About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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"And since it is becoming that holy things be administered in a holy manner, and of all things this sacrifice is the most holy, the Catholic Church, to the end that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received, instituted many centuries ago the holy canon, which is so free from error that it contains nothing that does not in the highest degree savor of a certain holiness and piety and raise up to God the minds of those who offer."
— Council of Trent (1562)

The Living Parish Hymn Book
published 10 August 2013 by Veronica Brandt

WHILE AGO someone asked me if I could identify a half-remembered hymn book from his boarding school days in Sydney. It turned out to be the good old Living Parish Hymn Book, a diminutive little red book once widespread across Sydney, now washing up into the bookshelves of those who like the “old hymns”.

It was compiled by Rev. Anthony Newman in the early 1960s. The first edition was printed in 1961 so included Latin prayers for Benediction. Later editions include the New English Mass Text, with a glimpse into the changing translations in the early years. Most editions have little to no Latin, except for the title of some hymns in English translation.

The book has an old fashioned flavour, but avoids sentimental excess. Some hymns still retain “thee” and “thy”. Some more modern compositions use “you” and “your”.

The compiler seems to like Msgr Ronald Knox. Blessed Cardinal Newman also is well represented. There are a few Gelineau psalms.

The hymnbook is notable for the inclusion of the Hymns for the Year of Grace by James McAuley and Richard Connolly. These are some of the best hymns to come out of Australia, but all difficult to find online due to licensing considerations, except Holy Father God of Might from Richard Connolly available through Small Church Music.

The little pew book came first, starting in 1961. The Accompaniment Book was first printed in 1964. All the copies I have seen are labelled “Low Setting”, perhaps to placate those who will forever maintain the organ is playing too high. The Preface gives some guidelines for choosing hymns – no mention of the propers, though they use the terms “Introit” and “Gradual”.