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What We Lose When Hymnbooks Disappear

From our modern vantage point, perhaps we might see hymnals as outdated accessories of a worship service. But hymnbooks have served (and still may serve) a larger purpose. These books were the way children learned to read, the way illiterate congregants were able to apply a sermon, the way families instructed their children (and paved the way for children’s literature), the way poetic careers began, and the way that disparate individuals became the worshiping people of God.

Looks like a book worth reading. We really do lose very much when the hymnals disappear.

Here’s a hymnal worth using: Hymns to the Living God

Source: What We Lose When Hymnbooks Disappear | Christianity Today

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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3 Responses to What We Lose When Hymnbooks Disappear

  1. I recently attended a church that did not use hymnals. I did not know mos of the songs sung. While the words were projected, I was not given the opportunity to sing because I had no music to look at. A side note of not using a hymnal in the worship service is that it ostracizes guests who do not know the music. If worship is supposed to be congregational in nature, the whole congregation needs to be given the opportunity to participate, not just spectate.

  2. This is even worse when the songs themselves are not objectively singable! You literally cannot pick them up naturally, even if you’re musically inclined.

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