We are pleased to announce that Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church is currently in the process of being reprinted. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of Latin — a scholar, a teacher or student of classical education, or a novice — you will find Liber Hymnorum: The Latin Hymns of the Lutheran Church to be an absolute treasure. It is two hymnals in one, the first half being English, the second Latin, exactly mirroring the first half in contents and numbering.
As author, editor, and translator Matthew Carver explains: “This book is a collection of hymns taken exclusively from Lutheran hymnals and chant-books of the Reformation and post-Reformation era. Specifically, it contains the old medieval Latin hymns which Lutheran churches in various parts of Germany still sang at morning and evening prayer (especially in urban areas with Latin schools) with the original Gregorian chant melodies that they used, here with Gregorian melodies with the Latin, and modern notation with the English. It also includes some other ancient hymns sung at the beginning of the Divine Service as well as some Latin carols. Basically, anything I found in old Lutheran hymnals that was (a) in Latin, (b) set to music, and (c) designated to be sung in church, I included.
“Each half is arranged in the form of a church hymnal such as might be used for morning and evening prayers, with the hymns keyed to different times of day (evening, night, early morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon), the days of the week, the seasons of the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, etc.), and Christian festivals of apostles and saints, some more generalized, some for specific saints. After this come the ancient Divine Service hymns for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday. These are further augmented by Benedicamus hymns (for the end of the prayer services) and the medieval Latin carols, many of which are familiar to us.”