A bit of research, please. (communion hymn survey)
  • What 5 English language communion hymns should every child know by heart when they leave Catholic school in order of importance?

    Thank you for your list.
  • Liam
    Posts: 2,795
    I would just include my usual bleat that a version of the Magnificat belongs on such a list.
  • Why and which one do they sing at your parish as a communion hymn? Minds, demented as they may be, want to know.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,619
    I would say the following, even though it may (read: will be) unpopular:

    1. Soul of My Savior

    2. Gift of Finest Wheat

    3. The King of Love My Shepherd Is

    4. Alleluia! Sing to Jesus

    5. Taste and See

    Now, if I can use Latin:

    1. Pange Lingua

    2. O Salutaris Hostia

    3. Tantum Ergo

    4. Ave Verum Corpus

    5. Panis Angelicus
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,325
    Communion Hymns are not at all an ideal as they are difficult to commit to memory. Instead I would suggest having 5 seasonal antiphons in English that could be used as necessary.

    In example:

    Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    I will go to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth.
    Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him says the Lord.
    The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.
    Ubi caritas et...

    All available here:
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,072
    Here's 5 things I'd much rather children spend time learning while in school than communion hymns:

    • Mass XI
    • Mass IX
    • Mass XVII
    • Mass XVIII
    • Mass I

    Hymns are incidental to the Mass. They ought to spend time learning the Mass itself.
  • For newcomers, puzzled by all of this:

    From a discussion group:

    "Staying within the lines follows systematic regimen and order, it does not allow thinking beyond the boundaries - it imposes restraint. It has it's value, absolutely, but it shouldn't be the only message a child gets.

    "It is good in teaching discipline but does little for encouraging imaginative thinking. You can create some imaginative things within the lines but expanding beyond them is like exploring the universe of your mind. We would not have computers or the internet if great minds were limited to thinking only inside the box. In fact, there's a lot we wouldn't have, we should be grateful that some minds exploded beyond the boundaries."

    It is almost impossible to ask a simple question and get the answer on this group. I know this may frustrate newcomers, but people are here because they have definite ideas about "how things should be" and this is the only place many of them have to actually interact with others about their ideas on subjects.

    It's my friend, a librarian who gets a bit frustrated dealing with people who come in. She may be the only person these people get a chance to talk to each day and they really, really appreciate her attention.

    So, just filter out bleating, latin hymns, antiphons and sue, storing away all the information which is useful, and watch for actual answers to questions. They appear at times and can be quite helpful.

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 287
    Up to the end of the last century any English congregation could sing Soul of my Saviour, without books and unaccompanied (tune Anima Christi by Maher). I don't know if this still holds. Unfortunately some could, and did, sing Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all, Fr Faber's words, tune from 'Crown of Jesus' hymnbook unattributed (rightly IMHO), usually only two verses.
  • Liam
    Posts: 2,795
    I am thinking primarily in terms of source texts, not specific settings. Why, you may ask?

    For example, because English vernacular settings (very much including metrical paraphrases) of the Magnificat would tend to be under copyright as they tended to be produced post-1923, I was purposely generic because what people might be able to do is likely going to be constrained by what they have - so, in other words, look at your resources and don't neglect this option simply if you go by public domain options or Topical lists in your resources.

    O Be Glad, My Soul Rejoice



    The King of Love My Shepherd Is or another metrical paraphrase of Psalm 23
    Taste and See (whatever setting is best in your resources)
    Your preferred vernacular adaption of Ubi Caritas probably leads the non-scriptural/canticle choices. (Consult Praenotanda of the Graduale Simplex §2)

  • bhcordova
    Posts: 331
    Wow! I don't even know 5 hymns by heart, much less 5 communion hymns!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,524
    Good choices for the optional congregational "hymn of praise" (GIRM 88) following Communion might include the following.

