Comparison of Hymns between Hymnals: St. Michael's, Adoremus, Vatican II
  • As part of our decision regarding hymnals, I was asked to compare the hymns in three 'traditional' hymnals. Adoremus Hymnal hymn index, St. Michael's Hymnal hymn index, and the Vatican II Hymnal hymn index

    My observation is that all three hymnals use approximately the same number of traditional hymn tunes. The Adoremus and Vatican II use exclusively traditional hymns. The St. Michaels hymnal is pretty much an even 50/50 split between contemporary and traditional hymns. The St. Michaels also seems to repeat a lot of tunes. Graefenberg and Stuttgart are both used four times; Stabat Mater, St. Elizabeth, Puer Natus, Lasst uns Erfreuen, and others are used thrice or more. The St. Michael's also includes numerous hymn tunes I've never seen attributed before such as 'Shanti' by Marty Haugen and 'Christian Love' by Benoit. The St. Michael's also does not appear to list all contemporary hymns in their hymn index, e.g. 'Within our darkest night,' 'We remember how you loved us' by Haugen, and others. Perhaps they will remedy this in the new edition.
  • These are precisely the three hymnals we are choosing from. Jeffrey made the point before I did that the new edition will be more in line in regards to hymn selection with the other two. Sadly, the only hymnal I've received thus far is the Vatican II Hymnal, while being told that the St. Michael Hymnal will be available in "the Fall of 2011" and the Adoremus hymnal being available "in October 2011". I'm certainly a fan of the VII hymnal's hymn selection and inclusion of all the readings....but there are a few concerns we have....so the lateness of the printing of the other two (which I understand is none of their doing), is a bit on the frustrating side, as we'd like this matter behind us before the new year.
  • I'm not sure how it can be said that all three hymnals use 'approximately the same number of traditional hymn tunes'. VII is an entire missal (in fact, more like an encyclopedia!) plus hymn choices for each Sunday of the church year. That's a whole lot fewer hymns than any hymnal contains. VII had a huge job to do in whittling down the choices - JMO could have included twice as many and not gotten everyone's favorites. VII is mostly traditional hymnody, but 'I Received the Living God' isn't, particularly, and the plainsong heritage is there, also.

    I was surprised and disappointed in St. Michael, both for the Mass settings based on existing tunes, and the repetition of tunes. Although they try to include a huge swath of styles, to their credit, any competent organist can change a hymn tune to a more familiar one by simply using the Metrical Index of Tunes, so why so much repeating? Why not include some good new hymn tunes, or excellent but less familiar old ones?

    I'm starting to think that the problem is not in the editing of hymnals, it's in the lack of creativity among musicians in the USA today. A generation raised on sound bites and jingles has succeeded a generation raised on the chaos of post Vatican II pop style music. Publishers of sheet music have been struggling for a long time and don't take chances on new composers...I used to think there were people with scores in their basements that simply couldn't get into them print. But now I'm beginning to wonder if we've lost creativity altogether. That would mean going back to the Source, the Holy Spirit, who inspired church music to begin with, humbling ourselves, being really trained in our crafts, and ending this constant rush to the bottom of what people are expected to like/know/be able to sing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,612
    Our EF choir uses the Adoremus hymnal. They tell me it is cheaply made and starts falling apart in short order. Has anyone else experienced that?
  • @Linda: did you look at the files I posted? I stand by what I said ...

    @Adam: I have felt the same frustration, and hence used the current versions to compare.

    @Charles: I find the Adoremus choir and organ editions deplorable; each and every hymn requires a page turn, it seems.
  • With respect, BachLover2, I must trust my own observations over someone else's' files, compiled in good faith, I'm sure.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,402
    BachLover2, fwiw, I don't know how anyone could object to your statistical analysis.
  • @CharlesW
    Our EF choir uses the Adoremus hymnal. They tell me it is cheaply made and starts falling apart in short order. Has anyone else experienced that?


    I have the opposite story. My parish has donated Adoremus hymnals, and they've lasted for a long time now.

    @BachLover2

    I like the contents of the hymnal - just not how they're edited, like you say. If a hymn is two pages long, for goodness sake, don't put the pages back to back! I'm also not a fan of the combined layering of voices.
  • Perhaps it is just wishful thinking, but I am holding out for the new edition of "Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles". Are pew books are 26 years old and have been rebound once.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,778
    CharlesW

    what is combined layering of voices?
  • CharlesW

    what is combined layering of voices?


    @francis

    You mean me?

    =)

    Look at 432 Hail thee, festival day! in Adoremus (choir edition is identical to organ edition, btw). It's when voice layers are arbitrarily combined. It looks confusing.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,778
    o right... looking at the wrong name... sorry jeffrey... hmmm

    we used to call that hymn hail thee vegetable day in college...

    i will have to look that up... i have the original edition... is it in there?
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Friends, a few clarifications, and also a QUESTION:

    1. Linda, thank you for pointing out that the Vatican II Hymnal (in spite of the name) is not really a hymnal. It contains so much more (all the readings, Propers, 100 pages of Mass settings, etc.). So comparing it to, for example, the 1982 Hymnal is comparing apples & oranges. Linda, thank you also for pointing out that our effort was to give the BEST and MOST NEEDED and MOST USED hymns . . . not every hymn ever written!

    It might be easier to take each comparison separately.

    ---

    2. Vatican II Hymnal vs. ADOREMUS Hymnal:

    Vatican II Hymnal has approximately the same number of hymns, and more hymn TUNES than the ADOREMUS Hymnal (and this can be seen by comparing indices).

    3. Vatican II Hymnal vs. St. Michael's Hymnal:

    Vatican II Hymnal has a smaller number of hymns (because St. Michael's also includes contemporary style hymns and uses the same tunes for numerous texts),
    . . . but it's true that the Vatican II Hymnal has approximately the same number of traditional hymn TUNES contained in the St. Michael's (if not more).

    ---

    As always, I would suggest that we draw a distinction between hymn TEXTS and hymn TUNES. They are not the same.

    ---

    QUESTION:

    For those unaware, the ADOREMUS skips numbers. That is, the pages go like this: 445, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 470, 471, 472, 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 485, 500, 510, etc.

    WHY does it do this?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,402
    The reason is that they might want to insert more hymns of the same subject (e.g. #s 446-459) at a later date. They left room for that kind of expansion.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Thanks: I suspected this was the case, Kathy. However, I cannot express to you the consternation this caused when I convinced the administration at my Catholic High school to buy ADOREMUS (5 years ago).

    So many people (priest, principal, vice-principal, etc.) kept saying, "You need to send that Hymnal back, because it is missing pages."
  • So many people (priest, principal, vice-principal, etc.) kept saying, "You need to send that Hymnal back, because it is missing pages."


    That's kinda funny ... Adoremus definitely needs a disclaimer in it to prevent such accusations. The explanation for this isn't mentioned anywhere in it, although the Preface would be the perfect spot for it.

    Since the hymnal's creation in 1997, has anyone noticed any expansions to the hymn sections?

    @francis
    i will have to look that up... i have the original edition... is it in there?


    I believe so. OH - and it's also a two-page, back-to-back hymn.
  • 590 For all the saints in Adoremus also has confusing voice layering - especially for the tenors.
  • In no particular order:
    1) the hymns being left out of the next St. Michael's Hymnal are a mishmash--there are several very good ones being left out, and not enough of the pseudo-folk ones, IMNSHO.
    2) Our parish uses the Adoremus and we haven't had a problem with them falling apart. The two-page hymns with the page turn are simply unprofessional--put in a blank page, for goodness' sake! But we sing almost every hymn in there and the congregation sings well at both OF and EF (they can handle De Angelis and Cum jubilo, and for the OF and Requiems, the Requiem Sanctus and Agnus Dei).
    3) Being a small country parish, we have next to no budget for music, and the Adoremus isn't leaving the pews any time soon. We will probably use the ICEL chants for the new texts, if we sing them (the diocese has produced a lovely pew card with the chants). A suitable simplicity!
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    BachLover2, thank you for posting indices of the HYMN TUNES from the Vatican II Hymnal, St. Michael's, and ADOREMUS.

    This is a very easy way for people to compare the amount of HYMN TUNES in the various books.

    I would like to also add the same index, from OCP's "GLORY & PRAISE": Glory & Praise
  • The complete indexes for Worship IV are available as a PDF download at: www.giamusic.com/sacred_music/hymnals_new_worshipIV.cfm

    The Hymn Tune Index begins on page 77 of the PDF.

    Folks here might also be interested in seeing the Index of Psalms and Canticles, especially page 22 of the PDF.