CCWatershed Brébeuf Hymnal
  • AndreaLeal
    Posts: 27
    I find it interesting that some people posting here like CharlesW imply that any positive comments are from CCW, as though only the publisher could possibly have good opinions about their books.

    That’s a snuck premise to discount anything good that is said. Which brings me to the next question: what do you have against CCW? Methinks the lady doth protest too much. And with much snark besides. It’s an ugly way to express oneself.

    And, just for the record, I am not from CCW and had nothing to do with the Hymnal, editorial or otherwise. I was not on the committee and I did not lift a finger in any way to publish it (although I do wish I had such an impressive accomplishment under my belt). I have, like all of you, simply given an opinion and weighed in on it.

    We should limit comments to people who actually possess a copy they can refer to. It is truly unhelpful when people sound off on this without a legitimate point of reference.

    To those who have spent time using the Hymnal and offered carefully considered thoughts about it, thank you - you have been very helpful!

  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,403
    Andrea: I think where things at CCW go off the rails: is with a certain person's self-promotion. I still remember getting the e-mails from CCW about the wonderfully stupendous VATICAN II HYMNAL--THE BEST HYMNAL EVER PUBLISHED FOR USE IN THE CATHOLIC LITURGY--FINALLY A TRULY CATHOLIC HYMNAL!!!!!

    I bought a copy for reference--I found the layout far to quirky and unconventional, the editor tinkered with some well-known tunes to suit his own personal ideas about melody and harmony, etc., on top of that, the contents (apart from his own Mass & Psalm settings) weren't too far removed from The Adoremus Hymnal put out 10 years before. And wouldn't you know it, a few months after I purchased my copy, Vat 2 was discontinued, but we were assured of ANOTHER AMAZING ADVANCEMENT IT CATHOLIC HYMNODY THAT WOULD BE SO AMAZINGLY AND WONDERFULLY STUPENDOUS THAT WE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO CONTAIN OURSELVES, AND INSTANTLY WANT TO ABANDON EVERY HYMNAL EVER PUBLISHED AND PURCHASE FIVE BILLION COPIES OF THE AMAZINGLY STUPENDOUS WONDERHYMNAL!!!

    I don't think that Brebeuf has lived up to its hype, at least based on the samples I've seen. A good hymnal should be edited by someone without bias--NB, not someone without taste; but someone who isn't going to insist on their own personal quirky preferences taking up space in a book that should suit a wide range of parishes. This is why many CCW books end up (to me) looking like private printings put on the market as an afterthought.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    So very true, Salieri. I want to trust CCW but they really are going to have to prove themselves. Most of the problems with the Vatican II hymnal were caused by the ego of the editor. Hope that doesn't happen on the new hymnal.

    That tinkering with melody and harmony annoyed me, as well.

    BTW, we do have a collection of those V 2 hymnals that the TLM group purchased. They are gathering dust. I don't think they were ever used by anyone else and the TLM group didn't use them much.

    as though only the publisher could possibly have good opinions about their books.


    There is positive then there is gushing ecstatically. Too early in the hymnal's life cycle for that kind of response. I hope it turns out to be that good. Time will tell.



    Thanked by 1Marc Cerisier
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,821
    reads like pre-packaged marketing lines

    It does, but hype can be contagious and I'm sure we're dealing with a common kool-aid bowl rather than sock puppetry.

    Speaking of useful (?) innovation, has anyone here used those choral editions (Dale Warland, was it?) that moved all consonants and diphthong glides to the beginning of the following syllable?
    Thanked by 1Marc Cerisier
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,403
    I want to trust CCW but they really are going to have to prove themselves.

    The only CCW book that I've regularly used is the collection of Peter Kwasniewski choral works.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Heath
    Posts: 819
    The only CCW book that I've regularly used is the collection of Peter Kwasniewski choral works.


    I'll add Kevin Allen's Motecta Trium Vocum to that...it's EXCELLENT.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 708
    I think we could be thankful to CCW for a lot of things. Their website is a wonderful resource for liturgical music and scans of many hymnals and chant books. Ideal for reference and research. Their YouTube channel has an abundance of useful practice videos. They contributed and gave impetus to the new liturgical movement, relentlessly pursuing dignified liturgical music, both old and newly composed. This way, they provide a wonderful service to church musicians.

