The Catholic Hymn Book

St Joseph’s has changed hymnbook! After using Hymns Old and New for nearly 30 years it’s time for a change. HON has served us well, but now in the Church of the 21st century much of its content is redundant – it’s passed its sell by date.

The repertoire of hymns we sing at St Joseph’s is of a mostly traditional genre, and our new hymnbook will fulfil our needs. It’s the hymnbook used at impressive places such as Westminster Cathedral, St Patrick’s in Soho, the Brompton Oratory, and now St Joseph’s in Guernsey!

The CHB is a beautifully bound volume with the melody line accompanying the text. It’s the most wide ranging traditional Catholic hymnbook in publication with over 300 hymns. Words and music are drawn from all the major schools of European hymnody from the Early Church to the present day, with special attention given to those hymns which have stood the test of time from both Catholic and non-Catholic traditions. There are 3 complete settings in Gregorian Chant of the Mass in Latin; all of this being faithful to the call within the Church for a renewal in the Sacred Liturgy.

Many of our traditional hymns have been neglected over the past 50 years and relegated to the side-lines, being replaced by more contemporary settings. We hope that this new selection will encourage us to sing hymns which contain such theological and devotional riches, handing them on to future generations.

The hymnbook purchase has been funded by a kind donation. I would encourage you to spend time looking through it and reading the foreword and the preface at the beginning of the book. If you are interested in buying your own copy of The CHB, do make contact with me, or you can order direct from the publisher – Gracewing (, or via Amazon. Happy singing! And remember what St Augustine said, “He who sings prays twice.”

Luke O’Donnell—Director of Music


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