St. Michael's Hymnal
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    2008 message: Friends, Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but may I please recommend a Hymnal? I have to say, I believe that the SAINT MICHAEL'S HYMNAL is one of the best, if not the best Hymnal available for Catholic Hymns. I am not a huge fan of metrical Common-practice tonality Hymns, but the fact is that people are used to singing Hymns, so we sometimes have to use them. Again, I think the creators of St. Michael's Hymnal should be commended. What say you? St. Michael's Hymnal

    2011 message:

    imageVatican II Hymnal

    Sample Pages      •      Index & Contents (PDF)

    750 PAGES LONG • COMPLETE READINGS FOR ALL SUNDAYS AND MAJOR FEASTS FOR YEARS A, B, & C • FIRST HYMNAL EVER PRINTED TO CONTAIN COMPLETE TEXTS FOR THE SUNG PROPERS • MORE THAN A HUNDRED PAGES OF MASS SETTINGS USING THE NEW TRANSLATION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL • COMPLETE TEXTS IN LATIN AND ENGLISH FOR BOTH FORMS OF THE MASS (ORDINARY & EXTRAORDINARY) • BEAUTIFUL HYMNS, INCLUDING MORE THAN 100 PAGES OF COMMUNION HYMNS • SAINT NOËL CHABANEL RESPONSORIAL PSALMS, GARNIER ALLELUIAS, AND MUCH MORE

    Order your copy today!    click here to order    •    (PDF version)
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    This just in !!!  Those ordering 300 or more hymnals will be sent five (5) complimentary, spiral-bound organ accompaniment books (196 pages) for the hymns.    •    The Vatican II Hymnal saves money and trees! (read more)
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    Questions & Answers         •         Foreword by His Excellency         •         Cover Art
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    Organ Harmonizations (Hymns & Mass Settings):
            Section I  •  Organ Accompaniments through Page 201
            Section II  •  Organ Accompaniments for Pages 203-373download for free  or  purchase the book
            Section III  •  Choir Scores  •  in process
            Section IV  •  Special Cantor scores  •  forthcoming
    Responsorial Psalm Harmonizations:
            Click here to view organist scores for Vatican II Hymnal Responsorial Psalms.
    Gospel Acclamation Harmonizations:
            Click here to view organist scores for Vatican II Hymnal Gospel Acclamations.
    Thanked by 1David_Witkowski
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    We already have a hymnal with "On Eagle's Wings".
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    I agree, the editors at St Boniface did an excellent job.

    http://www.stmichaelhymnal.com/

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Well, it has a lot of hymns, that's for sure. In that way, it can get congregations on the wrong track. Also there are real problems with the editions they run, missing text, wrong titles, and the like. I mean, maybe it is the best thing out there, but that alone says something.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Jeffrey,

    I believe that, if a Congregation had two books, they could do worse than buying the St. Michael's Hymnal (for 19th-century hymns) & (of course) the CMAA hymnal (for chant).

    Gavin, I agree that there are some things to be ignored. But I prefer to look at the positive.
  • Mark P.
    Posts: 248
    Am I the only one that likes "Worship III?" Despite it's use of inclusive language, I think, all in all, it's pretty good. It's well layed out, the hymn harmonizations are usually superior. It's not perfect--far from it--but it's not schlocky.
  • Mark,

    Agreed. Worship III is well-done musically, but the gender-neutral language is lamentable.
  • Stella611
    Posts: 109
    I also agree that St. Michael's is probably the best Catholic hymnal out there. I mentioned this on another discussion. It includes so many chant hymns and chant for feasts/holy days, which is a great way to start bringing chant back into a parish. I know that Jeff means to say that chant propers are the ideal, but I don't think having a lot of hymns in a hymnal will get a parish on the wrong track. We have to meet the parish where it is at, and right now most places just sing hymns. If I can start getting all the hymns at my parish to be theological sound rather than borderline heretical or vague, I will have accomplished a great deal! The hymn selection is wonderful and provides alot of options for after the propers are sung.
  • das
    Posts: 16
    Jeffery Tucker,

    OK, so here's your change...what would you suggest if you had to recommend a parish music resource? If you've answered this someplace else, sorry, maybe you could point me that direction.

