Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hymn Books

Today's Theme Suggestions:
  • Does it matter to you what hymn book church's use?
  • Tell us about the sort of Christian songs you remember from your childhood
  • What hymn book does your church currently use and why?
  • Review a hymn book or your choice
  • What do you think a hymn book is?

Singing The Faith

A few months ago my church made the decision to switch from  Hymns and Psalms to a new hymn book called Singing The Faith. The decision was made after much consultation and partly because it was realised that we were already singing a lot of songs out of the new hymn book. The reception has been mixed but, over time, the congregation has come to (mainly) accept the songs which are within it.

Personally, I think there are some great new songs in the book and the editors have also made some good choices of songs to be kept in. We've sung some interesting songs that I never knew of before in our services, and in our Music Fellowship sessions I've been able to find a few of my favourites that I'd come across in other churches. There also still seems to be plenty of classics that those who prefer those hymns can sing withe gusto.

Thee number of songs we photocopy has definatly decreased, and we no longer have long lists of songs not in the hymn book to send to the copyright people.

The main down side is that the printing of the books seems to have been rather rushed (particularly the music edition). The layout of lyrics versus music is inconsistant meaning that it can be hard to see where you are at times. The books are also too heavy for most music stands, meaning that musicians still have to photocopy the pages when they play them.

Also lovely harmonies have been removed from some of the songs. I've always loved singing descants, especially a Christmas, but its become a lot harder with this new book. Sometimes there's to descent at all where you would expect one, other times its been changed to fit in with a new arrangement of the organ part. Either way, I'd much prefer to see a traditional format for traitional hymns.

Over all,  I would recommend this book. I'd also recommend, however, waiting a year (or two) until better formatted editions are released.

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