Roman Catholic hymnody, USA
Both the body of hymnody from and the publication of hymnals for the Roman Catholic Church in the United States at its founding and in the decades immediately following are quite small. The cause of this is two-fold: the inherited status of Roman Catholics under British governance and the role of the congregation at the Catholic Mass.
Until the Catholic Relief Act of 1778, Catholics in the colonies lived under the same rules of suppression as they did in England. Public expression of their faith and, consequently, published documentation of it (such as a hymnal) were punishable offenses. Since many devotional hymns used by Roman Catholics were for public events...
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