    Thanks!
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Well, it's a good question. I used to really want St. Michael's and complained relentlessly about our Heritage thing or whatever it is from OCP, which seems to have about 12 usable things in it. The over the years I began to realize that our predicament forced us to be creative. We starting knocking out the hymns one by one and replacing them with motets, or Latin chants that we would print in the program, or just decided to be quiet for a while. sure enough, we found that having a dozen decent things isn't so bad. We make due just fine. Actually, the truth is that we have an amazing music program. So, in a weird way, we owe something to the lack of resources we had been given. It is due to the OCP that we ended up de-hymnizing the Mass or at least keeping it contained in some way.

    Ideally i think we would do fine with a book of readings, propers, and the PBC.

    Also, you know, musicians spend a lot of their own capital teaching people new English hymns. We don't do that at all. For one thing, we all know that people don't like new stuff. So you can't do new stuff all the time. People get annoyed. Why tax people so heavily teaching material that really isn't essential? So all the tutorial efforts we do are related to the ordinary of the Mass or Latin hymns, and then otherwise get people used to listening and praying. It really does work!

    So I learned to stop complaining and now i don't think about hymns much at all. This is how we came to believe that the focus on the hymnal itself is really disproportionate.
  • das
    Posts: 16
    Jeffery Tucker,

    I think your answer is vitally important and right on. For myself, the problem has always been, how do I move a parish and it's music away from OCP, GIA, etc. etc. (and yes some people really like that stuff). However, from what you've said, it appears to have been done gradually and organically. You seem to have succeeded, because your goal was not "let's do motets and lots of chant", but a desire for deeper more meaningful prayer for your congregation. Chant and motets came with the change, but the music was not the motivation. Is this how every parish could/will change? Let's hope so!

    I'm sorry for my ignorance, but what means PBC?
  • das
    Posts: 16
    Oops! OK, I get it...Parish Book of Chant (PBC). Sometimes, I'm just slow.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Jeff is right, you can make do with a lesser hymnal if you only use 1-3 hymns per Mass rather than 4. Although we use WLP's "We Celebrate" and even with 2-3 hymns per Mass, it becomes difficult at times like Lent, where I used "Attende Domine" each and every Sunday.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Sometimes we do the 4 hymn thing but we always treat it as a sign of failure. It always indicates a lack of prep time. It's always regrettable.

    One area where we made no compromise. We never admitted any goofy hymns, ever. Perhaps doing so would have been "pastoral" but I just can't bear it, and we couldn't risk demoralizing our singers in the choir. We've been fortunate that our pastors haven't dictated hymn choices.
  • das
    Posts: 16
    Frankly, I think the use of diatonic driven hymns (i.e. Protestant hymnity) in Roman Catholic liturgy is a type of oxymoron. Such hymns just don't work in the spiritual context of Roman worship. They distract from the deeper meaning of what's going on, and act as large dividers between one moment in the Mass and the next. Roman Catholic liturgy flows from one prayer to the next, the imposition of such hymns is disruptive. And this is regardless of how well the organist introduces a hymn and leads the community.

    So let me run with this just a little bit further. Take the four standard locations where hymns are used, processional, offertory, communion, and recessional. First, do we really need that opening hymn? Is a silent procession out of context when the community has been preparing themselves for Mass in silence? To me, in this situation, a hymn would be far more disruptive. Next we come to the offering of gifts and what to do. Do we act as a bridge linking the Word and Eucharist, or shall we create a wall or mote between them? A quite organ improvisation would do just fine here. After the last supper, "and when they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives" (Mt. 26:30), here, the point is AFTER, not during, and I believe the context for singing is all important. As we all know, finding a "communion" hymn that fits is a major challenge, there might be a diatonic hymn around somewhere, but good luck locating it. Chant or motets are the best and least intrusive. Honestly, please don't discourage people from praying, even if it means skipping your researched hymn. Now comes Father's dismissal, but hold-on, we've got another hymn to sing! Please open your hymnals to page 231 and let's sing "Dear Jesus, get me out of here". What I really want to do is kneel quietly after Mass and pray. The recessional hymn is a waste of my time and makes it difficult to continue my thoughts from what I've just experienced at Mass.

    Well, I guess it's pretty obvious what I think of Protestant hymns in RC liturgy...

