• I was wondering what experiences people have with current hymnal resources available today.

    Currently, my parish has Worship III and Adam Bartlett's Lumen Christi Missal in the pews, with most of our Masses, psalms, and propers coming from the LCM. (the volume contains no hymns)

    Our pastor has indicated that we have the resources and interest from "higher-ups" to purchase a new hymnal, so I've begun a search to see what may be the best option for our parish. Because of my own personal interest, and precedent, I've ordered a perusal copy of Worship IV, which I haven't had time to thoroughly review yet. From what I've seen and heard, there are pros and cons......

    Other resources I'm considering are: The Adoremus Hymnal, The St. Michael Hymnal, The Lumen Christi Hymnal (to compliment the missal we already own), and the (supposed) upcoming St. Jean de Brebeuf Hymnal from Corpus Christi Watershed ( side note: can someone more familiar with Jeff Ostrowski and this project give me the lowdown? The description online has always seemed too good to be true to me, and I was not entirely impressed with the previously offered Vatican II Hymnal- mostly because it is completely out of print and no longer supported in any way)

    Does anyone have any positive or negative experiences with any of the above resources?

    Thanks in advance!
  • At the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham we use The Hymnal 1940
    There really are Catholic churches here and there who also use it.
    There is rumoured to be an Ordinariate hymnal in the planning stages.

    For you at this time I would recommend the Lumen Christi Hymnal. I've not seen a better Catholic hymnal. Besides, as you say, it would complement beautifully your Lumen Christi Missal. They are made for each other.

    Worship IV is probably the best of the GIA hymnals, but it is really spoiled by a surfeit of social gospel songs, and 'me', 'we', and 'us' songs.
    Thanked by 2ncicero RMSawicki
  • pfreese
    Posts: 50
    If you’re coming from Worship III, your next “step up” in the hymnal world so to speak would probably be the St. Michael Hymnal. It’s truly a lovely hymnal, orthodox but manageable for your average parish. It’ll also give you some fine ordinary settings in addition to those in the Lumen Christi Missal. The only real downside is the alphabetical hymn printing (the only perfect hymnal is in heaven I guess...). Two parishes that I occasionally frequent use it and they love it.

    My own parish uses Worship IV, and while we like it alright, I definitely concur that it’s a step back from its predecessor (if only Richard Proulx had hung on for another year or two...). It wouldn’t be a bad idea to type up a brief “blacklist” if you decide to go with it. Not to knock on Hymnal 1940, but IMHO there are better hymnals these days that are both tailor-made for the OF and currently in print.
  • Worship IV has a lot of drawbacks, even though it's currently the best offering of GIA. I would strongly recommend St. Michael Hymnal.
    Thanked by 1RMSawicki
  • St. Michael Hymnal and Adoremus Hymnal began (if I recall correctly) as one project. If your goal is to let go of as much of the "me, us, we" music, Adoremus is preferable to St. Michael which intentionally included some of the sacro-folk repertoire.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • I really don't like W4. Many hymns in there are pretty much just the Gospels rewritten and put to familiar hymn tunes. I would recommend keeping W3 over W4. Of the hymnals you mentioned, I concur that the St. Michael is the best option.
  • For what it's worth, our parish is switching from Breaking Bread to the LC Missal and LC Hymnal this coming Advent.
    I was attracted by the LC Hymnal because it had fewer hymns, but nearly all of those in the book are of quality.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,967
    At worst, Keep WIII

    WIV slides toward the anomally

    The 1940 is excellent but it is not... (Roman)[Latin] Catholic

    If you can afford a custom hymnal that has the best of everything, that includes GC send me a PM.
    Thanked by 1RMSawicki
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,556
    Obviously the Lumen Christi Hymnal is your only option. No need to look elsewhere.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • In addition to some hundreds of impeccable texts and fine tunes, the Lumen Christi Hymnal
    also boasts several hundred English translations of office hymns. It should be noted that many of these office hymns are equally suited to the mass and its lectionary. These office hymns are paired with their respective chant melodies, given in round noteheads. (At least they are not in trashy-looking and clueless series of eighth notes.) I seem to recall that there are two or three (maybe four or five) somewhat less than stellar hymns that prompted me to wonder what in the world they were doing in this hymnal. But, there doesn't seem to be any hymnal that is able to escape some minimal dross.

    I hope that you get the Lumen Christi Hymnal.
    It is in a niche of its own and deserves to be widely used.

    Next to it I would recommend most The Catholic Hymnbook, which is English and is published by Gracewing. It's only fault is a few syrupy Marian hymns that shouldn't even be in print. If you don't get this one for your people you ought at least to have a copy for reference. It is really outstanding.
  • Regarding use of "The Hymnal 1940".

    Yes, it is NOT Roman/Latin Catholic... BUT it is a treasure trove of glorious English language hymnody, that in many ways far exceeds in quality what most Catholic parishes have had forced down their throats over the past fifty years.

    My "first master" carried a worn-out, dog-eared copy with him to and from the organ console for every Mass, in addition to the spiral-bound, full-score edition of Worship II we were then using, (that's Worship "two", still the best of the four versions of Worship, in my opinion).

    He frequently used it (the '40) when playing hymns that were "written wrong" in the W2, such as "For All The Saints", and for others that the choir would be singing, anthem-style, either during a lengthy offertory, or post-Communion, and not found in the W2.

    Yes, it is a book from the ECUSA, but... 'tis a thing of beauty. No Catholic parish should be without a copy in the library! ;-)

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
  • It isn't likely that 'the 1940' would be chosen for most Catholic parishes, though it is in use by a very few here and there. Someone on the forum stated sometime ago that his pastor had said 'well, if it's good enough for the Ordinariate its good enough for us'. One may be assured that those few pastors who have chosen it put good taste and liturgical propriety over having a 'Catholic' label on something that is not really Catholic deep down inside.

    To be sure, 'the 1940' has its own share of things that shouldn't be in it. But these things are acceptably few and pale in comparison to what is in it. We know what they are and avoid them studiously.

    All the above suggestions are good. I am, in case it went unnoticed, quite partial to the Lumen Christi Hymnal.- and, partial for the very good reason that nothing else with a Catholic label on it rises to the impeccable editorial standards of its liturgically useful contents and its intelligent layout. Its sole fault is that it could have been more comprehensive. (And, I have yet to see a Catholic hymnal that contains a selection of hymns suitable for each and every solemnity or major feast.)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen RMSawicki
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,967
    Before my comment receives undo criticism, it is known here on the forum that I am one of the great proponents of the 1940. It is by far the best hymnal that has ever been created as far as hymnals go. The voice leading is impeccable. The selection is wonderful, except for the lack of Latin music, which is why I would never buy it for a parish. If I had to buy something in print it would probably be The Adoremus Hymnal and the Parish Book of Chant.

    Many here know of my dislike of English plainsong as a hymnal resource for the Latin rite. My philosophy is that which hearkens back to traditional chant, hence my duet of resources.
    Thanked by 1RMSawicki
  • davido
    Posts: 121
    With the St Michael Hymnal I would still have a blacklist of stuff not to use. The ordinary settings in it are poor.

    Adoremus Hymnal has too few selections making it basically worthless.

    Lumen Christi Hymnal is very strong, has most all the rep one would need. I would have preferred a deeper collection of standard hymns over the office hymns. No regular parish is going to use them.

    Lumen Christ Hymnal gets my vote.
  • pfreese
    Posts: 50
    Re davido, funny you should mention the dearth of standard hymns in LCH. A parish near where I used to live had LCH (and LC missals) in their daily mass chapel, but I think they only ever used them when praying the office, because they never sang at daily mass. They didn’t bother getting a set for upstairs, where they still only use handout programs.

