The Basic Core Of Catholic Hymnody
  • Add your suggestions as to what IS the basic core and also add in one column what you think SHOULD be...
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Parish Book of Chant. Period.
  • Ah, Gavin, still working outside the Church I see...the amount of fear and trepidation a statement like that would incur in a typical parish priest would result in a possible severance of employment posthaste...

    For those of us working for free or, better yet, for some sort of remuneration in the Church, what would you list as hymns that people WILL sing...there is a place for you to suggest hymns that should become a repertoire.

    And every parish should have some vernacular hymns for novenas and prayer services...
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    This is from the index of Cantate et Iubilate Deo, a fantastic Catholic Hymn Resource.

    Adeste fideles
    All creatures of our God and'King
    All glory, laud and honor
    All people that on earth do dwell
    Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
    Alma Redemptoris Mater
    Angele Dei
    Angels we have heard on high
    Attende Domine
    Ave Maria
    Ave maris Stella
    Ave Regina cslorum
    Ave verum Corpus
    Come, Holy Ghost
    Come now almighty King
    Come thou long-expected Jesus
    Creator alme siderum
    Crown him with many crowns
    Crux fidelis
    For all the saints
    Gloria, laus et honor
    Hail holy Queen enthroned above
    Hail, Redeemer, King divine!
    Holy God, we praise thy name
    Holy, Holy, Holy
    Iesu dulcis memoria
    Immaculate Mary
    Jesus Christ is ris'n today
    Lauda Ierusalem
    Lauda Sion
    Laudate Dominum
    Let all mortal flesh
    Lift high the cross
    Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
    Lord who at thy first Eucharist
    Magnificat (solemn tone)
    Magnificat (offertory hymn)
    Now Thank we all our God
    Nunc dimittis
    O come, all ye faithful
    O come, O come, Emmanuel
    O Cor amoris
    O filii et filiae
    O God our help in ages past
    O Sacred Head surrounded
    O sacrum convivium
  • O, Francis! Thanks.
  • Here are a few that come to mind - perhaps more later

    (L & E = should know in Latin & English)

    Dulce carmen - L&E
    Te Deum - L&E
    The four Marian Antiphons - L&E
    Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
    Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
    Canticle: Benedictus es Domine - L&E
    Adoro te devote - L&E
    At the Lamb's high feast
    O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair
    Ye who own the faith of Jesus (to 'Den des Vaters sinn geboren')
    Come down, O Love divine
    Veni Creator Spiritus - L&E
    Of the Father's Love Begotten
    Welcome Happy Morning, Age to Age Shall Say
    Hail thee, festival day (for several feasts)
    Ye Holy Angels Bright
    Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones
    Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Calling
    Jesus Lives! Thy Terrors Now
    Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending
    Personent Hodie (?)
    Bethlehem, of noblest cities
    Songs of Thankfulness and Praise
    Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days
    Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended
    Stabat Mater - L&E
    Ride on, ride on in majesty!
    Vexilla Regis - L&E
    The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done
    Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem
    See, the Conqueror mounts in triumph
    The head that once was crowned with thorns
    I bind unto myself today - St Patrick's Breastplate
    Father, we thank thee who hast planted
    Pange lingua gloriosi-Tantum ergo - L&E
    All Hail, Adored Trinity!
    Sequence: Veni Sancte Spiritus - L&E
  • M. Jackson...can I assume that these are ones that they should know....rather than ones Catholics now sing with confidence?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    "Ye Holy Angles Bright": that's a hymn for the memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury, I think.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Noel, I intended my suggestion as the basis of a "core repertoire" ideal, not to describe a current situation. I firmly believe that every Catholic congregation should be able to sing with gusto any selection from the PBC. It isn't unrealistic; people know pop songs by heart, why not the great and authentic hymns of the Faith?