    Burn the hymnals, save the liturgy!
  • Stella611
    Posts: 109
    I find myself getting somewhat irritated by the attitude towards hymns being displayed. I just don't understand why we need to get rid of them altogether. I'll be the first to jump on the bandwagon that wants all the proper chants and chant ordinaries to be in the mass again, but I don't think we need to ditch all the hymns because of it. And i really don't think most Catholics dislike the closing hymn. I think the thing that can make them seem intrusive is announcing the numbers of the hymns all the time. People can read the numbers on the hymn board if they want to sing. If they have bad eyesight, they can ask the person next to them what the number is.
    Many of you probably know who Fr. Pasley is, since he's a prominent member of CMAA, and concerning hymns, I would like to use his parish as an example. The EF is the only form of mass celebrated at his parish, and all the proper chants are sung every Sunday and feast day usually by a small schola (or just Nick, the MD). All the Mass ordinaries are usually the chant settings, although once in a while the St. Therese mass in the St. Basil hymnal is sung and all feast days are polyphonic mass settings. Besides the chants, we normally have an entrance and closing hymn in english, and a hymn or motet in latin at offertory and communion after the proper chant is sung. Sometimes we just have organ music at offertory or communion.
    I never feel like singing the hymns divides the mass into chunks or is disruptive to the prayer in the liturgy, and I would guess that most of the other parishioners don't think so either, including Fr. Pasley. If he did think so, he would definitely do something about it. Maybe you have to go somewhere like his parish to hear it done to know that it is not distracting. Maybe it works better in the EF than the OF, I am not sure. I guess I am arguing that I don't think hymnody in the Catholic Church is necessarily a bad development, unless it becomes the primary music.
  • das
    Posts: 16
    Kimberly

    You're very fortunate to have a place like Fr. Pasley's parish, and I'll definitely admit that I may have over stated my case. However, like you say, "unless [only hymns] is the primary music", which is what I was referring to, I think it's really bad. It's not until one has attended Sunday Mass without hymns for several weeks, even months, that you realize they're NOT a good development. On a more personal level, it wasn't until I started praying the Mass, rather than praying at Mass that I really noticed how disruptive they are.

    It is possible to notice that hymns which do not use the leading tone (i.e. chant) are not disruptive. Perhaps the strong harmonic movement in a diatonic hymn is the source of the issue.
  • Lawrence
    Posts: 123
    I love hymns, and I hate hymns. I love great hymns sung by a fine choir and a good congregation. I hate mediocre hymns and bad hymns, which are the prevailing fare, even in many "traditional" parishes, where the idea of "traditional hymnody is the sappy stuff from the early-mid 20th century. (Some of this, of course, is a matter of the manner in which the hymn is performed, for lack of a better word.)

    I think if the hymn situation in the Church were better, more people would like hymns that are used in due proportion and with due respect for the Propers of the liturgy.

    But in general, at this juncture, the last thing we need is more hymns. More than anything, right now we need an improvement in the *practical* musical culture of the Church (as distinguished from the music which the liturgy actually calls for), and this is an ENORMOUS task, perhaps impossible, ultimately.
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    First off, I too love hymns, and feel ditching them altogether would be an impoverishment of Catholic worship, (which, of course, encompasses more than just liturgical prayer.)
    That said, one reason why, in a Mass such as Kimberly describes, hymns mightn't feel like an interruption would be that in a Mass such as Kimberly describes they AREN'T interruptions -- they come before the Liturgy has begun, and then again after the dismissal.
    A well chosen hymn is going to feel as all-of-a-piece with the Mass as a well chosen motet.
    The problem is that most places they are chosen with all the liturgical acumen that a top 40 DJ brings to his work, and with a similar sensibility.
    We are an all hymn, all the time parish, and when I have tried to shift the paradigm a bit, programming a psalm setting in a "hymn slot," or using a less popular hymn that is a good match for the proper, or a hymn tune with a chant "feel" instead of a power ballad or a martial anthem, I get read for it.
    Baby steps, baby steps....

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    It seems to me that hymnody became the accepted substitute for the music 'of' the Mass. (Perhaps this occurred mainly after Vatican II? Another suspect reason for hymns.) On their own they can serve as a beautifully simple choral piece (eg., Lo!, How a Rose e'er Blooming). But I don't think they should have EVER replaced the chant which IS sacred music, the music 'of' the rite. Therefore, I tend to see hymns as a protestant musical disposition, and chant as Catholic one. Where is one's focus?
  • das
    Posts: 16
    Westminster Cathedral, Abbey of Regina Laudis (Bethlehem, Connecticut), and Saint Agnes EF (NYC) do not use hymns. These places (and many more) show that diatonic hymns do not belong in Catholic worship. In a different faith practice, such hymns are successful, even seductive given their setting and function. In our Catholic experience since V2, we've strayed from our tradition of devotion and insistent prayer and lost a good deal of our formation in the process.

    It is understandable that many find it very hard to turn back to previous practices, yet there is amazing beauty, sublime understanding and extraordinary mystery to be found in our church's sacred liturgy. You've got to pray like crazy, lots of it, together and alone, go to Mass everyday, and keep asking God to take charge of your life. Only then will a debate on the use of hymns seem irrelevant and probably a bit boring.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I suppose I should qualify my above remarks. I like Latin hymns and English hymns that sound like Latin hymns, but not in place of propers and ordinary (I guess that is what everyone is saying).

    I do think there is a slight chance we could get the PBC in our parish, hope hope hope.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,518
    There are some of us who belong to CMAA who do not wish to return to the 9th century. I look to CMAA as an asset in preserving and restoring the great church music of the past. Do I want to return to the EF of the mass? No, I prefer vernacular masses. That doesn't mean I like the current English translations, rubrics, or much of the music in the OF of the mass. I look to CMAA for leadership in improving music in the liturgy. However, I also like hymns and plan on keeping them around, along with chant. I am a bit afraid of purists who want to lock us musically into a certain time period. It isn't possible to stop change, but it is possible to manage it. I am hopeful that the process of organic development in the liturgy which was destroyed around 1969 or so, can resume with better results this time around.
  • Dave
    Posts: 64
    CharlesW, you definitely spoke above what I've been thinking. Thank you.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    das,

    Tha's funny, I could have sworn I've sung a hymn in Westminster Cathedral. My memory must be going ... perhaps I'd wandered into the Abbey by mistake :-)

    Ian.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Hi, friends.

    A few thoughts:

    As a theorist, I find the word "diatonic" confusing. I believe the meaning folks are after is "Melodies written in Major/minor tonality" and favoring the Mm7.

    Again, I have to agree with some of the folks that have questioned the use of Major/minor (19th century) hymns in Mass. I agree that it is a jarring effect.

    Rather than Major/minor tonality (19th century Protestant) hymns IN STRONG RHYTHM (ONE 2 3 4 ONE 2 3 4 or ONE 2 3 ONE 2 3 ONE 2 3) I believe the ideals are MODAL chant (and MODAL Gregorian Hymns, which are not rhythmically-driven, rhythmically-composed) and MODAL polyphony (which is based on chant, and is almost NEVER rhythmically-driven, rhythmically-composed). Modal music never uses the Mm7 (Dominant Seventh). 19th century hymns live for it. We have Monteverdi and younger Gabrieli to thank for the Mm7 chord (although I can forgive Gabrieli!).

    Many of my Chabanel Psalms use mildy-rhythmic Refrains (but NEVER syncopation, or excessively rhythmic refrains, such I find in most of the published Resp. Psalm collections) and I discuss the reason for this in the articles published about the Chabanel Psalms.

    BUT, TO GET BACK TO THE SUBJECT AT HAND, I do not feel like the hymns in question (19th century protestant Major/minor tonality hymns) are unworthy of the House of God.

    Actually, I think they can sometimes be a very nice Entrance or Exit piece at Mass (EF or OF).

    What is more important, folks have become used to them, and oftentimes love them, and (whether or not I believe that they are the most sublime music for Mass) they CAN help people pray sometimes. I think they are often a HIGH step above "praise music" or gushy, heretical, emotional, rhythmically excessive pieces so common in our Churches.

    One question I have though . . . how many of our people can even ARTICULATE the difference between, for example, a Gregorian Hymn and a Major/minor tonality, 19th century rhythmically-composed, rhythmically driven Hymn like PRAISE TO THE LORD, or O ESCA VIATORUM, or CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS?

