Karen Koester of Edmonton is one of seven members of a bishops’ advisory board that has been working on a new hymnal for Canadian churches that would replace the Catholic Book of Worship. Courtesy of Grandin Media

Canadian bishops approve new hymnal

By 
  • July 12, 2018

A new English-language hymnal is on the way. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has confirmed publishing plans for Music for Catholic Worship, which should be in stock by Lent 2020.

In an announcement July 11, the CCCB said 550 to 600 parishes across the country have indicated they intend to purchase the new hymnal. 

Music for Catholic Worship will be the only version in Canada which reflects the changes in the third typical edition of the Roman Missal used in Canada and incorporates the New Revised Standard Version translation of the Psalms. 

The songbook, with more than 400 hymns, will replace Catholic Book of Worship III, which was released in 1994.

The CCCB said the final approval for the new book was made at the CCCB’s Permanent Council meeting in June.

The new hymnal includes pieces from both the CBW III and new hymns from Canadian composers. Among the new additions are “Emmanuel,” “Adoramus te Christe” and “Rain Down.” Hymns that were left out of the CBW III are making a comeback into the book as well, such as the “Prayer of St. Francis.”

The National Council for Liturgical Music, working with a national hymnal committee, spent years reviewing hymns. The council, an advisory body to the CCCB, is made up of seven members, two from each region of the country.

The CCCB’s Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and Sacraments, English Sector, had overall responsibility for planning and preparing the book. Commission chair Bishop John Boissonneau, told Grandin Media the book will be released in hardcover for approximately $25. The CBW III currently sells for between $15-20. A digital version of the hymnal for projectors is also in the works.

More information and the contents of the hymnal are available here.

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