The Hildegard Hymnal
The Hildegard Hymnal is a work-in-progress traditional Catholic hymnal. Named after Hildegard of Bingen, a medieval nun, composer, and doctor of the Church. This hymnal promises to bring musical treasures of our rich Catholic heritage to parishes overrun with modern musical junk in a compact and affordable but high quality permanent resource.
Why This Hymnal?
There are hundreds of hymnals in existence and even several traditional Catholic-friendly ones out there still in print. Here are the top ten things that make the Hildegard Hymnal different:
I. Unabridged Lyrics
No hymnal in existence (at least that we've come across) includes all the verses originally composed for certain hymn texts. Ignoring the strange modern practice of only singing one or two verses of a hymn simply because "there isn't enough time," the H.H. will include all the original lyrics so all may fully experience the original poetic prayers of the authors.
II. Both English and Latin Versions
Some modern hymnals cut out original Latin lyrics while some traditional hymnals do not include the English translations. We believe both practices are misguided and so include both Latin and English texts wherever available.
III. Promotion of Female Composers, Authors and Translators
The Hildegard isn't the first hymnal to be named after a woman, but it does strive to be the first hymnal with an unprecedented high percentage of works by female artists, both dead and living.
IV. More Saint Specific Hymns
Older Catholic hymnals (now out of print) were rich with hymns to specific saints. The H.H. hopes to resurrect some of these to provide a broad range of saintly hymns to enrich the communion of saints through song once again.
V. Hidden Gems
There are some literally fantastic hymns out there that don't seem to make it into hymnals very often, much less today. These we will also bring to the light in the hopes of broadening modern liturgical musician's visions of what good hymnody is.
VI. Alternate Tunes
Let's face it, some tunes (sorry, Beethoven) are just simply overplayed. They are a go-to hymn simply because the tune is so familiar. They are also paired an obscene amount of times with other texts that fit the meter. By pairing some of these texts with other tunes, we hope to bring fresh perspective to some legitimately worthy poetry.
VII. An Included Quick-Reference Hymn Plan
Near the back of the H.H., along with the usual multi-subject indices, will be an already planned out hymn selection list for each Sunday and feast day for all three liturgical years. For those who want to focus on the music instead of planning or perhaps need a quick second hymn for communion, this feature will be an invaluable inclusion.
VIII. Free Accompaniments
Yes, free. For the first time in history, there will be a hymnal that provides professional quality PDFs of all organ accompaniments associated with tunes in the H.H. You don't even need to buy a hymnal, just simply create a free user account to access our member's only content and download and print to your heart's desire. Printed books will also be available for purchase but we believe public domain content should be available for free.
IX. Dynamic Content
We know that one hymnal, especially a compact one, cannot appease everyone and include everyone's favorite hymn or chant. So if you see the included list and think "why didn't they include X, Y and Z?" fear not. Simply put in a request and if your hymn gets enough requests or is high on the list, it will be included in PDF form as a free download.
X. A Hymnal For The Modern Age
Designed and planned by active liturgical musicians, we understand some of the difficulties with and absurdities of certain large liturgical publication companies. They are wasteful and stuck in their ways and lock your parish into subscriptions. By implementing the above features, providing an extremely high quality product that will last for decades and actually listening to your requests we hope to provide some relief from these inflated institutions.