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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hymnody Has Vanished From My Life

There are days I miss singing some of the obscure Swedish hymns out of the Covenant Hymnal or some of the old delightful hymns by Charles Wesley. I don't wish to sing them every week in worship or even once a month. But at random times I miss them and I have no place to go to enjoy them. I can't even find recordings of them that are worshipful. Hymns have vanished from my world. Completely vanished.

Here's one I sing to Jacqui. Oddly enough, I can sing the first line in Swedish, which is also the name of the tune: Trygarre kan ingen vara.

Children of the Heavenly Father
Lina Sandell
(Listen to midi here)

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Lo, their very hairs He numbers,
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.

My favorite hymn of all time is #423 in the red Covenant Hymnal: O Let Your Soul Be Filled With Gladness (listen to midi here).

O Let Your Soul now be Filled with Gladness
Words by Peter Aschan

O let your soul now be filled with gladness,
Your heart redeemed, rejoice indeed!
O may the thought banish all your sadness,
That in His blood you have been freed,
That God's unfailing love is yours,
That you the only Son were given,
That by His death He has opened heaven,
That you are ransomed as you are.

If you seem empty of any feeling,
Rejoice, you are His ransomed bride!
If those you cherish seem not to love you,
And dark assails from every side;
Still yours the promise, come what may,
In loss and triumph, in laughter, crying;
In want and riches, in living dying,
That you are purchased as you are.

It is a good, every good transcending,
That Christ has died for you and me!
It is a gladness that has no ending
There in God's wondrous love to see!
Praise be to Him the spotless Lamb,
Who through the desert my soul is leading
To that fair city of joy exceeding,
For which He bought me as I am!

Comments on "Hymnody Has Vanished From My Life"


Blogger Rick said ... (7:54 PM, June 07, 2009) : 

I included Children of... in the worship this morning. It was a nice flashback.

I was out in CA last month visiting my parents in the wake of Mom's fall and broken leg. I started singing some hymns to her which she really enjoyed and she even joined in on the chorus of "I have a Friend who loveth me".


Blogger theultrarev said ... (9:07 PM, June 07, 2009) : 

Any chance you recorded the service?


Blogger archlb said ... (10:02 PM, June 07, 2009) : 

So sad to hear this! Hymnody is still being written. Consider the collaboration of Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend on songs such as "In Christ Alone" or "Speak to Me." These surely qualify as modern hymns. Ironically, when Issac Watts wrote his hymns, the established church was greatly offended by them. His lyrics were radical, his tunes too joyful, etc. etc. Yet he persevered. Where would we be without his hymnody? Please don't let them vanish! Choruses give us emotion, hymns give us the story behind the emotion. Many new arrangements of older hymns are being embraced by the Christian recording artists we listen to today. Praise God for that! The tunes may be archaic but the words are still so powerful. lecture over.


Blogger theultrarev said ... (10:31 PM, June 07, 2009) : 

I like many of the new arrangements of old hymns and obviously there are new hymns as well. It's more just that the churches or other places I find myself worshiping I rarely encounter them. And the older hymns ... just gone.


Blogger archlb said ... (7:32 PM, June 08, 2009) : 

Its still sad to me. I try to give my congregation both old and new and I don't understand why the newer church plants think hymns are toxic. I also dont understand why older christians think praise songs are toxic. They build on each other, compliment each other, dare I say, need each other for complete worship. I have to say, I miss the old Swedish hymns too-I was so happy to sing "Children . when Sofiah was dedicated. As worship leader you can get away with this sort of stuff!


Anonymous Rick said ... (6:32 AM, June 09, 2009) : 

Yeah I did. But the sound tech was one of my new trainees, and the recording isn't very good. So I don't have much to offer. But I might just surprise you wit something...


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