"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8

27 November 2005

The Beauty of Hymns

If you read through some of my older posts you’ll see that I would be considered a bit old-fashioned in many ways. Although I enjoy many contemporary Christian songs, I do have a special place in my heart for hymns. Yes, they are not as jazzy as the newer music. But I have yet to come across a contemporary song that has the theological depth of most hymns.

That said, we have chosen to attend a church that has a contemporary worship service. So I was happy today when our Pastor mentioned watching a program on hymn writers and noted the special qualities of hymns. How many of the writers had exceptional life stories or wrote a particular hymn of praise after experiencing an adverse advent (not necessarily a time when we think of praising God). Those hymns came from the heart as opposed to today’s music which is very commercialized, perhaps created for profit or to meet a deadline.

I know our church and other contemporary churches often sing some hymns, played in a more contemporary way. I hope that is a trend that continues. What a shame it would be for future generations not to be exposed to the beautiful poetry about our Lord that comes alive in music through hymns. I think I will post the lyrics of a hymn from time to time as a tribute.

2 comments:

Carol said...

Lovely post. I'm looking forward to seeing which hymns you select to share.

A few weeks ago, I posted on the history of church music.
http://she-lives.typepad.com/she_lives/2005/11/she_is_in_a_pra.html
You may find something there of value.

One of the things I've found is we tend to take for granted that to which we become accustomed. We do this with songs, hymns even, that we've heard and sung for years. When they are presented in a fresh way, we seem to pay attention to them again and their meaning reaches us anew.

It can be a real challenge to teach children an appreciation for hymns when there is so much contemporary music and Veggie Tales songs vying for their attention. I'm still working to figure this one out.

Carrie said...

Very true, we do take for granted those things that we become accustomed to. It's funny how you can sing along to a song without even thinking about what the words mean.

In highschool I was part of the choir and each Christmas we sang Handel's Messiah. It wasn't until I became a believer at 28 that I realized that all those "words" were from the bible. While I loved the music as a teenager I now have a much greater appreciation for how amazing that work is.

I hope that musicians will continue to sing the old hymns in a fresh way, although hearing the hymns in their original form with all the harmonies is something that needs to be experienced also.

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