Journeysoungs: How to make the best of a mixed blessing?
  • So, here is the short version:
    How would you go about making the most of the new edition of Journeysongs from OCP being your primary music source?

    Longer version:
    I happen to sing in a rather ordinary choir in a rather middle of the road sort of parish, distinguishable from others in the area only for being larger (both the building and the congregation).

    I have been periodically dropping hints to the music director that perhaps it may be time to move from an annual music issue to a real hymnal now that the mass translations are settled again for a while. I threw in the economic arguments, the environmental aspects, hit on the fact there are now some new and good compositions available... I am sure it has little to do with my prodding (more likely someone with money and/or the ear of the pastor) but we are in fact on our last season of an annual missallette, and it has been revealed our new hymnal will be OCP's Journeysongs starting in Advent.

    On the one hand I am happy we are finally going to have a hymnal. We are retiring both the Breaking Bread and the Choral Praise, and the choir will be using the choir edition of Journeysongs (Congregation will be using the regular version, it seems they are buying some other product for the Sunday readings, not sure why not spending the extra buck for the version with readings, but maybe it was too thick to fit in the pew racks). This is a logistical improvement it seems to me, as we no longer have to worry about the words from one edition matching those in the other book, etc. I also think, as a general matter, that a real book is better than a disposable. I am also reasonably content, because this is in many ways a preservation of much of the status quo while also offering at least some expansion of the options available. Also our first choice of settings is going to be the Heritage Mass for now, which seems at least a decent setting.

    Now on the other hand, I am a little disappointed, because this likely points out the musical direction of the parish for the next ten years or more, and it is one I don't feel fully enthusiastic about. I am also slightly disappointed that the choir was not given a chance to offer some feedback or input, though I can see good reasons for not.

    So, as a member of the choir who can only really offer suggestions or drop hints or ask pointed questions, I think our DoM is open to requests, so... if I can nudge things at all, what are some of the better offerings in Journeysongs?

    Also, as music leaders, what methodology of being nudged do you folk tend to be open too?

    (I would love it if we could indulge in some of OCP's (we seem to be wedded to OCP for the moment) other products like the Laus Tibi, Christe supplement or Columba Kelly's collection of propers, but likely not to find anything left in the music budget for now I would bet.)

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  • Journeysongs is a mix of OCP's favorite material and public domain stuff. The good thing is that there is a lot of variety, including a decent amount of traditional hymns in Journeysongs. It also does not include any of the Haugen/Haas stuff. The mass settings are about the same as the other OCP stuff.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    A list of the contents is available on OCP's site, so have a look:
    http://www.ocp.org/products/21001#tab:contents
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  • Yes, thank you for the suggestion, I am familiar with the marketing material on the web, and have been leafing through the index and flipping through the choir edition, but my musical background is rather limited (and only includes about 2 years living in a place where the liturgical music was particularly commendable), so the vast majority of what is in there rings no bells for me. I thought perhaps someone here may be familiar with the contents and may have a few favorites to suggest or something of the sort. I will even take a "check to see if it has this, if it does, it is a good piece" sort of suggestions.

    I am asking in part because I am looking for a tiny ray of hope that the next 20 years isn't going to just be stuck being a rehash of the best sellers of the previous 20 (or worse), because if so I may just have to give up hope on matters musical and liturgical.
  • Just a thought. Why not start a childrens schola? THen in ten years time when it is time to replace the hymnal, they will have to be taken into account, and if they know there stuff, it could be a sea change.
    You don't have to be an expert to sing chant with kids. t helps, but an amateur enthusiast can make a decent start.
  • I agree with bonniebede! The great thing about kids is that they dont have any preconceived notions about chant, and they'll probably have fun. Parents will be happy their children are participating and learning to sing.

    Another idea is to suggest a hymn to the DM every so often, which may or may not work. Some are just not familiar with traditional hymns, and they appreciate the help. Others might get defensive, so be subtle and take baby steps.

    We used to use Journey, but there were still some traditional hymns in it. Plenty of funky ones too, but just do some digging and you'll find decent ones.
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