    My issues with CCW have to do mostly with book design and product promotion. The former is often dominated by questionable editorial decisions, the latter is often overblown.

    That's too bad, because I think that if the Brébeuf Hymnal was put together with more common sense, following established conventions, it might have been useful for an ordinary parish.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 207
    I'll add that I think the CCW website has enormously helpful music resources for those wanting an alternative to what's published by OCP, GIA and WLP, and CCW offers very user-friendly introductions to traditional sacred music, polyphony and chant. I'm grateful for what they provide for free, and I wish more parish music directors were aware of the excellent music and videos that can be found there that make a return to traditional liturgical music less intimidating.

    When I attend the TLM at an FSSP parish that has the CCW St. Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal in the pews, I am grateful for that resource for following the Mass, and I think it's a well-designed missal/hymnal for the TLM.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 396
    I'll weigh in here. I think that the Brébeuf Hymnal's structure belies the weakness of one of its foundational premises:

    The hymnody of the Roman Rite is an invaluable treasure. No one here will deny that. That body of hymnody is one of the great poetic monuments of the Latin language.

    And that is just the problem. That a text is a masterpiece of expression and beauty in one language in no way guarantees that a translation of that text will be of equal worth. This truth is, in fact, underlined by the very abundance of optional translations given by the Brébeuf: nothing we can do in English quite carries over everything from the Latin, and so options are given that are better in some ways, worse in others.

    The whole hymnal, then, is premised on singing the very "best" hymns, but the superlative character of these hymns seems to be understood in such a way that it is divorced from their reality as a poetic expression in the Latin language and understood more as pertaining to their abstract content or something of this kind. So long as the hymn being sung is based on a truly excellent piece of Catholic Latinity, it, too, so the thinking seems to go, will rise above the dross and dreck of much vernacular hymnody, and will, in fact, inhabit the privileged sphere of patrimony. But a mediocre translation of a sublime religious text is not, to my mind, a part of my treasury of Catholic inheritance and patrimony.

    With the _very important_ exception of some of John Mason Neale and Catherine Winkworth's work, which I think is exemplary, there would be almost no overlap, in my mind, between a list of the greatest hymns in the English language, and a list of hymns translated into English from another language. In the case of Neale and Winkworth, however, that has as much to do with their willingness to be poetic and fresh within the target language, and to craft a hymn text dependent for existence, but independent in worth, from the source text, as it has to do with the worth of the original text.

    I think that even these texts would be in some ways robbed of their power, however, if published literally alongside a textbook-literal prose translation of the original hymn, and several inferior poetic translations. Such an approach, to me, underscores the inadequacy of translation, and weakens the assembly's perception of the power of the English texts that they are expected to sing as a whole.
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 72
    CharlesW - As a former Lutheran, I second your appreciation of The Lutheran Hymnal 1941. Wonderful
  • SeanRoberts
    Posts: 1
    The Brebeuf hymnal has completely won me over, and the sense of exhilaration has not gone away these last few weeks; I am still spellbound, even by insignificant items like the beautiful yellow paper instead of normal white paper. Bravo! It is a momentous achievement.

    One of the first things I did was turn to pages unique to this book, about which their advertising made such a big deal: contributors such as Fr Christopher Phillips (Our Lady of Atonement), Kevin Allen, Fr Dylan Schrader, Jeffrey Ostrowski, Fr Dominic Popplewell, Dr Alfred Calabrese, Peter LeJeune, Dr Richard Clark, etc etc etc as well as Catholic artists from this century I had no idea about: Fr Fitzpatrick, Denis MacCarthy, Bishop Bagshawe, Fr Ronald Knox, Aubrey Thomas de Vere, Mons Hugh Henry, Flor Peeters, and others. I was not disappointed; and I'm still dumbfounded this is the first hymnal to discover such riches of our patrimony. The hymn tune by Dr Richard Clark is particularly enchanting. For the last few days, I've been playing through the accompaniments, and it's not surprising this project took five years. Sometimes, they seem to have taken the harmonizations "as is" (Brockham, Alfreton, St George's Windsor, Cupertino, Llanfair, Monkland, Halton Holgate, etc) but for stagnant harmonizations or those with problematic ranges, they seem to have modified them in a clever-yet-subtle way. The footnotes in particular seem noteworthy; done in a thoughtful style that summarizes the essence of the idea (for those who care) from a seemingly inexhaustible knowledge of hymnody: both Catholic and Protestant. The actual choice of hymns is apparently bottomless yet there's no rubbish here. Indeed, care was taken, as it says in the prefatory material, that a number of optional melodies FOR THE SAME TEXT are also given, and this is explained in the front material of the Brebeuf Hymnal.

