Hymnal for Extraordinary Use Mass
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,909
    Was asked today to recommend a hardbound hymnal for our Extraordinary Rite congregation (about 350 souls.)

    I'm familiar with a number of currently-published hymnals (St Michael's, Worship, Adoremus,) and took a hard look at Adoremus, which offers a LOT for an Ex-Rite group. There are a number of "Ordinary Rite"-only pages of material, but...

    Anyone out there have another suggestion?
  • The St. Gregory Hymnal is the one that most parishes used before Vat2. It's even in 4 parts!

  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I haven't seen the Adoremus hymnal, but it sounds good. I would heavily recommend staying away from the St. Gregory Hymnal. My personal favorite is the St. Basil's hymnal. Not a very large selection unless you only want to do a single hymn after High Mass, but the hymns it does have are amazing - typically protestant tunes with Catholic texts. I'd say it's the single best pre-Vatican 2 Catholic hymnal.

    I'd also suggest using The Hymnal 1940, which is hardbound. It's Episcopalian, but the theology is Catholic and it contains tons of chant and Anglican hymnody. Perhaps you could put together a small booklet with a Kyriale and some Latin hymns. Then again, since it's a trad congregation they'd probably complain horribly about it. But I still think it's the best choice for a Catholic parish if you can pull it off.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • What's wrong with St. Gregory?

    BTW the Adoremus hymnal is good, but needs expansion to cover more subjects in the hymns.

  • dad29
    Posts: 1,909
    Thanks--I looked at the St. Greg. (Yes, I have a copy, with the Supplement!) It has only ONE Chant Ordinary. And while 4-part harmonizations of the hymns are nice, the typesetting in this book is not particularly clear or easy-to-read for 'congregation-types.'

    But thanks, again, for making me do the homework!
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    The St. Gregory Hymnal is the predecessor of Glory & Praise. The question isn't what's wrong with the St. Gregory Hymnal as it is who ever asked Nicholas A. Montanni to write an entire hymnal? He excludes the bulk of quality western hymnody for works of his own creation or dirgy Eastern European tunes. He assumes the abysmal pre-concilliar state (5 old ladies, an old man, all led by Left-Foot-Lucy) of choral music to be the norm, and so only aggregates the bad situation instead of giving quality music in 3 or 4 parts to rise up to. The texts are frequently as shmaltzy as the music. And above all, it isn't a true hymnal, it's a collection of choral anthems. Some of them (some) are quality pieces, but you have to search hard and I think it'd be far better to get a real edition rather than one that suffers from his "editing". It's fortunate in fact that it's not a real hymnal, since I would be more loathe to impose such "music" on a congregation than to impose Gather II.

    Summed up, it's the Rossini attitude: don't improve things, don't change anything. Just keep doing what you're doing and it's still technically a valid Mass.
    Thanked by 1CeciliaJulia
  • Gavin,

    Well said. I will take another look at the old St. Gregory! I've mostly used it for those latin short choral anthems.

  • Gavin - thank you for putting into words the misgivings I myself have had regarding the St. Gregory Hymnal, but couldn't quite express.
  • It's rather ridiculous, true. But I still can't be marvel at how the editors squeezed in so much in such a tiny space!
  • The Pius X Hymnal from the 1950's was probably one of the most useful for a
    parish looking for quality music that didn't require a collegiate choir. I still find
    things there, that I can't find easily anywhere else.
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    Yea I second Pius X hymnal, great hymnal. If you do go to the St. Basil's hymnal do get the later edition, the earlier editions are worse than in my opinion the St. Gregory Hymnal.
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    I'd also recommend the Cantus Populi, its the forerunner to Hymns, Psalms, and Spirtual Canticles, howeever it is hard to find and copies that are availble tend to be expensive. I'm not sure if an organ edition was ever made, though there was an SATB edition.

    I'm going to preface this by saying that I have had much experience with the EF, but I think you have to look at your parish. Do you do Low Mass or High Mass? If its High Mass, are the propers chanted by the choir/is there supposed to be congregational participation on the propers? Is it a dialogue mass, and does the congregation sing the ordinary or does the choir do choral settings of the ordinary. If you congregation does Low Mass, then probably one of those hymnals you mentioned (Worship, Adoremus, St. Michale's) would be fine, although my two favorites of in-print hymnals would be Adoremus and Collegeville.

