Revision of Marier's "Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles"?
  • Heath
    Posts: 857
    Browsing through this hymnal for about the fourth time (I request it through inter-library loan every year or so, it seems), I'm dying to know: *Are there plans for this hymnal to be revised and re-published?* Overall, it's excellent, and could possible by *the* hymnal that many of us will be looking for once the new translations are at our doorstep.

    Anyone in the know regarding this hymnal?
  • Absolutely there are plans. I know that revisions are currently in the works. I haven't yet heard what the expected timetable is, though. I don't think they expect it to be ready for a while yet, unfortunately, though good work is definitely being done!

    While you still have it from the library, take a look at number 42, a chant/polyphonic/chant Lamb of God. Gorgeous!
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    This book revolutionized my approach to a sung liturgy in English. Marier's settings of the psalms are the gold standard by which I judge all others. After comparing his psalmody to a dozen other options, I have chosen his settings for about 8 out of 10 Sundays and solemnities. They are for the most part very easily adapted to conform with the current translation of the psalms and much of the ordinary, although I would very much welcome a new edition using the forthcoming translations.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    Yes, there are active efforts underway, but I wouldn't expect it to be completed on a timeline that competes with the major publishers.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Although John Dunn - the former music director spearheading the revision - keeps a lot of close to the vest, I know most of the revision is complete. That is, most of the musical material has been set via Sibelius. (It's mindboggling to think the first edition relied on Marier's handwritten notation.) Liam's caution is correct. Efforts toward "breaking in" a new pastor and finding a new music director have taken priority. Money of course is another issue. St. Paul's may serve Harvard University but it receives no money from that institution. That there is not a dime to spare explains the rather substandard quality of the school's website. But that's another gripe.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,222
    Does anyone know where this book may be obtained?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    It's been out of print for a long time, in no small part due to waiting for the final resolution of the protracted struggle over translations in the various ritual books.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    Randolph

    Do you know if any decision has been made regarding Psalter translations that are to be used - do you think the hymnal will continue to use a variety of approved translations for them? That is, as was explored in another thread here a few months ago, GIRM 61 allows more flexibility regarding the approved translations from which sung psalm texts may be drawn:

    http://musicasacra.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=2992
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Concerning financial resources, we are fortunate to be living in times when printing need only take place on a pay-as-you-go basis. Website development is nearly free as well.
  • Liam,

    As important as it is, this is one of those forementioned "close to the vest" issues. I have been under the assumption, however, that if any newly translated psalm requiries a major revision of an existing Marier musical setting the older translation will be retained. I could be all wet but that has been the consensus among the troops.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    Randolph,

    That seems an eminently sensible approach. I can relax.

    Jeffrey,

    Indeed.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    Randolph,

    PS: At the 9:30 Mass, we re-introduced #42 (discussed earlier in this thread) during Eastertide, and I believe it was well-received.
  • All I can say is please, please, please, let it be sooner rather than later!! I first heard Marier's Psalms being sung at St. Michael's Abbey in California by the priests and seminarians there... I was awestruck! All throughout the day I found myself humming the infectious melody line. As soon as I got home I requested the hymnal from the library so I could have a closer look...
    Does anyone know what became of the discussions to allow for an online version of the current (and out-of-print) edition of his psalms and chant settings?
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I second Jeffrey. I don't imagine the late Dr. Marier would object to my adapting "Blessed are those who fear the Lord" to "Happy are those who fear the Lord" to conform with the current translation (or is it the reverse?) or fitting a slight revision of the text to a psalm tone. But when there's a major change needednor a completely different antiphon, those are the weeks that I reach for Kelly, Rice, Schmitt, or even Gelineau (on occasion) instead.
  • Heath
    Posts: 857
    Time for my bi-annual check-in on the progress of this hymnal . . . any progress?
  • Though I considered letting this topic fade into forum oblivion, it is only fair to Heath and others that there be some response. The short answer is a new “Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Canticles” will not be forthcoming anytime soon. There are a number of contributing factors complicating the process: we are talking about a complete revision and not a reprint; though HPSC is a parish hymnal, the parish does not own the rights of publication; deference must be given to wishes of the Marier family who are the primary financial supporters of the revision; the implementation and musical implications of the new missal texts and Grail psalter must be carefully considered and reviewed; the new leadership of the choir school and parish has introduced a reexamination of the quality and vision of the project; and developments in technology bring into question the very function and necessity of traditional hardbound hymnals.