    The Brebeuf hymnal is really incomparable. I have St Paul's Hymnal (Harvard Square) by John Robinson. I have the Adoremus hymnal (Ignatius Press), Lumen Christi, Edmund Campion, and St Michael's. I have the Credo hymnal (Nashville), and a number of rare books from an earlier time such as New Saint Basil. Too many of these books repeat the same basic 35 hymns over and over; and ninety percent is Protestant. By contrast, every page of the Brebeuf screams "Catholic, Catholic, Catholic" although I have spotted a few texts by Protestants, mainly Anglican. That is a huge difference. While I understand the tendency or desire to constantly repeat what others have done, the departures in this book are nothing short of brilliant. Many of the hymns are unfamiliar to me, so I deeply appreciate not having to fumble around with the indices at the back like the Worship IV hymnal; that gets super tedious super quickly. In so many cases, they refuse to fall into the trap of deleting verses---and that's a pervasive flaw in other hymnals yet people don't even know what they are missing. I am so disheartened to see several people on this forum repeatedly commenting about a book that, in their own words, they have never seen or held or studied. Quem Terra, Pange Lingua, O Sola Magnarum, Jesu Redemptor, Jam Desinant Suspiria, and so many more; these are incomparable treasures the Brebeuf hymnal has rescued and made accessible to the congregations today.

    The Brebeuf is destined to forever go down as the serious Catholic hymnal. I am scratching my head trying to think of another hymnal that even comes close. The Summit hymnal was a massive attempt, but had unbelievable flaws and gaps and laps of judgment. Years ago in Sacramento, we had a hymnal created in the 1990s by the Brompton Oratory. That is probably the only book which even comes close to the Brebeuf...but even still the vast majority of those texts were Protestant and slightly "sentimental" whereas the Brebeuf ones seem almost without exception to be Catholic with terrific translations by Catholic priests. I just cannot believe the emphasis they placed on finding every great hymn from our patrimony and (somehow) locating translations for them; translations which distort neither the text nor the theology. I just can't think of any other hymnal that comes close, as AndreaLeal said above, especially because the hymnal we used at Sacramento is now out of print. If you don't have a copy of the Brebeuf hymnal, get one. And don't approach it thinking it's going to look like any other hymnal, because from my perspective, this book is truly unique. Parishes which take the Catholic faith seriously need to look into the Brebeuf hymnal. Now, stepping off my soap box....
  • JacobFlaherty
    Posts: 236
    I am so disheartened to see several people on this forum repeatedly commenting about a book that, in their own words, they have never seen or held or studied.


    I have held it and it's a wonderful resource book for professional Catholic musicians, historians, and theologians. It is not a practical book for lay people in the pews. Again, these hymnals sit in the pews during Mass, when we are praying... the Mass. Pondering over the nuances in the translation differences (while at Mass) is akin to treating our Sunday duty as if it we were lightly treading through a museum or examining a rare book in a library. "Ah, isn't that neat!?" "Wow, I didn't realize that... oh wait, the re-presentation of Calvary itself is here and I'm examining how translator H made a nuanced change in the way he approached the original Latin text from translators B, D, and W."

    Again, this is wonderful for the purposes of studying our patrimony and the beautiful treasures of our faith while at home or in the choir office, but it's not a helpful tool to 99% of us who use it to sing a few hymns every Sunday at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Isn't it a very traditional and pious sentiment that the Mass has always been for the catechized? In ancient days, those candidates for Baptism would be included in the first half of the Mass and then dismissed for the Canon, the Consecration and Holy Communion. Are we back to to doing Sunday school during Mass again?

    One thing I very much agree is a great bonus and blessing is the inclusion of multiple normally-unheard/unprinted verses. This would be a great new thread for the forum in my opinion - what are the most beautiful, awe-inspiring 'missing' or 'original versions of a usually maligned verse' in any number of popular hymns.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,730
    Sean, welcome to the forum! Thanks for your comments on the hymnal. Though one of them did make me raise an eyebrow:
    every page of the Brebeuf screams "Catholic, Catholic, Catholic"

    Who wants books that scream? It's not a mark of sound judgment. :-)

    Anyway, Jacob's assessment is more or less the same as that of the music director who showed me his copy of the hymnal: a valuable resource for musicians.

