Vatican II Hymnal

Question: Are these hymns Catholic in origin…or are some of the protestant hymns that are used by Catholics…some of the are familiar to me from having heard them in protestant churches as a child.

Thank you,.

Perhaps you could explain what exactly is a “Vatican II hymnal”?

FWIW - I understood it to be this: Corpus Christi Watershed - Vatican II Hymnal

Ha ha. You were ready!

Thank you. I am surprised that anyone would name a hymnal that.

YW - it is a rather interesting, some may say “bold” name choice, but it is offered as an "orthodox"hymnal and thus the name choice is somewhat supportive of the Pontiff’s teaching on the intended nature of the Council (vs. what might otherwise be taken as an unfortunate allusion to the near-mythical “spirit of V2”).

I’m no expert, but from what I have read of it, it seems to be an attempt at that calling. It includes music for both the OF and EF, with Latin settings. So, one could say on the surface that it is an attempt at a “traditional” hymnal (over 700 pages worth), set for modern context with both forms of the Mass supported (hence the V2 moniker, perhaps).

I’m eager to see the opinions of other who are more familiar with the work.

I think they chose that name to be intentionally ironic and bold. I quite like it.

Seems that way. Do you have any insights on the content of the hymnal? Like the OP, I am genuinely curious …


To answer your question the vast majority of the hymns in this hymnal are non-Catholic in origin (mainly Anglican but also some Lutheran and others from the free chuches) There are also quite a number of english translations of Latin hymns and poems by 19th Century Anglicans. Most of these hymns are very beautiful and have been approved for inclusion in Catholic hymnals.

Interesting observations. Of course, with respect to origin, the same can be said of many Christmas Carols that are popularly used in the Catholic Church, and throughout Christianity in general. It is reassuring though that these hymns are, as you said, approved for inclusion in Catholic Hymnals.

BTW - with respect to the name, it is not the first. I stumbled upon this on

(1975)Vatican II HymnalTerry Haws

Thanks YTC! I have seen this via the website, yet as my experience is more attuned to Eastern Catholic chant tradition, I am not well-equipped to evaluate to “orthodoxy” of this hymnal. Yet, I am interested in the rich musical history of the Latin Church, and would like to have a solidly orthodox, Catholic Hymnal among my reference works. This one has been recommended, but I’m not entirely sure its the right one as yet.

It is an excellent publication. Of course, not as excellent as the Graduale Romanum and Liber Usualis, but better than what the vast majority of parishes use no doubt.

Anything put out by CC Watershed is highly trustworthy. I’ve worked with them many times personally. My men’s Gregorian chant group, the Brazos Valley Schola Cantorum, sang for a wedding while they filmed a documentary on it: Quis Non Amantem. Very professional. Very orthodox. I make no money off supporting them. They’re just that good.

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