    The reason I started this post was to congratulate the St. Michael's Hymnal on a job well-done. I think they are on the right track.

    Do I believe that singing Major/minor tonality hymns with Dominant 7ths, chromaticism, & strong harmonic rhythm is the ultimate Church music, in ideal circumstances? I do not!!!

    Do I believe that, at this point in time, under certain circumstances, such hymns can help folks pray? I do (in my opinion).

    Do I believe that my Chabanel Psalms are the ultimate (objectively speaking) in Church music? I do not.

    But, I do believe that they are worthy of the house of God, and can help our poor, abused congregations get closer to Christ, in a way that, unfortunately, a beautifully sung Gradual may not be able to reach them at this point in time.

    We have much work to do . . . every one of us. May Christ help us!

    But thanks to folks like Jeffrey Tucker, I feel like we are on the way!

    And I hope that we at CMAA always stay unified !!!

    We are all so passionate about music: I think that can tempt us to fight sometimes. Am I wrong???
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Oh, Jeffrey, I think we are all thinking along the same lines. If I could snap my fingers and make the St. M's hymnal appear in my parish, I probably would. I'm also thinking that sometimes it is good not always to get what we want. Some measure of suffering seems to be a pre-condition for excellence -- probably a superstitious position I hold here. But it has proven true again and again my own musical life in the Catholic Church.
  • JDE
    Posts: 586
    Oysters make pearls only when irritated!

    Meditate on that the next time you run into a roadblock in your musical journey. After all, if everything were perfect, there would be no need for improvement or striving, right?
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I think it also important to remember that we don't always succeed. The holiest men I know (the 8 Jesuit Martyrs), to whom we have dedicated everything we do at Lalemant Polyphonic and who suffered so many trials I cannot even begin to tell of them, basically failed in their mission, by earthly standards. The Hurons were wiped out, and very few converted. But by heavenly standards they won.

    On the other hand, Jeffrey, from what I hear, you have already achieved amazing results at your parish. You don't use 19th century hymns or organ accompaniment, right? How wonderful !!!
  • JDE
    Posts: 586
    And another thing . . .

    fighting and strife = bad

    lively discussion and frank exchange of views = good

    It all depends on what you call it.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I agree Yurodivi !

    I think the "tone" of the poster, decides that. Right?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    I am going to shoot from the hip on this one, because I want to communicate this mostly right from my heart, putting a rein on the brain.

    It is telling... very telling of the difficult times in which we live when those of us who know the very thing the Church asks and requires of us as its church musicians are not able to be unified in mind and spirit. This is, unfortunately true even among our shepherds. "Strike the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered."

    Music will never unite us. Only our faith will. Faith in Jesus Christ, our Blessed Mother and the saving grace that comes to us through the sacraments, and especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Nothing else. No hymnal or book, no beautiful liturgical drama, no hi-minded thinking or craftiness. Faith alone, my friends.

    Another scripture comes to mind: "A house divided against itself will not stand". It is the temptation of the evil one to incite differences of opinion to the point of irritability, cause division and strife, wranging, and the rest. We must be on our guard.

    I approach everything I do and say with you, my fellow members in the CMAA, more and more, only to shed light, dispel darkness, pray for peace, and proclaim Jesus. There is nothing else that matters in the end.

    Our task in life happens to be Musica Sacra. It is a fantastic challenge in these turbulent times. One that I have been honored to uphold, even in all of my failings and mistakes, I keep getting up and trying again. It will cost us to serve the Gospel. If there is no cost, if we risk nothing, then we are running from our call, our God and then ourselves as well. The Church is, in a sense, today reliving the crucifixion of the very Christ which it enthrones. It is a mystery that is beyond us, but it is ours to shoulder.

    At the same time, I need you desparately to help me find the way, and vice versa. We all have more questions in our minds and hearts than we have answers. Jeffrey is right. We would all like to snap our fingers and go back 50, 100, 150 years and not be in this mess.

    I am verry glad I have found those who will 'duke it out' about the things we think and feel that mean the most to us--and THESE things go to the very depths of our being. Otherwise, each of us would only be lost in his/her own thinking and remain wandering in the futility of lonliness and despair.