    And, yes, I do believe that there used to be sockpuppetry on the forum, with multiple accounts promoting this or that, and sometimes even staging arguments with each other.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,403
    JacobFlaherty: That was my impression based on the samples and descriptions. I certainly want one as a reference (who doesn't want more books for their library?), but I doubt I would consider it for parish use.

    That being said: It would be nice to try some new hymn-tunes, which hopefully, if they prove themselves, will find inclusion in other hymnals of a more practicable nature. I am all for new music.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,177
    The whole hymnal, then, is premised on singing the very "best" hymns, but the superlative character of these hymns seems to be understood in such a way that it is divorced from their reality as a poetic expression in the Latin language and understood more as pertaining to their abstract content or something of this kind. So long as the hymn being sung is based on a truly excellent piece of Catholic Latinity, it, too, so the thinking seems to go, will rise above the dross and dreck of much vernacular hymnody, and will, in fact, inhabit the privileged sphere of patrimony. But a mediocre translation of a sublime religious text is not, to my mind, a part of my treasury of Catholic inheritance and patrimony.
    our patrimony is Gregorian Chant. Keep the hymns in the Office if you will, but let’s get BACK to the roots of GC for the Holy Sacrifice... Introit, Offertorio and Communio... our 18 masses sublime (public domain) In our NATIVE LANGUAGE! For me, the vernacular does not scream Catholic... it whispers “modernism”.

    “I” was going to undertake this very same project myself years ago (in the name of “screaming Catholic”), but then I realized (and came to my senses) that it would only delay our inevitable return to tradition, so I have forsaken the idea altogether, and the sooner we all reject the modern agenda, the better.

    No compromise.

    “Return, O people, to the Lord your God, take with you words saying, “Lord, we have stumbled... take away our iniquity.””
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    I sometimes wonder if that "return to tradition" has done little more than get the TLM troublemakers off to themselves and out of the hair of the chanceries and parishes. How all that shakes out will probably not be revealed for a number of years. We may not be around then.

    I think what is being missed is that the comments on the new hymnal are more of a lack of faith in the organization and people who may have produced it than the book itself. Agreed, that is based on past experience. Maybe it is good, maybe it is not. I will know when I get my copy.

    Keep the hymns in the Office if you will, but let’s get BACK to the roots of GC for the Holy Sacrifice... Introit, Offertorio and Communio...


    I understand what you are saying Francis, but I don't look for that to happen on any large scale. It seems the majority of the church has moved in a different direction. I don't even want to discuss Rome these days.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    I certainly want one as a reference (who doesn't want more books for their library?), but I doubt I would consider it for parish use.


    Good point. I own many hymnals and mine them for hymns that can be converted into mini-choir pieces. A number of them are not in our current hymnal and the congregation doesn't know them. They do, however, have a use. They make good organ "filler" when needed, as well.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,177
    harlesW 7:08AM
    Posts: 9,785
    I sometimes wonder if that "return to tradition" has done little more than get the TLM troublemakers off to themselves and out of the hair of the chanceries and parishes.
    Interesting perspective Charles. For 1967 years The TLMers were the WHOLE OF US. I believe you mean the modernists are the troublemakers! Yes? THEY are the fly in the soup. There is no hovering over the soup either... you are in it one way or the other.

    A more accurate metaphor might be that the flies have filled the bowl and have laid maggots and the soup would rather not hang around, if you get my drift.

    As for Rome, well, you can’t say we weren’t warned.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    We were warned, Francis. Was it the La Salette prophecies about two worm-ridden popes?

    The modernists may be the problem, but they don't know it. In fairness, many know no different. This is what they grew up with and they are now the mainstream.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 115
    For 1967 years The TLMers were the WHOLE OF US
    Typo? WHEN EXACTLYhas the (western part of the) Universal Church made the switch from (traditional) Greek to (vernacular) Latin in the liturgy?
    As a first step of what became later - when? - the TLM in its present form ...
    Thanked by 2CharlesW G
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    Oh, I know. As an easterner, I long ago realized the west has its own version of history. It's not accurate, but they passionately believe it.

