THE ADVERTISING copy for a Catholic hymnbook published in 1905:
Arundel Hymns, chosen and edited by Henry Duke of Norfolk and Charles T. Gatty, with Introductory letter from Pope Leo XIII., Preface, etc. Complete in one volume (553 pages), price 6s. net. Parts I to VII. 1s. each. Published by Boosey & Co., 295 Regent Street, London, W.
Also, listed in the adverts in the back:
Words only, Complete Edition. Price in leather, with gilt edges, and printed on special paper, 2s.; in cloth, 1s.; in stiff paper 9d.
Words only, Abridged Edition, suitable for poor Missions. Price, in cloth 6d.; in stiff paper, 3d.
Arundel Masses — William Byrd’s Mass for 3 voices and Missa de Angelis.
Arundel Antiphons, simple settings by classical composers, with Latin words.
I haven’t seen the rest of these books, only the complete one volume edition thanks to the Internet Archive. I don’t have a picture of the original binding, but here is the copy I put together through Lulu.
The Church of England beat us to writing the first big collections of English hymns and we couldn’t just copy. So Catholic hymn books from around the time of Catholic emancipation have a difficult task. To try collect a distinctly Catholic collection of hymns from the bits left over by the heretics and schismatics.
This is an over simplification. Catholics have a huge treasury of hymns in Latin and these had been translated into English by quite a few scholars. But a persecuted Church who had been excluded from higher education for so long looked upon these with suspicion.
Enter the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk a descendant of St Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel who died in the tower of London in 1595. At long last the government permits Catholic churches to be built, so he builds one. The Church of Our Lady and St Philip Neri, built in 1868-1873, now serving as Arundel Cathedral. You can see it on the cover of this paperback copy in the picture.
They need hymn books, so he teams up with a learned antiquarian to produce a new book. In some ways it is quite impractical. Such a mixture of favourite poems and hymns. Little motets by William Byrd alongside “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, bless the bed that I lie on.” Most are given in four parts. Some poems are left without any music-maybe just for the edification of the reader. But such a mixture of styles offers something for everyone. I’m probably not the only one to have grown up reading the hymnbook during Mass – so it serves as a prayer book too. It’s also designed for use in Catholic Schools so even has a song praying for fair weather for the summer holidays “From rain and sadness, keep us free and send the sun to cheer us.”
They may have overdone it in providing alternative tunes. Most have at least one tune spare in case the first doesn’t fit.
But do we need 12 settings of Stabat Mater?
13 of Ave Maris Stella?
14 of Tantum Ergo?
15 of O Salutaris Hostia?
Maybe we don’t need them, but they are good to have.
Though it might not serve as a practical pew book in a parish today, Arundel Hymns might be more of a treat for someone who learns new hymns for fun. Maybe to dip into after a choir social night round the piano.
And if anyone has any of the other editions, contact me.