Monday, September 9, 2013

A Catholic Flourish

On the penultimate line of each verse of Holy God, We Praise Thy Name, Catholics around the US habitually ornament the melody in a way that is not customary in many Protestant churches, and which is not found in most hymnals.

Holy God, We Praise Thy Name is a vernacular version of the Te Deum, and as such is important to the devotional life of the English-speaking church. It had occurred to me that the ornamentation was possibly simply a sung tradition rather than a printed tradition.

However, I recently discovered that there is a printed tradition, going back at least to the late 19th century.