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American Catholic Hymnbook Reviews

American Catholic Hymbook

Read what the National Association of Pastoral Musicians' newsletter had to say about the American Catholic Hymnbook:
A review by Barbara Ryan. Reprinted with permission from the Newsletter of the Director of Music Ministries of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

The American Catholic Hymnbook, edited by the Reverend Michael Gilligan, is a successor to The Johannine Hymnal and an attractive contribution to the parish music scene. Representing composers from Bach to Zahara, and offering selections from chant to the very contemporary, it contains more than 600 individual musical items, most of which would be useful in the average parish. If you are looking for the text for Silent Night in Polish or Italian, it's here. There are quite a few Spanish texts, more Latin texts, and a smattering of French and German for the occasions when they are needed.

The hymnal is arranged alphabetically by title/first line and is well indexed. I do wish that they had included a metrical index, but everything else is there--hymn of the day, psalms--thematic combined with the liturgical year, songs for children.

Almost all the selections contain chords for guitarists, except for a few chant Mass settings. Included are the most popular "contemporary" items from other publishers: St. Louis Jesuits, Taizé, Landry, Colgan, Gélíneau, Joncas, Haugen, Haas, Wise, and Blunt. Walker and Miffleton are here as well. Most of the music is in good keys for congregational singing, probably due to the inclusion of guitar notation.

Excellent texts with familiar tunes

The attractive art work is by Virginia Broderick; the foreword is by Archbishop Weakland. The supplementary materials on the Liturgy of the Hours, Christian initiation of children and adults, funerals, communal penance, and eucharistic exposition should prove helpful, since they are arranged in the order of worship. If you're involved in Renew or Christ Renews His Parish, you'll find some suitable programming suggestions. The editor has set some of his own texts to traditional tunes; and there are some excellent texts with familiar tunes for saint's days, holy days, and national holidays.

If you are considering moving a step up from missalettes and the printed-on-newsprint annual hymnals, this is an alternative worth looking at.

To order, go directly to our site, ACP Publications.




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Phone: (708) 331-5485   Fax: (708) 331-5484