We are lucky here in the Blue Mountains to have a Latin Mass each Sunday at Lawson. Unfortunately we don’t have a choir, the organ is temperamental and the hymnbooks need editing.

The Woodford Hymnal is an attempt to make a new hymnbook for accompanying the Latin Mass. Unlike the New Book of Old Hymns, music is not included – just the words.

Recently I had the good fortune to attend the Latin Mass in Canberra. The choir finished with a rousing Holy God, we praise Thy Name. Unfortunately I did not pick up a hymn sheet on the way in and thought it wouldn’t matter as I had a hymnbook with me (the Marist Brothers’ Hymn Book). But not content with the standard 2-3 verse rendition, the choir went on for seven verses (or was it eight?).

So this hymnbook will have lots of verses. Any choir is free to skip verses if time presses, but the pew books will be fully equipped with all the Catholic poetry available.

Another thing is the benefit of having both Latin and English versions of each hymn.

Looking at the layout of different hymnbooks was instructive too. Thanks to generous souls I have a copy of the Westminster Hymnal’s pew book, which is remarkably similar to the Living Parish little red book that is in use at the Maternal Heart of Mary Church. Unfortunately the drop cap package doesn’t work with the centering verses package in LaTeX, if anyone has a solution for that, please drop me a line.

Would anyone else be interested in such a hymnbook?

Does anyone know about the process of getting ecclesiastical approval for such an endeavour? Is it necessary? How many years does it usually take? Is there a short way?

Then would a matching Organ Edition be in order? And a Choir Edition?