A new Catholic hymnal, which promises to be very different from what we American Catholics are accustomed to is on its way to the printers. The St. Augustine Hymnal from International Liturgy Publications (Watch out! The page plays music!) contains hymns and songs by Catholic composers. Most of the music is not available in other hymnals–namely the ones that most parishes purchase annually from GIA (Gregorian Institute of America) and OCP (Oregon Catholic Press). The St. Augustine Hymnal, I hope, will be very good for the Catholic music market in the United States. The music is new, different and hopefully, very good. I would not be surprised if you find it in the pew at a lot of Catholic Churches over the next few years. It might force GIA and OCP to change up some of their music, but we will see. Church musicians and music directors can get a free copy of the new hymnal here. ILP is doing something new and different. I think we could all use a breath of fresh air in our congregations’ music. I hope that the St. Augustine Hymnal will provide it. I’ll pick up a copy and let you know what I think. Oh yeah, and the new hymnal is very economical at only $7.95. Lots of parish finance committees will breathe a sigh of relief over that!
The NY Times is reporting that the Hobby Lobby founding family is purchasing huge numbers of Bibles and Bible manuscripts for their projected Bible museum. The Times reports that their collection has grown to over 30,000 items. The plans for the museum are not final, but the likely location will be in Dallas. So I may have to plan a visit when the open up shop. It does not seem that the museum has a website yet.
For some reason the whole project reminds me a lot of the enormous manuscript and Bible collection that was acquired by the Holy Land Experience and is now housed in their Scriptorium. The Holy Land Experience is a biblical theme park in Orlando. Their collection actually belongs to the Sola Scriptura Foundation, a trust set up by Robert Van Kampen (d. 1999), who formerly housed the collection in Grand Haven, MI. Perhaps the Hobby Lobby folks could attempt to acquire some of the Van Kampen collection or convince the foundation to move it from a theme park to a mueseum. The Evangelical Textual Criticisms blog claims that some of the texts in the Van Kampen collection are dated very early and have not been officially included in lists of NT manuscripts used for textual criticism.