Church Hymnals Go High Tech

There is a new story out on the hymnal project that Lifeway has been doing.  They now have the online music tools up and running as well.  Our church actually purchased the hymnals last year and we enjoy them very much.  It has given our folks some new songs to sing that their pastor was already used to singing, and we actually replaced not only our hymnals but our old chorus books also with this one book.  There are some selections that I could have done without, but overall it was a well put together collection of older standards and quality newer songs.  I would love to use the digital stuff, but we don’t have much call for it in a church our size.  I already have copies of the previous hymnal for trombone, so I doubt I would need any of those.

I know that music has been a big source of contention in the church at times, although I haven’t been in a place where it has been a big problem.  I think it is because music is powerful and evokes memories as well.  Many complain about the newer music because there are no memories attached to them I suppose.  There are still some old songs that have an instant effect on me, because they remind me of people that are now with Jesus like my grandmother.  Or else they remind me of people that live far away from me now.  And sometimes they evoke reminders of ways that God has worked in my life.

In honor of the new high tech hymnal, I am going to list a few of my favorite hymns and praise songs.  You can join along in the comments.  I am interested to know what songs touch the hearts of those who visit here.

My list in no particular order:

  1. Amazing Grace (This one is one of those that produces a wide range of emotions, and I love to sing every verse that the hymnal has)
  2. Great is Thy Faithfulness (goes back to college and an amazing chapel service at JBU)
  3. On Jordan’s Stormy Banks (This is one of the songs that always got sung while we were waiting for people to get ready for baptism in the church where I grew up)
  4. I’ll Fly Away (one of the songs that my grandmother loved to sing)
  5. Life is Like a Mountain Railroad (the first church I served as a youth pastor sang this song, because it was the favorite of the guy who led music for us for a while.  Besides, I needed a little one fun one and I didn’t want to include Drop Kick Me Jesus.)
  6. I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (Frankly, it is a little shocking how many songs I really like out of the old Country Hymnal or whatever it is called.  I think it is because my grandmother’s group sang out of it so much.)
  7. Trust and Obey (Don’t know what to say about this one.  I just like it.)
  8. Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus (This one has to make the list thanks to my kids.  They developed a love for this song and love to sing it.  How can you not like that?)
  9. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (This is one of those newer songs that sounds like it has been around for a lot longer.  I taught this song to our church after we got the new hymnals, since it was included in there.  Absolutely fabulous lyrics in this one.)
  10. There is a Fountain (Actually there are several songs along this line that I like, but this one stands out because I have had the joy of singing it with my sister in the arrangement that Selah did a few years ago.  I miss singing with her more than most anything else that I miss from living closer to family.)

OK.  That is my starter list.  What are some of your favorites?

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Categories: Christianity, church, Music, personal, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Church Hymnals Go High Tech

  1. Geroge Musgrave

    Here are my favorites
    1. It Is Well With My Soul

    2. Ivory Palaces (My mother’s favorite)

    3. Jerico

    4. Just a Closer Walk With Thee

    5. When The Roll is Called up Yonder

    6. The Old Rugged Cross

    7. Beyond the Sunset

    8. Whispering Hope

    9. The Love of God

  2. Dad,
    Thanks for the contribution. There are a few in that list that didn’t come to mind immediately when I did my list last night.
    By the way, I “enjopyed” the name change. It sounds exotic like French or something.
    : )

  3. Geroge, nice to here from the french,
    i would like to sing with you guys. you hit some of my favorites.
    how about, In the Garden
    Were you There,
    there is a River. I do a mean back up. My welsh blood flows with harmony.
    our praise band does some new stuf, Forever, Cry out to Jesus, He reigns.
    We will all be singing together someday.

  4. ginabob

    I’ll admit to not catching the misspell… poor Dad!

    Ivory Palaces is one of my favorites to – mostly because I can hear Dad singing it when I play. 🙂

  5. Interesting comment about the emotional attachment folks have to certain songs. That applies to the tunes, as well. (Try singing a beloved hymn to another tune, and you’ll see!) Of course, our criteria for hymn selection has to go beyond sentiment. We are to teach and admonish one another with our sacred songs (Col. 3:16). That means they have to be biblically sound, and present a clear message.

    Having been involved in church music, as well as studying it, teaching on the subject, and writing about it (see my daily hymn blog, Wordwise Hymns), for over half a century, I have found our traditional hymnody, in general, has more doctrinal detail and devotional depth that much contemporary music. (Though I certainly agree that “How Deep the Father’s Love” is a powerful exception to this.)

    As a student of hymnology, I have many, many favourites. But here is a handful of pieces that come to mind. (Technically, most are actually gospel songs, not hymns, but great, all the same.)

    And Can It Be?
    Be Still, My Soul
    Great Is Thy Faithfulness
    It Is Well with My Soul
    Jesus Loves Even Me
    Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour
    Take the Name of Jesus with You
    When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

  6. Thanks for the comments and for sharing your favorites. I agree with you about the need to teach and admonish in our songs. I am glad you commented. It has been a while since I looked at this post and I really needed the reminder of some of the things I wrote here today. God is good about doing that “dontcha know.” I will certainly check out your blog today or tomorrow when I get some time.

  7. So the first time I read this post I missed the comment on the last song.
    And now I’m crying.
    Miss you too B.
    Between Dad and you I think you hit most of my favorites..
    But I would add.

    Take My Life and Let it Be – moving prayer for myself and I have a great memory of singing an arrangement of it with you.

    Be Thou My Vision – ditto

  8. Sorry sis. Wasn’t trying to make you cry, but when I reread this post again, I just felt like resharing it so to speak. Love you lil sister.
    And I like both of those songs as well.

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