Introit Hymn writers wanted - open source project
  • lmassery
    Posts: 274
    I know many readers of this forum have adapted introits into hymn form. I am collaborating with the Director of Music at the Cathedral in Cleveland, OH to present Entrance Antiphon Hymns for the entire liturgical year. If you have have written any, or can improve upon any on this site, please consider sharing your text here or with me in an email ( I will set it to organ, provide the musicscore file, the pdfs, the melody, and the high-res PNG. Analytics show we have about 100 unique users already in a few short months. Hopefully this will become the go-to place for free introit hymns.

  • Carol
    Posts: 589
    This is an interesting idea. I sang through a few of them and as expected some of them work better than others, but I do agree that the tunes are familiar.
  • Tournemire
    Posts: 72
    I think this has already been done with the ChristophTietze Introit Hymns.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,073
    One significant advantage of the OP's project is that we could try them for free. I like Kathy's stuff well enough to pay for the 100 copies we would need myself, but not unless I can get a committment to using them, and so far I can't. Or if I could get a straight assurance from the publsher that our OneLicense would allow us to print them in the newsletter, but the newsletter is published to the internet and I haven't had a straight answer. (Further complication, I am not in the USA)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,399
    Just a heads up. There is a typo (in the text page) in the refrain for the Advent I Introit Hymn OPTION 1 LM (in bold):
    Introit Hymn OPTION 1 LM

    1. Let not my foes exult o’er me,
    Spare all from shame who hope in thee:

    Refrain: To You, O God, I lift my soul.
    In you I trust, your grace extrol.
  • Why Chuck, haven't you ever extroled someone?

    (I always have to remember to misspell 'colour' when I do purple.)
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen Carol tomjaw
  • lmassery
    Posts: 274
    Thanks Chuck I’ll fix that. Mr Teitz and Ms Pluth have indeed paved the way on this and set a high bar. I’ve used and admired their work for years. However, I see a few obstacles besides them not being free. With Teitz, I find many of the tunes to be unfamiliar to the average parish. With Pluth the activation energy required to use them regularly is high: only the (excellent) work of setting the introit text has been done, but there are no organ scores, or additional verses, or a variety of meters. Our project solves all of these problems, I believe. Mr Heislman has done the brunt of the writing over the last decade and is very good at it, IMHO. Though his set is not complete, thus the invitation for more writers to offer theirs.

    Part of my personal mission statement is to make this step toward Antiphons ridiculously easy and user friendly for the average music director, especially antiphon newbies.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,207
    With Pluth the activation energy required to use them regularly is high: only the (excellent) work of setting the introit text has been done, but there are no organ scores, or additional verses, or variety of meters.

    Luke, I definitely wish you well with your project!

    However, I think some correction is due here. I have used my Hymn Tune Introits, as have others, with astonishment at their simplicity.

    In one place, using a worship aid with text alone, a cantor intoned the introit, followed by unison choir/ congregation, and then by SATB choir with congregation. All of this was sung a capella. Nothing could be simpler, and the repetition reinforces the important sentiments of the antiphon.

    A priest in Liverpool wrote to especially thank me because his small parish has no musical resources, but with my work they can sing a proper text on sight. I had "road tested" this with a priest who doesn't read music and he sang my antiphons immediately.

    This a cappella treatment is part of the many ways that the Hymn Tune Introits provide a salutary introduction to the real goal, the full Gregorian Latin propers, which need no accompaniment.

    Similarly, the lack of variety in meters is first of all in aid of simplicity. If needed a parish could use the same tine every week. On the other hand, if variety is desired, a different tune could be chosen every week.

    Moreover, the hymns proper to the Latin Church, those sung in the Breviary, are largely--overwhelmingly--Long Meter hymns, so the lack of variety is actually very traditional.

    If accompaniment is desired, then again, nothing could be easier. The organist opens his accompaniment book, gives the introduction to DUKE STREET or another LM tune, and then everyone sings.

