Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Old Latin hymns restored in the 1985 LH

An interesting article in the Corpus Christi Watershed blog about the old Latin hymns that were redone in Ciceronian style Latin in 1632 for the old Roman Breviary and still in effect today. Monastic orders were allowed to keep the ancient hymns and they are still sung by a few even today.
In 1985, these old Latin hymns were added to the LH. Check it out.

Urban VIII Consecrates St Peter's Basilica


  1. "In 1985, these old Latin hymns were added to the LH."

    1. it was in 1971 already (1985 is year of publication of LH, editio typica altera, which didn't change anything at all about the hymns)
    2. LH adds many ancient hymns that weren't part of the pre-Urbanian Breviarium Romanum
    3. "old Latin hymns" - yes, mostly, but in Fr. Lentini's redaction

    1. 1 It should be noted that the Vatican II restoration under Dom Anselmo Lentini also modified the ancient hymn texts in a reprehensible way. If mutual enrichment is to occur, the “corrections” by Lentini’s team must be fixed. This fact is probably overlooked because the Urbanite revisions have been condemned so universally, and the 1891 quote from M. Ulysse Chevalier sums up the matter succinctly: “The Jesuits have spoiled the work of Christian antiquity, under pretext of restoring the hymns in accordance with the laws of metre and elegant language.” —Ed. [ccwatershed.org]

    2. One noteworthy inclusion on which ICEL has expended great effort in their proposed revisions is the careful
      translation of the 291 proper hymns present in the Latin breviary. Largely neglected in the current English editions
      in favor of hymn texts from other sources, the Latin hymns are being faithfully and methodically translated with an
      eye toward maintaining the same rhythmic meters as the original Latin hymns. This would give future assemblies
      the option of singing the hymns either using the original chant melody, or, as is the case in the present edition, using
      a more familiar hymn tune which corresponds to the meter of the translated hymn text. Likewise, appropriate
      materials from other hymnals may also be sung (see GILH, no. 178). In addition, the Latin hymns undergoing
      translation should be of a high quality to promote recitation, when singing is not possible or advantageous.

  2. More on the Latin hymns in the LH from the New Liturgical Movement:
    Latin Hymns for the Liturgy of the Hours

  3. Another interesting article on the Latin hymns from the Musica Sacra Forum:
    Official Latin hymns already translated in the LOTH?

  4. Is there a good reference source for hymns that correspond to the LOTH? I would like to sing the ancient Latin hymns, but I would prefer a good English translation with music. I already have several Catholic hymnals, so I may already have the music!

    One of my dreams is to have a holy hour with my family (when the kids are just a little older.) It would be wonderful to sing a hymn, read the daily Mass readings, rosary, and saint of the day with prayers from the breviary. Even better perhaps if we could use music? I wonder if anyone had any suggestions. I imagine everyone could have a Bible and hymnal and would make a lovely prayer hour. After all the home is the domestic church!

  5. Jonny, check out Daria's post:

  6. Thanks, Michael! I am excited and intimidated at the same time.... I think I will obtain a copy- but I will have to learn how to read the music. Do you know if the Hymanl for Hours is a translation of the original Latin hymns, the 1632 Edition, or the Lintuni version???

  7. Jonny, before you spend your money, read this review from the New Liturgical Movement:

  8. In the grand perennial tradition of local Roman anti-papolatry, Pope Urban's contemporaries had some jabs unmatched in sharp wit against his clumsy neo-classicist restorationism, both in hymns and other artwork like Roman statuary.

    These included, "Accessit latinitas, recessit pietas" -- Latinity acceded, piety receded -- and "Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini" -- what even the barbarians did not do, that did Barberini (Urban VIII's birth name was Maffeo Barberini).

    All of your recent posts have been whetting the appetite for this revised breviary!

  9. Jonny, Hymnal for the Hours is worth every penny! (N.B. The melodies are in Gregorian chant notation, not modern; I personally find the traditional chant notation much easier.)

  10. And don't forget the wonderful ichant gregorian app if (like me) you do NOT find traditional notation easier. I never would have learned these hymns without this app. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bengeorge.ichant&hl=en

  11. Lord Jesus, please bless the USCCB, ICEL, and the Holy See and speed them along to give us the LOTH 2nd Edition ASAP...

    Every time I pray an Hour and see "text: Martin Luther" and think about these incredible hymns which are being worked on will be in the new LOTH, it makes me so excited for the new LOTH...

    The use of the RGP, the new Collects and the new English translations of the Latin hymnal are reason enough to get intensely excited for the new LOTH - let alone all the other revisions!

    God please give us the LOTH2E by Advent of 2011, please!!!

    1. It's well worth praying for all the people involved with this project and it looks as though a lot of work has been done already. It's a massive undertaking and very time consuming as we can all see. By the way, I presume you meant 2019. Cheers!

  12. Hi! Just thought I'd mention, in case anyone's interested in adding some Eastern Christian hymns to their repertoire, the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh has a page on their Cantor Institute page with links to some beautiful hymns. The ones for Lent (the Great Fast) are especially lovely. Hope you enjoy them! https://mci.archpitt.org/songs/index.html