau for the Psalter in French, in the eight Gregorian modes. The twentieth century has also witnessed a revival of plainchant, including its Gregorian, Ambrosian, and Mozarabic families, and interest in Slavonic and other eastern chants.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.