    I would wager that we can't describe a current "core repertoire" for all Catholic churches in America. I was brought up without "Holy God We Praise Thy Name". And I know a fantastic priest who was shocked to run into a Catholic congregation which didn't know "Wachet Auf" or "Lead Kindly Light" (anyone know the tune for that last one??)
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    up with Gavin!
  • Noel -
    You DID ask for a 'should know' list of Hymnody.
    I should think (one would hope!) that there are a number of confident 'do knows' as well as 'should knows'
    in both of the above lists.
  • At the risk of sounding pedantic, I note that the two hymns in the Mass Ordinary—the Gloria and Sanctus—constitute, without question, the absolute core of (Latin-rite) Catholic hymnody. The former is obligatory for most Sundays and feast days, the latter obligatory for all Masses. Singing both in their proper context contributes to singing the Mass, as opposed to at it. The discussion then would center on which melodies to teach. The Church recommends those in the Jubilate Deo and then those in the Kyriale.

    After that, here are my recommendations, colored by experience and in no particular order:

    • The four seasonal Marian antiphons (Alma Redemptóris, Ave Regína, Regína Caéli, and Sálve Regína);
    • O Salutáris Hóstia
    • Pánge Língua/Tántum Ergo (both plainsong and the ST. THOMAS (WADE) hymn tune)
    • Véni Creátor Spíritus
    • Te Déum Laudámus/Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (in its entirety for the indulgence, please)

    I'd continue, but much of this is covered in the PBC.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    By all means, I don't recommend any Catholic congregation stop at the PBC. Build from there, and I certainly have plenty of suggestions. For America, I'd recommend that Catholics know, in addition to the material of the PBC, the majority of the Ecumenical Hymn List. But that can NOT take priority over the repertory represented in the PBC.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Building on Aristotle's idea, I've had this "crazy" idea for a few years: as part of confirmation interviews, priests should REQUIRE candidates to be able to collectively sing and individually recite the whole ordinary of the Mass in one setting in Latin and one in English. This would seem the logical way to incorporate the famous Sacrosanctam Concilium quote.

    Stupid musician! Stop wasting everyone's time with music! Why should people pay attention to music?! Just get to the back of the church and stop making so much noise!
  • Gavin's 'crazy idea' is a superb idea! One should be able to assume that it forms a part of every Catholic child's formation in music classes at Catholic schools. It seems, though, that nothing like this takes place in most parishes. By way of extension, a similar proviso should attend every priest's formation for ordination - he should be able to sing the mass (all of it, from In nomine patri... to ite missa est) in English & Latin, before he is ordained. Isidore of Seville went so far as to assert that a man who could not sing should not be ordained.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "priests formation for ordination - he should be able to sing the mass (all of it, from In nomine patri... to ite missa est)"

    I would think that is the basic, and the Church emphasizes in documents that music is integral part of the liturgy. Can't imagine learning liturgy without music parts.
    Don't all the seminaries have music classes? Then what do they learn in the music classes in a seminary?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    They learn folk music... at least at the two seminaries I was familiar with. Now, that was a few years back, so hopefully things have progressed toward the better.
  • The music course book at the seminary in Cleveland, Ohio is a Mel Bay theory book:

    LIT 370 Basic Music Skills

    Title Author Publisher ISBN#
    Student's Guide to Music Theory Bye, L. Dean Mel Bay Publications, Inc. 0-87166-312-0

    The musical examples in the book:

    A Felicidade Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Amparo Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Antigua Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Bate-Boca Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Chora Coração Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Estrada Branca Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Gabriela Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Garoto (Choro) Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Luiza Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Por Toda a Minha Vida Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Surfboard Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Valsa do Porto das Caixas Antonio Carlos Jobim

    This would seem to explain the musical mindset of the seminary.

    Here's the course:

    LIT 370 BASIC MUSIC SKILLS O Credits (pass/fail)
    Dr. Edward Kaczuk, Ph.D. Thursday 1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
    The purpose of this remedial course is to review the fundamentals of music. The course covers rhythm and pitch notation and other basics necessary to read a musical score. Students will perform simple melodies on the keyboard.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Unbelievable, and No singing? Sorry to go on this. Because I have two boys, and I pray... If someday they decide to go to a seminary, I hope they get to go to a seminary with good music classes. They are singing pretty well in the children's schola. (one of them already comes to both adult and children's schola practices, his own decision.) I also have many boys in my schola, and they are very serious about singing chants.
  • That is a seminary music course? It REALLY is???
    How passing sad.
    Ours is the only culture on this earth which seems to be gleefully comitting cultural suicide. Why?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Well, sadly that is more than at St Mary's in Baltimore which doesn't seem to have ANY courses in music!! I could be mistaken, but I don't see anything in the curriculum.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    Well, at least they admit it's a remedial course, and it doesn't give academic credit.

    What's surprising about this? Many students graduate from high school and even college without knowing how to read music notation, and with no experience in sight-singing. It may come down to matters of chance: pupils in one town may have an effective music teacher, in the next, not so much.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I don't understand, all the Church documents, including "Sing to the Lord," (although this is only a recommandation as I understand) emphaize priests' singing (the first degree of singing parts), why the seminaries don't help them? Why everyone is doing his own thing, instead of following the Church's instruction? Is this because of their pride or ignorance, Maybe the combination of both. Really, how patient our God is. Whoever in charge of the curriculm, I don't know it's done by individual school, or by the diocese, do they read the documents? In our parish, our associate priest is going to be tranffered, and we will have only one priest from next month. (1800 families) I don't even know we will have the 'luxury of having two daily Masses' anymore. My friend says her parish will not have a priest from next month. They are overloaded, and they don't have time to learn music. This got to be done beforehand. Now we begin "Year of Priests.' They really need our prayers.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    Here's another data point:

    Today I met the music director at St John's Seminary in Boston. She teaches music according to the Church's ideals, and has even developed a schola that learns chant and puts it to practice -- this week four guys went to Vermont to sing at a classmate's first Mass.

    In her music course, students spend half their time on the fundamentals of music, and half on learning to sing the various parts of the Mass. It sounds good. But -- you knew this was coming, right? -- her course is optional, and only a few students ever sign up for it.

    So the biggest educative influence on most seminarians is the daily experience of music in the seminary liturgy.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Weekly High Mass with chant and polyphony and chanting the LOTH, seems to me, should be normal fare for any seminarian.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    Today, since I am still supposedly at the beach, but came home a day early, I went to my own Anglican service where we sang St. Patrick's Breastplate. What a treat! I hadn't sung it since we ordained two priests several years ago at my (Roman) place of employment! LOL
    M. Jackson Osborn list seems comprised of lots of Anglican hymns. No, perhaps I should say they are most all found in the Episcopal Hymnal, not, I'm sorry to say in any of GIA's contributions to Hymnal publications.
    The two priests who were ordained had excellent taste in music of the Liturgy. That ordination is a highlight of my years at the church.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    "Because I have two boys, and I pray... If someday they decide to go to a seminary, I hope they get to go to a seminary with good music classes."

    Send them to Fr Phillips on Carpenter St in Chicago.:o)

    Seriously, I will try to rmember to pray for your boys' vocations (whatever they may be!) , during this Year of the Priest.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • I can't believe I am typing this during the homily of my second Confirmation of the day, fifth Mass!
    Ave's to Gavin, indeed, but Noel's list is the reality that we (and supposedly the bishops with their Portland and Chicago White Lists) must reckon. I believe he primarily asked us to list hymns PIPs actually can and do sing well.
  • You are right, Donna. Many, but not all, of the hymns on my list happen to be in the Episcopal hymnal or The English Hymnal. However, most of them are also in Gracewing's The Catholic Hymn Book as well as a number of American Catholic hymnals. And, I do hope that some above are not suggesting that what average persons in the pews currently can sing with vigour is the measure of what should be the repertory of liturgically advanced and musically aware Catholics - and IS already the repertory of many. At any rate, all the hymns on my list (and on Francis' as well) are Catholic: each affirms unequivocally some aspect of Catholic faith and doctrine, and contains no heresy. (Also, 'should be' as well as 'are' hymns were requested specifically.)
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thanks, G. I'll remember Fr. Phlillips. I do really really appreciate your prayers. Being a priest , it is very tough especially these days. So much pressure from everywhere.
  • At this point I am studying all of the reponses. While I wanted to get a list of what Catholics ARE singing, I'm like everybody else and have a list of what people SHOULD be singing. The line between Anglican and Catholic Hymnody is very thin, when it exists at all.

