Pianist looking for his first Catholic Hymnal
  • ChrisN
    Posts: 1
    Hello everyone,

    I'm a recent convert looking for an unmistakably orthodox, Catholic hymnal for personal use. Something scholarly and well-made that I, as a pianist, could appreciate in my own private time. I would like to explore many pieces with complete harmonizations but I also welcome as much chant as possible -- as I would like to become more familiar with the chant tradition of the liturgy as well.

    I have been looking at the Adoremus Hymnal and the St. Michael Hymnal mostly. Perusing these discussions, I have also learned of the Collegeville Hymnal.

    The only one of these I have actually held is the Adoremus; I spent a few weeks attending a church which used this hymnal, and I loved each of the hymns that were used, and I also greatly appreciated the Index of Ordinaries. It was a church that offered both the Extraordinary Form and the Latin Novus Ordo.

    Please help this learning neophyte. :)
  • G
    Posts: 1,391
    Those three all have their merits.

    I'd also suggest looking into others (some of which are only peripherally or not at all "Roman Catholic,") the Episcopal 1940, The New English Hymnal, our own Frogman Noel's The Catholic Hymnal and the Traditional Roman Hymnal.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Thanks, G!

    The Anthology of The Catholic Hymnal project contains both the Eucharistic Hymns and Hymns To Mary hymnals and an added Benediction section. Here's the link to it: https://www.createspace.com/3374885

    Full details at www.thecatholichymnal.com
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,575

    Getting one hymnal for all styles is a tall order.

    Here is what I would do. Two instead of one.

    1. The Catholic Hymnbook (Gracewing)
    2. Parish Book of Chant

    I am getting ready to buy the harmony edition of TCH.

    St Michaels and Adoremus are the only hymnals that avoid inclusive text from the American publishers that I am aware of.

    As G has noted, we all have a copy of the 1940. A classic with top notch harmonizations.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 989
    It is Francis' fault that I looked up the Catholic Hymn Book. Somehow from that simple lookup, I ended up in the dazzling online store of St. Michael's Abbey and ordered The Monastic Diurnal.

    Yes, it's all Francis' fault.
  • The Catholic Hymn Book (from the London Oratory) is excellent in all ways. The harmony version has the words and music printed separately, as is the custom in Britain. Its tune repertory is decidedly British, which is fine by me, but over half would be unfamiliar to almost any US Catholic congregation.

    The choir edition of the Saint Michael Hymnal does not have full accompaniments for hymns in which the choir parts and the accompaniment diverge or for hymns intended for unison singing and yet normally requiring accompaniment. You need the loose-leaf accompaniment edition to get past this.

    Be careful with The Hymnal 1940: while full of classic texts and tunes, it is a Protestant hymnal and pointedly leaves out some Catholic devotions and practices. It can be used profitably in a Catholic context, but would need to be supplemented. It contains no Latin (except the refrain of Venite adoremus) and its 'communion service' settings can only be used in Anglican and Anglican Use liturgies. The (Anglican) New English Hymnal comes significantly closer to being a Catholic hymnal and has acres of great music and texts.

    The online store of Saint Michael's Abbey is an occasion of sin for me!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,575
    ...o... jeez, mj, i gotta get one of them for myself! thanks for the blame!


    ...o... my gosh!!!!! words separate EVEN in the harmony edition?! (depressed) I haven't seen it yet, and I just assumed the words would be set within the staff. ouch.

    ...yes... and amen about the 1940. It could NEVER be the primary hymnal of any Roman Catholic, but is an excellent supplement to the library! thnx for clarifying, Daniel.

    ...and... i do not have the accompaniment edition to St. Michaels... is the choral edition not in good order? i have not seen that either!
  • Now it's mjb's fault for providing such a quick link to the Saint Michael's Abbey website. Of course, when I saw the "Diurnal", I had to order a copy too. Thanks, mjb!
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I coudn't read the description of "Diurnal." Somehow it was overlapped with the cover page when I clicked on the image of the book. Could someone tell me what "Diurnal" is? Thanks.