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.
Sep 5 2011, 07:12 PM
Joined: 29-November 07
From: Beddington, Surrey
Member No.: 20603
Whenever I am called upon to play items such as "What a friend we have in Jesus", I use the superb arrangements in 'Sixty Songs from Sankey' by Charles Cleall. These versions impart musical dignity to the otherwise trivial harmonies that detract from the sense of the words.
Many are now 'classics', on the lines of 'O Lord my God', which often appears in a debased form in certain hymnals. (It is entirely a modern item and has no relation to any Russian or Scandinavian piece, despite certain claims made.) These items are certainly much better than many that are published as being 'modern' in hymn books often discussed on this board.
Sep 5 2011, 09:04 PM
Joined: 8-July 09
Member No.: 69976
Many are now 'classics', on the lines of 'O Lord my God', which often appears in a debased form in certain hymnals. (It is entirely a modern item and has no relation to any Russian or Scandinavian piece, despite certain claims made.)
Are you sure, Barry? Wikipedia (I know, not necessarily greatly scholarly!) has a very impressive and detailed account of the hymn's origins:
The original Swedish words are (allegedly) here:
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