1966 People's Mass Book
  • Dave
    Posts: 64
    Has anyone used, or is anyone using, the 1966 People's Mass Book? I have a "Low Range" copy and, although the complete absence of Latin is regrettable, there are still several very worthy vernacular pieces in there. A number of them are based on chants or are chant-like: "Lo, Our Savior King is Here" by Melvin Farrell, S.S. and James Burns, S.S.; a setting of Psalm 126 (127) by Guido de Sutter, and "O Sacrament Most Holy" by Marinus de Jong (not the "Fulda" melody).

    There are also a number of interesting Mass settings. Again, in my opinion it is unfortunate that nowadays the Mass translation is different (if not worse) than that in the '66 edition. "Melodic Mass" by Henry Papale and "People's Mass" by Virginia Reinecke are among my favorites; the modality of the former greatly intrigues me.

    Any comments on this book, your use of it (if any), or on the abovementioned composers?
  • We used the People's Mass Book when I was in high school. When I returned as a teacher to the school, it was still in use, although not the old editions. We would sing the Ordinary "Mass for an American Saint". It was very very groovy. We used the standard hymns from it.

    JP
  • Dave
    Posts: 64
    Ah yes, I believe that Mass is by Robert Kreutz.
  • I recall that we used some version of that book in the parish I'm in some 13 years ago. It was considered the "conservative" choice -- which is quite pathetic. What was groovy in the 60s was, by the 80s, considered high brow and conservative.

    The goal we need to shoot for is the complete elimination of all conventional hymn books. Catholics should not be mainly singing hymns at Mass; the ordinary and propers are our music. Maybe it is a blessing that there are no excellent ones out there coming from the mainstream Catholic publishers.
  • Dave
    Posts: 64
    Jeffrey, I agree with the sense of your post, and further with the point that a sung Mass with propers and ordinary is ideal and would be authentic Catholic liturgy.

    However, I submit respectfully, I take offense that you could construe one's choice--and appreciation, by extension--of this hymnal as "quite pathetic." For the record, I do not consider it a "conservative" hymnal; rather, it was very liberal as it completely discarded Latin. I, however, am not liturgically or musically liberal, and I did not say that I accepted the book's contents wholesale. I said I liked select pieces. "Quite pathetic" is a brush stroke that is too broad and, frankly, dismissive.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I believe the PMB is a predecessor to WLP's "We Celebrate", which is an awful hymnal. "We Celebrate" always has some VERY odd omissions, "Adeste Fidelis" being one of them. I have an old PMB also, but I found it likewise lacking. I think a hymnal needs a comprehensive amount of traditional Catholic hymnody (the hymns of the hours and the Mass) and then the ecumenical hymns, and then maybe they can start including stuff that no one hears from composers no one has heard of. But so many Catholic hymnals have just a tiiiny bit of the ecumenical hymns, and maybe two hymns from the hours (always the ones for the Office - which isn't prayed in most parishes!) If anything, I've found the move towards propers to be quite helpful in that I don't have to try to recycle and squeeze in the poverty of good hymns in my parish's "We Celebrate".

    I've considered composing my own hymnal, with the complete hymns of the hours, a large selection of Greek hymns, and a Kyriale, to serve as a "supplement" to most Catholic hymnals. I don't quite have the time for it, but it'd be a good project for someone to undertake. There's no reason that such truly Catholic hymns shouldn't be the basis for a Catholic parish's congregational repertoire.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    And I'll add that many of the ecumenical hymns ARE the hymns of the hours - how many of us sang "Hark a Thrilling Voice is Sounding" during Advent? Unless we have any Episcopalians here, unfortunately no one. Yet this is an office hymn for Advent. Even "At the Lamb's High Feast" is used infrequently in Catholicism. That is a huge problem.
  • Dave
    Posts: 64
    Gavin, you are incorrect about "We Celebrate" omitting Adeste Fideles. The 2003 accompaniment edition has at least one verse in Latin, if not more--I do not have my copy at hand at the moment. I find "We Celebrate" to include a good deal of Latin and many traditional hymns. WLP is one of the better mainstream publishers of hymnals out there, although I will grant you that their inclusion of many modern works baffles me.
  • Well, my judgment is against anyone who like People's Mass book; I would trade it in for what I have to use. I'm just saying that it is an indication of the decline that we are inclined to think that it is a good hymnal. So there is no reason for taking offense.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    I think if I read Mr. Tucker's comments correctly, he was not judging the people who would favor PMB, but the book itself.

