Sunday, January 08, 2012

Hymn singing

On hymns: "The birth of Jesus was announced in song, and the last act of worship of our Lord and his disciples was the singing of a hymn. Sacred song, rooted in the Hebrew tradition, occupied from the first a preeminent position in Christian worship. The earliest hymns were psalms and canticles. Initially the people sang them, though by the fourth century in the East, and by the seventh in the West, they had become part of the liturgy and a matter for the clergy and the choirs. Not again until the time of the Reformation was the hymn restored to the people as their rightful heritage in worship." From Service Book and Hymnal (Lutheran), music edition, 1958, p. 285

Work on this hymnal began almost 70 years ago--Lutherans were from many traditions, languages and ethnicities, but they managed to include nearly 80 American authors. Explanations and history in old hymnals are very interesting. It's a tremendous loss to just use words cast on a screen. You miss so much information.

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