    The TLM dates from Pius V and was codified after Trent ended. There have been some changes in it, such as the rewrite of Holy Week by Pius XII. I can't quote sources, but I think several popes tinkered with it over the centuries.

    It was never "the whole of us." The eastern rites have liturgies that are older and the west does have more than the one rite.
    Thanked by 2Elmar Marc Cerisier
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,177
    Charles

    Within the Latin rite, we were the WHOLE
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    Ambrosian, Braga, Mozarabic, Carthusian, and Benedictine. Some other western rites are now defunct.
    Thanked by 2Elmar Richard Mix
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 254
    Based on some of the previews shown of the harmony edition, I would wholeheartedly disagree that any changes to the harmony are for the better. Many of the harmonizations seemed downright bizarre.

    Is there anyone who can offer positive feedback about the hymnal that doesn't go CCW-overboard in every sentence about it as Salieri pointed out? That's what bugs me here - not that people like the hymnal, but that everyone who likes the hymnal sounds just like CCW promotional materials for it.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW tomjaw Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    I tend to not like any changes to traditional hymn harmonizations. My parish has used GIA hymnals for years and I never liked the Proulx harmonizations, either. To my ears, they were ugly.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 751
    The TLM dates from Pius V

    Reminds me of something I heard recently - "As an westerner, I long ago realized the east has its own version of history. It's not accurate, but they passionately believe it."
    Thanked by 1Andrew Malton
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    History gets a bit suspect in the west after the fall of Rome. The culture collapsed, learning was restricted to essentially a priestly class, and much was lost. The great engineering, architectural and historical knowledge took a back seat for a few centuries until rediscovered later. What western Christians often assume is fact going back to the early days actually originated in Renaissance times, especially the trappings surrounding the papacy. What the east had going for it was longevity, at least until the fifteenth- sixteenth century. Then it suffered the same fate as Old Rome. However it had kept and passed on 1,000 more years of documented knowledge and liturgical practice since the fall of Old Rome.

    We think of Rome as a city in Italy. The Romans considered Rome, the capital city, to be where the emperor happened to reside. There were many Romes over time.

    If you are ever in doubt about anything, just ask the Russians. They will quickly tell you we have all fallen into heresy. LOL
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,717
    "There were many Romes over time."

    Yes, in the West as well. The theory of imperial succession (developed before there was a Rus let alone a Russia) meant a loss of Constantinople's exclusive claim to the succession during the Iconoclast heresy, and the Carolingians picked up from there in the West, then eventually the Ottonian (aka Saxon or Luidolfing), Salian (aka Franconian), Hohenstaufen, Luxembourg, and eventually Habsburg dynasties in succession. A good recentish book: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Europe-History-Roman-Empire/dp/0674058097
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,001
    The one thing we do know is that people are passionate about this hymnal! There are a number of folks with one or two posts who apparently signed up just to participate in this thread!
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,717
    FWIW, I am not passionate about this hymnal. Not one teeny bit, one way or another.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,001
    FWIW, I am not passionate about this hymnal. Not one teeny bit, one way or another.


    Well, you're a long-time poster like me! :)
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Marc Cerisier
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    Liam: All fascinating, isn't it. I just recently did some reading on Trier when it functioned as home of the emperor. Thanks for the book recommendation.

    FWIW, I am not passionate about this hymnal. Not one teeny bit, one way or another.


    I collect hymnals for source materials. Based on what I am hearing from "long-time" posters, I wonder if this hymnal is worth spending the money on to review it.

    There are a number of folks with one or two posts who apparently signed up just to participate in this thread!


    Does that make you suspicious? It does me.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,593
    It says “Published with ecclesiastical approval”...But do most of these hymnals with “On Eagles Wings” and such have an imprimatur? I’m not sure it matters. Besides, anyone who owns a copy of the Hymnal can see very clearly that it’s a work of beautifully authentic Catholic tradition.


    http://www.usccb.org/about/divine-worship/policies/guidelines-for-the-publication-of-liturgical-books.cfm

    An imprimatur needs to be granted by the Ordinary of the Diocese of the place where it was published in order for it to be used as congregational participation material.

    This is Canon Law:
    Books of prayers for the public or private use of the faithful are not to be published without the permission of the local ordinary.


  • Marc Cerisier
    Posts: 418
    There are a number of folks with one or two posts who apparently signed up just to participate in this thread!

