UMEROUS TIMES in the past, we have spoken about a hymn book (published before the Second Vatican Council by Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes) vis-à-vis the decision made by the Brébeuf hymnal preparatory committee regarding literal translations. Specifically, this book by Solesmes Abbey is important because each hymn is given a literal English translation alongside the Latin. In the past, I have promised to reveal more about the Solesmes Abbey book—and I will do that as soon as possible.
Here are several images of the book itself:
As we know, in addition to numerous “singable” (metrical) translations, the Brébeuf hymnal provides a literal translation. The Brébeuf translations were done by a Latin scholar. For many of the hymns, the Brébeuf version is the very first time in history an English translation has been published. Examples would include: Non Abluunt Lymphae Deum, Rebus Creatis Nil Egens, Rex Sempiterne Domine, Salve Caput Cruentatum, Sancti Venite, Victis Sibi Cognomina, Agnoscat Omne Saeculum, Hoste Dum Victo Triumphans, Jam Desinant Suspiria, and Ave Vivens Hostia (complete). Literal translations allow congregations to better understand the genius of Catholic poets who created the “singable” (metrical) translations.
For the record, the ligatures in the Solesmes book strike me as excellent: