HE IDEA BEHIND the Brébeuf Hymnal is to provide melodies which are supremely dignified yet not difficult to sing—i.e. simple but stately. These “common tunes” were married to numerous texts, because (sadly) most Catholic congregations don’t know many excellent tunes, and teaching new ones requires months of patient perseverance. However, the Tune/Text pairings must be done with great sensitivity. You wouldn’t normally want to marry an Easter text to a Christmas melody, for example—even though the Arundel Hymnal did precisely that—and don’t even get me started on the pairings in the Pope Pius XII Hymnal.
You will have to forgive me, therefore, for posting a Christmas Carol when we are so close to the Sacred Triduum. This particular setting by Peter Lejeune was featured on the CCWatershed blog during Advent. I was so impressed, I couldn’t resist sharing it:
Rehearsal videos—along with PDF score—are located at #87488. Remember this setting when Christmas comes around. We sang it in Los Angeles, and it was a big hit.
For the record, Peter Lejeune was among those who contributed original harmonies to the the Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal accompaniment edition, which is supposed to appear any day now.