Hymnals for English Mass?


What hymnal do you use for English Mass? Do differerent countries use different ones?
I am Swedish so I know very little about this.
I think I saw Collegeville hymnals (if I remember the name correctly) at English Mass this evening which I never really attend.


In Canada we have a national hymnal called the Catholic Book of Worship (there have been three editions of those, the original, CBW II, and CBW III). We also have Celebrate in Song that was issued with settings of the Mass when the new translation came into effect in 2011. I think the copyrights are limited to use in Canada, but I’m not sure.

Parishes also use Glory and Praise and Breaking Bread. Those 4 are generally the ones you see in the pews in the various English parishes.



So people in Canada buy 4 hymnals?

And where can I find the chants, eg Mystery of faith, used at Mass?
Should I get the Collegeville hymnal?


JourneySongs 3rd edition has all three cycles of Sunday Readings and Holy days and english hymns inclusing Latin ones. https://www.ocp.org/en-us/hymnals/B20 Goes for $19. It is a more sound solution rather than the disposable scripture that is found in many US churches.


The three big Catholic music publishers in the US are OCP, GIA, and WLP. Each has its own hymnals.




Typically, the Church buys the hymnals. I don’t think most people buy their own. The parishes I’ve visited that used Breaking Bread had nothing else. Some parishes have the CBW III and Celebrate in Song plus Glory and Praise. Our Parish uses CBW II & III and Celebrate in Song.


How are you to practice music without a hymnal?

And what about the collegeville hymnal?


Are you in the choir? Nobody else I know practices. Most people in the pews in my parish don’t read music so a hymnal is of no use to them outside of Mass where they use them for the lyrics. Those in the choir can take a hymnal home to practice.

I don’t know the Collegeville hymnal.


Is that the hymnal your parish uses?

If the idea is to be able to practice ahead of time I suppose you would want to match what your parish uses. While there overlap between them, they all have some unique pieces of music.

I just played on Google. It appears that the Collegeville hymnal hasn’t been updated to match the most recent English translation of the Mass. That’s probably why people aren’t as familiar with it.


Not in the choir!
I mean, there would be no use for sheet music if you dont practice music. Hymnals help people learn the hymns. If people just sing by ear at church then no hymnal is needed.
But this is not the topic here.


In USA, I commonly see churches using “Breaking Bread” (a combined missal-hymnal put out by OCP Publications) and “Gather” (a hymnal published by GIA Publications). Some churches also use an additional hymnal with more contemporary hymns (I think “Glory and Praise” by OCP would fall in this category), or print out the lyrics to contemporary Christian songs for people to use for Sunday Mass. However, “Breaking Bread” and “Gather” are pretty standard and combined, contain several hundred hymns for all occasions.

People don’t buy their own hymnals. The Church buys enough for the congregation to use and puts them in the pews for use at church. You’re supposed to leave them there, unless you are in the choir or music ministry and have permission to take one home to help you choose hymns or practice.

People who aren’t in the choir or music ministry don’t practice singing at home.

I’ve never seen or heard of a “Collegeville Hymnal”.


Thank you for sharing the three publishers !! In Oregon, we order everything from OCP. I didn’t know we have more options !!!


Churches usually have hymnals sitting at the pews for congregations to use. Some more music loving people do actually sing the hymns at home :slight_smile: it can be fun. Owning your own book ( or books ) of hymns would be great for learning lyrics and tunes. It might be good to observe which hymnal is used at your own parish, decide if you like the song selections, before buying your own copy.


St. Michael’s is one that has a good assortment of classic English hymns in addition to Latin, with the entrance antiphons for each Sunday included along with arrangements for them.


“Worship” by GIA is pretty decent as far as hymnals go. My parish uses the “St. Michael hymnal.”

“Breaking Bread” and “Gather” (ugh) drive me crazy. And anything published by OCP. I’m surprised Archbishop Sample hasn’t reigned them in yet.


OCP, in general… ugh

The fact that they’re printed like phone books is logical - they’re meant to be hip and current, whereas St. Michael’s are an actual hymnal, bound and designed to last a lifetime, like the hymns within.


Well, the advantage of them is that they’re also designed to be missalettes, which means that the parish doesn’t have to order seperate ones throughout the year. So you can update the music yearly as well. The problem is that the new music added is usually just whatever trite banalities that are churned out by OCP every year.


The parishes I’ve been to usually have them in separate, similar volumes - So, you could purchase the OCP missalettes and not their hymnals.

Or just find another company for missalettes altogether.


That’s what we do. OCP missalette and St. Michael Hymnal.


Ah, I see. I think I’ve been to parishes that have done this. Most of my experience with OCP has been their annual combined missalette & hymnal.

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