    As to the use of hymnody in the LOTH, it seems from my read of the documents that devotional and religious poetic texts are acceptable, as long as they don't supplant the texts of the LOTH. Since (as has been discussed at length in another thread) there seems to be a dearth of singable Latin chant hymns for the office, especially as we have it in the 4-volume form, I personally have no objection to singing them for the office.

    I would add that the content of the older hymn texts themselves, especially the religious and devotional poetry of the Protestants, is far superior to the garbage being passed off as good by the current Catholic publishers (Sylvia Dunstan, Delores Dufner, et. al.).

    I do agree however that we should be getting away from the singing of hymns in the Mass and return to a singing of the appointed texts for each liturgy as called for in the documents. We've a long way to go, but there's always hope.
  • I find most hymnals limiting in one way or another... I'd rather have a "file/folder" type of "hymnal", where hymns and Mass Ordinaries (etc!) could be added to it easily.

    I agree with Mr. Tucker's sentiments insofar as I would prefer to see the Mass Propers sung instead of hymns, but I still see a place for hymns (and I think Pius XII's document on sacred music sees a place for them too) - I just think that we need more authentically "liturgical" hymns. It would be nice, for instance, to see hymn book compilers delving into the riches of the different liturgies of the Church (not just the Roman tradition) to find appropriate seasonal hymns.
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    I think WLP's materials are on the whole, better than other publishers' offerings for paperback hymnals. Most of the Lectionary Psalms use Gregorian Tones. Some of the hymns use original texts, something Worship III can't say (I would add I like W3 very much). The new edition of the People's Mass book I think is quite good. Let's face it, outside of the official liturgical books, there never has been a perfect Catholic hymnal (even the best of the best, Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles, Pius X, etc. still have holes and ommissions). And there are times in the liturgy, even if the propers were used, we could still have hymns (after the offetory and communion propers, recessional), so I do think there is still a need for a Catholic hymnal.
  • When I was a seminarian in the 1960's, I was deeply nurtured by the best texts, tunes, and accompaniments in the People’s Mass Book: Hendrik Andrissen, Richard Cross, Claude Goudimel, Oswald Jaeggi, Marinus de Jong, Jan Kern, William Koninkx, Marius Monnikendam Flor Peeters, Robert J. Schaffer, Stephen Somerville, Guido de Sutter, Han van Koert, and Chrysogonus Waddell.

    A few years ago I was asked to evaluate the PMB for the new edition. I submitted the attached assessment, if anyone cares to read it.
  • Dave
    Posts: 64
    Fascinating documentation of the 1964 edition. Many thanks to you, Paul. The "Paul Francis" who provided the Psalm 23 text for Russell Woollen's tune had eluded me for some time. Interesting observation on that--that tune is preserved in the "We Celebrate" hymnal with a new text composed by Westendorf himself. It's one of my favorite hymn tunes in general and in the '66 PMB/current "We Celebrate" specifically. I've often wondered of the origins and music of Oswald Jaeggi, Guido de Sutter, Paul Arbogast, Melvin Farrell S.S. and Henry Papale. Do you have any clues?
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    Count me as well, as one who would not like to see the complete elimination of hymnody from the Mass.
    I don't see why there isn't a place for what I now know is correctly called a "low Mass."
    Thank you, Dr Ford, I'll enjoy reading that when my computer gets over the snit it's in about pdfs.... (yes, yes, I overworked it over Christmas, but its needs Ordinary time, in needs to get back in harness just as we do.)
    I think my parish had white paperbacks when I was growing up, would that have been the PMB?
    There is hardly a hymnal no matter how lousy (Glory and Praise, anyone?) that doesn't have one or two works of some value.
    "I'd rather have a 'file/folder' type of 'hymnal', where hymns and Mass Ordinaries (etc!) could be added to it easily."
    I heartily concur, I have a "psalter", hymnal, etc. each in 3 ring binder and sheet protectors, (although I'm loathe to admit it in the presence of one of the posters here who refers to that sort of arrangement as a "trailer park hymnal."
    I believe as a follow up to the Mundelein (sp?) Psalter a Mundelein Hymnal of the Hours is in the work, which would have the best translations of all the Office Hymns.
    A British hymnal, "The New English Hymnal" has quite a number (certainly more than any of the Big Three's mass market hymnals.)