    That’s quite a mouthful, but let me expand a little on one item mentioned above. I think most of us at St. Paul’s think having a new and very young music director, who comes from an environment where the name Theodore Marier has no iconic status, has created an unexpected yet healthy self-examination. Since some of us are accustomed to mentioning Marier in an almost reverential tone, as if his ideas and compositions stem directly from the Holy Mount, it is startling to hear someone say that some aspects of his work are dated and can be improved. (I’m referring to some chants, hymn choices and harmonizations.) The talents of our new director are so impressive, though, most of us are willing to allow him the time to make his case. And I think some of his thinking too will evolve with more exposure to the current edition of the hymnal.

    There will be a hardbound revision; it just won’t be printed within the timeframe we all had wanted. In the end, however, we'll have a better, more enduring hymnal.
    Thanked by 1AngelaR
  • Mr. Nichols,
    Thank you for this update and any other reporting you care to do about developments at St. Paul's and BACS. I'm sure I am among many here who are grateful for the living tradition of the Catholic choir school carried on in Cambridge and at the handful of other such institutions on our continent. Thanks be to God for Dr. Marier and his vision, and for those with new dreams and visions.
  • This all strikes me as completely reasonable. The time frame for reprinting is passed, it seems. the book will continue to be there to inspire a new generation that moves forward. Dr. Marier's legacy still lives.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 467
    Having heard a lot of great things about this hymnal, it may be worth thinking about publishing an unrevised on demand reprint version as an editio a studiis.

    It could be priced expensively enough that it's not feasible for parish use (i.e. $40.00 a copy), but still be more available for those who'd like to own a copy for personal study.
  • Jahaza, there are permission issues -- too many -- even for that.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Incidentally, the tenth anniversary of Dr, Marier's passing falls next week (February 24); it would be a good opportunity to pray for the repose of his soul.

    I assume we'll have the opportunity to remember him along with other departed CMAA members at a Requiem Mass during the Colloquium; or would some more particular acknowledgement of the anniversary be a good idea?
  • HPSC has been our primary hymnal for the past 25 years. A few years ago, we had all the books rebound. I hope they last until the revision is printed. It is like Advent....waiting, waiting, waiting.

    I never met Dr. Marier, but after singing his music for a quarter century, I feel that I know him very well.
  • Bill H
    Posts: 1
    Thanks for the updates on the revision to the hymnal. Does anyone know where I can obtain a copy of the organ version of the original HPSC? I lost my cherished copy a few years ago and am trying fruitlessly to obtain one.
  • Mark P.
    Posts: 248
    I'd be willing to sell mine. Contact me at markpraigg(at)yahoo.com.
  • Have we had any update as to whether a revision will really be printed??? I would love to get a revision and use this great hymnal!
  • The consensus at St. Paul’s is that a HPSC revision, at least as originally envisioned, is never going to happen. The parish now uses a soft-cover book created by John Robinson that includes most of the settings of the Ordinary found in the original hymnal, but with adaptions to accommodate the new English translations.

    A significant change in the new book is that Marier’s much beloved Psalter settings have been replaced by the new Grail texts sung in a liturgy-of-the-hours style with the antiphon, based on the psalm tone, sung only at the beginning and at the end. For the verses, the boys sing the first two lines and the congregation, with men leading, sing the third and fourth lines. Because this has been a controversial move, a compromise has been worked out whereby the Marier psalms are retained at the 9:30 a.m. Mass (when the parish volunteer choir sings).

    The old hymnal of course remains in the pews, but it is used primarily for hymns. Many of us are hoping that those portions of the hymnal not restricted by legal complications will soon become available to all on-line.
  • SO ... anyone else willing to sell a copy that you might have laying around?
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I have a pew book of Marier, but I would like to get a copy of the ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT book. Anyone willing to sell ?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    I need both!
  • me quoque
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    Randolph

    A profoundly sad non-development, as it were. The psalter in the hymnal is still perfectly usable, in the sense that the GIRM permits all previously approved translations to be used for sung psalms, as has been previously been discussed on these boards. One hopes that some of Ted's harmonizations for the service music can make it back into what is currently in the soft-cover book where it is possible (for example, the English version of Gloria XV could use an adapted form of Ted's harmonization, which is smoother, shall we say).
  • Where can one locate that book by John Robinson?

    What a shame that they are not going to at least make an effort to reissue the HPSC.... There are so few good hymnals out there, and especially with the sung responses, at least responses that sound good.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    The psalter in the hymnal is still perfectly usable, in the sense that the GIRM permits all previously approved translations to be used for sung psalms, as has been previously been discussed on these boards.

