HINGS WILL NEVER AGAIN be the same for Catholic church musicians: the Brébeuf organ accompaniments can be ordered as of today! To purchase immediately, scroll to the bottom of the Brébeuf website. They are surprisingly affordable. For example, all three volumes cost about half of what GIA charges for the WORSHIP IV HYMNAL accompaniment!
This revolutionary technique allows organists to instantly play hymns at sight, while simultaneously serving as cantor—without wrong notes, without slowing down, without stress! It’s astounding this has never been done before; especially considering hymn typesetting moved in this direction a long time ago.
The accompaniments correspond to the Pew Edition:
The Brébeuf accompaniments are large, but not too bulky:
Thanks to unbelievable typesetting, all 1,292 pages have been placed in three volumes, just like other collections:
Stop having a “panic attack” when your cantor doesn’t show up! Sing and play simultaneously without stress:
ET’S TAKE A MOMENT to reflect upon how we got here. Centuries ago, organists and singers relied heavily upon memorization. With the invention of the printing press, it became easier to keep a written record—but paper was still quite expensive and rare. When choirs sang in parts, they often sang directly from the text and memorized the notes. The “English School” still maintains this tradition:
But their method has serious disadvantages, 1 especially for lengthier hymns. People searched for ways to place the lyrics underneath the notes, but when the organist functions as cantor, such methods cause difficulty—unless the organist already has the words memorized:
At last someone has “turned the page” to something convenient and powerful: The Brébeuf accompaniments write out every verse!
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 The English still prefer their way, adopting the “American method” with reluctance.
“…hands down, the best Catholic hymnal ever published. |[…] It is such a fantastic hymnal that it deserves to be in the pews of every Catholic church.”
—|New Liturgical Movement website (10 June 2019)
“The Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal will undoubtedly enrich liturgical life at the parish level by making accessible these ancient, noble, and theologically-rich Catholic hymns, translated into English in quite a beautiful way.”
—|Rev’d Fr John Berg (Superior General Emeritus, FSSP)
“The editors of the Brébeuf Hymnal have done a great service to the profession [in this] extensively researched volume [which is] worthy of careful study by liturgical musicians. […] This detailed exploration of classic Latin hymnody and its English translations is not only a labor of love, but an original contribution to research, and I hope that the results of this research project are shared more widely for the use of musicologists and liturgical historians.”
—|Journal of the Society for Catholic Liturgy (Volume 23.2, 2019)
“Its copious selection of hundreds of tunes and texts, including favorites, forgotten gems, and new commissions, all beautifully formatted and presented in a surprisingly compact hardcover volume, is not only unparalleled by any other current hymnal, but well exceeds that of any hymnal I have seen from any period.”
—|New Liturgical Movement website (10 June 2019)
“This hymnal is a work of incredible scholarship which puts the fruit of that scholarship to work in a practical vehicle for opening the treasures of Catholic hymnody to the people.”
—|Rev’d Fr Chris Smith (Pastor, Prince of Peace Catholic Church)
ODAY I received my copy of the Choral Supplement for the Brébeuf hymnal, which completes the set. (Organ accompaniments and the pew edition were released last year.) The dictionary defines “supplement” as: Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. Some companies publish a “choir edition” that’s basically a pew edition with harmonies, but the Brébeuf approach is different. This larger book (1,192 pages!) carefully notates every single verse, which is a singer’s dream! As a supplement, it must be used in conjunction with the pew edition. Inclusion of all the pew edition material—literal translations, theological annotations, color plates, composer biographies, and so forth—would have made the Choral Supplement thousands of pages long and too heavy. The Brébeuf series is revolutionary. It was designed by and for priests and musicians serving in real-life parishes across the globe!
* Purchase the Choral Supplement
—1,192 pages, Hardcover, Smyth-Sewn, 7.44×9.69.
The Choral Supplement must be used in conjunction with the pew edition.
The size of the Choral Supplement compared to similar publications:
The width of the Choral Supplement is spectacular:
It has been shrink-wrapped, to protect such a precious book:
The formatting must have taken years! There’s not an inch of wasted “blank” space. This was done to make the Choral Supplement as lightweight as possible:
Total number of hymns? No other publication even comes close to the Brébeuf hymnal:
It’s remarkable that the Brébeuf Choral Supplement has twice as many pages as the London Oratory Hymn Book, yet the Brébeuf is slightly less heavy:
Each verse in the Choral Supplement has been deliberately and meticulously written out in a brilliant and powerful way!!! It’s truly astounding no other publication has done this before:
* PDF Download • TESTIMONIALS
(Read what the experts have to say about this new Catholic hymn book.)
The Brébeuf hymnal was formulated based on the needs of practicing musicians. Some elements which set the Brébeuf hymnal apart:
• Painstakingly formatted staves, making life easy for the singer;
• Writing out each verse, rather than “stacking” verses;
• “Common melodies” (explanation), which congregations absolutely love;
• Plenty of hymns for each season and feast, including e.g. the Baptism of the Lord;
• Theological and textual annotations;
• Major emphasis on translations by Catholic priests and bishops;
• Total avoidance of unnecessary page turns.
Visit the Brébeuf Website to hear SATB video recordings, download the hymn index, and much more!
Catholics who purchased the Brébeuf pew edition say:
(1) Church musician friends; Buy yourselves a copy of the Saint Brébeuf Hymnal. This is a revolution in Catholic hymnody. I am astounded into silence at the care put into this hymnal—its simplicity, its theological depth, everything. Just buy and swim in the theology!
(2) Hymnal received! You are right to be proud of your work, this is a treasure.
(3) Just wanted to let you know that a friend of mine got a Brébeuf Hymnal and is thrilled with it. She texted me: “I can’t stop looking at the contents”—and she had an emoji of a person happily dancing on a keyboard.
(4) Outstanding! From cover to cover is just phenomenal.
(5) Music at Mass should be an opportunity for worshiping God. May I suggest a movement to get the Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal (published 24 December 2018) into your parish? I bought a copy because as a teen I was in five choirs: three constantly, two when they needed the young soprano. I love to sing. I had friends who graduated with degrees in sacred music/church music. I have sung a LOT of amazing church music, and the Catholic Church may be the One True Church but the hymnals…sigh! Sorry I probably sound like a commercial, but this hymnal is the most amazing one I have ever had my hands on, and I have a fair few on my bookshelves. It is designed to be a Catholic hymnal; the texts are theologically fabulous (I have a Masters in Theological Studies and am a Bible loving geek); and this is awesome—like having a catechism in the music! I also have a teaching certification, and this music would help teach the faith to children in a way they will never forget! “Sung learning” is internalized deeply as it is heard, read, and physically sung—so it sticks. This hymnal is full of SINGABLE tunes, many of them very old. The lyrics are translations of traditional songs that go way back—like 4th century—and they are just beautiful. The Latin is there, side by side with a more literal translation for understanding, and it tells you what tunes will fit the Latin. There are also carefully selected English translations—all footnoted so you can do research if you want—but there, and clear, and orthodox, and gorgeous! They limited the total number of tunes used to help a congregation to master the singing, so that they can gradually come to where they no longer have to struggle because the tunes will become familiar! This is better than any of the protestant hymnals. I keep spreading the word: THIS should be the hymnal in every Catholic parish; and just do all the singing from it! Everyone who is capable of singing will WANT to sing these songs.
(6) The Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal is quite unlike any other (allegedly) Catholic hymnal you’ve ever seen. Because it actually is a Catholic hymnal—(so far as I know) no other so-called “Catholic hymnal” that’s currently published consists solely and exclusively of music that’s actually fully and completely Catholic in both origin and expression. Hymns selected from the Church’s wonderful tradition and glorious treasury of sacred music, dating back through the centuries to the time of Ambrose and Augustine. […] And alongside these beautiful Latin hymns are printed—and designated as “Assistance for comprehension”—the best literal English translations of these hymns I’ve ever seen. By these criteria, no other Catholic hymnal of which I’m aware comes close to the new standard set by the Saint Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal.
(7) I’m sure many of you are already familiar with this book, but I’ve never encountered such a prolific and astoundingly interesting hymnal, that includes researched and annotated writings as this one. It is just as much a lesson in theology, Christian tradition, the history of sacred hymnody, and inspiring Christian bio-epic of the North American martyrs as it is a hymnal. It could easily stand as a primary text to a course, and is almost overkill as a pew aid. Do yourself a favor…. buy a copy. I just read it for an hour and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m hanging on every word.