    Does that make you suspicious? It does me.


    Especially since they echo the same language and writing style as CCW emails on the subject.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,403
    There are a number of folks with one or two posts who apparently signed up just to participate in this thread!

    Does that make you suspicious? It does me.

    Especially since they echo the same language and writing style as CCW emails on the subject.


    But they're REAL CATHOLIC EMAILS, unlike ANY OTHER email EVER SENT! You'll want to immediately stop reading ANY OTHER EMAIL AND READ ONLY THESE!!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    BWAHAHAHAHA. LOL
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • AndreaLeal
    Posts: 27
    Im just curious why so much time and energy is devoted to mocking others and tearing down any positive comments. Frankly, it’s a little weird.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,821
    Time, energy and hyperbole seem to be mostly on one side.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,730
    I came across a video that features the index discussed above:

    width="600" height="360">
    (To view it in a larger format, click on the title in the player box.)

    In the video, Jeff explains that he put the more widely-used hymns in the second half of the book, after the index, and put a substantial section of less familiar hymns from the Office tradition in the front, with their accompanying apparatus of multiple translations and melodies. It's clear that a lot of time, energy, and dedication went into the book, along with the zeal to take unconventional approaches about the book's content and structure.
    Thanked by 1a1437053
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    I too was surprised at the dog-piling on here. I won't spend too much time on this since it gets repeated at least twice a page....

    Here's a routine reminder: Avoid flames: critique principles, not people. Be discriminating but don't nitpick. Be academic not acerbic. Be principled not polemical.


    Instead, I'm waiting on my accompaniment book to talk more about that stuff. And this is probably an incomplete list, but there are at least half a dozen people who have taken the time to offer productive comments to this thread. (JacobFlaherty, Schönbergian, NihilNominis, smvanroode, Earl_Grey, petrus_simplex, etc)

    Many of these people have posted comments that are critical--mixed at best--or they ask thoughtful questions, but I truly appreciate engaging with you. Although I am limited on the parts that I do know about. Layman and non-musician here, so while I wanted to ask Schönbergian what he meant by harmonizations on May 11, I don't think I could understand the finder details since I don't read music.

    I don't even mind the criticism about my enthusiasm and my TONE OF VOICE from this group of people! It's ok to have differing opinions on this stuff! And I respect the time and effort many of you have spent on the same mission I feel I have: worshipping God with our best effort in the most authentic Catholic way! =)

    I think CharlesW said it best here:
    I think what is being missed is that the comments on the new hymnal are more of a lack of faith in the organization and people who may have produced it than the book itself. Agreed, that is based on past experience. Maybe it is good, maybe it is not. I will know when I get my copy.


    Let's ignore the trolling/mocking commenters (on whatever side they're on) and talk about the book! Let's talk about the index!!! For better or for worse!!! (I'm still getting used to it in the middle, wasting my 3.56 milliseconds to find it.)
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 198
    chonak: I watched that video when it came out months ago and forgot it until you posted it again just now. When I first got the hymnal, I focused on that first section with the ancient Latin hymns. I completely ignored the second part, until I found the Table of Contents and saw what was there. Then I realized that I was holding two kinds of hymnals in one book. I haven't fully thought this setup through . . . still working my way through the second part and comparing it to the OCP I have.

    I only mention this because if I had remembered the video you linked earlier, I would have realized known this because that's the first thing the video mentions! "Start with section number 2"!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,730
    It makes sense for Jeff to have prepared this video, because it relates to one of the unconventional aspects I referred to above. Sure, the book includes a fair amount of familiar material, but it's in the second half of the book. The 500 pages of office hymns, being in the front, are the part that comes across as most important.

    The book seems to have been designed with a educational intention, and the video is introducing the didactic approach being proposed: that music directors start with the familiar material and gradually introduce the wonderful ancient content in the front.

    But as a practical matter, most people who come across the book will not have seen the video, and won't have heard any explanation about starting in the second half. A lot of readers will look in the front first, and see a lot of unfamiliar hymns, presented in multiple translations and multiple melodies -- even including translations that were included mainly for instructional purposes and not recommended for use! (He says so in the video.)