    I’m also curious to hear what you’d throw on a blacklist for SMH. At least to me, their commitment to textual orthodoxy seems at least as good as the others mentioned above.
  • Several above have expressed the opinion that few parishes would find the choice of office hymns in LCH useful. I don't know why this would be so, for they are as useful for mass as they are for the office. Possibly, those who suggest this do so because they imagine that some would be put off by the the plainchant melodies. If this were so, these hymns can be sung just as well to one's choice of a standard SATB hymn tune in a corresponding metre. I, myself, would not be above doing this, not routinely, but at certain times. In fact, the editors might, in future editions, consider providing modern SATB tunes as an option, as a second tune (not a sole replacement!), to the plainchant melody. This may give LCH a better deserved appeal and wider use. It certainly outshines any other Catholic hymnal. It's the smartest of them all! It stands alone in its offering of centuries of Catholic hymnody by saints and scholars for all seasons and occasions as found in the repertory of office hymns, which, if desired, can find a use in the mass as well as the office. The scholarship and wisdom that have gone into the LCH is beyond praise.
    Thanked by 2ncicero rich_enough
  • I have perusal copies of Worship IV, Adoremus, and St. Michael that I haven't gotten a chance to fully explore yet- and I'm ordering a copy of LCH today. From the full preview available online, I like what I see in terms of production quality, which GIA had previously taken the cake on. I would have to agree with Jackson when it comes to the office hymns- I'd be excited to find uses for them at Sunday Masses, and I think after a few times of hearing the melody, the congregation would catch on well. I'll use the same philosophy I use with any new music: "If people currently don't know it, the only way they will is if we do use it."

    One thing I'm particularly interested in is newly-composed hymn tunes in a sacred style, paired with newly-written dignified texts or good translations of past writers. Is this too much to ask? Worship IV provides some new tunes, but I would hardly describe the texts as dignified...... Maybe I don't want to open this can of worms, but I think it's tempting to fall into the trap of idolizing hymn tunes and texts from approx 1700-1900 and dismissing everything on the margins as irrelevant or irreverent. Could the truth be that there is "good" and "bad" material from every era?
  • pfreese
    Posts: 50
    Re ncicero, unfortunately there isn’t much of an appetite among the major publishers these days to commission new organ-based hymnody, let alone with “dignified” lyrics, at least since the repose of the recent Greats in this genre like Proulx and Westendorf. GIA probably does the most in this area right now, but that’s usually an exercise of trying to find a diamond in the rough as you’ve noted. GIA also adopted a very stingy license policy that makes it almost impossible to obtain reprint permission for a third party hardbound hymnal (which explains why all the GIA stuff in the 3rd edition of SMH disappeared in the 4th).

    Of the “traditional” hymnals mentioned earlier, SMH is the only one with a meaningful amount of hymns written or composed since 1960, mostly from Hope Publishing Co., the Hymn Society, and WLP (who did the typesetting and layout for SMH). They’re all very fine if you ask me, and FWIW I’m not referring to “On Eagles’ Wings” or “Be Not Afraid.” SMH also has a nice cache of Taize chants that rivals that of most GIA hymnals.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,528
    Thinking of modern hymn tunes of a traditional structure penned by someone in the GIA stable, one of the few that I've encountered that I can imagine having legs in the longer future is a modest, almost humble, one by Marty Haugen from over 30 years ago (it was originally part of his Holden Evening Prayer setting):


    Nothing gimmicky about it. It's a non-waltzy 3/4 time 8787D tune that is less trochaic than typical for that meter (Ionic meter, anyone: short-short-long-long?). Not resolutely pentatonic, but it shares the shape and pattern of simple American hymn tunes descending from the melodic traditions of Irish-Scottish ballads before the admixture of African-Eastern European-Latin American influences. The original theme music for American Experience (from 1988 - a year later than Haugen's melody) is another example of that melodic family that is meant to evoke that hallmark Amurkan sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_3d4rRBaWk.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • GIA certainly has made an effort to put new hymn texts into Worship IV, but they just don't strike my ear well at all. There always seems to be some sort of an agenda behind the text, rather than simply devotion. Either that or they are just a sort-of-poetic re-telling of a Gospel reading. None of them (perhaps "few" would be a fairer characterization) seem to have true beauty to them, which probably limits their staying power.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen ncicero MarkB
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,962
    Haugen's JOYOUS LIGHT tune reminds me somewhat, especially in its rhythmic ("ionic") contours, of NETTLETON ("Come thou fount of ev'ry blessing"), but, to me, it doesn't have nearly as much melodic or harmonic interest. But then, maybe I'm just a composer of hymn tunes of a different ilk.

