Help With Ditching Breaking Bread
  • I've read through the hymnal comparison threads posted on here before, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of agreement. I'm trying to convince a pastor to stop subscribing to Breaking Bread missals/hymnals, but I haven't been able to find a good alternative besides the St. Michael hymnal which could serve as a transitional hymnal. Basically, the philosophy is "no sudden movements." The people are used to the usual OCP tunes so the parish needs something which would ease the transition to better music and allow them to throw in a couple of the more bearable hymns while slowly changing to solid hymnody and incorporating chant. The four hymn sandwich isn't going away anytime soon, so solid hymns are a plus. The pastor leans traditional, but in one of our discussions said music isn't the hill he wants to die on, so I don't think coming from a "why aren't we singing good music" perspective will help. However, if there is a financial savings by switching then he may be inclined to listen. The other consideration is a missal. I really like the Jogues Missal, but it's kind of pricey. For those of you who have successfully ditched Breaking Bread or something similar, what combinations have worked?
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 981
    For something transitional, what about printing a weekly (or bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) order of worship?

    That way, you could print whichever songs you want, slowly introducing better music, but with the possibility of including "Table of Plenty," every now and then, too.

    I adore the St. Michael Hymnal, and I have used it successfully in a parish setting, but I think it might be too big for a first step, especially if the congregation is used to "Loving and Forgiving" and the pastor isn't 100% on board.
    Thanked by 2nchichester roy2
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 726
    We have the St. Isaac Jogues Missal and the St. Michael Hymnal.
    The St. Michael Hymnal has all the Mass dialogue, as well as many Mass settings; including traditional chants, missal chants and Missa Simplex and some more modern "choral Masses" and such.
    The St. Isaac Jogues Missal has the lectionary and propers (English & Latin, side-by-side) for years ABC (and its corresponding psalm book also contains the full 3-year cycle), as well as all major feast days for the Ordinary Form. It also contains some Ordinary chants at the back of the book.
    These 2 books make great companions, and having the full 3-year cycle in 1 book and 1 psalm book (without specific Sunday dates to force you to buy a new book, each time) saves time, money, and shelf/pew space.
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,542
    The Ignatius Pew Missal is a good alternative annual resource if they are not ready to drop big $$$ on permanent hymnals/missals. It has all the readings like Breaking Bread and a solid hymn selection in the back, with a limited number of sappy favorites.

    If you are looking for a permanent Missal also check out the Lumen Christi. Keep in mind that this is a large expense and will be doubled by the need for a hymnal.

    I second the idea of printed worship aids. I was able to format them onto half-sheets so that hymns found in the IPM hymnal section could be listed simply by number and leave plenty of room for additional hymns or chants not available there. Formatted them side-by-side on 8.5x11 (2-sided) and sliced in half. Saves paper and allows more freedom for using a variety of resources. If you’d like to see an example I can post something later ... I’m in the middle of a move and my computer is packed away.
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 781
    As a small first step, what about getting OCP's hardbound hymnal. You'll maintain much of your current repertoire but transition away from the disposable missalettes. You'll also save a lot of money, so in a couple years you can then purchase a better pew missal. Then a few years later you can upgrade to a better hymnal.

    Journey Songs has plenty of solid hymns without the shock of St. Michael. While heretical hymns should be purged immediately, the 2nd rate hymns can be weaned over time. Introducing a pew missal allows you to introduce better settings of the ordinary and using the two books in tandem helps to lessen the shock.
    Thanked by 2nchichester Mary Ann
  • I used to search for the perfect hymnal.

    Then I discovered that a hymnal is only as good as the music director that uses it.

    Use Gather/Worship/etc/etc/etc/etc. Just pick good hymns.

    (Related: I've moved multiple parishes away from the Breaking Bread hymnal. Although, I refer to it in private as the Breaking Bad hymnal, but I digress.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,636
    Help With Ditching Breaking Bread

    Pick a windy day, place Breaking Bread in your hand with a slight upward tilt to the front edge - enough to gain a bit of lift - use an underhand toss, and aim it at the open dumpster doors. Worked for me with Glory & Praise.
  • Nchichester,

    You need more clarity on the length of the process and its final destination.