    If people find that the first 500 pages are unfamiliar material, and include a lot of repetition, and that the stanzas aren't laid out conventionally, and the index is in the middle, then it's not what we tech people call user-friendly. If the impression this book gives is "I did it my way" -- well, you never do get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,730
    Reading that line about what is "user-friendly" reminded me of Umberto Eco's 1994 essay on the difference between Macs and PCs. At the time, PCs ran on the MS-DOS operating system (when Windows was relatively new), and he wrote, “I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant."

    Indeed, the Macintosh is counterreformist and has been influenced by the "ratio studiorum" of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach - if not the Kingdom of Heaven - the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: the essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.

    DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can reach salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: a long way from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.

    Perhaps the principle of user-friendliness ought to be included in any proposal for a new hymnal of truly Catholic inspiration.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,960
    Hasn't standard hymnal format already accomplished most of those goals including user friendliness?

  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,001
    With the _very important_ exception of some of John Mason Neale and Catherine Winkworth's work, which I think is exemplary, there would be almost no overlap, in my mind, between a list of the greatest hymns in the English language, and a list of hymns translated into English from another language.


    I would add Robert Bridges' O Gladsome Light.
  • TimTheEnchanterTimTheEnchanter
    Posts: 141
    In the video, Jeff explains that he put the more widely-used hymns in the second half of the book, after the index, and put a substantial section of less familiar hymns from the Office tradition in the front, with their accompanying apparatus of multiple translations and melodies. It's clear that a lot of time, energy, and dedication went into the book, along with the zeal to take unconventional approaches about the book's content and structure.


    If you have to post a video on how to use your hymnal, that's a really, really bad sign.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 85
    Regarding familiar hymns being in the back, I’m not sure why this is a problem. Most mainline hymnals currently put hundreds of pages of ordinary settings that no one uses in the front and we all ignore. I’d much rather have the beautiful Latin hymns in the hymnal. In my current hymnal the hymns don’t start until around page 300. If memory serves the st Michael hymnal also has over 200 pages of mass settings before the hymns start too.

    Regarding so-called suspicious posts, I’m not sure why some of us are coming under fire here. (At least, I read this as though my posts would be included in this categorization by some, although I suppose I could be wrong.) I emailed CCW and asked to be a proofreader because I was excited about this hymnal and had the requisite skill set to be useful. Ultimately I’m just a Joe Schmoe who lives many states away from CCW who happens to be a full-time professional musician, organist (masters degree), and choir master and wanted to help. That doesn’t make me a salesman in any way. I dare say anyone else voicing support for the hymnal is in the same situation I am.

    Even if this discussion was the impetus for someone to finally sign up for an account here, so what? They could have been reading this forum for years for all we know.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 254
    If this hymnal is supposedly so great and Catholic:

    Why was literally every hymn text altered in some way, and why is this even advertised as a feature when we complain so much about GIA and OCP butchering hymn texts?

    Why is the music engraving subpar (default Sibelius settings with Times New Roman is just not up to the level of other CCW publications nor should it be acceptable in 2019) when CCW has shown so much attention to typesetting even basic promotional materials in the past?

    What is the true focus of this hymnal, and why can it seemingly not be used without additional resources in the pews?

    Why was so much focus put into creating a scholarly collection (eg. 24 settings of Ave Maris Stella) when this is totally unnecessary for a pew hymnal and is contrary to the entire modus operandi of congregational singing? What average congregant could possibly associate 24 different tunes with the same text, particularly when we create such strong links between tune and text in congregational singing?

    Why were so many good conventions flaunted (with the index in the middle and so many reprinted pages of hymn texts with different verses) and these aberrations defended under weird grounds, but bad conventions were kept (eg. stemming all notes together whenever possible, creating a mess of a score)?

    Why are there so many people in this thread who sound exactly like CCW promotional materials on the hymnal, with nothing bad to say and only glowing praise that this hymnal will go down in history as the finest of all time? (Not saying that more moderate praise doesn't exist, but let's be honest - there's clearly something going on here.)
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,593
    The question as to what ecclesiastical approval this Hymnal has and whether or not it has an imprimatur from the Ordinary of the Diocese in which it is published (as required by Canon Law) has not yet been answered.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,730
    Why were so many good conventions flaunted flouted

    Fixed that for you.
    --another proofreader (not of this hymnal, but in general)

    :-)

    By the way, it's fine for people involved in the hymnal's development or in other CCW projects to post here about it.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw WGS