    Liam, I have never seen documentation of this. Is there any way you could point to an official statement in this regard? This has been a question many, many people have asked.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    JMO

    GIRM 61, with the US adaptations. Discussed deep in this old and much-referenced thread, but has been noted elsewhere for years too (it's just one of those Catholic church musician chestnuts that tends to be ignored by non-musicians):

    http://musicasacra.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=2992

    Bottom line: New Grail will be the exclusive translation for recited responsorial psalms in the liturgy. But for sung psalms, prior translations are effectively grandfathered until they are abrogated (and, we now know from Summorum Pontificum, that abrogation of liturgical texts needs to be express, and requires more than issuing new editions, et cet.) Policy-wise, it makes perfect sense, because re-setting psalms, which by their nature are intended to be sung, is a more labored thing that dealing with texts that are recited.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    MichaelM

    It's not publicly available. It's a trial edition of service music and psalms just for the parish.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Dear Liam,

    I certainly understand all that, and have written and posted about it at length, as have many others on this forum. The question (for me at least) is this: is it really true that a Psalm translation variant approved by a Bishop for Liturgical use in, say, 1969 is still approved in 2005? 2025? I've never seen this addressed by any authorities. To my knowledge, nothing you cite (above) addresses this, but I would be glad for more information. Thanks, in advance!
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    JMO

    You don't need a dubium; the US adaptation would not make sense if that were not envisioned as part of what was permitted. But, if only a dubium suffices for you, you are more than welcome to submit one. It's just not been thought necessary, it seems.
  • I understand that it is permitted to use any previously approved translation for the psalm text (verses), but what about the antiphons (refrains)? These were revised for the 1998 lectionary, and from what I understand, these were done by ICEL independently of the biblical translation and were meant to be uniform no matter which translation they were coupled with (i.e. in the old days when there were three approved lectionary translations (NAB, RSV and Jerusalem), the antiphon was always the same).

    So are we permitted to sing "Happy are you who fear the Lord" instead of "Blessed are those . . . "? or the old "Father, I put my life in your hands" on Good Friday (as it is in Dr. Marier's hymnal) instead of the current "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"? I see plenty of churches doing it, but was wondering whether it was kosher.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,383
    If the antiphons are spoken (in the absence of sung or chanted antiphons), then my guess is that the text is fixed - but when antiphons are chanted or sung, translations (even metrical translations) are permitted. Otherwise, why are we chanting the SEP and the Hymn Tune Propers?

    Or am I missing something here?
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,081
    The antiphons travel with the verses in terms of permitted treatment depending on whether they are sung or merely recited. The GIRM 61 doesn't distinguish between the antiphon and verses.
  • Anyone have a copy of Music for the Order of Mass for Celebrant and Congregation, the organ accompaniment version?? That I might be able to either buy or make a copy of? It has Marier's mass parts with some transposed into eminor. Thanks in advance.
  • OlbashOlbash
    Posts: 310
    Contact me off forum if you need scans of anything from this hymnal
  • bfranckbfranck
    Posts: 23
    As a past student and disciple of the late Theodore Marier, I revere his genius and the indelible mark he has made on Catholic church music in America. It is truly unfortunate that his masterpiece: Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Canticles has not been made the official Catholic music manual for all English speaking countries. I have several copies of the 1980s full-accompaniment edition as published by Edwards Bros. in Ann Arbor, Michigan (the publisher for many of Harvard University's publications). Unfortunately, again, the binding quality for this edition was not of the highest standard and my copies are somewhat tattered now.
    The task before us is in resurrecting this monument for contemporary Mass usage. I have adapted Marier's setting of the Glory to God to the revised text. I could not attach that file to this "Comment" area. I have entered it into Finale NotePad 2012 but could not remove the 4/4 time signature.
    With John Robinson as the newly appointed music director for St. Paul's Church in Cambridge and his hailing from England's heavily Anglican-influenced music scene, I would rather doubt that he understands or has kept intact the Ward Method of Music Instruction for Catholic Schools in the solfege training of the boys there. I believe that the Ward Method was the foundation of the sound and musical skills which Theodore Marier had achieved at the choir school.
    There is no question in my mind that vocal training through the Ward Method brings about a refinement in the boy choir sound not heard from English choirs, with the possible exception of St. John's College, Cambridge during the tenure of George Guest.
    Marier was as much an advocate for the Ward Method as he was for Gregorian chant, with editing and revising later in life the four different levels of this marvelous teaching tool in addition to the chant volume. I taught the Ward Method for several years in Maine before retiring from active involvement in teaching and choir training due to a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Theodore Marier was also as much a disciple of Justine Bayard Ward as I have been devoted to him. It was not too long after Marier's retirement from the choir school that Seiji Ozawa turned away from using the St. Paul's Choir School's boys for performances with the Boston Symphony in favor of the American Boychoir.
  • PhatFlute
    Posts: 219
    My first post on this forum::

