About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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The G.I.R.M. Mentions "Hymnus" Only Once …
published 3 December 2013 by Jeff Ostrowski

964 Lecti MENTIONED IN A 2012 ARTICLE that the official, Latin version of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) uses the word “hymnus” just once. Please correct me in the combox if I’m wrong.

How ironic! As I pointed out, that spot after Communion is the absolute best place to sing a congregational hymn with all the verses. Yet, many parishes don’t seem to realize this … although many are discovering it.

If you want to read my 2012 article, click here.   However, I much prefer this more recent article.

MY 2012 ARTICLE WAS REJECTED for publication by HPR, and I mused on this in a blog post. Some people thought I was criticizing HPR for not publishing my article … but that wasn’t my intent.

That fact is, the article was probably too technical. “Liturgy talk” puts a lot of Catholics to sleep. Then, when you start throwing in stuff like “musical style,” Church documents, and melodic characteristics, it’s hopeless. The subject is just too technical, by it’s very nature, especially in an age where many folks listen exclusively to “beat music” on the radio and may have never heard a polyphonic motet performed well. The subject is also intensely personal: e.g. if a priest in the 1970s allowed a song by the Beatles, an emotional memory is formed, and the suggestion that secular songs be eschewed at Mass might hurt someone’s feelings. (For the record, it works both ways: I have incredibly emotional memories of singing the Pange Lingua as a child on Holy Thursday, etc.)

When it comes to liturgy and sacred music, it’s extremely difficult to make even a short (accurate) statement without spending hours explaining context, noting exceptions, defining one’s terms, and so forth.