Neil Mah giving a briefing on the implementation and usage of the SYPG3 to choir members from SHC, St Paul Dontozidon and Inobong at Sacred Heart Cathedral Aug 7

By SHC SOCCOM

August 12 2022

KOTA KINABALU – Sing Your Praise to God 3rd edition (SYPG3) in use since Lent 2021 is a replacement to the previous SYPG which was first printed in 1970 and had undergone a second revision in 1985. 

Since then, more hymns, devotions and prayers were added in between, which either did not have copyright permission for use or that they may not be appropriate for use at liturgical celebrations. 

So, in 2014, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei (CBCMSB) mandated the Episcopal Regional Liturgy Commission (ERLC), which eventually formed a Liturgical Music Committee (LMC) to undertake the task of revising and improving it, hence the SYPG3.   

The principle task of LMC is to select hymns which are appropriate for Mass on Sundays of the Ordinary Time and for the Liturgical Seasons.  

The selection of sacred hymns is carefully studied by LMC for the hymns have to aid, support, elevate and better express the actions of the sacred liturgy as propounded in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC1157).

LMC in all its evaluations constantly keeps in mind that sacred music glorifies the Lord and sanctifies the people at worship. 

It also examines each hymn and judge it on its doctrinal (paschal mystery, ecclesial dimension, thematic, biblical), literary (language) and musical (strophic, verse-refrain, antiphonal, litanic, etc) merits.

In order to assist the choirs on the implementation and usage of the hymnal, a briefing was organised by Sacred Heart Cathedral parish (SHC) on Aug 7.  Neil Mah, who is a committee member of LMC and the representative for Kota Kinabalu, was invited to conduct the briefing. 

The briefing was attended by choir members from parishes of SHC, St Paul Dontozidon (SPD) and Inobong.

The briefing started with the introduction on the content of SYPG3 where it has six sections: 1) The Order of Mass; 2) Antiphons; 3) Chants & Hymns in alphabetical order; 4) Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction; 5) Index; and 6) On Sacred Music in the Liturgy.

The present SYPG3 is called the Public’s Edition which comes with the basic musical score sheets.  These may aid users during their singing.  

By end of this year, The Accompaniment Edition will be made available which contains musical score sheets with the four vocal parts more suitable for the choirs.

There are 368 chants and hymns in the SYPG3, and 133 of these come under Public Domain (more than 99 years) that require no licence to use and they can be projected.  These hymns are freehold and no longer compounded by the composers.  

Attendees were then led through each Mass part from the Entrance, the Offertory, the Communion and After Communion, and how to select the appropriate hymns for these mass parts. 

However, for Recessional Hymn, according to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), it does not mention about singing at this part of the Mass. 

When this was brought to the attention of the bishops, they have decided to maintain this ‘tradition’ to accompany the procession going out of the minister, his assistants and the faithful.  

For hymns outside of this book, Neil advised the attendees to refer to the parish priest or their respective parish Liturgy Committees for policy on this matter.

In closing, Neil requested for feedbacks to be forwarded to him if any, as this SYPG3 is not final and improvements will still be made from time to time.