Hymn Options - A and B (EWTN Vespers)
  • Bri
    Posts: 26
    I notice that the booklets for the EWTN Vespers (based on the Mundelein Psalter) have hymns with A and B options. (See p. 5 in the attached document or p. 5 of the January 16 option in the link below.)

    https://www.ewtn.com/downloads/sunday-vespers/2022-01-16.pdf

    Other dates are available here:
    https://www.ewtn.com/tv/shows/sunday-vespers-with-benediction

    Why are there two options?

    When would each be used?

    Thanks!
    Bri

  • Better question: since Option A and Option B appear to contain the same text and the same alternation between Cantor and All, what's the "option"?
    Thanked by 1Bri
  • Bri
    Posts: 26
    Sorry about that! I didn't even notice that the words were the same for that particular week. That is strange that it is listed twice with the same text.

    I am attaching a different Sunday that shows A and B options with different words. (See pages 5-6 of this attachment.)

    Thanks again!
    Bri
  • They have the same meter, and may even be part of the same text, originally.

    Why give options of hymns during the Office? Unfortunately, the most obvious answer is the most distressing: the reforms executed under the post-conciliar popes are characterized by an ever increasing number of options.
    Thanked by 1Bri
  • Bri
    Posts: 26
    Thanks, Chris.

    So, does this mean that we can just choose either text option? That there isn't a "right" or "standard" choice for, say, the second Sunday of Easter?

    Thanks again for all of your help!

    Bri
  • Bri,

    I may be mistaken: there may be some legitimate explanation for why you have an option on the hymn. Specialists in the LotH abound around here. My edition of Christian Prayer dates from the 1990's, and may (therefore) be out of date.

    You might try contacting EWTN, to request a sensible explanation for why their published booklet for Vespers have two options, when only one can be used at once (else, it's not an option).
    Thanked by 1Bri
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,779
    Hi, Bri.

    On most occasions, the current English-language Liturgy of the Hours used in the U.S. directs the user to select from a set of seasonally-appropriate hymns, rather than offering a specific hymn. Even for Easter, there are several hymns from which an individual or a community may choose. (I imagine that there's probably a clause somewhere authorizing other seasonally appropriate hymns, as at Mass.) If you're using the booklets to observe the Office on your own, feel free to choose among the options offered.

    If a hymn appears without music, you can sing it with any appropriate melody; or you can simply recite the text.

    As the booklets indicate, they were prepared by Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB, who has done great work in producing English adaptations of plainchant for the Office and Mass.

    In 2022, a new set of English hymns is to be published by the USCCB for the Office, with texts that correspond more closely to the original hymns of the Latin edition. I hope this will come with a schedule indicating which ones are appropriate for the various celebrations.
    Thanked by 2Bri CHGiffen
  • Bri
    Posts: 26
    Thank you, Chonak! Very helpful!!
  • Bri,

    Did you, in the end, contact EWTN, to find out what the booklet preparers intended, and why they presented those two options?
  • Maureen
    Posts: 671
    It looks like one is a chant tune and the other is any hymn tune with the same meter. (BROMLEY and WALY WALY are apparently the popular tunes. I like WALY WALY, but come on, that would just sound silly.)
  • Bri
    Posts: 26
    Hi, Chris,

    I did reach out to EWTN. I received an auto reply stating something like "Thank you for your email. Due to the high volume of emails, we may not be able to respond to your inquiry."

    If I do hear back, I'll let you know what they say!

    Bridget
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Bri
    Posts: 26
    I was actually able to email Fr. Samuel Weber to ask about the two hymn texts.

    He said that they are "just some options" to choose from.

    Fr. Weber also provided lots of good information and resources related to the Mundelein Psalter, including copyright permissions for a worship aid.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen