I have some good news for Bruce Dawe ("The Salami Treatment", December 2004-January 2005 AD2000) and others like him who love and understand the value of hymns.
Catholics now have means to hear and sing some of the beautiful hymns which have been sung around Australia for decades through a collection of 132 of them recently released under the title of "A Heritage of Traditional Catholic Hymns".
The collection is made up of six albums each containing 22 hymns which can be obtained separately or in a box set on CD or audio cassette. Gathered together are selections of hymns sung in the Liturgy of the Mass, hymns for the various seasons of the Church, a wide variety of hymns for devotions and feast days (including Latin hymns with translations) and those to popular saints such as St Joseph, St Anne, St Anthony, St Therese and the angels.
Each album is accompanied by a 32 page colour booklet containing all the words of the hymns and the birth and death dates of the composer and lyricists to help identify the period from which the hymn comes.
Decorating the booklets are over 100 photos with notes which include reproductions of old masters as well an impressive number of photos of people, places and events from Catholic history in Australia.
St Augustine said: "This also is our daily bread: the readings you hear each day in church and the hymns you hear and sing. All these are necessities for our pilgrimage."
Hymn singing has never been limited to the time we participate at Mass or devotions in church. Early Christians could be heard singing hymns from their prison cells and hymns have also been sung in homes in the prayer life of the family or during prayer group meetings.
For a free catalogue which lists all the hymns and gives details of each booklet write to The Cantabile Singers Inc, PO Box 3162, Loganholme, Qld 4129, or phone: (07) 3807 1310 or (07) 3287 5320