Category Archives: Articles on Hymnody

First 25 Hymns Now Available!

First 25 Hymns Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce that the first 25 hymns of our free hymn resource are now available! Simply click “Hymnal” in the menu bar above. You may also direct others to this resource using the following URL: www.ClassicHymns.org Please Donate We provide these hymns free of charge, but they were not free to produce! It… Continue Reading

Psalms in English

Psalms in English

Because of the hymn project we’re undertaking, some of the RAM authors have been discussing the merits of the English metrical psalms. All of us see the importance of singing the psalms; not all of us are happy with the psalms commonly sung. Psalms are poems. In their original Hebrew, they were easily recognized as… Continue Reading

tobyMac and the state of Evangelical piety

tobyMac and the state of Evangelical piety

Paul’s Words to the Ephesians The beginning of Ephesians 5 is striking. Paul writes to former idolaters and fornicators, reminding them of their new life in Christ. He opens with a call to holiness. Believers must “be imitators of God,” walking “in love.” To walk in love means that believers must live making personal sacrifices to build… Continue Reading

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 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, must worship God in their own words, with their own voice. We add the qualification that these expressions must both embody ordinate affection and build on the tradition that… 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.

A hymn to complete another hymn, or a hymn to complete a section of worship, is how we might think of singing the Doxology, or the Gloria Patri. The Doxology known to most Protestants was composed by Thomas Ken in the 17th century, and a common version of the Gloria Patri was composed by Charles… 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.

When we select the songs and hymns for corporate worship, there are plenty of weak, cowardly, and even evil reasons to motivate our choices: sheer familiarity, a pledge of allegiance buy cialis 10mg to a certain tribe within Christianity, a desire to attract or placate certain constituencies in the church, or the desire to appear… 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