    I wonder if anyone can send to me a scan of the hymnal for private use. I am part of a small music choir and the director and I want to use it for our own musical benefits to develop our skill. If anyone could suggest or email, Hohlflutephat@gmail.com is my address. We will print out about 20 hymnals on our own since it is out of print-that is why I ask for a high quality scan. I think the sorprano lines are so fun and easy and lovly. I am a sorprano also. I look forward to singing this lovly music. With my group too.

    Thanks you for your help.
    Phil

    Phát (Phil) Hoh
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I got a copy of the organ/choir version for free. Best acquisition ever!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Be aware, Phil, that the hymnal is under copyright.

    For what it's worth, someone has posted a copy on Scribd.
  • bfranckbfranck
    Posts: 23
    Yes, the hymnal is under copyright and I believe that it has been assigned to the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School. To what extent they would interfere with a widespread copying of the music manual and its usage, I do not know. Sources have informed me that the BACS through its representatives have not been forthcoming with responses to inquiries.
    And where I cited above that the current music director hails from experience in working with Anglican cathedral choir schools in England, it is highly unlikely that he will much show much interest in Theodore Marier's work.
    Whereas, it was a natural fit for John Scott to replace Gerre Hancock at St. Thomas Church, the same cannot be said for St. Paul's Church in Cambridge. An Anglican orientation in a Catholic church steeped in a well developed tradition of Gregorian chant is not a wise decision no matter how qualified the musician is.
    The question I would like to ask is, whether hiring someone from England for that position was intentional, perhaps to hasten a break from the legacy established by Theodore Marier. Surely, the abandoning of the Ward Method in the training of the boys is the biggest mistake they have made and a clear tragedy! More than likely, the pastor would have tossed aside any applicant who proposed retaining the Ward Method or its return to the choir school.
    In my previous commentary, I have shared my wholehearted enthusiasm for this gem of a music sight singing/sight reading training system. I can state with complete confidence, from the 16 years that I taught the Ward Method in both private schools and after school program settings, it is unparallel in its ability to take the average child with difficulties in matching pitch, and produce a thoroughly miraculous singing result!
    I worked with both gifted and average children in my years of music teaching who came to me from all different walks of life and family backgrounds. Through the equalizing approach and the concepts from the Ward Method for blended and finely honed musical production, I was able to achieve an amazing unified entity of vocal production. The children so trained could easily sing a complete Mass in the manner of Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Canticles. I was able to explore challenging repertoire by Faure, Poulenc, Alain, Britten as well as other figures in musical composition.
  • PhatFlute
    Posts: 219
    Bfranck (and everyone else).
    You clearly have many successes with your work in this hymnal! It makes me more excited to use it in my chorus. Its used for education in my choir, so i don't think copywrite is a problem. Will try scribd.
    Is the Ward method too worth trying? How can i get a start with Ward method?

    Thanks.
    Phil (Phát Hoh)

    { Hohlflutephat@gmail.com is my email to anyone with advice }
  • PhatFlute
    Posts: 219
    Also, my opinion is, as a victim to racism & sexism myself ( no problem here at musica so far ), I think it is unfair to say that an English person does not belong in a Catholic place. Think it is slightly racist. Do not know much about St. Paul Church or it's director now or before. Just my own quick idea,

    Phil
    Thanked by 1Ben_Whitworth
  • OlbashOlbash
    Posts: 310
    In light of recent posts on this thread, I feel obligated to share some observations about the current state of the music program at St. Paul's, Harvard Square, Cambridge and the progress towards a new St. Pauls' Hymnal.

    I have been attending St. Paul's in Harvard Square off and on for 22 years. With all due respect and admiration for the great work that has gone on there before John Robinson's arrival, I can say with great confidence that the boy choir and men's schola both sound the best I've heard them in those 22 years. The quality of the singing is simply extraordinary, and the musical literacy of the students in the program is evident to anyone who takes the time to speak with the students, observe a rehearsal, or examine the achievements of recent graduates of the program.

