"A Catholic Organist's Book of Hymns" is for organists.

Hymns are already hard to play, but playing them from hymnbooks makes it even harder.*

The Chorale in 4 parts is a standard

Organists who are able to master some of Bach’s 8 Little Preludes and Fugues may be lucky enough to apply their skills to playing hymns, under the guidance of their teacher.

A good, hymn playing organist, applies quite a few rules to make the hymns flow, and to support and inspire congregational singing.  The rules tell you when to  shorten repeated notes, leaving dead air between them, and when to dramatically lengthen them to the point that 2, 3 or even 4 or more notes become one long sustained tone.  This all is done while playing, by scanning the staff both vertically and horizontally, and simultaneously working to figure out which technique to apply to each note.

This makes a dramatic difference in the way a hymn sounds.  Letting go of the notes at the end of each line, cutting all the notes in half and inserting silence in the other half,  and other techniques, help make hymns more musical, easier for your congregation to make music. 

It seems that no one has ever printed a hymnbook for organists to play from.  I suppose publishers saw little reason to develop a special hymn book that would only be bought by one person at a church, when they could, instead, print and sell hundreds or even thousands of hymn books for congregations and choirs.

So we’ve published a book of hymns for organists.  It shows them exactly what to play, how to play it and what stops to use. But we’ve gone further than that.  We’ve included: a three voice organ version of the hymn which is much easier to play;  a melody and chords version;  and last of all, a chorale prelude on the hymn.  It’s an electronic book so you only need to print the pages you want to play.  Or just play it all from a computer tablet or iPad.

When you subscribe for a period of one year - currently $20 for organists, $35 for churches - you have access to everything in the book and also get to suggest 10 hymns that we should consider adding.  Being an electronic book it can and will grow.

At this point this first version is called “A Catholic Organist’s Book of Hymns,” but it will be available for different denominations as it grows - subscribers will be permitted to move their subscription to the version that best serves their needs.

*Some may doubt this statement  but some organ teachers will not take a student until they are playing the 2 and 3 part inventions of Bach - 2 and 3 melodies playing against each other.  Hymns in hymnals are almost always 4 parts, requiring a lot of finger substitution, gliding the thumb form one key to another - a real juggling act.