    Here's why:

    Although any one step may not cost much, if you change hymnals every 3 years over a 15 year period, starting with Glory and Praise and ending with Liber Usualis, that's a very expensive transition because it happens every three years, not because each step is necessarily expensive.

    If your [generic] intent is to keep a 4-hymn sandwich, regardless of whatever else happens, you want each step to contain a goodly quantity of serviceable hymns, to balance out the junk you're trying to wean the parish away from using.

    Each "step" has to be a discernable improvement on the way to an eventual [identified] goal, for else someone (or several someones) will say "Why did we make that change, and the whole project comes off the rails.
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,639
    Pick a windy day, place Breaking Bread in your hand with a slight upward tilt to the front edge - enough to gain a bit of lift - use an underhand toss, and aim it at the open dumpster doors.

    Alternative Method: Gather all the missalettes and place them in your canoe for a nice day-trip on the lake. Have an unfortunate Canoe Accident (where YOU are the only survivor.)
  • Oh, and about ditching Breaking Bread....

    a large open grave, with sulphur to erase any trace of the evil buried there?

    a watery grave, say, at the bottom of the river Tiber or some river in Oregon?

    a paper-recycling drive?
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,636
    Alternative Method: Gather all the missalettes and place them in your canoe for a nice day-trip on the lake. Have an unfortunate Canoe Accident (where YOU are the only survivor.)

    I may have told this story before. I don't remember. A good friend, a DM and organist in a Methodist church packed up materials to vacate the choir room for renovations. She put all the cheesy anthems she hated in a box by themselves. During the move, she conveniently lost that box. After the renovations were complete and they had moved back into the choir room, members were saying, "I wish we could find that box with our favorite pieces."
  • We went from OCP companion missal to breaking bread to GIÀ Worship IV ... next step is (hopefully) add St Issac Jogues & eventually the new hymnal (Brébeuf?) that CcWatershed is working on
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • doneill
    Posts: 160
    There is no such thing as a "transitional" hymnal. If you spend that much money on permanent books, they will need to hold on to them for a while. You might consider just getting the license from and printing everything in worship aids. That way, you can transition with the balance you see fit.

  • Matthew
    Posts: 29
    I second doneill's opinion about there being no transitional hymnal.
    When I started my current position 19 years ago, the church was using the seasonal missals and songbook. I waited a year to learn what motivated the rector's decision processes - money (or more accurately, saving money). GIA had recently started publishing the Catholic Community Hymnal, which had a fair amount of the repertoire the church had been used to singing. I showed the rector what a 10-year savings would look like if nobody donated a hymnal - it was over $33,000.00. SOLD! We did a "donate a hymnal in memory" fundraiser and raised over half of the $12,000 needed. We paid off the remainder in about 16 months.
    However, CCH was not my end game. The end game was to eventually transition to worship aids allowing me to add antiphons for sung propers and other material not found in the main publishers repertoire. It took me 11 years to get to that point, but I was patient and it is working well. I can pull the repertoire from just about any source and have been able to totally disregard all heretical texts and sappy, sentimental tunes.
    Hope this helps. Good Luck!
  • @Matthew - this is what was done before I arrived at my current parish. While I love the idea and it would help me a lot; for me it is simply not practical. I have a normal full time job and am part time at the church. There is not enough time in the day for me to do this properly, print, etc.
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,024

    Put them in a pulping machine and then reprint them with the music that deserves paper
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • Thanks for the advice, everyone. Printing worship aids is not a viable option at this time. I will be leaving the area for a bit and the current person in charge of music at the most-attended Mass is retiring. The parish will be in a state of flux and finding (and hiring) a musical director is a whole other matter. Odds are whoever they can get won't be as invested as the people on this forum. In my mind this is a good time to get a permanent hymnal, preferably with hymns that aren't heretical. However, I'm afraid purchasing separate hymnals and missals isn't an option either.

