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 six children.
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The “Nova Organi Harmonia” demanded from each of us an unusual commitment; we have dedicated to it the best of our energies. Would it be, therefore, presumptuous on our part to be satisfied with the result and to expect its welcome reception in the musical world?
— Msgr. Jules Van Nuffel (circa 1940)

Gems in Latin and English
published 14 March 2015 by Veronica Brandt

Latin Hymns Fortescue YMNS CAN SOOTHE A FRAZZLED soul. There is a rhythm to them which invites singing along. The mind can tune in gradually. There is the repetition—by three verses you can usually join in, even if you never heard it before.

There is a whole treasure trove of Latin hymns. I have had a go at collecting them over at A New Book of Old Hymns. The thing that started me collecting was hoping to sing along with understanding. The choir would sing from their Libers and there were no translations easily available in the pew.

Now I know there have been many similar collections made, such as

1957 Mass and Vespers with Gregorian Chant—the Liber Usualis with English translations;

The Parish Book of Chant by Richard Rice 2013;

• Chants of the Church, 1953 and again in 1954 with modern notes, available under Additional chant anthologies at Musica Sacra’s collection of Latin Chant and also in print through Lulu;

• and Latin Hymns by Fr Adrian Fortescue.

This latter is beautifully done. It is designed for a particular congregation, as described in the preface:

This book is meant to serve a practical purpose. In our church on Sunday evening, during and after Benediction, we sing various Latin hymns or antiphons. Since Compline hardly ever changes, an excellent way to remember the feast of season is to sing the Vesper hymns of the day, with its versicle and collect at Benediction. We have also a number of beautiful hymns about the Blessed Sacrament, our Lady, the Church, and so on. But if people do not understand what is sung, to them all is lost.   […]

Even if we do not have the chance to adorn a Sunday evening’s Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in a church, we can enjoy these hymns whenever and wherever we have the chance.