Hymns are religious songs written for adoration, prayer, or to an address a certain figure, deity or personification. A hymn could also mean as the song of praise. One of the oldest Catholic hymns is the Egyptian great hymn to the Aten which was written by Pharaoh Akhenaten the Vedas. In the today world, the hymns are still being sung though there are instruments to accompany then unlike in the olden days. These hymns have also been modified in the way they are sung. Musicians are using various genres to sing the hymns. The good thing is that in this way the songs are going to live for a very long time, from one generation to another.
The oldest Catholic hymns are important in that they teach theology. These songs are rich and edify one’s faith and mission. They give a form of corporate worship Catholic hymns also an authentic response of expression of emotions. They also display social consciousness. They are also good for singing in congregations. These hymns remind us that we do not worship to attract unbelievers. Catholic hymns also unite various generations of Christians.
Some of the oldest Catholic hymns are Adestes Fideles, Agnus Dei, Ave Maria, Ave Maris Stella, Anima Christi among many others. Aves Maria is one of the oldest Catholic songs that are song most today. It is sung in the wedding ceremonies, church services even in burial. Whenever this song is sung, I tend to have a nostalgic feeling, my consciousness is brought alive. Though it is sung in a language not familiar to me, it has a way of communicating to the depths of my soul.
These Catholic hymns were written by people like, Mateo Albeinz who was a Spanish composer and priest, Johann Christian Bach wrote much liturgical and sacred music. Ludwig Van Beethoven who wrote the famous Missa Solemnis and Mass in C Major, Hector Berlioz who wrote famous requiems, Hinrich Ignaz Franz Biber is known for writing the Rosary sonatas, Antonio Soler, a Spanish priest, and composer. The list is endless of the many composers of these Old Catholic hymns.
Many books have been compiled today about the Old Catholic hymns. This will ensure that the content will not get lost. Modernization has changed a lot of things in the world today and the Catholic hymns have not been left out. New hymns have been composed and people are tending to forget or do away with the old hymns. In some of the hymns books, some of these songs are found to be missing in the list. Songs have been modernized in a lot of ways including revision of the original lyrics.
This way the original meaning of the hymns is being changed. This might lead to us loosing the history of our hymns. Modern Catholics today no longer sing the old hymns. Modernization has taken so much of them and they do not want to be seen as ancient when singing these songs. There is a great need for Catholics today to include these old hymns in our service list today or risk losing the rich and deep content to modernization.