    But I could use more ARE singing songs...what clicks with your parish? What is the basic core that people WILL sing.
  • M. Jackson, to be clear, I was not advancing a "lowest common denominator" philosophy. I re-read Noel's original post inwhich, I believe, he asked us to deliniate those which are "known commodities" and then those which should become same. I posted my choices on the spreadsheet. For further scrutiny, I can supply any interested party orders of music for the last 17 years of my current (and last) assignment that I think meet your criteria as "the repertory of liturgically advanced and musically aware Catholics."
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    When I became Music Director, my first act was to throw in the Dempsey Dumpster every copy of G&P I could lay my hands on! LOL And also decreed we would be singing the Psalm of the Day- no more 'seasonal psalms'
    About once a year in the summer, I schedule something like 'Sing a new song'. but that's it. Our congregations are pretty traditional esp the10:30, so they are happy to sing good tradtional hymn tunes and Latin ordinary. We need new hymnals. At Colloquium I will explore choices if they are available. The Catholic Hymnal sounds good. We are using Ritualsong currently.
    Frogman, I will sit down and make a list of what we are singing now and that cong. likes to sing. I am guided not so much by what mass it is, but by Liturgical necessities. If it's Pentecost Sunday there are just so many good hymns in RS. And there might be a revolt if we didn't sing 'Come Holy Ghost' to Lambilotte. On the other hand we always do my fav Down Ampney. We are talking hymns here?
    We have a "Band' at the 900am for which I am in no way resp, so if anyone doesn't want trad music, that's where they go. I won't even mention what gets sung at the Spanish Mass.:(
  • Looking for hymns they sing rather then songs we have gotten them to sing.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    Looking for hymns they sing rather then songs we have gotten them to sing.

    I think the average non-musician will sing any awful or excellent set of words, unthinkingly, if it is to a tune he knows and likes.
    IM(limited)E, the PIPs would sing the contents of the phone book if it's set to HYFRYDOL, a Chinese restaurant menu to ODE TO JOY, the disclaimers on a prescription drug box to NETTLETON, & an eye chart to SALZBURG.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • "For America, I'd recommend that Catholics know, in addition to the material of the PBC, the majority of the Ecumenical Hymn List. But that can NOT take priority over the repertory represented in the PBC."

    I'd suggest that spending any time on the Ecumenical Hymn list woudl be a definite step backwards. Being Ecumenically Inclined further weakened the music, especially because good protestant hymns were better than the ongoing Catholic Claptrap.

    So protestant theology enters the church. Was that the goal?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Ecumenism? Ecumenism? Ecumenism? I am STILL learning to be an excellent Catholic FIRST, THEN in the future I can possibly THINK about Ecumenism. However, my definition of Ecumenism is "you-come-in" to the Catholic Church.
  • frogman:

    Interesting you should mention the seminary in Cleveland. The course you mention is taught in the Theologate; in the college-level seminary, at least when I was there, they did have an elective in Gregorian Chant. But to address the larger question - no, not all seminaries even have music classes. In my experience and judging from peers who have attended other seminaries, music education is largely lacking in American seminaries as a formal program, exposure to the treasures of Catholic music being left to the daily liturgies and, to a small extent, to practicums leading up to ordination (for example, learning how to chant the Exultet is often part of diaconate preparation).

    Then again, there are reasons I did leave Cleveland and move to Philadelphia's seminary (and I'm sure the prevalent use of Glory & Praise vols. I & II in the daily liturgies in Cleveland had absolutely nothing to do with that!).
  • Blaise
    Posts: 439

    George Weigel wrote in his book, "Courage to be Catholic" something about seminarians being required to deconstruct Catholic theology before they even knew what it was. It's a pretty good book. How it applies directly to music I don't know, but it does speak some as to the state of affairs in Catholic theology long before the sex abuse crisis came to light in the media. I will not dwell on this in this post.

    Well, for some encouraging news, the Assumption Seminary (Archdiocese of San Antonio) Schola Cantorum came to OLOA last December and sang some chant hymns. And the archbishop, I understand, is pretty big on chant and improving the quality of the liturgy. Unfortunately, a travel through the archdiocesan parish churches does not seem to show this, at least for the moment, since most of the pastors were appointed before he arrived.

    Now, back to the topic: I suggest the Adoremus Hymnal (Ignatius Press) as having quality hymns, so whatever is in there, I guess you can say is a starters for quality hymnody. (It even includes some chant ordinaries in Latin and English.) Much of it M. Jackson Osborn and Francis have already mentioned.