    So, I take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for your dedication to the Church, to the cause of Christ and the Gospel and to that sacred and wonderful art of Musica Sacra to which we are all devoted and so much love. I pray for you, please pray for me.
  • Lawrence
    Posts: 123
    CharlesW,

    Not doing hymns has nothing to do with returning to the 9th century, or even with using the EF only. The polyphonic tradition continues to this day. This can be applied to Masses and motets. New music can also be written for congregational Ordinaries. Indeed, there is much aggiornamento that can be accomplished in our music programs without using hymns.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    By the way, I'm very intrigued by the challenge that Charles offers above, namely that our goal should not be to make the music in our Churches sound like the 9th century. The classical music world has long had this debate about whether we should seek "authenticity" or beauty and ideals as a first priority. I'm not sure if the debate in the Gregorian chant world has been framed in this terms, but I do suspect that there is a camp of people out there who suppose that it is a given that we should strive to sing precisely as it was sung in the 9th century. I'm not sure that we should take that as a given. Certainly the Solesmes monks did not. What they achieved, at least as I understand it, is something of an idealized picture of the past, not its perfect replication.

    Of course none of us really know what Catholic music in the 9th century sounded like and we can never know. So we are all operating on instincts here. but I recall a few months ago listening to a modern CD of monks at Clear Creek, one that came free in the mail, and I was amazed at the sound. So perfect. So beautiful. Seemingly flawless. I just adored it. Our group does not sound that way and that's fine. We have a rougher hewn sound that I also appreciate. But as I listened, I asked myself: do I believe that chant sounded like this in the 9th century? No, I don't believe it. I'm not sure why, but I just don't. Does that matter? I don't really think that it does.

    I like the example of Monticello. In seeking to refurbish Jefferson's home, what should be the goal? To remake it precisely as it was or to perfect it in way that Jefferson might have wanted? I'm drawn to the latter approach.

    Does anyone know if this topic is covered anywhere in the literature? am I right to sense that tension between the purist restorationists and the beauty-driven idealists?
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Jeffrey,

    In addition, there is tension between those who see the ideal as only chant and polyphony (though they may diagree as to how to get there), and those who believe there is also virtue in the judicious employment of the modern hymn-form, despite its origins in protestant liturgy and frequent mis-use in catholic liturgy. I'm willing to employ head and heart in listening to arguments for and against the form as a valid development. Perhaps the history of the Sequence has some parallels for us?

    Regards,

    Ian.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    et al:

    We have a new precident in the wake of VII. The church has 'acquired' all forms of church (and non-church (folk music, praise rock, etc.) music into itself. This is an entirely new thing. What will be the synthesis of sacred music going forward? No one knows! The church always harkens back and keeps its treasures, though. Although I shudder about composing an English Mass or a hymn, it still remains as one of the arrows in my own quiver. No matter what our personal preferences are, we all represent the numbers on this particular face of time, (God help us!)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    ?
  • We have had the St. Michael Hymnal at my two parishes since shortly after I came as pastor.

    Purchase of a hardbound hymnal promotes a greater honor to the music than paper missalettes that get replaced yearly or more often. It is also better stewardship of paper and the parishes' resources.

    While I obviously prefer the squares notes (I use the Kyriale, Liber Usualis, or Graduale Romanum for my part), modern notation for chant seems less foreign to novices and seems to be easier (which is not true).

    The Ordinary in Latin comes before the English Ordinary rather than stuck someone at the end (i.e., pride of place). I for my part would like to have Mass IV and especially Mass IX included. I was told that Mass IX would be included in the next edition.

    The entire text of the Mass in Latin as well in English makes it friendlier to offer parts of the Mass in Latin while other parts could be in English. All Latin hymns and chants are followed by a translation.

    Although there are some hymns and songs that I prefer would be left to rest (Prayer of St. Francis, Be Not Afraid), it does make this hymnal more attractive for a parish that might have one Mass where the ensemble performs this kind of music.

    It has enough Latin ordinary and hymns to keep most congregations busy for a long time. Indeed, few are the parishes that alternate between the Orbis factor, the De angelis, and the Jubilate Deo Masses. Hmm. Ordinary time, Christmas/Easter, and Advent, Lent. If you parish wants more, then you will need more. Although I think that future St. Michael's Hymnal editions will respond with more Latin ordinaries and important Latin chants.

