Ask Ambrose: The Hidden Part of the Hymnal

cover of the hymnal 1982

Q: I just started working in an Episcopal Church and am trying to get to know The Hymnal 1982—the actual hymnal and the service music book. Can you tell me more about the service music that is in the accompaniment edition but not in the pew edition?

A: This is a great question since the pew edition ends with settings of Canticle 21 (Glory to God) and that is only the first half of the accompaniment edition. So let’s take a look at the “rest of the story.” Here is what we find and how you can use it:

At page 405 you will see the Copyright Acknowledgments for all of the service music. This is also found on p. 930 in the pew edition. You will see some settings copyrighted by the Church Pension Fund. If you hold a OneLicense you can reprint these in a service leaflet and report that use to All of the other settings are acknowledged just below that and you must contact the individual copyright holders for permission to reprint these settings. [Look this spring for a post on our website about copyright law.]

Next up (p. 407) is a list of sources, composers and arrangers followed by an index for the service music.

Now here is the most important part: The Appendix. You will read in the “Notes about the Appendix” that the materials in this section are not found in the Singer’s Edition but that provision is made for local reproduction. Some of the settings supplement what you find in the Singer’s Edition such as additional Anglican chants and simplified Anglican chants. When you see singers’ parts with a wide black line around the music, you may reprint these for your own congregation as long as you include the copyright information. So let’s see what is here and how it may help you in your ministry.

S289—These are the invitatory antiphons for Rite I Morning Prayer which have been pointed for Anglican chant. What is an invitatory antiphon?—you might ask. Well, this is an antiphon that “invites” the congregation to prayer and precedes the Venite (a portion of Psalm 95), or the Jubilate. It is specific to a certain day or season. Note that the antiphon and the psalm should be sung to the same single chant.

S290—Likewise, these are the invitatory antiphons for Rite I Morning Prayer which have been pointed for plainsong. Following the antiphons printed for congregational use, you will find accompaniments for them. This would be especially helpful if your congregation is not accustomed to singing unaccompanied.

S291-292—Two more plainsong antiphons one for the Venite and Psalm 95, and one for Psalm 95 in Lent. Accompaniments are included for your use.

S293-294—Here you find the same invitatory antiphons for Rite II Morning Prayer, both for Anglican chant and plainsong, accompaniments included.

S295—This is the Jubilate (Psalm 100) set out in Tone 8 of plainsong. Following is an accompaniment for this tone.

S296-304—Should you find an occasion to pray the noonday office and want it to be sung, the entire office is contained here and can be reproduced for your congregation. It includes all of the options for psalms and readings. I would note that a booklet with this sung office along with the office of compline is available from Church Publishing, Inc.

S305-320—Here you find settings for the Anthem at the Candle Lighting (also called the Lucernaria) in the Order of Worship for Evening. This Service of Light includes the entrance of the ministers into the darkened church, the opening acclamation or greeting, a short lesson of scripture, a prayer for light, the lighting of the candles, and the singing of the Phos hilaron (“O gracious Light”), the ancient candle-lighting hymn of the church. It has been associated with the use of incense. After the Officiant says the Prayer for Light and the candles are light, the BCP notes that “an appropriate anthem….may be sung.” These are some appropriate anthems. You will note that the anthems are appropriate to the liturgical season.

S321-337—Like Noonday Prayers mentioned above, here you find the musical setting for Compline, one of the most loved offices in our liturgy. It is comes from the night prayers said before bed at the end of the monastic discipline of daily prayer. Many church choirs end their week night rehearsals by saying or singing Compline. Not only is this a spiritual practice, it also helps to teach your choir to sing well in unison!

S338339—While the Great Litany is found in the Singers’ Edition the Supplications are only found on these pages of the accompaniment edition. The Great Litany is usually said or sung on the First Sunday in Lent at the beginning of the service. The Supplications, when used, can be added in place of the versicle and collect which follow the Lord’s Prayer in the Great Litany. Here you find two settings; the first is very simple and the second is a bit more melismatic.

S340-343—Candlemas, or the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, is one of the principal feasts in the Church year and here you find the music for the procession of candles.  The Presentation is celebrated on February 2, about forty days after Christmas, and includes a procession and blessing of candles. It also commemorates the time that Simeon and Anna meet Jesus, so the Nunc Dimittis is always included in this service. You can find the Order for the Procession in the Book of Occasional Services.

S344-347—It is traditional in most churches to do a Footwashing on Maundy Thursday. This commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the disciples before being crucified the next day. He, in turn, urges the disciples to go and do likewise. The BCP directs that suitable anthems be sung or said during this time. Here you will find the musical settings for those anthems. Following the sung settings you will find the accompaniments.

S348-352—First we find the setting for the Good Friday Opening Acclamation. It is noted that the music for the Solemn Collects is found in the Altar Edition. Since this is sung (or said) by the presider and cantor (deacon) there is no need to have it here. Following the Acclamation you will find music for the Good Friday Anthems. Note that the BCP says that if the Anthems are recited the congregation has a separate part. If sung, the choir (and congregation) sings all of it. Following the Anthems, the BCP directs that “a hymn extolling the glory of the cross is then sung.” At S352 you find a setting of “Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle.” Other settings are found in the Singers’ Edition at #165 and #166.

S353—It is customary in some churches to say or sing the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) during Lent as part of the Penitential Order. Here you find a musical setting of the Decalogue with the congregation’s response from Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena by Healey Willan. The accompaniment follows the congregation’s response.

S354—Here you find a very simple tone and response for the Decalogue. This setting is meant to be sung unaccompanied.

