• Our parish is thinking about purchasing hymnals for our new bldg. I have two questions for everyone:

    1) My understanding is that the new English translations of the Roman Missal (complete with many changes) is set to be released within the year or two years. If this is the case, it seems to me that purchasing new hymnals at this time may not be prudent if those hymnals include an order of the Mass w/the printed prayers and responses b/c they, at that point, would be obselete. Am I right on this? If this is true, I wonder if we shouldn't hold off on purchasing hymnals for the parish until after the changes have been made and the hymnals updated.

    2) Does anyone have any helpful suggestions on a good hymnal which could be purchased en masse for an exclusively OF parish? I am somewhat familiar with some hymnals which have risen to popularity in recent years. The Adoremus Hymnal, to me, seems a bit too anemic in the amount of songs it includes - I think the idea is great but the number of songs is truly unrealistic IMHO so I don't know that it is a feasible option. But I'd love to hear your suggestions and/or experiences. I have also read somewhere on here about an up and coming CMAA hymnal. If anyone knows more about that, I'd love to hear more.

    Thanks, all, for your help!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,899
    When I began working for a Catholic parish, I inherited a hymnal titled, "RitualSong." It has entirely too much trash in it, but I can't justify buying new hymnals when a new translation is coming soon. That's a huge investment to turn around and throw out soon. The pastor wants the hymnal to contain hymns, psalms, mass parts, and readings to get away from buying the disposable missalettes. I'm looking, but am finding that most of the Catholic hymnals on the market are genuinely awful.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    One word: wait. We have a real opporunity here as a community to endorse a unified setting of the new English text. A CMAA hymnal sounds like a great idea, but I wonder what it would contain....

    In the meantime, with a little creativity (and initially a good amount of work) you can do a lot better by printing worship aids. If it's too much to do this weekly, you could print a booklet seasonally, varying ordinaries. Of course if you're doing the four hymn sandwich every week, this might be a lot of music. But if you have short antiphons (such as from BFW) for the congregation and a motet or chant (or two) by the choir (in which case you'll only need to print the translations) this won't take up too much room.
  • CharlesW,
    When the ADOREMUS HYMNAL first came out years ago, I did an exhaustive comparison of content versus cost to WORSHIP (III) and RITUALSONG, as well as a comparison of the varieties and numbers of Mass Ordinary settings, psalters, hymn titles and numbers of hymns, quality of hymn and songs, etc. I came to the conclusion that RITUALSONG was the most balanced and best bang for the buck hymnal available. I still hold to that, and would abandon the OCP BB/MI Paperbacks in a heartbeat. I understand that GIA will soon debut RITUALSONG II and that interests me (particularly if they significantly increase the amount of chant, such as a minimal amount found in such pamphlets as OCP's LAUS TIBI, CHRISTE. OCP's hardbound hymnals are pale by comparison.
    One of the more overlooked and really well prepared hymnals is GIA's so-deemed African-American LEAD ME, GUIDE ME.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    To the OP: Wait until the new translation comes out to buy a hymnal. Make due with what you have to in the mean time.

