New St. Basil Hymnal
  • The parish where I will be singing at an EF Mass twice a month uses the New St. Basil Hymnal, apparently original copies, which of course are still hanging in there but rather rough around the edges. I bought what seemed to be two of the last three copies available on Amazon. (The first one was only unison, so I ended up buying two. I did not see that there was more than one when I ordered it, alas. My buying may have brought some others into the search. That has happened before.) I see there have been references to it in the Forum. Does anyone know of another parish where it is still the main hymnal in use?

    Kenneth
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 141
    On visits to St. Mary's, Mother of God, Church on Fifth Street in DC over the last twenty years or so, I always noticed two or three copies of the singer's edition of the New St. Basil's Hymnal in each pew.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    At one time, All Saints in Flint, MI used it for their EF Masses, though that was over a decade ago.

    I was under the impression that the hymnal was being reprinted? Surely someone has a link?
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Gavin, I'm befuddled about that as well (among most other things.) Last I recall, many of us expressed a desire for a revised version of it. And IIRC there was a sort of consensus that of the first half century American RC hymnals that it was overall the best in content.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Torculus, thanks.
    Do you know if this is a revised version of the 50's vintage, same content, new content etc.
  • I can't say for sure. I purchased my copy from the Willis Music Company more than a decade ago. My version is not spiral bound, as the current offering from them appears to be. The one I have is copyright 1958. It appears to be an exact reprint of the 1958 version.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Thanks, again. I have a handful of 58's, so I suspect its just a re-issue. It's an interesting, tempting notion to revive its standard use in a parish where the EF and OF are accepting of Latin/Greek settings as well as the low Mass strophic hymns.
  • Oldhymns, I should have specified that Old St. Mary's is where I am singing, which means the answer to my question appears to be "no." It is a wonderful hymnal, and I am having a wonderful time learning the EF, though I am a "Roma locuta est" kind of guy, so any licit Mass makes me feel equally in the presence of Our Lord. But, as I can function in Latin and sing Chant, I love it. The people are really nice, too, and lots of young families.

    Kenneth
    Thanked by 1oldhymns
  • Willis Music has the 1958 St. Basil Hymnal in stock for $9.95 per copy! (softcover) Their contact info is: AdminAssistant@willismusic.com or (859-283-2050).
    Thanked by 1amindthatsuits
  • This book is a gem. It is a great resource for any choir. Healey Willan was actively involved in its compilation. Besides harmonizing several hymns, Willan composed a few original tunes as well. In the back, his Mass of Saint Theresa is a gem. It has been reprinted by Saint John Cantius, Chicago. Saint Basil's Church, in Toronto, is a lovely building with a warm vibe. In November, Olivier Latry performed there.https://www.facebook.com/stbasilsparish/photos/a.626166124112116/2263177667077612/?type=1&theater
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    In November, Oliver Latry performed there.

    Olivier appears to have been giving quite a number of recitals recently.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,452
    Joseph Michael: I'm looking at my copy of the "St. Basil Hymnal". Is this different than the "New St. Basil Hymnal"? My hymnal's copyright is 1935. I don't see a Mass by Willan. There are no Masses in English.
  • "New St. Basil" was a different version than the "St. Basil" hymnal if I remember correctly. The New St. Basil has a lot of items from the original, but is also missing some pieces. I have both - I'd have to look at it to see what the exact differences are (might be an interesting cataloging project).
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,452
    Thanks Incarination. Maybe I can dig up a "New St. Basil" somewhere. It's amazing what comes up at used bookshops if you know what to look for.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 325
    The New St. Basil Hymnal was published in 1958 and contains the Mass of St. Teresa by Healey Willan. Is that what you're looking for? You can try the archive.org website they might have a pdf or Abebooks.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,452
    Not really Don. But I have the older edition and it was mentioned above. But mine is missing the Mass and I was curious. Thanks!
  • Maybe I can dig up a "New St. Basil" somewhere.


    You might try to reach out to Holy Family parish in Dayton, OH. Seems to me that they had 50 or so in the choir loft when I was there - I believe they were still there when I left and they might be willing to sell a copy here and there (they aren't using them as far as I know).

    https://www.daytonlatinmass.org/
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen canadash
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 141
    Check ebay for purchasing the New St. Basil's Hymnal. Usually, there are several copies available at reasonable prices. There is a singers' edition as well as an accompaniment edition of this hymnal; the accompaniment edition is usually more difficult to obtain and commands a higher price.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 793
    Table of Contents of New SBH here.

    From what I remember, the new was a complete revision of the former edition, which was full of "old chestnuts" from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The "New" Saint Basil (with the green cover) compared to the "old" Saint Basil (with the black cover) is like comparing an apricot to a cement block.

    When it the NSB came out, it was Canada's answer to the Saint Pius X Hymnal. Both of these books are filled with wonderful texts and music.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    I use this hymnal quite a bit. Overall it is very well done, especially considering the era it was created. At the same time it can be frustrating:

    -many well-known melodies differ slightly from what is most familiar. For example, the "old" Saint Basil had the familiar melody for "O Queen of the Holy Rosary"; the new Saint Basil alters it slightly, omitting notes. The melody for "By the Blood that flowed from Thee" similarly seems to be simplified. Whether this is in the interest of reverting to earlier versions of tunes (as is perhaps the case with "Holy God we praise Thy Name") or intended to make the hymns easier to sing is unclear. Either way, it causes confusion as most people sing it the way everyone knows.

    -There is also a fair amount of tinkering with texts. For example, the refrain in "O God almighty Father" becomes "Three in one and one in three, God of Love, God of Might, God eternal, be adored" rather than the familiar "Undivided unity, Holy God, Mighty God, God Immortal . .. " Was this necessary? Were they aiming at more theological precision?

    -On top of this, the book is full of newly composed texts and melodies that are mediocre at best, and have never caught on with Catholics. They could be ignored, but they have often displaced more serviceable hymns that could have been included and did exist in the old Saint Basil.

    In spite of these frustrations the Healey Willan selections alone make it worth the price, and there is plenty of other good content in there.
  • davido
    Posts: 244
    I think the “o god almighty father” text was written for NSB. The more common version you are familiar with is the tinkered with version.
    Thanked by 1Robert
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 325
    I think the changes seen in the New St. Basil Hymnal were greatly influenced in response to the "black list" and other characterizations made toward earlier editions of the St. Basil hymnal by the St. Gregory Society. As the credulities read in the 1958 edition "Approved by The White List Committee of the Society of St. Gregory of America"

    There were several editions of the St. Basil Hymnal a few can be found at the Archive.org website, eBay and other internet sources. I favor the 1918 revised edition, it being one of the most popular hymnals used in Catholic churches at the time, it drew the most chritizsim by the Society. Many of the hymns from the 1918 edition were sung by our choir for nearly three-quarters of a century and even into the 21st century. There are some excellent mass settings, Vespers, and Litanies.
    Thanked by 2Robert oldhymns
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    davids: Thanks, looked into a but more closely...the "familiar" refrain is in the St. Pius X hymnal (1953), but then the verses are different. So it may be differing translations from the German rather than tinkering.