Jeffrey Tucker on the Vatican II Hymnal
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I'm assuming there's a lot of "cross-pollination" between Café and Forum, but I would like to point out a wonderful review we've received from Jeffrey Tucker:

    Jeffrey Tucker on the Vatican II Hymnal on the Chant Café.

  • Dear Friends of Sacred Music,

    Just the other day, our shipment of 450 Vatican II Hymnals arrived at the local parish. What an incredible experience it was to hold copies of this book in our hands and go through it, page by page, opening up such a world of superb music, noble lyrics, liturgical texts, readings and psalms, all formatted with utmost professionalism and with an eye towards beauty, as evidenced in all the etchings (which not only elevate the hymnal to a work of art and a source of meditation, but also provide plenty for little children to look at during Mass -- something that I have seen to be extremely effective in keeping them well behaved!).

    There is plenty to praise in this hymnal, but others have already extensively discussed its internal features. (And while it does not contain everything that everyone would wish, no hymnal can do that; every editor has to make hard decisions about contents.) What I wanted to praise in this brief note is something that you can only appreciate when you hold the finished product in your hands: namely, the high quality of the cover, binding, and paper. The cover is attractive but subtle (more subtle that the computer graphics above convey), the weight is comfortable, the pages are smooth and not too thin, and the sewn signature binding is built to last, as a bookbinding friend of mine commented. The print on the page is crisp and legible. It is altogether a work of art, to an extent never seen before with other hymnals -- and I say this surrounded by a couple of bookcases' worth of hymnals from over the past 100 years.

    Those who end up using this hymnal will be fortunate indeed, not only for the consistently high quality of the contents, but for the durable missal-like appearance of it, which one might have thought impossible in this day and age of throwaway products and cheap paperback books. It is truly an all-in-one parish or chapel resource, and I cannot recommend it highly enough, if you are looking at getting new hymnals.
  • Is the cover made of the same material as it was when the perusal copies came out? I was concerned that it didn't seem very durable....more "college textbook" like.

    Adam S.
  • Adam, it's comparable to the cover of the Worship IV hymnal, only it has a glossy instead of a matte finish. It would have to be dropped from a high roof to do serious damage to it.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,872
    A couple of weeks ago I lent my review copy to the music director at St. Michael's in Stillwater, MN, explaining that, unlike the official "production" version, it had thicker pages and a rather less than durable binding - but that the production copy would be as good as any you'll find.
  • Thank you Gentlemen. I didn't know that the preview copy was of different quality. I'll purchase a new one post haste for review.