To do list: fixes to the Trinity Hymnal

Thanks to Finale, I’ve been working on a number of items for our congregational worship, such as setting texts from Christopher L. Webber’s A New Metrical Psalter to familiar hymn tunes.  (We’ve been using this Psalter a good deal, but since it’s words only I’ve been printing the words, with the tune above it.  This is the norm in UK and Australian hymnals, but here in the States people have grown up with words between the staves and it is very, very difficult for them to go back and forth between words and music.)  Here’s an example:

Another thing I’m doing is putting together some “fixes” to the 1990 Trinity Hymnal:  i.e., restoring some of the egregious omissions from that volume and undoing some of the more unhappy text/tune combinations.  At the top of my list:

  • Restore stanzas to “For All the Saints” (especially, “O blest communion, fellowship divine . . .”)
  • Pair “Praise the Lord, Ye Heav’ns, Adore Him” with AUSTRIAN HYMN.
  • Get the ending of AUSTRIAN HYMN right.  What was up with changing Haydn’s tune?  Stupidity or arrogance?  Or that attractive combination of both?
  • Restore the original rhythm of NEUMARK for “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee” and “By Grace I am an Heir of Heaven.” That isometric non-rhythm would make a Puritan yawn.
  • Restore all of Matthew Bridges’ text to “Crown Him With Many Crowns,” especially “Crown Him the Virgin’s Son, the God Incarnate born . . .”
  • Set “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” to MELITA.
  • Set “Look Ye Saints” to ALLA TRINITA BEATA.
  • Set “O Worship the King” and/or “Ye Servants of God” to HANOVER.
  • Put Van Dyke’s “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” back with ODE TO JOY instead of that starchy text they have with it now.  (One supposes they didn’t include Van Dyke’s text because he was a “liberal” Presbyterian, but then they turn around and include “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” by Sears, a Unitarian.  Go figure.  Or go don’t figure.  Don’t think.  Feel.  That must have been the philosophy.)

This is but the beginning.  I’ll be including all the service music (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, etc.) in several different settings, as well as the aforementioned metrical psalms.  When it’s all over, we will have a nice booklet that will go in the pews with the “official” hymnal.  No more inserts!  No more trying to read teeny-tiny printed music in the bulletin!


About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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6 Responses to To do list: fixes to the Trinity Hymnal

  1. MK says:

    Yea! That will be great to have all of those hymns in one booklet instead of on inserts.

  2. Cap'n Whook says:

    We mustn’t bore a Puritan.

    K. Lee Scott did a setting of “Joyful” that I remember the combined choirs at SU doing for the 1984 opening convocation. I don’t recall which text he used. It was unpublished then, did he ever publish that?

    An English text doesn’t produce the “barking seals” effect of the Beethoven’s adaptation of Schiller’s text. Did I just criticize Beethoven?[Insert a Merv Griffin, “Ooooooooo!”]

    I think you could copyright your eventual booklet as a compilation and the fixes as a derivative work.

  3. Ed Eubanks says:

    A booklet sounds like a great idea. You could put it together with something like CreateSpace and the rest of us could get it, too. (I’m assuming that the tunes and hymns you mentioned are in the public domain.)

    On another note: have you heard the wonderful tune Jeff Taylor did for “Look Ye Saints” which Michael Card recorded on his new Hymns CD? I’d love to have it in sheet music and do it in church– it strikes me as very singable.

  4. David Gilleran says:

    John, we are working on doing our own book. I am looking for music which can be sung by the person in the pew and with biblical content.

  5. In poking around at RLI I saw your blog. I would appreciate any feedback you might have about our Heart & Voice project. I also have lyrics for a number of psalms and hymns set to older tunes that might be of interest. Would you be at all interested in speaking at a future conference for us? Thanks!

  6. RevJATB says:


    Sounds great! I’ll send you an e-mail.

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