    Right now the options that sound the best (of the worst) are Worship IV and the Catholic Community Hymnal, because both contain readings for all three years. These are at least hardcover, permanent books with readings and are conducive to cherry-picking solid hmyns. If there's another volume out there which has both hymns and missal, I'd love to hear about it.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 112
    I have a personal difficulty with including the readings in the hymnals. Participation in the Liturgy of the Word should be an aural activity where the entire congregation experiences the proclamation together. If you are simply going to have a "follow as I read aloud" experience, I would ask you to dispense with the "read aloud" part of the experience. I can read it on my own, thank you.

    That said, I do understand that there are some who have hearing difficulties and should be accommodated. But that is not the entire congregation. I also understand that certain lectors may not be the best at proclaiming the Word to the congregation. But the cure for that is training and, if that does not work, culling. Not everyone is called to every ministry in the church.

    I can now descend from my soap box.
    Thanked by 1Mary Ann
  • A few hardbound books in the back fo the church will suffice for those who insist or, through disability, must be able to read.

    in the "old days", those who wanted to follow the Mass would purchase their own missals, saving the parish thousands of dollars a year that today is wasted and in most cases recycled or fuels the fires for the scout group hot dog roasts.

    Save a tree, Save the Mass.

    Why are we saddled with modern expenses just because people want them?

    Carpet, pew cushions, sound absorptive panels and ceilings.

    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,639
    should be an aural activity where the entire congregation experiences the proclamation together

    Good luck with that. First, I've been around long enough to have heard 'lectors' alter the text--not necessarily from some sort of malice, but........

    Second and far more important: I absorb what I READ far better than what I HEAR. That's b/c I can go back and read it again. As you know, St Paul WROTE those letters; he did not merely shout them out to the Corinthians et al. That's why.
  • Thanks dad29. I have to agree. Chaswjd and Noel, in an ideal world maybe everyone would be able to bring their own missal and follow along with the perfectly-declaimed Word of God, but that doesn't happen in many parishes. Please keep in mind my other comments in this thread. This is a parish which has basically had Breaking Bread for the past however many years OCP has been publishing it. Getting the pastor to agree to a new hymnal will be difficult enough, without the added ire of parishioners who won't know what to do without reading along. Again, if anyone can recommend any solid hymnal/missal alternatives to CCH and Worship IV, I'm all ears.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Carol
    Posts: 400
    We have had foreign priests whose English is excellent, but quite accented. During their homilies, I have sometimes figured out a mispronounced word by looking back at the readings which has made all the difference in understanding the point of the homily.
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • My prior parish spent over a year investigating hardbound hymnals to replace "Breaking Bread." While my first choice was St. Michael (which my current parish is planning to get within the year), the pastor selected ILP's Credo and the ILP Book of Divine Worship; he felt Credo included many more traditional hymns than Breaking Bread while still including a functional selection of the other repertoire they had sung in the past. The addition of the Book of Divine Worship was so that people who wanted to follow along with the readings could do so; quite frankly, I was surprised that we were able to budget for both a hymnal and a missal, but the long-term savings over a disposable annual hymnal is significant and I believe ILP did offer payment plan options. Although I was there less than a year with the new books, the transition seemed to be going well.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 643
    @Carol - I was at a Mass with an Indian priest and during his sermon, he was going on about how smart parsons are. Finally, when he was saying how a parson wouldn't go into a hole if there were only one set of footprints (which would indicate something was in there), I realized he was saying possums!
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,542

    Again, if anyone can recommend any solid hymnal/missal alternatives to CCH and Worship IV, I'm all ears.

    Ignatius Pew Missal
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • Carol
    Posts: 400
    One of these foreign priests kept using the phrase "ELidon's lump." When the sermon was almost over, I realized he was saying "Aladdin's lamp!" I wanted to stand up and explain that to the congregation and then ask him to go back to the beginning so I could understand the message.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • pfreese
    Posts: 51
    “If anyone can recommend any solid hymnal/missal alternatives to CCH and Worship IV, I'm all ears.”