    While abandoning the Ward Method might be a disappointment to some, the move is far from "a clear tragedy." The boys are very fine sight-singers, and they perform much, much more Gregorian chant now than they have in recent memory. In the past two decades, St. Paul's might have had two or three of the Mass ordinaries coming from the chant repertory -- a refreshing change from virtually everything within a 100-mile radius of Boton, to be sure -- but hardly as "steeped" in Gregorian chant as it is today. Now, Gregorian propers, as well as ordinaries, are more and more frequent at St. Paul's, with a clear movement toward the Latin Novus Ordo. Antiphonal singing of the psalter on the psalm tones is also having a strong impact on the Gregorian flavor of the liturgy there.

    I would also like to make the case that John Robinson most certainly was a "natural fit" for the position. There simply are not many people in the U.S. who have any sort of experience with a boy choir school, and looking to England was a logical step. And while his musical influences are certainly informed by his experiences with Anglican cathedral choirs, his liturgical influence is much more in line with Brompton Oratory, or perhaps St. John Cantius, Chicago. As recent converts to Catholicism, John and his wife are zealous advocates of the Faith, and they have been working tirelessly to promote the Catholic identity of the school and the parish music program. Furthermore, as an organist, John is certainly one of the finest in the U.S. His interpretation of the literature is thrilling, his hymn playing is commanding yet organic, and his improvisation is intensely Catholic, with vocabulary from every good Catholic source from Greogiran Chant to Langlais and Messaien painting a breathtaking soundscape for the divine liturgy.

    Very early on in his tenure, I had a frank conversation with John about his intentions for the program. He articulated a bold vision for drastically improving the choral sound of the men and boys, using Gregorian propers and ordinaries, moving the choir to the loft (the acoustically superior location), and making major renovations to the current hybrid pipe/digital instrument. Even the name of the school -- Boston Archdiocesan Choir School -- would be changed to St. Paul's Choir School, and the Boston Boy Choir name would be abandoned altogether. (After all, it is, first and foremost, a parish choir.) Regrettably, the rapid implementation of this vision was not executed without a few missteps, and some dear friends of mine have been hurt in the process. But, now that time has passed, even some of John's most vocal critics have come to admire the results he has acheived over these past few years.

    As for the hymnal, there will be no second edition of HPSC coming from St. Paul's. HPSC is a wonderful resource, and I refer to it constantly. While I never met Theodore Marier personally, I can honestly say that he shaped who I am as a church musician today through the HPSC hymnal. That being said, it would be impractical to issue a second edition of HPSc, at least not anything that would closely resemble the current volume. Responsorial psalms and metrical psalms -- the primary features of HPSC -- are no longer the norm at St. Paul's. Copyright costs for much of the rest of the content of the hymnal is prohibitively expensive.

    There will, however, be a new St. Paul's Hymnal; and, according to the word on the street, this could be happening this year. Some of the features will include a complete psalter designed for antiphonal singing, a large expansion of the number of hymn texts and tunes, SATB harmonizations in the pew edition, a number of devotional hymns, and the use of original texts wherever possible. It's getting late, and I know I'm missing some of the other features I've heard about, but this new hymnal is going to be the critical linchpin for moving the music program forward at St. Paul's.

    I hope that this thread remains a lively discussion about "Hymn, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles" and steers clear of uncharitable remarks about St. Paul's. Perhaps a compendium of the revised works of Theodore Marier, adapted from HPSC, could be developed by an entity other than St. Paul's. Perhaps the person to do that is reading this thread right now!




  • A big "Amen" to Olbash's comments and observations. Like him, I never met Theodore Marier, but after using his hymnal for the past 29 years, I consider him a friend and mentor. The settings of the Psalms and Canticles are unsurpassed. Many in our choir can sing them by heart--especially the Canticle of Moses from the Easter Vigil: "Pharaoh's cha-ri-ots...." :-) And nothing says Easter Sunday Morning than his setting of Psalm 118. As for the hymns, there are many tunes and texts that one cannot find anywhere else.

    Last year, I attended the Marier Centenary Mass and was completely blown away by the tone, the power, and the musicianship of Mr. Robinson and the choir. The gutsy sound he elicits is certainly of the Westminster Cathedral/ RR Terry tradition. In a brief chat with him, I came away with the impression that he is a very kind and humble person.

    We have had our HPSC books rebound once. I hope they can continue to last just for a few more years. We have just enough to place 6 in a pew.
    Thanked by 2pjmurray CHGiffen