    Now, if you're interested in doing a dialogue /high Mass, then I would maybe go for the Kyriale/Liber Cantualis, both can be had from both OCP and GIA I think. You can get an organ accompaniment from Paraclete press or Directly from Solemes for the Liber Cantualis (although on the hymns, they only give a verse or two, I'd actually reccomend getting the organ accomapniment to Laus Tibi Christe from OCP as a suppliment to that, as they give full verses).
  • Lawrence
    Posts: 123
    I would recommend the Traditional Roman Hymnal, which is a product of the SSPX but nevertheless has no objectionable material for Catholics loyal to the pope.

    ISBN 1-55056-793-4

    The advantage here is that you wouldn't have the schlock from the St. Gregory or the St. Basil (sorry, but one must cut to the chase sooner or later), nor would you be buying a hymnal whose contents is only half-useful for the EF.
  • Lawrence
    Posts: 123
    If you were to buy the Traditional Roman Hymnal, a notice could be put on the inside that such a purchase is not necessarily an endorsement of the SSPX, but is rather made on the intrinsic merits of this hymnal, etc.
  • The good thing is that almost all of the hymnody in these books is PD. I don't scan anything for my worship aids. Everything is done in Finale, melody line only, for the congregation's parts. I have complete control over both the texts and tunes that way. It only takes about 15 minutes to create a hymn graphic to paste into MSWord (etc.), and another 15 minutes to add the rest of the accompaniment. Once all that is done, it takes about 5 minutes to update the text with a different hymn for another occasion.
  • I like the St. Gregory for a number of pieces. My top two for Pre-v2 hymnals, however, would be Pius X and the New St. Basil (1958). The latter two, I think, would have served as a base for what should have happened after V2 (as opposed to what's been happening at many parishes since V2).
  • If you're after a hymnal which doesn't include "extras" (e.g. Mass Settings etc), then what about the old Westminster Hymnal? I remember being impressed by the number of hymns which were translations of hymns from the Office, and the inclusion of some of the Latin texts of these hymns as separate "numbers." Also, the fact that the hymnal doesn't have the music written throughout means that you're not stuck with a particular hymn tune if you dislike it...
  • The Westminster Hymnal is wonderful for some of the reasons Palestrina mentions, but there is also what I consider its major drawback, at least for American congregations - the words are not written with the music for the hymns, but rather in stanzas below the music. So I can't see it being used in the pews, plus it's much more difficult to obtain than the other out-of-print hymnals that have been mentioned. (My copy is a reprint from Roman Catholic Books, but I'm assuming they do not publish it anymore since I can't find it on their website.) Still, it is a valuable resource for the music director. The Ronald Knox translations of some of the hymns all by themselves is worth the price.

    Sam Schmitt
  • I am joining this discussion several years late, but I would like to suggest that people involved in reviving the Extraordinary Form look seriously at the Traditional Roman Hymnal. This is the hymnal for the Extraordinary Form in the 21st century. Whereas St. Gregory's Hymnal seems dated, this book seems timeless. It has the essential ordinaries and other chants, and hymns that fit the Extraordinary Form. When I came to my current situation the Adoremus Hymnal was in use. The work of the Adoremus people in bringing dignity and a true Catholic spirit to the Novus Ordo is a laudable goal, and the Adoremus Hymnal is a high-quality hymnal for that endeavor. For the Tridentine Mass, however, especially if it is to be recovered with the fullness of chant and timeless Latin texts, the Traditional Roman Hymnal is much more appropriate.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,354
    The Parish Book of Chant?

    Or am I dumb for not understanding why no one has mentioned it?
  • Thumbs down to Montani, composer/arranger/censor. Other than that, St. Gregory feasible.
    Thumbs way up to Pius X.
    Thumb neutral to St. Basil.
    Thumbs down to Adoremus 1st edition; awaiting second.
    Thumbs down to Mount St. Marys.
    Thumbs up to PBC/PBEH in theory.
    Thumbs way up to Gregorian Missal.
  • I spurn the St. Gregory/ Montani hymnal, for all te reasons Gavin mentions. Plus the type-setting is so clumsy as to be unbearable.
    St. Basil's 2nd ed has some great stuff in it, but needs more.