    Save the Liturgy, Save the World!
  • Leland
    Posts: 32
    Jeffrey wrote
    The goal we need to shoot for is the complete elimination of all conventional hymn books. Catholics should not be mainly singing hymns at Mass; the ordinary and propers are our music. Maybe it is a blessing that there are no excellent ones out there coming from the mainstream Catholic publishers.
    which strikes me as a (doubtless polemically motivated) overstatement. Hymns have been part of Christian worship since apostolic times; Catholics per se have been writing hymn texts to new and/or secular tunes at least since the time of Ambrosius of Milan. It seems to me that to deny this catholicity in Catholic music is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Although I am a Baptist I have Gather Comprehensive 2, JourneySongs 2, The Summit Choirbook, an old Peoples Mass Book (copyright page missing so don't know if it's 1966), The Adoremus Hymnal, The St. Michael Hymnal, the Seattle archdiocese's 1974 Vatican II Hymnal, the Collegeville Hymnal, Oramos cantando/We Pray in Song, and at least three Catholic hymnals in Esperanto in my collection, and every one of them contains items I am grateful to have available to aid me in the worship of God. To my taste the Summit nuns' choirbook is the most interesting of the lot, but every one is a blessing.

    Leland
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 173
    Leland, it's really not polemics . . . you may not be familiar with the magisterial (that is, authoritative) Vatican documents that propose very specific guidelines for the music to be used during the liturgy. The church's official music is indeed Gregorian chant, from the Roman Gradual. Hymns are permitted but hardly the ideal.

    Mary
  • While Catholics have been writing hymns for ages, they have been for the Divine Office and for extra-liturgical use. Hymns simply are not part of the Mass. It is striking that even during the Renaissance, when motets were freely interpolated into the Mass, hymns were not. Nothing wrong with hymns. They are just not part of the Catholic Mass. They serve only to replace sacred texts as a convenience.
  • Leland
    Posts: 32
    You're right, Mary, I am not particularly well informed about the details of the guidelines, but I am sure they neither deny the Catholicism of St. Ambrose nor abrogate St. Paul's admonition to sing hymns; if they do, then they impoverish rather than enrich the church. I am not sure that Gregorian chant and hymns are mutually exclusive, either. I believe that Gregory himself is credited with a hymn or two (or at least they're traditionally ascribed to him). Of course as a Baptist (hovering somewhere over the angelic minefield between heresy and separated siblinghood ;-) ) I am not any sort of authority on this stuff, so I'll happily withdraw my use of the term "polemically motivated". Still, what I'm saying about the catholicness and scripturalness of hymns, I stand by that. ;-)

    Leland
  • Leland
    Posts: 32
    Thanks, Michael, While Catholics have been writing hymns for ages, they have been for the Divine Office and for extra-liturgical use. Hymns simply are not part of the Mass. It is striking that even during the Renaissance, when motets were freely interpolated into the Mass, hymns were not. Nothing wrong with hymns. They are just not part of the Catholic Mass accords perfectly with my understanding. Jeffrey's comment that I mislabeled as "polemically motivated" seemed to say "If it's not the Mass, it's not Catholic", which I think just isn't and never has been so.

