The Pange Lingua Hymnal, compiled by Paul Newton (Corpus Christi College, Melbourne, 2001, RRP $7.00 postage included). Available from Paul Newton, Corpus Christi College, 180 Drummond Street, Carlton, Vic 3053, email: email@example.com)
Responding to the production of a new hymnal by one of his seminarians, Archbishop George Pell wrote to its editor: "The book is very nicely produced and I can see why it has earned Bishop Hart's congratulations. Well done on this practical and devotional initiative. I hope that the hymnal has great success and will certainly bring it to the attention of interested parties."
The Pange Lingua Hymnal is a very welcome addition to the many musical resources currently available for parish and devotional use. The young editor's hope is that the immense wealth of Catholic hymnody remain available and used by the worshippers of the third Christian millennium. Many will be comforted and encouraged by this new collection of well known and much-loved hymns and familiar melodies.
The young editor, Paul Newton, is a seminarian at Melbourne's Corpus Christi College. He has left no stone unturned in collating an affordable hymnal [spiral bound accompaniment and paperback people's edition for popular use]. Every hymn is free of copyright. He has assembled 174 hymns and Latin chants, and put them under various headings: Christmas, Lent, Easter, Saints, Thanks and Praise, etc. Everyone's favourites are there. The Marian section is very abundant - 28 hymns, including a very beautiful new composition by the editor. Every hymn has full musical accompaniment, and the indices are very comprehensive.
It is pleasing to see that the Church's desire for dignified music and hymns that express the mystery of faith is now finding a response in the work of hymn writers and those who undertake the collation of hymnals. After many years, the Church's English and Latin heritage is returning to the surface. Now, let those responsible for music in our parishes - including priests who have a special responsibility for the Sacred Liturgy - rediscover these riches, and commit themselves and their communities to good music and meaningful words which sing of the mystery of God.
Fr Gregory Pritchard is parish priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Ringwood, in the Melbourne Archdiocese.