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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The Vatican Gradual cheered our hearts by restoring the authentic form of the hymns therein. But there are very few hymns in the Gradual. We looked forward to the continuation of the same work, where it was so much more needed, in the Vesperal, and then in the new Breviary. Alas, the movement, for the present, has stopped. The new Vesperal and then the Breviary contain Urban VIII’s versions. So at present we have the odd situation that in the Gradual the old form of the hymns is restored; but when the same hymn (for instance “Vexilia regis”) comes again in the Vesperal, we must sing the seventeenth-century mangling.
— Adrian Fortescue (25 March 1916)

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Update! • Accompaniments for the Brébeuf Hymnal
published 14 February 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

E HAVE RECEIVED an update regarding the organ accompaniments for the Brébeuf Hymnal. I’ve been helping proofread for months and could not be more excited about them! To read the update, please visit the Brébeuf website and scroll to the bottom. Oh, if only…

If only you knew how much work is going on “behind the scenes” for the Brébeuf Hymnal. You ain’t seen nothing yet! We have truly amazing things planned. One of the most important is a “hymn planning guide” that will greatly assist those who use the Brébeuf Hymnal. Incidentally, here is an example of how the accompaniments sound:


Visit the Brébeuf Hymnal and locate number 266 to hear the other voices: SOPRANO, ALTO, TENOR, and BASS. Many readers won’t do that, which makes me sad. The Tenor voice is really cool. You should see it.

HE ENGLISH VERSION given in that video for Jesu Redemptor Omnium was created by Monsignor Ronald Knox, who was a total genius. Look how closely he matches the literal translation of the Latin, while still rendering the text singable:


Version by Monsignor Knox:

1. Savior of all, for ever One
With God the Father; only Son,
Whom he alone, when time was not,
Past our imagining, begot,

2. Splendor and light of his own fire,
Eternal hope of man’s desire,
Look down and hear the prayers that we
In world-wide homage make to thee.

Accurate Translation of the Latin:

O Christ, Redeemer of all,
Only-begotten of the Father,
alone born of the Father
inexpressibly and before the beginning:

2. Thou light, thou radiance of the Father,
thou undying hope of all,
pay heed to the prayers that thy servants
pour forth throughout the earth.


Now compare that to something chosen as the 2020 “synod hymn” for the (Roman Catholic) Archdiocese of Liverpool:

85408 synod hymn


You can click here to hear a performance. If you think I’m pulling your leg, visit their website, and download a pdf of that hymn.

The Brébeuf Hymnal is based on the authentic core of Catholic hymnody. We completely reject many of the modern songs found in publications by the “Big Three,” such as this example from the Worship Hymnal (GIA). I don’t wish to be divisive, hurtful, or argumentative; but neither will I pretend the Brébeuf Hymnal is “basically the same” as other publications. It’s not.