Worship, Third, Points of View III

worship thirdThe third edition of Worship might have been the number one organ hymnal for Catholics for an entire generation. I’ll bring this series to a close here, I think. I looked at the next 25 texts, numbers 552 through 577 (one repeat).

For these hymns 7 out of 25 had Scripture cited or paraphrased, leaving us a bit below 40% for this chunk out of the middle of the hymnal. I found this ran the gamut between something like “We Walk By Faith” which is an uncredited nod to 2 Corinthians 5:7 and “Sing Alleluia, Praise The Lord,” a metrical setting of Psalm 150 translated from 16th century German and set to a tune by Heinrich Schütz.

“Faith of Our Fathers,” a piece I’ve never much cared for, had but one reference to God, and it was one of 15 texts that refers to God in the third person. This is largely what I counted in the previous fifty selections: two third of these texts cite God as “Him” or equivalent.

Liam has it right: a lot of the references in the Psalms are to God in this way. I don’t know that it makes a huge difference in the big picture. Two of my favorites though, go the other way. Jan Struther’s “Lord of All Hopefulness” and George Herbert’s “Come, My Way …” are back-to back in this section. Why the latter is pitched in e-flat, rather than a dulcimer-friendly D remains a mystery to me.

Again, nearly everything here is a hymn with stanzas. There are three Taize pieces in these twenty-five, including one of my favorites, “Confitemini Domino.”

In the blizzard of German tunes are a few gems from other lands, like Ash Grove attached here to the text “Let All Things Now Living.”

Last comments?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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6 Responses to Worship, Third, Points of View III

  1. Liam says:

    There’s one lovely new text in there: Morning Glory, Starlit Sky, the original form of which was published in a book “Love’s Endeavour, Love’s Expense”. Then the author died, and his estate got rigid for a long time about refusing to permit further publication of the adapted (by the original author, mind you) version. The best tune is not in Worship III, but in an arrangement by Barry Rose, who at the time was organist of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Anyway, the text is a perfect setup for Christ the King, especially Years B and C; of course, it can be used at other times, as well.

  2. I think you’ve missed the mark widely in your exegetical process of review, Todd. The criteria of the three critiques is fairly narrow and personal in my estimation. From the get go, I would contend that the hymnal of generations is the second edition, not III. Why have you never cared for “Faith of our fathers?” Never mind that question. Would you assign its space to “Anthem” or “Gather us in?” as improvements? And as far as the Herbert/RVW “The Call,” neither of them are likely to haunt you if you take it down a half step and out of modality to D (Major). “Ash grove” is sing-able, as are most “celtic” tunes, but for gems I’d call out “Ard hy y nos….The summons….St. Patrick’s breastplate” and a host of other more powerful melodies.
    For my version of a hymnal review, I’ll repost a 1996 version of a review of ADOREMUS at the dormant Musica Optima site.

    • Todd says:

      This was never intended to be a comprehensive review. More of a review, if you catch my distinction. It was sparked by the notice of a few select hymns in the 500’s while on retreat. What I observed was a certain distance in the relationship with God. Certainly the Bible includes such a perspective in the Psalms, as Liam noted. I have the freedom to note that and take exception to it, right? Nobody, to my knowledge, has looked at much of this since Voice of God was debunked a decade ago.

      Worship II is a hymn collection, and not as much of a liturgical book envisioned by the GIA braintrust in its post-1980 publications. W2 strikes me as a gathering of texts and tunes, and by the way, readings. W3 leans away from the four-hymn sandwich (classic edition) and more to singing the liturgy (again, classic interpretation). That’s not to say W2 isn’t a worthy collection. Compared to later efforts it has disadvantages.

      Faith Of Our Fathers strikes me as a bit saccharine. Personal view, I admit. It’s not a text the illuminates; it’s more of a catechetical history lesson. Biggest flaw: less focus on God, more on faith, which might be good. Or it might mean merely the trappings and peripherals of faith.

      As for a genre preference to it, I’d say “America The Beautiful.”

      • Melody says:

        We haven’t used Worship in the parishes I have belonged to. For the past several years our group has used OCP’s Choral Praise. Which is good but sometimes limited. So we supplement with other sources. Can’t say I like ” Faith of Our Fathers” either. Maybe because I am asked to play it every single national holiday. I much prefer “My Country Tis of Thee” for a patriotic song. We use quite a few Celtic tunes; “The King of Love” is one of our pastor’s favorites. Hyfrydol is a versatile tune used for many hymns. I don’t care for either the tune Kelvingrove or its hymn, “The Summons”. The words are so clunky and awkward, I mean,”..will you love the ‘you’ you hide..”, seriously? I wish more Catholic hymnals had “I Bind Unto Myself” (St. Patrick’s Breastplate). It seems to be Anglican, even if it is in honor of St. Patrick.

      • Liam says:

        “The words are so clunky and awkward, I mean,”..will you love the ‘you’ you hide..”, seriously?”

        Indeed, the open snickers that caused in a former community of mine caused The Summons to be retired after a few airings years ago, especially when it got the nickname “the UU song”. I don’t remember the last time I’ve encountered it. It’s an unfortunate verse – unripe, formally. (It’s just poorly constructed and just should never have gotten by an editor in that form – it’s not same category as pronunciation humor victims, e.g., “Come Thou O Kinky Turtle”. But don’t get me started on the lack of good editing in the past generation.)

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