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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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

PDF Download • “Leeds Catholic Hymnal” (232 pages)
published 13 August 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

87936 LEEDS CATHOLIC HYMNAL 1957 HE TIME has come for honesty; so let me be completely honest. I’m bubbling over with excitement about the imminent release of the St. Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal. It is truly unique. On the one hand, it is aimed at the “average” Catholic parish in the United States—and I have personally experienced so many of these, from cathedrals to small rural churches. That means the texts are accessible and the melodies are solid, beautiful, dignified, and (usually) simple. On the other hand, our historical research was extensive—and we unearthed unbelievable hymn treasures which are almost beyond belief. We scanned thousands of pages of Catholic hymnals, choosing only what is most excellent from each. 1

This was sent to us from England:

    * *  PDF 1957 LEEDS ROMAN CATHOLIC HYMNAL (232 pages)

This hymnal has been out of print for half a decade! It was generously scanned and sent to Corpus Christi Watershed by Mr. Colin E. Jackson.

From what I can tell, the Leeds Hymnal (1957) contains only “traditional” material, whereas the Brébeuf contains melodies and texts commissioned from contemporary artists.


Well, I guess there is a reason for my earlier comment about “traditional” hymns—check out what was just sent to me, from the “words” edition which appeared in 1954:



1   Generous friends from all over the world have also assisted us, sending us interesting historical hymnals.