THE SONG(S) WE SING (first in a series)

Posted on Oct 6, 2016

From the earliest days of Christianity, the singing of “hymns and spiritual songs” has been a vital part of our worship of the Creator and Giver of all things. A quick glance at the Hymnal 1982 opens up a treasury that reaches back to the earliest centuries and circles the globe. Over the coming months, we will explore some of these traditions and how they have contributed to the glorious panorama of congregational song we enjoy today. These segments are in no particular order, and are by no means intended to be an in-depth historical course, so sit back and enjoy.

Of the many genres contained in the hymnal, the tunes (and texts) of early 19th-century America are among the most fascinating. Simple, unpretentious, and direct, they convey an infectious buoyancy and energy well-suited to their Appalachian and Southern origins. Such favorites as “Amazing Grace” (671), “What Wondrous Love Is This? (439)” and “Simple Gifts” (554) are the tip of the tip of the iceberg. During the course of the season, we will be experiencing a number of these delightful hymns both congregationally and as choral anthems and organ settings.

As a recent anthem proclaimed, “Sing to the Lord a new song!”
Peace, John