Guidelines for a New Hymnal

In order to arrive at your destination, you first have to decide what it IS. With that in mind, I’d like to propose some general guidelines for the content of a new hymnal for the Byzantine Catholic Church in the US.

  • It should contain all the hymns routinely sung in our churches, in both English and (where appropriate) the original languages such as Rusyn and Hungarian, with suitable pronunciation helps, and literal translations (though these may be made available separately rather than in the hymnal itself).
  • Hymns in English should be singable, correctly accented, and accord with our theology and spirituality.
  • All text and music should be properly credited where the originator(s) can be identified.
  • The hymnal should be organized in such a way that it is easy to locate desired hymns.

In addition:

  • When a hymn has several verses, there should be regular: that is, slurs should occur in particular places, and accents should not move from one verse to the next.
  • When the same melody is used for several different hymns, the same basic form of the melody should be used.
  • Notated music should be clear: in particular, any harmonization should be in a supplement rather than in the main hymnal.

Please post your thoughts and suggestions below!

One thought on “Guidelines for a New Hymnal”

  1. Pentecost Sunday is next week. We have been singing a (test) hymn verse to the Holy Spirit for “So Great is God”. We tried it in a few parishes and they like it. I had submitted it to MCI with the music almost 2 years ago, and I was wondering if it can be accepted into the book to be sung for Pentecost & maybe post it.

    The verse goes like this:
    “O Holy Spirit of God the Father, Reflected through Christ in True harmony,
    with You may we sing our praises of Glory with fullness mankind can ever proclaim,
    O Holy One, come fill us with graces, mercy and truth, for You are the life of all.”
    (And repeat the last verse).
    Is this interpretation correct & should it be published?

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