    I find Ritual Song to be decent, but it has WAAAAY too much in it where I flip through and think "why does this deserve to be in here?" Worship III is better, but I think it falls short of its goal of providing "traditional hymnody" because it's lacking in so many hymns that Catholics don't know but deserve to be in a hymnal anyway. Lead Me, Guide Me is a good hymnal as well, AND it contains 4 part harmony if you can pull that off.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,899
    I haven't looked at Worship III, although I do have some older "Worships" in the choir room. They're not bad, but don't have much in the way of readings and psalms. I thought RitualSong had too much of the Haugen/Haas/Joncas material, especially in the psalms. I didn't like the Proulx hymn accompaniments either. His thick and muddy chords seem to obscure the melody a bit. Or perhaps I just like the traditional accompaniments better. It seems to me that more of the traditional hymns could have been included instead of multiple texts for the Ode to Joy, for example. Anything by OCP is off the table and I wouldn't even consider it. If there is a RitualSong II, I will take a look at it. One of my choir members has suggested throwing out the Catholic hymnals and replacing them with the Episcopal hymnal. :-)
  • Well, the one thing we do know that's positive is that the BCL/USCCB panel is, at least, compiling a "white list" of (it is assumed) 200 approved hymn/song texts that would have to be in the contents of any publisher's hymnal/aide printed after the list's promulgation. I would also like to see the panel tackle the problem of settings of the Mass Ordinaries and other liturgical service music. But the reality is that few of us can agree on which are the worthiest already in use for 4 decades. I personally believe that none of the so-called "default" settings, ie. MoC; StLJ, Community, MoLight, Celtic and so on will be found unanimously worthy. Of course, new settings out there are moot at this point.
    As regards two things Charles mentions: RITUALSONG was meant to be, and in fact is, the 50/50 style "type" hymnal alternative to either WORSHIP or any of the GATHER series. It does succeed in being the most balanced of all. In an "all things to all folks" era, it has a place.
    The editorial staff of OCP has much too answer for in terms of repertoire manipulation over the years. Great material has been summarily executed while re-introducing more of the Landry-esque pap into its yearly hymnals. It's service music choices are abominable. That said, there is still a great deal of worthy individual works in those collections that shouldn't be summarily dismissed simply because it came from the Evil Empire in Portland.
    I think the intellectual dishonesty built into their yearly music survey is obvious. I'm sure that this "popularity contest" approach is then adjudicated by the editorial panel. But both of those assessments are based upon insuring the buying publics' thirst for new product, not necessarily quality (duh!) I think that OCP could easily assemble a "third branch of government" of long term subscribing professional DM's (like a supreme court) who would ratify the choices of the people and the oligarchy. It also might enable OCP to actually lead the publishers' interest in restoring propers and chant in their mainstream hymnal lines.
    Just a thought.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,517
    wow. i wouldn't want to have to decide this. what about the collegeville hymnal?
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    Well, maybe there is so semblance of hope on the horizon. I found a very old copy of 'Glory & Praise' in the choir room garbage can. (I pulled it out for my 'museum' since I missed that whole era TBTG) They also threw out 'Our Parish Prays and Sing' (1965). Now I remember that hymnal and it wasn't all that bad. (Added it to my museum).
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,899
    "Our Parish Prays and Sings" was actually a decent hymnal. I ordered it for a parish where I worked in 1968. Glory & Praise, however, is another story. It deserves the trash can. Unfortunately, that era is still with us in many places. I have heard as bad or worse than Glory & Praise in a number of Catholic churches. And those pitiful old folks with the guitars and gray pony tails, still trying to be "relevant" for the young people. They are still around, as well. It's too bad they don't seem to realize that the young people laugh at them. The collegeville hymnal that Francis mentioned is one that I haven't seen. Is it a good hymnal?
  • >>And those pitiful old folks with the guitars and gray pony tails, still trying to be "relevant" for the young people. They are still around, as well. It's too bad they don't seem to realize that the young people laugh at them.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Well, then, to get us back on track, if our pastor asked us, I guess I would have to say Collegeville overall, but sometimes I think it is a blessing that we don't have a good hymnal because it constantly reminds us of our primary job of doing propers and, when possible, singing Latin chant hymns that people should know. I don't find myself longing for a great hymnal anymore. We've made due with no real struggles. We just had to rethink what we were doing.
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    I would wait for a new translation. But for what it's worth, I think my favorite in print hymnal would be the St. Michael hymnal, oringinal texts for the most part and I think probably one of the best selections of service muisc.

    I would be curious to know what hymnal your parish uses now. I find a good way is to actually sit down with a hymnal and go page by page, because I think otherwise, you may overlook things.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,899
    Charles, no offense intended. Being 60-years-old myself, I have watched members of my own generation gleefully destroy church music over the last 40 years. It hasn't been a pretty sight. After one short-lived music director left, better than 200 Glory & Praise hymnals were thrown in the trash. I remember visualizing dollars rather than books going into the dumpster. What a waste. However, it is encouraging that many of the younger folks are just as likely to be at either a Latin mass or a more traditional English mass, rather than one of the folk masses. I like these young folks and find them an encouragement. The tide is turning, but it's going to be awhile yet. Now about the St. Michael hymnal, I haven't seen that one either. Who publishes it?
  • As for the music aids... our parish recently purchased a Risograph and a folding machine (Hassler, I think). We also paid the copyright fee to use printed songs on the sheets for the parishioners each week... then the music aid is simply printed on 11 x 17 paper each week so that the parishioners have one sheet to look at and no public service announcements are necessary from the cantor.

    For our schola, we have one sheet that includes Latin responses and ordinaries for the season that is re-used. We only have to print out the text and translations of the propers on a smaller sheet when we have a Latin Mass. It seems to work pretty well. It would be a lot smaller initial cost outlay than hymnals for the parish and could certainly tide you over until you decided at some point to order hymnals...

    I would be happy to email you a pdf of our Latin Mass program for Easter if you are interested to see what it looks like...
  • Jan
    Posts: 242

    Just in time! Fr called last night and hired me as DM for the only EF Mass in our area. They have nothing! I could use all the help I can get. I'll email you. Thanks.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I'll second Jeff in saying that if one does a bit of the propers in some form or another, you only need 2 or 3 hymns per Mass, which even a small hymnal can provide for. We use the WLP "We Celebrate", which I earnestly condemn for its lack of options. Yet most of the time we get by since we at most use 3 hymns per Mass.
  • CharlesW, none taken, thank you.
    I tend to resist broad generalizations in this realm particularly. I think, in the long run, our solutions to perceived repertoire dilemmas, will best be found in this cliche/maxim: all politics are local. After reading C. Ratzinger's reprinted address in the Spring Issue of SM last night about "how we got here," which is anything but a generalization, I'm even more convinced that our solutions will always be local.
    I am grateful to have lived to this point where access to universal resources is greater each day via this medium. The value of enterprises such as Francis Koerber's, CPDL and CMAA cannot be underestimated.
    Pax et bonum
  • Stella611
    Posts: 112
    Has no one here heard of the St. Michael Hymnal? It is the best hymnal I have found yet! plus, it's the same cost as Adoremus hymnals but with a much greater selection of music. It includes music suitable for a parish with a sizable spanish congregation and has the whole ordinary of the mass in latin and english at the beginning, and a fairly good selection of chant mass settings and others. Go to www.stmichaelhymnal.com