    Unless you think your pastor and congression would be prepared to take on St. Michael Hymnal, Worship IV is probably your best option, since the traditional-leaning hymnal market is already a pretty small one. My parish uses W4, and we’re actually pretty happy with it. There are definitely songs we avoid, but on the whole it’s a good hymnal and our priests, musicians, and congregants all seem to like it. If you think pew readings will still important in your parish’s post-Breaking Bread world, I’d recommend getting either the pew readings edition or the standard edition paired with GIA’s Sunday’s Word, which comes with just what you need and nothing more ($2 a year per copy, not bad).

    IMHO either of these options are much better both musically and financially than Breaking Bread. It boggles my mind how many parishes spend an ungodly amount of money every year on disposable missalettes that have basically the same material year to year. Investing in a good hymnal like Worship or SMH will literally pay off within a few years, and congregations get the added benefit of having a stable and familiar resource that can last up to two decades. I know GIA has fairly reasonable financing options, and as someone else said you could also turn it into capital campaign, especially if it eliminates a big yearly expense. Well worth it if you ask me.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW nchichester
  • MarkB
    Posts: 159
    Maybe wait for the Diocese of Marquette's hymnal to be published. That should happen soon. I can't see why parishes outside of that diocese wouldn't be permitted to buy it and use it. It's been in preparation for quite some time. Anyone know how soon it will be published? I'm hoping Marquette's hymnal will be a watershed event, a game-changer.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 981
    Gosh, I hope so, too
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,542

    It boggles my mind how many parishes spend an ungodly amount of money every year on disposable missalettes that have basically the same material year to year.

    The fact that they don’t just publish a re-useable resource for years A, B, C shows where the true motivation of the publishers lies. A previous parish where I worked was deeply entrenched with R&A, and luckily had 5-6 years of old copies sitting around. Before steering them towards a better resource, one of my first moves was to cancel all subscriptions (they were pushing $2k in the music budget with many subscriptions and reprint licenses) and I just used the book from 3 years prior. Change the date on the top and OTII Year A is still OTII Year A.

    We used that newly freed-up money to start hiring professionals who immediately improved the sound of the choir and the resources we used cost nothing thanks to public domain and Creative Commons.

    Why more pastors, finance managers, and DM’s don’t see the blatant money grab that so many publishers push upon them is beyond me.

    “Boohoo the calendar is different some years and the OT Sundays are not always the same.” Publish them all. Skip the ones you don’t need that year. Done.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 781
    If the Parish is steeped in OCP, then as I said above the logical first small step would be to buy the hard bound Journey Songs with the readings. You will start saving money and they will get used to the new format without loosing the readings or their favorite songs.

    After a few years of saving money from not buying disposable missalettes, you could by a better pew missal and focus on improving your ordinary settings and introducing proper chants in conjunction with hymns and songs from Journey Songs which will still be in the pews. Only after a long time of steady improvement will you be ready for a better hymnal.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I can't concur with Earl Gray's solution. Journey Songs is the weakest major hymnal in the market from all perspectives, IMO, and I've been an OCP person from the 70's.
    The future is (or ought to be) with personal missals and weekly music ordos (in the pre-dominant vernacular of the parish) with a reasonable ratio of chant/hymnody/song of the highest caliber.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen nchichester
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 781
    I don't like Journey Songs either. But given the situation described by the OP it seems to be the logical option. If one were to switch from Breaking Bread to Saint Michael or something similar then people will complain about nor having enough contemporary songs. I once switched a parish from BB, actually it was Music Issue, to Gather Comprehensive and even the Haugen Haas stuff was unfamiliar to them along with most hymns we would consider standards.

    Printing custom worship sheets (or whatever you want to call them) may be ideal but not always possible in each situation. My point was to invest in a solid Pew Missal and to make chant a priority without giving people a cause to complain about popular song choices. Even if one of GIA's hymnals may be technically better, why fight that battle when it's not essential to the ultimate goal? Journey Songs will fall apart in less than a decade and hopefully in that time enough progress has been made to invest in a real hymnal.
    Thanked by 1nchichester
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,511
    There are some hymnals offered with a three-year license. Are of those perhaps potentially useful for a transition?
  • patm
    Posts: 3
    Another option is One in Faith by World Library.