    I think that it is good to support a small and worthy effort to make more sacred the music at Mass. It will encourage other such efforts. Certainly no one is better at this than Musica Sacra (who offers so much for nothing). When I canceled my OCP, I was able to tell them why. We want to break this monopoly.

    This hymnal is not perfect but it is a good step away from GIA, OCP and toward the music of the Mass.
  • For those who may not like the St Michael's, I have come to really like the Adoremus Hymnal. It has all the priest's and people's chants in the front (pride of place) in Latin and English versions side by side. It includes a number of Mass Ordinaries, including Marier's English Chant Mass -- which we are learning right now. The only downside is that it needs a larger hymn section since I've not been able to use it exclusively year round. All of the hymns contained, however, are distinctly Catholic in message. The harmonizations are pretty good too.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    Living in OCP land (with a scattering of Gather Comprehensive), I envy those who have the luxury of comparing the St. Michael's and Adoremus. I found the Adoremus hymnal a little short on material though. A good hardbound hymnal not only encourages greater respect for the music (and the liturgy as a whole) than anything in newsprint or a weekly throw-away, it encourages stability. I've worked in Episcopal churches where the choir members (and the minister) seemed to know the numbers of about 1/3 of the hymns in the current hymnal. OCP manages to squirrel up the numbers every year with its additions and deletions, reinforcing the sense that nothing is permanent.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    MJ, don't forget removing and adding verses in the pew edition that are or are not in the choir edition -- changing words and keys too. Even time signatures! It's all designed to keep us guessing.
  • JDE
    Posts: 586
    Jeffrey,

    you're right. It's planned obsolescence. You have to buy the next year's supplements so you have all the PC verses to everything.
  • tdunbar
    Posts: 120
    Were a parish to have and use PBC in its pews, it would be more 21st century than 9th century by any objective measure, I suggest, if we're talking about real parishes rather than idealizations.
  • musico48
    Posts: 16
    It is interesting to views,pros and cons,concerning the St Michael. In my 48 years of singing and playing at Masses in nearly 150 churches all over the Western part of Canada and the USA, this book truly gives testimony to what Catholics have cherished! Also 0please note. This hymnal has also given witness to WHAT WAS SUNG for nearly 150 years of Catholic Sacred Music. THIS IS A NORTH AMERICAN REALITY. While Chant, polyphony, and Choral Masses are of European origin. The music is a North American background which incorporates the music brought over from European Church. The question is HOW DO WE MAKE THE MUSIC OUR MUSICAL PRAYERFORM WITHOUT BERING ANTAGONISTIC? For nthese points I give the St Michael Hymnal foljks my prayerful thanks for being sensitive. To those who disagree. I say this reflect on what St Thomas Aquinas said when commenting obn his writtings IT'S ALL STAW!!! Yet God reassured him to continue. NO MUSIC CAN EVER COMPETE WITH THE MUSIC OF THE ANGELS IN ISAIAH CHAP6 NOR THE ANGELS SONG AT THE FIRST CHRISTMAS!!! We must be humbkle, be prsyerful and dialoque with patience. God bless all of you who serve in the music of the Church
  • Michael O'Connor
    Posts: 1,637
    Musico48, I see from this and a few of your other posts that you have some desire to resurrect the music often used pre-Vatican II. I think I speak for a number of us in saying that this situation is exactly what we want to avoid. It was no better than the current situation and should probably be left to history. I believe that the CMAA supports the increased use of chant, Renaissance polyphony and modern composition that dovetails with the basic aesthetics of the first two. Attachment to devotional songs is fine, but these things are not seen by many to be desirable at Mass.
  • The "music used pre-Vatican II . . . was no better than the current situation and should probably be left to history."

    Not so, Michael
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    JVN... isn't that too much of a generalization? The entire chant repertoire was pre VII! Perhaps you are referring to something more specific?
  • Michael O'Connor
    Posts: 1,637
    To clarify.. I meant the hymnody and sentimental songs of the few decades before Vatican II.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    I was hoping that was what JVN was referring to. Thanks for the clarification, Michael.
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    Francis, I believe the generalization was not an assertion of Jules Van Nuffel's, but a quotation he was making form a post of Michael O'Connor.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    my appology. i misread the post.