    Leland
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Just as I interject when people say "Latin Mass" when they mean "Extraordinary form of the Latin Rite" or "modern chant notation" when they mean "five-line stemless (or stemmed) notation," I have to urge people to break the habit (which unfortunately has been reinforced by so many publications and workshops) of saying "liturgy" when what then mean is "Mass." Hymns are part of the Church's official liturgy. However, they are generally not (except for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and probably a few others I'm forgetting) among the texts prescribed for the Mass.
  • Leland
    Posts: 32
    Thanks, incantu, I think the Eastern Orthodox often (and officially, in English anyway) say "Divine Liturgy" for their nearest equivalent of the Catholic "Mass", and I'm not particularly clear on the substantive differences (if any) between these celebrations. I'm learning a fair amount just by browsing through back pages of this forum about many of the issues, from the magisterial to the petty political, currently having an impact on Catholic sacred music in the US. At least the delays in approval of the new Mass have freed up resources at GIA's hymnal department that have made possible the production of at least one very good new Protestant hymnal, the NACCC's Hymns for a Pilgrim People, which I commend to such of you as may share my hymnal addiction. ;-)

    Leland
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,006
    We Byzantine Catholics have the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and we don't do mass. Mass is the Latin Church equivalent, but it developed in Rome rather than Constantinople. We also have hymns in the eastern churches, both Catholic and Orthodox. Ours typically are communion hymns, or carols appropriate for the seasons. Yes, I would agree that chant needs to be restored in the west, but hymns belong there, too. My biggest fear has been that the chant purists are going to push so far in that direction, that it will cause a backlash among the people against chant. That could kill the chances for a genuine restoration of chant to its proper, but not exclusive, place in the mass. It isn't the only music allowed for mass.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    What's wrong with chant hymns? ;)

    And I should add that the Gloria and even the Sanctus are considered hymns in the broadest sense of the word. But I think we're all talking about strophic hymns, or perhaps even as specific as strophic, metrical hymns set to chorale tune (or kazoo and obligato marimba).
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    We should ask ourselves: with all this emphasis on chant and polyphony, what are we doing to foster hymnody? The descriptions of the Church from the 1st century onward is as a singing Church. Even in the 16th century, Luther said that after morning prayer a Christian should go to work singing a hymn or a psalm. Today this is cause for many to roll their eyes, and yet I walked down the street today with some young fellow walking along listening to an iPod shouting out some rap garbage words. I'm not saying we should be running around yelling out Christus Vincit everywhere. Specifically I recall a description of the protest against an "anti-Catholic" play at some college. People gathered, prayed, and SANG HYMNS! Now I find the idea of protesting a play ridiculous, but how wonderful that the hymns served as encouragement and a show of faith!!

    So you may have your chant right with the ictus properly placed and sounding like "angel's footsteps". But if your congregation is silent for your 2 verses of "To Jesus Christ our Sovereign King" after Mass, I say you have a LOT of work to do to promote good musical culture in Catholicism!
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    If the congregation is silent during "To Jesus Christ," what is the rationale behind adding it to the Mass in the first place? Hymn singing is indeed a venerable tradition, but was it not always cultivated in school, at home, and at civic functions? The fact that it is in a decline now is a statement about our iPod society, indeed. But should it be up to the Church to pick up the slack? Why, when there is a viable renaissance of the Church's authentic heritage of liturgical music should we expend energy fighting a losing (and unnecessary) battle to keep hymnody in the Mass? Why not take that energy and either focus it on the Church's musical ideal, or divert it to the promotion of hymn societies, non liturgical choirs, and literacy based initiatives in schools?
  • Yeah, I think we are missing the delineation between music and words here. Those of us who are promoting chant do so for two really big reasons. First, it is the highest form of musical prayer according to our Church and second, it is linked to the words of the propers of the Mass. A "hymn" is a liturgical item as incantu so ably reminded us. It belongs liturgically in certain places -- mostly the Divine Office. I don't get the desire to keep replacing propers texts with, especially non-liturgical hymns. If one wishes to promote a closing hymn or the use of one during communion after the antiphon is finished, I'm OK with that, but we already have that. If you want better hymns, program them.