UPPOSE YOU ASK the following question: “What was the greatest hymnal ever produced?” Be prepared for a fight. You’re going to have defenders of Hymns Ancient & Modern. You’re going to have defenders of the New Westminster Hymnal. You’re going to have people who love the New English Hymnal. You’re going to encounter supporters of Ted Marier, Cyr de Brant, and others—because there are many great hymnals.
The following should also be considered:
It’s an Anglican hymn book 1 (edited by William Cooke & Benjamin Webb) but many of the texts were written by Catholic priests.
Although the book carefully avoids mentioning this, it contains many English translations of Roman Catholic hymns, such as “Pange lingua gloriosi” and “Mundus effúsis redémptus.”
We’ve currently collected about 200,000 pages of hymnals as part of our creation work for the Brébeuf Catholic Hymnal.
If you like this book, stay tuned—because soon I’ll release an even more impressive hymnal (which you have never heard of) from the early 20th century that comprises 1,200 pages!
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 Approximately 99% of the scanned books we upload are created by us; but in this particular case, the book was scanned by ARCHIVE.ORG. By the way, Benjamin Webb is known for several hymn translations, such as O Love, How Deep, How High, How Broad (“O amor quam ecstaticus”) and Sing We Triumphant Hymns of Praise (“Hymnum canamus gloriae”).