    A few years ago, one of my tunes ST CROIX (LMD) was submitted, along with a nice text, by a contemporary writer of hymn texts that seemed an ideal match to one of the big three ... who took the text but not the tune. Actually, I never did see or was made aware that the text actually did appear with some other tune ... so who knows what they were looking for.

    So ... what did I do? ... I paired it with other texts, perhaps my favourite being J.M. Neale's translation of A solis ortus cardine "From Lands That See the Sun Arise", which I dedicated to my late aunt, Margaret Lillian Morgan-Hauptmann. [the MP3 sound file doesn't really do the work justice, but it gives one an idea as to how it sounds.]
    Thanked by 2Liam RMSawicki
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,528
    My problem with NETTLETON is the preciously gratuitous sixteenth notes, which are fine for a sweet soloist from the British Isles or Appalachia (or Anna Russell in delicious parody of one), but terrible for congregational singing (that tune gets mighty ponderous if it's not kept flowing along - it becomes more like Lucy Ricardo pressing grapes).

    And harmonies (and counterpoint) can always be, um, improved (which is why I only linked the melody).

    I admire your sangfroid in repurposing your tune!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen RMSawicki
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,962
    NETTLETON isn't exactly a favourite of mine, either ... for essentially the reasons you give, Liam.
    Thanked by 2Liam RMSawicki
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,528
    For the benefit of younger folks sadly deprived of familiarity with my Anna Russell reference:


  • Why don't they make Anna Russells any more?
    I remember particularly her portrayals of Wagner - and the afternoon ladies' club meeting.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,528
    She was a creature of the high middlebrow culture of her age. Today's parodies would take the form of mashups with significant percussion.
  • Gamba
    Posts: 105
    I wish to God the hymnal St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto just rolled out (“With Angels and Archangels”) could be sold in America. Really, it’s stunning. I’d put it up against 1940, it’s that good. Marian and Gregorian items have been added to the bulk of the 1940 rep, and the few good hymns that have come out in the meantime (“All my hope on God is founded” and such like), along with the Newman and Caswell English Catholic hymns that are too Papist for Anglicans and too Complex for modern Catholics. But copyright law being what it is, I’m told the clearances are only good for Canada, and Americans who want it would have to negotiate the rights and print it themselves before an American version could be sold.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen MarkB
  • Is this a hymnal for Canada, or one printed by and for the cathedral?
    Is it possible to get a copy?
    Your enthusiastic review is more than enticing.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Agreed! I would love to see a copy, preferably with accompaniment! I'd be glad to pay medium-dollar haha :)
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,045
    Me,too. How does one procure a copy?
  • Gamba
    Posts: 105
    Printed by and for the Cathedral, at least for now, as far as I know. It can be ordered (for personal use only) from the cathedral gift shop, for $30 Canadian plus shipping. Attaching a scan of the table of contents.
  • $30 Canadian is how much in other currencies?
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,361
    "Of Angels and Archangels" is a wonderful hymnal but there is not organists' edition and I'm not sure there is a choral edition. As far as I know there is no hope that the editions will be printed otherwise I would purchase it.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 114
    I don't get it: no accompaniment edition and no choral edition... melody only for all the hymns? What use is the hymnal then for a cathedral sacred music program? Why would money and time be spent intentionally producing something with such limited usefulness?
  • The Harmony editions should be coming out in the spring (though this is only a rumor). If anyone wants to see some sample hymns I could scan and send for you. PM if you'd like.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • $30 Canadian is how much in other currencies?

