Friday, July 06, 2007


I revisited the question of getting new hymnals today with my priest. He had mentioned it two weeks ago, and I was excited. (sorry, I can't remember how much of this I have posted before.) But now I'm not. Really, there's just like 4 or 5 hymns that I REALLY wish our hymnal (Ritual Song) had (Be Thou My Vision, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Beautiful Saviour/Fairest Lord Jesus, Adoro Te Devote, Ave Verum) that's all I can think of at the moment. The thing my priest hates the most is the inclusive language. Apparently Worship I or II doesn't have inclusive language? anyone know? And that does bring us to another possibility...buying the old hymnals of another church who is replacing them? Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

The policy of Worship II was that "hymns in English do not need translation." So that means no gender-neutral language. I have a copy of W2, and I must say that while I appreciate the fidelity to texts, they included some really odd hymns and like most Catholic hymnals excluded some fantastic protestant hymns.

My advice is to focus on integration of propers, but also when you need a hymn that's not in there, run off copies of it. Most of the good ones are public domain, so go nuts.


Vox Cantor said...

Catholic Book of Worship II, not III EVER, is a good hymnal by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1980. You can pick up copies on the internet at or

Cantor said...

I think Adoremus might be your only bet for a non-gender-neutered Catholic hymnal. That or maybe St. Michael. Gavin’s point is well-taken; until a publisher rises to the occasion and gives us (back) non-neutered texts, the best thing may be to use worship aids.

Worship II is a funny hymnal - some gems in there, but some laughably bad ones, too. One goes “He’s BAACK from the land of the living, the man we decided to KILL!” - and to this fast boom-chick-boom-chick accompaniment. Even worse than “The King of Glory”.

That said, for all the contempt people throw in OCP’s direction, they are better about this than GIA is; I was surprised to find “come to thee, O Israel” in “O Come, O Come”, for instance.

Also, can I respectfully refer you to this blog post on the term “inclusive language”? (Especially Ephrem’s comment.)

Mara Joy said...

I just posted this on that thread in your blog, but I'll re-post it here cuz no one probably goes back and reads year-old archives:

I think the problem comes in that those who are pro-inclusive language, are the ones who coined and encourage the term. The rest of us just go along with it because everyone knows what we mean. It's like how those who are pro-abortion are called "pro-choice," and try to call those against it "anti-abortion" instead of pro-life. And is your final point then (what I am agreeing with) that by using the term "inclusive language" instead of "gender-neutral" actually giving in to, and forwarding the agenda of those who advocate it?

Cantor said...

Yes, that essentially is my point: by acquiescing to use of the term “inclusive language” instead of “gender-neutral”, those of us who advocate for “gender-specific” language concede a psychological advantage to the other side.

Your point, though, is well-taken; “gender-neutral” and “gender-specific” are terms that would have to be explained before using them in discussion.

Brian Michael Page said...

I don't have Worship I. I do recall in the preface of Worship II where it said that the so-called "translation from English to English is a regrettable practice", and that "hymn texts are poetry and not conversational English".

Back then, inclusive language was nearly unheard of yet (Worship II was published in 1975). But there was that "thee/thou/thy" to "you/your" phenomenon.