First draft of hymnal is available!

After a year of work on the Hymnal Project, and a great deal of input from cantors (thank you all!), the first formatted draft of the new hymnal is available:

Hymnal – draft – 2019-09

I think you will be happy with the results;  there  are some new additions, many old favorites, and I THINK we have corrected most most of the places where the music seemed a bit off. I have incorporated all comments i have  received to date, including some very valuable feedback from the annual Labor Day pilgrimage to Mount Saint Macrina.

If you are interested in our paraliturgical hymns and spiritual songs, I would greatly appreciate it if you could:

  • Download the draft hymnal
  • Look it over and see if:
    • anything is missing that should be there
    • you find any typos or obvious mistakes.

Initial versions of all entries are pretty much settled EXCEPT for an alternate, somewhat more complicated version of Rejoice,  O purest Queen (Radujsja Carice), which was requested by cantor Joseph Ferenchick, it can be found in English and Slavonic after page 59 (and if we use it, several other hymns like O Father Nicholas would likely change to the more intricate version).

In three weeks, I plan to send the hymnal to the Inter-Eparchial Music Commission for their review and any changes, so please let me know what you find before then!  Also, if you have questions about anything in the draft hymnal, please leave them in a comment below.

5 thoughts on “First draft of hymnal is available!”

  1. Father Deacon Jeff, my compliments to you and the cantors that contributed to this Hymnal Project over the course of the past year. A solid start to a project that has been long overdue for our Metropolitan Church, and it’s nice to see the interest and forward progress.

    Regarding the inclusion of LITURGICAL HYMNS – In general, I would recommend inclusion of liturgical hymns from the Divine Office (examples: Polyeleos, Canticle of the Theotokos, Festal Exaltations, “By the Rivers of Babylon”) in any proposed hymnal collection.

    Facing the reality that many of our parishes have not yet been able to restore either the Office of Matins or the Office of Vespers into their regular liturgical cycle, including these selections gives an opportunity to keep this hymnody alive in those communities – potentially sowing the seeds for an eventual restoration of these services.

    I would agree that, in parishes where the full cycle of services is celebrated, using these liturgical hymns outside of the Office of Matins or the Office of Vespers could weaken their liturgical role.

    1. Thank you! As regards liturgical hymns: several of these are already in the Divine Liturgies book, and I don’t see a real need to incorporate those into the hymnal unless we also wanted/needed to provide Slavonic versions as well. If you mean the festal magnifications at Matins (the ones for the Divine Liturgy are already in the book for that service), there are a LOT of those, and including them would mean turning the hymnal into more of an anthology like the Velikoj Sbornik. In general, I would rather keep this book for the singing before and after liturgical services.

      That having been said, I WOULD like to see “By the rivers of Babylon” added just before the Great Fast. The problem is that we are still waiting for the bishops to approve the proposed texts for Matins. We MIGHT go ahead with what we have, in the meantime.

      Also – the Canticle of the Theotokos (Magnificat) has a VERY easy refrain for the faithful to sing, and I see no need at all to put all the verses in front of them, particularly not in a paraliturgical hymal. What would you think of simply publishing a leaflet from the MCI with this canticle, for use whenever parishes wanted it?

      1. “By the rivers of Babylon” would be a wonderful addition to the hymnal.

        For the Canticle of the Theotokos, we include the music for the refrain on the faithful’s handout, and the cantors sing the verses from Luke. So, your proposed solution makes sense.

        I did mean the Festal Magnifications from Matins, but I acknowledge the logistical challenge with including them in the hymnal. Our parish sings these during the Festal Anointing (Mirovanije) on the Feast itself and any Post-Festive Sunday following the Divine Liturgy.

        Given the size of the Hymnal, we may want to consider breaking it into volumes.

        Volume I – Eucharistic Hymns, Hymns to Our Lord, Liturgical Hymns (“Every Day” Hymns)
        Volume II – Marian Hymns
        Volume III – Nativity & Theophany
        Volume IV – Triodion
        Volume V – Pentecostarion

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