    I want to add to M. Jackson Osborn's and Francis' list:

    To Jesus Christ our Sovereign King
    Praise to the Lord the Almighty
    For all the saints who from their labors rest
    Hail the day which sees Him rise (not necessarily a core hymn since it is sung only once a year, but a quality one)
    Rejoice, ye pure in heart (text by Plumptre, music "Carlisle" by Lockhard)---once again, not necessarily a core hymn
    The Day of Resurrection Earth tell it out Abroad (will write down the music setting later since it is not in mind right now.), the passover of gladness the passover of God

    And here is one by our pastor which could be used at Easter:

    Text: Father Christopher Phillips, 1990
    Music: "Grafton" French Melody, 1881

    God our Father, Lord of glory,
    Thanks and praise we give to Thee;
    In thy mercy to our fathers,
    Thou didst bring them through the sea.
    So by water hast Thou saved us,
    Now from Adam's sin set free.

    Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior,
    Of Thy sacrifice we sing;
    As the lamb in ancient myst'ry
    To Thy people life didst bring,
    So in Eucharistic glory,
    Thou, God's Lamb, art made our King.

    Holy Spirit, Breath from heaven,
    We Thy precious gifts embrace;
    At creation all things living
    Thou didst sanctify with grace.
    So may we, creation's glory,
    Be for Thee a dwelling place.

    Loving mercy of the Father,
    Sacrifice of Christ the Son,
    Quick'ning power of the Sprit:
    In us let Thy work be done!
    May we rise to life eternal,
    That our Paschal joy be won.

    The "Grafton" melody can be used for one other hymn, but I can't seem to think what it is right now. More on it later.

    (More later once they come to mind.....)
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    Day of Resurrection- Ellacombe
    A good Easter hymn
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Here are some hymns set in Lilypond for free download and use:

    You need lilypond to compile them into PDF's. An example is below.

    Nice work, Geoff!
  • Blaise
    Posts: 439

    Thanks! There are at least one or two other hymns that go well with Ellacombe.

    Add one more to the Easter list: Thine be the Glory
  • I am beyond amazed at how small the actual core of hymns is, from what we have on the list:


    Type in and add your suggestions if you might be able to some up with any more.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Probably what you have is a list of what crosses the mind of a visitor, given a weak general direction.

    The results you have received might be parallel to the
    results a musician receives when asking a bereaved family
    "what music do you want for the funeral?"

    Perhaps you could re-organize ("normalize" is the database term) the info, e.g.,
    column one for text first lines alphabetically listed,
    column two for intended usage of the text,
    column three for a verbose reasoning/justification.

    Aside from four hymns (three for Benediction, one for Stations of the Cross),
    I did not have any that first came to mind.
    As I read through the spreadsheet, a few other categories came to mind
    (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter, Marian, All Saints).

    Maybe we need a few rows of "column one is blank, column two is a category"
    to inspire other appropriate responses?

    To me, the most interesting data you might collect would be the column three contents,
    what people have to say about why they want the item in the list (a justification for inclusion).
  • eft, thanks, let me mull this over.
  • tdunbar
    Posts: 120
    The hymn
    Lauda Sion Salvatorem
    is not in the the Parish Book of Chant nor in The Adoremus Hymnal. It is, however, in the Gregorian Missal.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    frogman, maybe each Sacrament can be listed so people can identify appropriate hymn texts and tunes?
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    frogman, how close are CMAA forum member suggestions to arriving at the goals?

    2001-may-7 Liturgiam authenticam
    # 108 "...Within five years from the publication of this Instruction,
    the Conferences of Bishops, necessarily in collaboration with the
    national and diocesan Commissions and with other experts,
    shall provide for the publication of a directory or repertory of
    texts intended for liturgical singing. This document shall be
    transmitted for the necessary recognitio to the Congregation
    for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments."

    2001-dec Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy Principles and Guidelines

    2006-xxx FDLCnew.ppt
    (right click and save now, you never know when it might disappear!)
    (in fact, I thought there was also another file, but cannot find it)
  • eft, thanks for these references. My thoughts are congealing.