Okay, so if you go to a more traditional church, this post might not even make sense to you. In fact, you may use it against some of the new worship styles and think, “Well, my church is better than yours because we only sing hymns.” Well, bully for you then, but I think there is a wide range of worship music that is acceptable. I just think we need to find a balance. And shame on you for judging. 😉
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the music at my church. I think it is pretty high quality in fact. But sometimes, I think that as we’re integrating in the new worship music, which I LOVE to listen, we also can’t forget the heritage of hymns that have so sustained the Christian church for so long. And we don’t have to sing them like a funeral dirge or even with organ music (gahhh… organ music).
I think many current, contemporary Christian artists are also realizing that we can’t just ignore hundreds of years of worship music history. From Martin Luther to Isaac Watts to Fanny Crosby to the Gaithers to Chris Tomlin… the church has such an amazing history of Worship Music. Some of which are called Hymns. I’m seeing more releases of CD’s like WOW Hymns and trumpeter Phil Driscoll’s Classic Hymns. Carmen a few years ago released a Hymn cd, and I’m starting to see even some current Praise & Worship groups release traditional hymn music now – Hymns 4 Worship, Hymns: Ancient and Modern. Supposedly there is plenty of “current” takes on Hymns out there. And even groups like Casting Crowns, Third Day, Newsboys, Avalon, etc. either release a hymn album or have a new take on a traditional song on their other cd’s.
Well, why aren’t we seeing more of it during the music part of many worship services? Why do we get the same newer music recycled over and over? Listen, I *LOVE* Heart of Worship or Lord, I Lift Your Name on High, or Awesome God as much as I love Blessed Assurance, It is Well With My Soul, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and Just as I Am. But we aren’t getting the hymns as much as I think we should in church these days. Why can’t our music ministers or worship leaders or whatever you want to call them try a little harder to find these new takes on such wonderful music?
These songs are essential to the modern church. To paraphrase a hymn title, they are the ties that bind. It was what kept church across this country and the world even unified to a point. You could visit any church, take out a hymnal, and pretty much know the tune or the words. Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, no Denomination, but the music was basically the same.
I have 2 children, and I WANT them to know the hymns that I grew up on, that their grandparents, great grandparents, and even further back generations grew up on. A common element in a faith that goes back generations in my family.
I’m not saying we have to sing them every week, but I would like to see them sung from time to time. Every few Sundays throw in a hymn in the mix of the modern worship music. And if you don’t want to sing the older versions, there are plenty of modern takes on them. The words are still as beautiful and meaningful. I don’t want to see churches lose a heritage we’ve had for hundreds of years. I don’t want my children to say, “What song is that” when they hear Doxology or The Old Rugged Cross or Trust and Obey.
Just a little rant on my part, but it’s something I strongly believe in. Where’s the love for the hymns?