    The PBC is a glorious work, but for EF parishes it has unneccessary material. Adoremus wouldn't work for the same reason, plus too many good hymns are not in it.

    Since hymns constitute about 1/8 of what is sung during any given Mass at St. Anne's, they're low on my radar. However, we do want to boost Cong singing with some great hymns in a great hymnal, and so this topic is important to me.

    I look forward to checking out the Traditional Roman Hymnal mentioned above.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 706
    St. Gregory, St. Basil, Pius X, Westminster, Arundel, Tozer, etc., and any other old hymnal is great for source material for EF choirs and for copying into EF programs. Here you can be selective and only choose the good stuff. I don't think any of these would make a good stand-alone pew hymnal today that someone would buy. Really, the thought is kind of amusing.

    AFAIK, TRH is the only English-language hymnal designed primarily for the Extraordinary Form which has been widely published in the last 40 years. Therefore it is the default standard, but most EF Mass communities have zero budget. Some chapels have printed their own hymnals. We should remember that "hymnal" can also mean words only.

    PBC might be a good start for a parish--but the singing of English hymns before and after the EF is quite universal. There's a considerable amount of overlap between PBC and TRH. I'm concerned about the reception of the PBEH at some TLM locations given its inclusion of a large number of hymns which were routinely excluded from Catholic worship before 1962. However, in theory, the two combined (and why not publish them together in a single volume version as an option, Noel?) would be competitive with the TRH in many parish communities, especially where the former may be more easily sold to the OF parish leadership.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I'm amazed at some of the virulent comments about the St. Gregory Hymnal, because there are some beautiful selections in that book.

    If one doesn't like it, one should simply not use it. But I don't see a need for the angst and denigrating comments (some unfounded).
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    seriously? isn't the point of a thread like this to discuss the merits or lack-of in particular hymnals? And how else do you go about doing that other than by stating mostly opinions? ("It seems to me that hymnal X has many schmaltzy hymns...")

    the Gregorian Missal? For an Extraordinary Form Mass? (What about all the times when the feasts and chants aren't the same?)
  • Marajoy, I was emotionally compromised...awaiting getting MRI results on my busted shoulder from colloquium...., my bad. (No surgery required, yay.)
    Jeff, I don't know if you included my little descriptive about Montani as "virulent" invective or not. But according to contemporaneous documented sources, Montani was a principal voice leading the censure of certain composers' works (at least in Philadelphia) as inappropriate for worship. That's not, from me, an indictment of him, just a reported fact. Doesn't seem much different than the much more public denigrations of certain living "composers" and their works in our own time. We spend an inordinate amount of time on blogs/elsewhere wishing for their censure or debating the effects of their efforts and even their motivations. In your call for just "accentuating the positive" I am your loyal second. I still use the Gregory, used it last Sunday. But, like Joy sez, this is a forum, and the air isn't always so rarified and can get heated. Lord knows I get uncomfortable in heated climes as well.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    For myself, I don't find statements like "St. Gregory Hymnal is worse than Gather" etc. as particularly helpful. But, again, that's just me.
  • I agree. I was only explaining my one word remark, in case you were curious as to where that came from.
    While we're at it, I'll call the question: wouldn't a hymnal/missal exclusively prepared for use only at the EF be, by definition, contradictory to the aims of Summorum Pontificum? Just asking.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,909
    Well.....thanks, all!!

    Not long after the original post (2007--how time flies) the ICK took over the parish and the pastor simply, totally, nixed ANY hymnal. Period.

    But a great discussion!

    And, FWIW, I'm inclined to purchase the CMAA publication, even for an EF congregation, b/c it has lots of Chant material.

    The SSPX publication is also good (for strictly EF purposes), except for the pitch-problem. Yes, that can be overcome with sight-transposition, I suppose.
  • By lowering the pitch of hymns to "get people to sing" people are putting the range of the melody into a more comfortable range, which because it is more comfortable does not challenge the voice.