  • I'm not sure how much exposure WAA will get with the coming release of MCW which (to my knowledge) all Canadian parishes will be forced to purchase upon its release. Like the 1940, it has its flaws, but (except in typesetting, which is uncomfortably light) it is bar none the best hymnal for the Canadian market that has ever been produced. (WAA, that is.)

    I had heard about issues finding a printer for the unique nature of the project and the volume required, so I'm not sure if they'll be able to provide a consistent supply to any parish that wants it. Casavant's posts here also seem to be the only public advertising they're aiming for. (aside from selling a hymnal in a gift shop, of all places)
  • I should state that I do not speak for the Archdiocese, the Cathedral, or the Choir School officially. I'm just an enthusiastic student.
  • davido
    Posts: 121
    pfreese - I know of almost no churches that sing the daily office. Lamentable, but there is no movement afoot to change that.

    I think a superb Catholic Hymnal should have the office hymns that LCH has. As Jackson mentioned, SATB tunes for office hymns a la The English Hymnal is a superb idea. My suspicion is that the standard hymn section was made smaller by the office hymn section, for cost purposes.

    SMH has all the “necessary” contemporary crap people request for weddings and funerals. We can’t finally be rid of them if they are still in our hymnals.
    That’s the best part about LCH. No compromise rep.

    However, every hymnal misses the boat of “At the Lamb’s High Feast” and “For the Beauty of the Earth.” Only the British hymnals use the original texts which are more beautiful and more Catholic.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • KyleM18
    Posts: 141
    Is there a website for the gift shop at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica, or do I just use the contact me for the cathedral? This hymnal sounds superb.
  • Indeed, Casavant. I did not mean to insinuate that you were speaking for them, merely that your posts here (whether connected or not) seem to be the only advertisement they are carrying out in church music circles for a resource which could have far wider reach.

    I'm sure quite a few parishes would be interested in this and that the Archdiocese could successfully market it far more widely than they've been doing. One wonders if there is a desire to avoid outright competition with MCW.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Why don't they make Anna Russells any more?

    It is to her, Victor Borge, and Peter Schickele that I owe the bulk of my musical education.

    $30 Canadian is how much in other currencies?

    I believe that it's roughly the same with an exchange of abundant amounts of apologies.

    If anyone wants to see some sample hymns I could scan and send for you. PM if you'd like.

    Please do!
  • ?elekcihcS reteP morf nrael uoy did tahW
  • Carol
    Posts: 364
    I love Peter Schickele, AKA PDQ Bach! I learned that a vacuum cleaner can be a drone, under the right circumstances. I learned that not all learned musicians are stuffed shirts. If you have never heard of it, try to find recordings of his radio program "Schickele Mix." So eclectic, humorous, and instructive in one program. I almost cracked up my car listening to some opera singer's voice crack on the high note and blithely continue on. And Schickele plays it twice so you can really savor the moment.
  • Attending the second performance of PDQ's The Seasonings was a changing point in my life, musically. For the good.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Carol
  • I attended Oberlin at the same time his daughter (?Carla, if I recall) was there.
  • Was the COOP still selling music then?

  • Selling music? Oh, you mean the bookstore. If I remember, there was an isolated section I rarely visited which had scores in it.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,002
    I have used the St. Michael's for 8 years. We have daily mass and we still have not used all of the hymns. The great thing is, every hymn in the book is singable and useable. There are no duds, no trash to wade through, no piano Accompiament to fix, no junk. Ok there are a few of the sacro pop things but if you don't like them, don't do them. I like that they are there, in case I need them.
    There are 700 some hymns.
    The Mass settings are all very singable. My only complaint it that some of the modern mass settings don't contain more that one of the memorial acclaimations.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,002
    Oh, I should add that there is a choir version that has satb voicing.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Folks, please check out the CREDO Hymnal at www.ILPmusic.org. It is a fine compilation of traditional and newly written traditionally styled hymns. It is available in Unison, SATB and Accompaniment editions. We hope that you share our excitement.
    Vincent Ambrosetti
    Publisher, ILP
    Thanked by 1RMSawicki