NE OF MY PROFESSORS used to say: “Sometimes what goes without saying needs to be said.” The Brébeuf hymnal was designed to get congregations singing. The Brébeuf is not a reprint of the Liber Usualis. The Brébeuf is not a reprint of Cantus Varii, the Liber Cantualis, or Cantus Selecti. The Brébeuf is not a reprint of the Antiphonale Romanum or the Liber Gradualis. The Brébeuf hymnal was designed for congregations; therefore, most of its hymns are in English.1 It has never been the tradition in America to have congregations sing hymns in Latin—although Adéste Fidéles is certainly an exception to that rule. Neither is it traditional for priests to preach their homilies in Latin.
Leading The Way: The Brébeuf hymnal contains approximately 700 hymns. It does contain Latin hymns, but these are provided with metrical and literal English translations. The literal translations were done by a brilliant FSSP priest, and—until he contributed his works to the Brébeuf hymnal—several of these ancient Latin hymns had never been given a literal English translation before. The Brébeuf melodies (such as SAXONY) can also be adapted to Latin—it’s a book which inspires and leads the way. Here’s an example of how that works:
* PDF Download • “O Sol Salutis, Intimis”
—Before 1629AD, this hymn was known as Jam Christe Sol Justitiæ.
Same Melody, 2nd Time: You can also sing that same melody in English. Page 215 in the Brébeuf hymnal has an English translation of Ex More Docti Mystico by Father Fitzpatrick, an Oblate of Mary:
REHEARSAL VIDEOS for each individual voice await you at #215.
Same Melody, 3rd Time: If you look on page 93 of the Brébeuf hymnal, you will see another ancient hymn for Lent: Audi Benigne Conditor. The same melody can be used, with a marvelous translation by Father Fitzpatrick:
REHEARSAL VIDEOS for each individual voice await you at #093.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 Choirs will want to purchase the Brébeuf choral supplement, and organists will want the Brébeuf accompaniment volumes.