    This leaves the singers unable to lead the singing, much as a pipe organ that is poorly scaled. Scaling is the decision of the width of the pipes. Möller often used small scaled principals and as a result the principal chorus was clean and clear sounding, but their was little support.

    Dan Angerstein goes into these and other organs, moves each pipe over a couple of holes on the chest, makes a couple of pipes to fill in the empty holes on the bottom, does what is needed to make them play the new pitches in tune and turns the organ into a rich, full sounding instrument to support the singing.

    By lowering the pitch of the hymns all of the SATB singers are singing below the place in their voices that the composer intended. Tenors love to sing Eb's. You are giving them a D, Db or a C....but even worse dropping their low notes and those of the basses out of their range.

    Dropping the keys of hymns makes it impossible for the singers who sing the melody to sing it in a manner that will carry through the building as intended.

    Many baritones can sing Nessum Dorma. But they do not have the characteristic timbre of a tenor. Basses, Tenors and Baritones are referred to as being voice ranges. This is silly. Any Bass can vocalize the exact same notes as a Baritone and Tenor. Bass, Tenor, Baritone and Countertenor are words used to describe the timbre of the voice.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,354
    Tenors love to sing Eb's.

    My favorite note to sing is a D.
  • Some people are Eflattically-challenged. You have our condolences.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,354
    I sang Tenor II in school...
  • I know a dramatic soprano who sang alto in college so that she could be part of the choir and sing a major soprano solo on tour. The timbre of her voice suited singing in the alto section, though her range was wide and she was a soprano, but one whose timbre would not mix well in the stratosphere.
  • Eb Major RULES for tenors, even II's. It is, simply, in a word, suhweeeeeet. I love Eb above mid C.
    I don't understand my outrageous affection; I so dislike alto saxophones. But even as a flutist and string bassist, Eb's are still sweet. And you only have to capo at the first fret. What's not to like?
  • Chrism
    Posts: 706
    Charles in CenCA: wouldn't a hymnal/missal exclusively prepared for use only at the EF be, by definition, contradictory to the aims of Summorum Pontificum?

    Two separate points in response:

    1. Rather, wouldn't it be rupturist to suggest that EF hymnals are not by definition suitable for the OF? What would need to be added or deleted to make an EF hymnal suitable for the OF?

    2. As far as the "aims of Summorum Pontificum", article 10 of that document refers to personal parishes for the exclusive celebration of the EF, but no provision whatsoever is made for personal parishes for the exclusive celebration of the OF. So perhaps we should say that hymnals designed only for the OF violate the aims of SP, rather than the other way around.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the very name "ordinary" suggests that provision doesn't need to be made--it is assumed.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 706
    But the exclusivity of the Ordinary Form is not assumed, because at any parish wherever a coetus of the faithful petition the pastor for the EF, he "should willingly accept their requests" (art. 5).
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    OK, yes, I see what you are saying.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I would draw attention to this new product, in case it be of interest:


    The St. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass


    Click here to learn more.
  • eastmsgr
    Posts: 5
    I know that this discussion is rather old but I felt the need to say something about Montani. I think he has gotten a rather bad rap here. He was a fine composer (look at his large settings of the Mass!). He was a great musicologist--well trained and experienced. He led the way for the rediscovery of early music forming his now choir which toured the country bringing the music of Palestrina et. al to many for the first time.
    The composers Montani "censured" were certainly of a much lower calibre--ever hear of RoseWig??
    I would suggest reading this from the Adoremus Bulletin:http://www.adoremus.org/0914LucyCarroll.html
    This gives a good insight into the time and the man.

    One has to be very careful about applying the standards of today to the past. Remember, "hindsight is 20/20!" To malign the work of some of the greats of the early 20th century is a very sad thing. And to make the inane comparison of the 1940 Hymnal (which I agree is a very fine CONGREGATIONAL Hymnal) to the St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choirbook is comparing "apples to oranges". I really expect a much higher standard from people on this forum.

    By the way there are 3 chant Ordinaries in the book: Mass IX "cum jubilo" with Credo 4; The complete Requiem as well as the Missa de Angelis (Mass viii with Credo 3) and the book also contains, among other things, the Credo I (authenticus) and the Ambrosian Gloria!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,550
    So the last post was in 2012 and does anyone even remember what was discussed? Nothing like timeliness, I suppose. This thread is as dead as Montani. May they RIP. LOL.

    BTW, I still have a stash of St. Gregory hymnals and the choir and cantors use them from time to time.

    Prior to Vatican II, Catholic hymnals were the odd ducks of the hymnal world. Some congregations actually sang from them, but many rarely ever sang anything. Catholic hymnals are now more "congregation friendly," but often their content stinks. Progress - isn't it wonderful? LOL.
  • JesJes
    Posts: 544
    @Hugh you need to read this.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,653
    Concerning Montani, if I overlook the dreaded "black list" and virtually the first half of his hymnal (show of hands, people who have sung ANYTHING from the first half - be honest . . .), I think he's the goose's gizzard. Our SSPX chapel tends to use his hymnal more for an anthem book. His mass settings (especially St. Ambrose) are gorgeous though. Still, if there is a Musician's Section of Purgatory, I'd like to think Montani and RoSewig have to fulfill their obligations there by apologizing to each other.

    Concerning progress - I've just started Kathleen Hughes's How Firm a Foundation. The book is basically a collection of snippets from various "movers and shakers" of the early twentieth century who were pushing for a more active congregational role in the liturgy. There are ideas put forward I'm none too keen on, but then there are others with which I am right on board.

    What's depressing is how the "powers-that-be" seemed to endorse all the bad ideas (all vernacular all the time!) and forget all the good ones (involve the laity in celebrating the Divine Office!)

    More and more, my experiences in the church have only reinforced my convictions that so many bad ideas get by only because it's easier to applaud a sound-bite than it is to applaud a complex systematic approach to a solution.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,653
    @jesearle - do you mean Hugh Henry? This may sound odd, but if so, tell him some Midwestern guy says thank you for all of his musical packets he made at the Fidelity website. (I've used his outline for the "Saturday before Septuagesima/Alleluia Burying", three years strong.)
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,636
    We use the Edmund Campion at my parish. It's a better missal than hymnal; not quite enough hymns, and some that are there are idiosyncratic (Sorry Jeff O., but with due respect to Southwell, his verse is too dense for singing.) But it's OK; you can do far worse.

    The CONTENT (what songs were chosen) of TRH is very nice; we use it in our Schola. But the editing is hideous. There are many settings where the part-writing was done by somebody who seems to have flunked Harmony 101. Tragically, most of these cases were for hymns where perfectly respectable PD settings exist ("O sacred head surrounded" is a particular howler). Parallel 5ths (between outer voices yet), bad dissonance preparation, misspelled accidentals (Gb for F#). It's especially bad that the harmony is so poor, because there IS harmony for a congregation, and the price is right.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,653
    That's my complaint about the Campion. Yeah, it's great that it has all eighteen settings of the ordinary, but outside of that the selection of chant for the congregation is so scanty.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CCooze
  • most of the mentioned hymnals are no longer in print (St. Gregory, St. Basil, Pius X, Traditional Roman - horrible musically IMO, Westminster).

    The Edmond Campion is a good hymnal, but i'll go out on a limb and suggest the (now-to-be-considered-Catholic) Ordinariate's unofficial hymnal - the Hymnal 1940. Good music. Good hymns.

    Drawbacks - dearth of Marian Music and unusable service music.

    Otherwise pretty solid, IMO.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    The Hymnal 1940 and The New English Hymnal are my favorite resources for use at our EF Missa Cantata.

    Also, Jeff Ostrowski's old Vatican II Hymnal website has a great collection of hymns. Apparently, his Vatican II Hymnal is not currently available, but he has kept the hymns online.

    Thanked by 1moderntrad
  • i forgot about the New English Hymnal! Great work. Also the Catholic Hymnbook. The only downside for American congregations is how the music and words are separated. It takes some getting used to, but is not impossible to do so.