S355—The Canticle Use Chart is very helpful for musicians looking for ideas for seasonal canticles. The BCP specifies that the Kyrie eleison or Trisagion be used during Lent and Advent, but note that the prayer book gives permission at other times of the year to use “some other song of praise” in place of the Glory to God. Elsewhere in this website you will find suggestions of appropriate hymns to be sung in place of the Glory to God. However, the canticles listed in this chart provide another avenue. Note that the list on the second page of the chart lists other places in which a canticle can be sung – at the entrance, the offertory and at communion.

S356-359—On these pages you will find four distinctly different settings of the Kyrie. The first is an adaptation by Mason Martens and dates from the 11th century. It probably would not work well for congregational use, but is one that a choir could do more easily. One of my favorites is the one found at S357 from Missa Marialis. I remember quite well the congregation in the very small church where I grew up singing this setting quite well, even though it is quite florid. The setting at S358 is a call and response setting and is quite lovely. The final setting in this set is a very simple one with a brief introduction to each section given by bells or organ.

S360—This setting of the Trisagion (Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One) is a canonic setting. If used more than once, a congregation can easily learn this one. The composer, Rick Fabian, suggest that it be transposed down a whole step to make it easier for the congregation. If your congregation prays the Stations of the Cross during Lent this setting would be useful.

S361—Here you find a plainsong setting of the Nicene Creed. It is based on Vatican Credo 3 dating back to the 16th century. For congregations wishing to sing the Creed I would suggest using Calvin Hampton’s setting found in the Singers’ Edition at S-105. It is accompanied and very beautiful.

S362-363—Forms I, III, IV, and V of the Prayers of the People are found in the Singers’ Edition. Here you find Forms II and VI.

S364-365—There are numerous settings of the Sanctus (Holy, holy, holy Lord) in the Singers’ Edition, but two more are included here. The first is adapted by Bruce Ford from Vatican Sanctus 12, dating from the 13th century and includes an accompaniment by Richard Proulx. The second is adapted by Richard Proulx from Vatican Sanctus 16, also dating from the 13th century, and includes an accompaniment by Alex Wyton.

S366-368—These are settings of Memorial Acclamations. The first is for Eucharistic Prayer A and is meant to be sung unaccompanied. The other two are to be sung using Eucharistic Prayer B. S368 provides an accompaniment.

S369-370—If your congregation loves Eucharistic Prayer C and desires to sing it, you can find settings for all of the congregational responses here. The presider’s part starts on the next page. The first setting is set to a Roman Simple Tone and the congregational responses are set to a simple tone as well. At S370 you find Richard Proulx’s setting which is intended to be used with the Sanctus from his Community Mass (S125). A simple accompaniment to the responses is included.

S371-372—A couple of Memorial Acclamations for Eucharistic Prayer D are included to supplement the ones in the Singers’ Edition.

S373-374—If you thought there weren’t enough Fraction Anthems in the Singers’ Edition, here are a couple of more. The first (S373) is adapted by Bruce Ford and includes an accompaniment; the second is composed by Calvin Hampton.

S375-379—These are settings of the Entrance Anthems for the Rite I Burial office. These are for the Officiant’s use. The anthem at the committal is included as well.

S380-382—Here you find the Rite II settings for the entrance anthems for burial They are all adapted by Bruce Ford. The third with a different text has a part for the congregation.

S383-389—This is the rest of the music for the burial rite. I make special note of S388 (“Into paradise”) since this is the chant at the close of the Requiem by Maurice Durufle and is especially beautiful.

S390—The Litany for Ordinations is sung at all ordinations—bishop, priest, and deacon, and at the Celebration of a New Ministry (See the Book of Occasional Services). It is sung to a very simple tone and is easy for congregations to sing.

S391—The Litany of Thanksgiving for a Church may be used for reaffirmation of mission and ministry when a building has been used for an extended time without consecration, or on the anniversary of the dedication or consecration of a church. This simple two note chant is very easily sung by any congregation.

S392—The Litany of Thanksgiving was written by the Rev. Dr. Massey Shepherd especially for the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. It is a easily sung and would be appropriate for services on Thanksgiving Day.

S393-399—Here you will find additional Rite I canticle settings. All of the plainsong settings come with accompaniment. S396-399 are Anglican Chant settings of Glory be to God (Gloria in excelsis). All could be used at various places in the liturgy. (See the Canticle Use Chart, S355 above).

S400-407—As above, here are additional Rite II canticle settings, some through-composed, some plainsong, all accompanied. All could be used at various places in the liturgy. (See the Canticle Use Chart, S355 above).

S408-416—This is the place where you find Simplified Anglican Chants. As noted in the directions, these chants are intended to be used for unison performance by a congregation. The choir can sing in parts. Simplified Anglican Chants has become very popular and is often the first manner in which congregations encounter singing psalms. The chants here are by a variety of composers. One caveat—I know of a church who started using the Meachen chant when the Hymnal 1982 was first put in the pews. They were still doing the same Meachen chant twenty-five years later! It is important to teach your congregation to chant; however, it is also vital for congregational song for them to learn more than one!

S417-445—Here you find a variety of Anglican Chants, both single and double. Please check pp. 11-17 of the accompaniment edition of the Hymnal 1982 for performance notes on how to sing both plainsong and Anglican Chant.

S446—These are the plainsong psalm tones which are the serve as “melodies” for singing prose text. There are eight psalm tones plus Tonus Peregrinus. Each tone has more than one ending, i.e. Tone 7.1 or Tone 7.7. Please see the Performance Notes section of the accompaniment edition of the Hymnal 1982 for detailed instructions on how to sing these.

S447-448—The last bit of music in this book are Collect Tones. If you regularly chant the liturgy you can look here to find the endings of the phases. I would also direct you to The Hymnal Companion, page 300 for a detailed explanation of performance practice.

The last of the Service Music book is a set of indices for service planning. I direct you to the Music Resources tab on this website for more information.