Hymns and the Visitor, Any suggestions?
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Hymns and the Visitor, Any suggestions?
Jul 23 2011, 10:31 AM
Joined: 15-May 06
Member No.: 6928
I nearly said 'hymns for the unchurched' but didn't want to initiate a slanging match; I've no problem with non-churchgoers and genuinely want to make the experience of a service as rewarding as possible for them so would appreciate any thoughts on a situation that arises here monthly.
I am annoyed that after an 11 hour day yesterday that included work, organ practice and choir practice, I found a message on my answering machine requesting that the hymns be changed.
When I returned the call the reasoning was " I'm sorry it is such short notice but I've just got back from holiday and it is the Family/Welcome ~Service this Sunday and they won't know any of the hymns on the list".........[truncate conversation but the next bit was exactly the words used]....." I haven't decided what I'm going to talk about yet".
So we are to ditch 'Now thank we all our God', 'Praise we now the word of Grace', 'Praise my soul the King of Heaven', and 'Bright the vision'.
Let us ignore the fact that I had spent nearly an hour going through these line by line with the non-music readers in the choir.
None of these would have them rocking at Greenbelt, admittedly, but my contention is that the irregular visitor is unlikely to be all that familiar with the alternative hymns that I have been instructed to play i.e 'Morning has Broken, 'Give me oil in my lamp' and 'O Jesus I have promised', either. Clearly, no more thought has gone into this selection than could be managed in the blink of an eye.
So the question is, what do others do when they know a fair proportion of the congregation will be, if not first timers, at least unfamiliar with the culture? I know for a fact that a handful of the regulars avoid this service because of the likely presence of fidgety infants and the vacuous theology that will be presented. (I hasten to add that the service is being conducted by a Reader, not the Vicar, who submitted the original list for my approval).
What hymns would you suggest as an alternative? Because if I am to play this c@rp I shall go on pedal strike and not vary the registration one jot. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ph34r.gif) We have Common Praise, Mission Praise and A+M to hand.
Aug 24 2011, 10:00 AM
Joined: 29-November 07
From: Beddington, Surrey
Member No.: 20603
"[i]How low will these people stoop to get their own way?[i]"
So low they could walk beneath a snake's belly with a top hat on and have plenty of space clear above.
I recall a similar 'survey' being done in a church in the 1970s. It was clearly loaded in such a way as to get a particular result - that the choir should sing less. Fortunately, there were several people in the congregation who knew what they were about. The 'survey' was (metaphorically) torn to shreds at a public meeting and the person who instigated it (the vicar) discredited on that matter. When a competent survey was done some months later it was found that there was strong support for the work for the work of the choir and the most unpopular feature of worship was 'Series III' Holy Communion which the vicar had introduced. When the new vicar came 'Series III' was dropped and the congrgation grew within two weeks.
I do not understand why it is assumed that the Holy Spirit can only work with a particular style of music or liturgy in church, the musical style not being modern, but in fact very dated - usually 'Songs of Fellowship', of something similar.
In respect of 'Morning has broken' it should be remembered that this item is outside all CCLI arrangements. Separate permission is needed to print the words on wedding/funerals/Sunday service sheets. Permission should be obtained from David Higham Associates Limited.
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