Christopher Mahon had a lovely piece up about hymnals recently that has inspired me to share some observations.
I come from a parish that can rock the house singing Onward Christian Soldiers a cappella in four-part harmony. It’s something we’re known to do. But even in the old blue hymnals we acquired probably from some Anglican church’s dustbin there is lots of writing in pencil by some busy-body would-be feminist crossing out “masculine” language about the Deity and so on. I feel perfectly comfortable identifying with the Christian soldiers marching as to war, since I know we are in a war, a spiritual battle.
I cannot tell you how much I detest so-called “inclusive” language or “dynamic equivalent” translations—because they are so often done by people with a tin-ear for poetry and a soul attuned more to the zeitgeist than the Holy Spirit.
A few years ago, around Christmas, I went to a nearby basilica and I think it may have been a Christmas concert with a children’s choir performing. Anyway, I picked up the hymnal and first of all, it only had one line of music, and secondly, instead of Good Christian Men Rejoice, it read, “Good Christians all rejoice!”
I was incensed. I nearly threw the hymnal across the nave. Whatever hymnals we end up using in the Ordinariates, may they be old fashioned, full of masculine language that is full of theological import. May our priests continue to choose hymns for Sundays that go with the readings and the liturgical season.
Generations have been robbed robbed ROBBED! Cheated of their patrimony! The libs who controlled the interpretation of the Council on liturgy and music stole from us our treasury of sacred music and, in doing so, opened our liturgical worship up to tinkeritis and ditties so bad that not even a radical cephalectomy could remove the bad taste. When they destroyed Latin worship, the doors of our treasury were slammed shut and, into the vacuum, rushed slapped together dreck inspired by commercial jingles and sitcom tunes.
But I digress.
I would like for one of these groups systematically to record the chants for ordinaries and propers for feasts.
When we get enough critical mass in the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society and perhaps get some people on board who are good at fundraising, we would perhaps like to commission a recording of the chants for our Sundays, feasts and solemnities. We hope to start doing it on a small scale with hopes of making a fully professional version down the road.