    An English translation of the Adoro Te (NOT Humbly We Adore Thee)
    Alleluia, Sing to Jesus
    Soul of My Savior
    Faith of Our Fathers
    The King of Love
    O Bread of Heav'n
    Sweet Sacrament
    Jesus Shall Reign
    O Jesus, We Adore Thee
    Father, We Thank Thee
    Beautiful Savior
    My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
    O How Blest
    In Perfect Charity

  • What is a communion hymn in this context, please?

    I'm asking because I see Alleluia Sing to Jesus on several people's lists, and set to the energetic HYFRYDOL I would not have seen it as suitable for a reflective / meditative purpose.
  • First, let me put in an oar to praise Mr. Yanke for his eminently sensible advice: have them learn the Mass first, not that which is ancillary to it, because this may be the last thing they learn.

    Second, although Noel doesn't stipulate that the hymns must be vernacular texts, I will stipulate that Latin hymns are important to learn. They should be able to sing at least:

    a) Ave Verum Corpus
    b) Tantum Ergo
    c) O Salutaris Hostia
    d) Adoro te Devote

    that's 4, without using the vernacular.

    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • What 5 English language

    Optional congregational "hymn of praise" is not what was requested as well as Benediction hymns.

    Should I have said in addition to all the more important things that they should learn and know in your opinion that should be sung at Mass, this:

    What 5 English language communion hymns should every child know by heart when they leave Catholic school in order of importance?

    I find it interesting that when a blogger posts a recipe with very clear instructions on what goes in to and how much, the majority of posters explain how they did it and why...converting a nicely presented quiche into cement sandwich. And go ton to explain that they hated it.

    Very few say, "Thank you, I made it as you did and you are right, it's a perfect recipe. My family loved it."
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,325
    At least my version of the forum lists it as being a "discussion" forum not a place for people to post lists. I think you'll find that many of us are saying the answer to your question:

    What 5 English Communion hymns...?

    Is that there are none. There are hymns children should know - Benediction hymns, hymns of praise for after Communion as Kathy mentions, standard hymnody for the end of Mass, etc.

    But many of our answers, that we are open to discussing with you on this discussion board, is that there are no hymns to be sung during the distribution of Communion that we think children need to know.
    Thanked by 2Ben Yanke CCooze
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 1,929
    I can't really say from experience, as my parish situation is different from most: The musical emphasis at Communion is on the Communion chant itself, which is prolonged with verses, then followed, at daily Mass, by a few verses of a Polish hymn (sung by the choir/cantor with 'one of the congregation joining in'), then an organ meditation.

    At the Principal (Choir) Mass on Sundays, a second communion hymn in English or Latin may be sung, but it might not be, or maybe only a couple verses. By this point, most of the people have returned to their pews and the singing is pretty good, as those who wish have had opportunity to pray. (At daily Masses, people are just getting back to their pews by the time the priest reserves the Sacrament in the Tabernacle, so a hymn is superfluous -- and a 'meditation hymn' is out of the question, the people want to pray silently, not sing.)

    Now, hymns that I tend to use at communion at the Principal (Choir) Mass are these:

    1) Panis Angelicus (LAMBILLOTTE) -- Adoremus Hymnal 523 (I know, not English, but hey)
    2) Alleluia, Sing to Jesus (HYFRYDOL) -- AH 601
    3) Father, we thank thee, who has planted (RENDEZ A DIEU) -- AH 515
    4) Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all (SWEET SACRAMENT) -- AH 516
    5) O Lord Jesus, I adore thee (ST THOMAS) -- AH 513
    6) O Jesus Christ, remember (AURELIA) -- AH 518
  • But many of our answers, that we are open to discussing with you on this discussion board, is that there are no hymns to be sung during the distribution of Communion that we think children need to know.

    That's certainly been made clear, I see. Thank you.

    It may be been clearer if posted...

    1. None
    2. None
    3. None
    4. None
    5. None

    But then alas, it would be a list which now I discovered is banned, or at least disliked.

    Posters have confirmed 5 choices I had in mind, so thank you all, will move on with the project. Thank you all!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,272
    Hi Noel.

    Five hymns would be great but hymns aren't appropriate for Communion. Therefore, let's teach them Gregorian Chant. However, Many churches (and pastors) will not allow Gregorian Chant. Therefore, let's do polyphony. However, most church choirs aren't capable of singing polyphony. Therefore, let's just play instrumental organ music. However most churches use a piano and guitar instead. If they have an organ, it isn't really an organ, it is a simulacrum. Therefore, let's just sing Be Not Afraid. BTW... I am very afraid.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,153
    I couldn't think of one I liked and knew!
  • There is always the option of silence, holy silence,
    in which one just might hear the 'still, small voice' -
    if one is attentive.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,229
    "It's my friend, a librarian who gets a bit frustrated dealing with people who come in. "
    As a librarian, I know that the question the patron is asking isn't always the real question, the one (s)he needs an answer to. It's appropriate to ask questions about intent and context.

    OTOH, if some people here were librarians, their response to "What do you have on [topic]?" would be "You really need to be doing a paper on [different topic that has no literature]"
    Thanked by 2PaxMelodious Spriggo
  • bhcordova
    Posts: 331
    In my church, if there is no music and the priest is not talking, praying, etc. the sound of the congregants(sp?) whispering to each other is distracting from the 'holy silence'. When did it become OK to talk to each other during Mass?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Bobby Bolin
    Posts: 310
    O Sacrament Most Holy
    Shepherd of Souls
    Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
    Humbly We Adore Thee
    I Am the Bread of Life (yes, I said it)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 7,920
    We have been told - actually, not the tacky song title - that singing is to accompany communion per GIRM. The hymns listed above are acceptable and we sing them during distribution after - and I stress after - we sing the communion proper. Some of those hymns are fine for other times, as well as, for communion. Whether children or adults, learning some of these listed hymns is far better than what some of them fill their minds with. It can't hurt them.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,524
    Yes, Shepherd of Souls
  • I will try again: Is a "communion hymn" one which is about the Eucharist? Or is it one that can be sung during the time when people receive Communion? Or one that can be sung immediately after this, in a time when most people are reflecting?

    Also, Noel - your question should be more culturally specific than just "English speaking" I think. As far as I can tell, Gift of Finest Wheat is widely known in North America, but hasn't made much impact in the UK, OZ, NZ, Philippines, India, etc.

    PS I like Holy Silence and it certainly features in my personal prayer life. But the reality in many churches during corporate worship with young children, people with intellectual disabilities or even some older people (beginning stages of dementia) is that this can turn into an Unholy Din.
  • KyleM18
    Posts: 43
    The communion hymns I often use (as a catholic school student, mind you), are

    1) Godhead here in hiding
    2) Draw near and take
    3) At the Lamb's high feast we sing
    4) Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all
    5) Let all mortal flesh keep silence

    Others that are used are "This is the feast (Festival Canticle: Worthy Is Christ)", "You satisfy the hungry heart", and "I am the bread of life".
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 115
    We don't always have a Communion hymn, but when we do I like to stick to traditional Catholic rather than Protestant hymns at this point.
    Favourites are ( and the congregation can sing many of these by heart)
    O bread of heaven (tune: St Catherine)
    Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all (tune: Corpus Christi)
    Sweet Sacrament Divine (Divine Mysteries)
    O Godhead hid (Aquinas)
    Godhead here in hiding (plainchant)
    Lord, for tomorrow and its needs (Providence)
    In June a popular one is O Sacred Heart (tune: Laurence)

    Soul of my Saviour is used very sparingly; always at Communion on Good Friday, when I find it intensely moving, and just one or two other occasions in the year at most.
    We sometimes have plainchant, Ave Verum Corpus, or Adoro te, or Jesu dulcis memoria.
  • SarahJ
    Posts: 41
    Godhead Here in Hiding
    Ave Verum Corpus
    Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
    Soul of My Savior
    Lord Whom at Thy First Eucharist
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,407
    Surprised that nobody has mentioned "O Food of exiles lowly" [INNSBRUCK].
  • Others that are used are "This is the feast (Festival Canticle: Worthy Is Christ)", "You satisfy the hungry heart", and "I am the bread of life".