    If help with accompaniment is desired, a resource for this was published at the same time as my booklet.

    I don't mind people pointing out limitations in my work, but the entire design here was minimal energy and resources required for rollout, and from experience I know that this is the case.
  • lmassery
    Posts: 274
    Thanks Kathy, and I don’t mean any offense. Your work is truly wonderful and I affirm everything you pointed out!

    I personally cannot play from one page while reading text from another, so I have had to write hymn texts into the organ accompaniments in the past. (A capella hymns don’t work well in my parish with average acoustics, at best.) But that’s just me!

    I stand on the shoulders of giants
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,073
    Kathy - yes what you say is true. The stumbling block is our ruling musician who is normally restricted to two hymns (entrance and offertory) but desperately wants to maintain a wide repertory of tunes in the congregation, and rejects being confined to one metre for half of the hymns. Both she and the pastor are pit-bull characters.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,630
    I personally like Kathy's approach, and was using her texts until the shutdown in March. (Now that we are only permitted organist & cantor, I have changed to chanted Introits, once congregational singing--and entrance processions!--is welcomed again I definitely want to return to them.

    I have personally found the lack of metrical variety to be useful because it means that the congregation can focus on the words without learning a new tune, AND the same tune can be used for a few weeks, e.g. I use CONDITOR ALME for all of Advent, VOM HIMMEL HOCH for Christmastide, etc. If I want extra verses, that's where I have found Webber's "New Metrical Psalter" and Tate & Brady useful, and doxological verses from office hymns work wonderfully.
  • lmassery
    Posts: 274
    I think this demonstrates there are many variables in each parish music program and what works for one will not necessarily work for another. Variety of options to meet those needs is a good thing.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,207
    I agree! The more the merrier.

    And on the other hand, casting texts into rhyming verse is very difficult, as you may be discovering, which is why I decided to go commercial with these.

    Getting paid for what was really a lot of work is kind of like negotiating a music director salary. It's not just the hours, but the years of training that went into the skills employed during those hours, that has to be considered. (In my case, a great books degree, two advanced degrees in theology, 10 years of writing and translating hymns, and all that time my Dad spent reading Dr. Seuss to my brothers and me.)

    A couple of tips:

    Don't rush the rhyme. Most of the time I have to wait for the best rhyme to appear, and then build the whole structure around it.

    Try singing it into being. Once I've chosen a tune, I let the melody play over and over in my mind, until the text kind of writes itself.

    Best wishes on the project, Luke!
  • lmassery
    Posts: 274
    Sound advice, thank you. Yes it’s definitely challenging but fun! Sometimes ill get the first rhyme and then choose the meter around that. I’ll try your approach too.
  • PLTT
    Posts: 108
    I know that Sunday Introits have the largest impact, but might I make a small plea for setting some of the texts of the Common of Saints and weekdays of the seasons (Lent especially)? That would enable some simple singing at weekday Masses.....
  • lmassery
    Posts: 274
    PLTT thanks for the excellent question and the suggestion. I had definitely planned to do many of the feasts/saints but will add Lenten weekday Masses as well, since Kathy and CH have already done advent. The Sundays and Solemnities should be finished up by spring so not sure if I'll have any Lenten weekdays for you in time for this year. If there is a specific day you would like that I could tackle first, do let me know.
  • tandrews
    Posts: 75
    Kathy's introits are doing well here at the New Ulm Cathedral. The cantors and scholas like the break from Rice's Simple Chorale Gradual even if it's just the Introit, especially those that are still warming up to/avoiding square notes. Initially I would trade off between Kathy's and Christoph Tietze's Introit hymns between Sundays, but the use of Long Meter and common(?) tunes is immediately appealing to the musicians at the Cathedral and we have stuck with hers for a couple months now.

    After seeing the success the introit hymns have had at the Cathedral they also been implemented at the other Catholic parish in town, a parish that I wouldn't suspect to ever bother with bringing back propers!

    These hymn introits are worth it!
    Thanked by 2Kathy lmassery