Musicians fulfill an important and necessary function in the sacred liturgy of the Catholic Church. Catholic Hymn Book: A Collection of Hymns, Anthems, for All Holydays of Obligation and Devotion Throughout the Year contains a list of the best known hymns of the Catholic Church. They are meant to be used throughout the year rather than simply during holidays.
The Vatican II Council Fathers stressed "active participation" of all the faithful during mass. What better way to be active in worship than to sing hymns with the choir? Unfortunately, after Vatican II, choirs nearly disappeared from the Catholic liturgy. But this book predates Vatican II, enabling readers to re-discover forgotten hymns that were once an integral part of mass every Sunday.
For example, At the Cross Her Station Keeping (Stabat Meter) was once used on the Friday before Palm Sunday and on September 15 for the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary. It is rarely used in Catholic Church today. But Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time and it is worth reading in this volume.
There are also a handful of hymns by Father Faber, a Catholic priest who had converted from Anglicanism. He was well known for his hymns, including Faith of Our Fathers, which is one of the most popular songs today even in Protestant congregations. The authors of the hymns are not listed, and in many cases authorship is actually unknown. This is not a drawback to this collection of hymns because the focus is on the message not the messenger.
Since this is a hymn book, it only includes the text of the lyrics without sheet music. The table of hymns is organized by first line, which makes it easy to find what you are looking for. Some of the hymns have lovely lyrics that seem like poems. Christians can learn about their church and its traditions by reading through the hymns.
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