Category Archives: Articles on Hymnody

Some Thoughts about the hymnal Cantus Christi

Some Thoughts about the hymnal Cantus Christi

I have had a chance over many months to get to know the hymnal Cantus Christi published by Canon Press, associated with Pastor Douglas Wilson and Christ Church of Moscow, Idaho. Over this time, I have gathered some reflections about this hymnal. For churches who are considering purchasing this hymnal, they should know a few things about… Continue Reading

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

I know this post is somewhat badly timed, but I wanted to provide a bit of help for those who are looking for good resurrection hymns, either for personal devotion, to teach to their families, or to teach to congregations.1 Sometimes I hear the lament that there aren’t that many good Easter hymns. There are probably more… Continue Reading

Gold from a Nearby Mine

Gold from a Nearby Mine

A few years ago a tallish South African pastor and all-round capital chap wrote a book. It’s free on Kindle, and would be worth every penny if it cost a hundred times as much. [note to self: insert clever comment about “product placement” here] In all seriousness, I read it right away when it came… Continue Reading

Article 13: On Today’s Congregational Music

Article 13: On Today’s Congregational Music

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series A Conservative Christian Declaration You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series”A Conservative Christian Declaration”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.  This is a series to further explain the articles of “A Conservative Christian Declaration.” . We affirm that twenty-first-century churches, like the churches of every age,… Continue Reading

Immodest hymns

Immodest hymns

Perhaps the most influential figure to express a reaction against the condition of music in 19th century America—especially church music—was Thomas Hastings (1784-1872). Hastings was a composer, hymn-tune book compiler, hymn writer, and music critic. While he composed almost one thousand sacred compositions and many hymns tunes—some of which are still sung today—his influence extends… Continue Reading

What makes a hymn tune accessible?

What makes a hymn tune accessible?

One of the qualities of a good hymn that is often cited is that a congregational song must be accessible. I wholeheartedly agree with this point: for a hymn to be congregational, it has to be, well, congregational! The congregation has to be able to sing it. In other words, there are some songs that,… Continue Reading

The power of poetic meter

The power of poetic meter

Many factors contribute to how a hymn shapes its theological content. Here is one example of how the poetic meter of a text can shape its content in powerful ways. Consider this content: It is quiet in a house on Christmas Eve. Depending on poetic form, a poet can shape that content to feel either… Continue Reading

Doxologies and Gloria Patris

Doxologies and Gloria Patris

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Some Things To Consider Including in Your Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series”Some Things To Consider Including in Your Worship”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.A hymn to complete another hymn, or a hymn to complete a section of worship, is how we might think of singing… Continue Reading

William Ames on the connection between prayer, singing, and outward expressions

William Ames on the connection between prayer, singing, and outward expressions

In the second book of The Marrow of Theology, William Ames’s (1576-1633) classic Post-Reformation work, Ames deals with a number of matters related to practical theology. The ninth chapter discusses prayer.1 As you will see, Ames’s approach to this topic is helpful from a historical and practical perspective. Prayer, Ames says, can be outward or inward–mental or audible.… Continue Reading

Selecting Hymns That Are Good

Selecting Hymns That Are Good

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Some Things To Consider Including in Your Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series”Some Things To Consider Including in Your Worship”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.When we select the songs and hymns for corporate worship, there are plenty of weak, cowardly, and even evil reasons to motivate… Continue Reading

Satisfaction of God’s Wrath in Christian Hymnody

Satisfaction of God’s Wrath in Christian Hymnody

There has been quite a lot of noise in the blogosphere lately over a decision by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to reject Getty and Townend’s hymn, “In Christ Alone,” since they object to the language of penal substitutionary atonement and have failed to secure permission to change the line, “the wrath of God was satisfied.”… Continue Reading

Music Camp: A Report

Music Camp: A Report

Since coming as the Associate Pastor of Bethany Bible Church of Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 2010, I have seen first hand a unique ministry created by the vision of the senior pastor here, Greg Stiekes, and his wife Rena. Truly, the word “unique” is not used in vain in describing this week-long ministry to children… Continue Reading

“Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul” by Anne Steel

“Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul” by Anne Steel

Dear refuge of my weary soul, On thee when sorrow rise; On thee, when waves of trouble roll, My fainting hope relies. While hope revives, though pressed with fears, And I can say, “My God,” Beneath thy feet I spread my cares, And pour my woes abroad. To thee I tell each rising grief, For… Continue Reading

On the flexibility of form in worship

On the flexibility of form in worship

 I defend a conservative philosophy of worship not because I want to protect old in the rejection of new, but because I believe “traditional” forms (both old and new) are more flexible and elastic in what they can express in worship, are better suited to carry rich truth about God, and are more appropriate than most contemporary… Continue Reading