    Here you employ the passive voice, are used,by which I understand that someone uses them, or chooses them to be used, but not you?

    Under what argument do people (whoever they are) propose to use these? Is it that they quote Holy Scripture? Is it that they are popularly known (at least by those of the generation doing the choosing)? Is it (in the case of the Hillert) out of some Ecumenical urge? Are you in or near Philadelphia - for which diocese Gift of Finest Wheat was commissioned? Maybe someone has a brass quartet which needs to be used?
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 4,358
    At Walsingham last Sunday our communion hymn (following the communion anthem, 'Behold the Lamb of God', from Messiah), was 'Deck, my soul, thyself with gladness' (Schmucke dich). This, for me, retains a spiritual beauty with mystical imagery that is quite the equal of just about any Latin hymn of which I know.

    Too, I would have to add (with respect, but in response to our esteemed poet's above stated aversion to it) that I hold 'Humbly I adore thee' to be the most sensitive, musically flowing, poetically satisfying to the soul, and tune-complimenting of all translations of Adoro te devote. I am quite fond to GMH's and several others, which are imaginative and poetically colourful, but none captures the soul or sings as naturally as 'Humbly...'. What is absolutely intolerable are those whose syllabifications play havoc with the neumatic structure of the tune - such as putting two syllables on a podatus which should have only one, plus other egregious and unforgivable liberties which are the unfailing signifers of inept translator-poets - who just can't seem to accept that the structure of the music (not to mention that of the original poem) is inviolable, a thing which a master translator will respect. Getting these structural and formal elements right is part and parcel of any faithful translation.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,407
    'Deck, my soul, thyself with gladness' (Schmucke dich). This, for me, retains a spiritual beauty with mystical imagery that is quite the equal of just about any Latin hymn of which I know.
    This. Another spiritual gem.
  • davido
    Posts: 31
    Deck thyself my soul
    Humbly I adore thee (Neale translation)
    Let all mortal flesh
    Alleluia sing to Jesus
    Glory be to Jesus
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 948
    One should also be able to glean from the Communion Antiphon (and suggested Psalm verses) themes for a Communion hymn other than generic Eucharistic texts. Some priests don't seem to understand that even the Propers of the Mass CAN include specific mention of the Blessed Virgin, so that should not be an absolute taboo for hymn choices.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 4,358
    Humbly I adore thee (Neale translation)

    As much as one admires the work of JMN, this translation is not his. As found at no. 204 inThe Hymnal 1940, it first appeared in The Monastic Diurnal (a reprint of which may be had from the Lancelot Andrewes Press) of 1932, which was the work of Canon Winfred Douglas, the eminent Episcopal priest and authority on plainchant. Apparently, the attribution of this hymn to Thos. Aquinas is not without challenge. More interesting details may be found at pp. 144-145 of The Hymnal 1940 Companion.

    The version adopted by Canon Douglas in The Monastic Diurnal is, I believe, the work of Edward Bouverie Pusey, which originally began 'Prostrate here before thee...'.

    It is particularly noted that 'Deity' in the first line, as employed in some translations, misses the subtlety of 'Verity', which more nearly captures the sense of Aquinas' own veritas in a literary line of thought stemming from St Ambrose's former use of 'God of truth'. Canon Douglas (Pusey?) himself had used 'Deity', which was altered in The Hymnal 1940 to 'Verity'.

    If there is, indeed, a JMN translation of Aquinas' hymn I am unaware of it and would be delighted to learn of it.
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • Just me..... I prefer Fr. Hopkins' rending of the challenged Thomas.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn