Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hymns

To put it simply, I really enjoy hymns. I've had a lot of experience with music, although I'm not all that wonderful a musician, and every time I get to play or sing hymns, it's always my favorite thing to do. My husband says I oversing a bit in church, and he's probably right. First, because he generally is right about most thigns, and second, because I do get enthusiastic about it.

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is a denomination that loves its hymns, The churches we've attended have had varying levels of musical involvement, and always lots of hymns. This morning we sang several from the resurrection section of the Trinity Hymnal, including "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" and "Look Ye Saints the Sight is Glorious". I suppose that one of the good things about our frequent moves is that we can learn different hymns as we worship at different churches. Each church always has certain hymns that through no particular design are somewhat more frequent favorites. "Look Ye Saints" is one of those which I never recall having sung anywhere before we came to Providence OPC in Austin.

In retrospect, I almost wonder if the main reason I always wanted to learn the organ was to play hymns. Once I got to college and could start organ lessons, one of the first things I did was to start learning a hymn. I started wiht "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"- neither the easiest nor the most difficult in the book, but very familiar. Painstakingly I worked at coordinating each chord with hands and feet. I can only imagine how it sounded to anyone outside, for the Cottey chapel was not air-conditioned and so the windows stood open for several weeks at the start of my first semester.

A performance is always delightful. It's an adrenaline rush, to rehearse and practice for weeks or months and then have people listen and watch. Hymns are not like that; they are something for worship and enjoyment, and relatively little preparation. Some of the most enjoyable gatherings we've had have been times when groups of Christians have been able to get together to sing (or play) hymns, which we're planning to do with another OPC family in a few weeks. I'd encourage anyone who studies the piano or organ especially, although other instruments as well, to work through your hymnals time and again to become familiar with hymns!

5 comments:

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I know All Hail, but I don't think I know Look Ye Saints...

Wenonah4th said...

"Look ye saints, the sight is glorious, see the man of sorrows now; From the fight returned victorious, every knee to him shall bow; Crown him, Crown him; Crowns become the victor's brow".

Civilla said...

Yes, I really, really love the hymns. When choruses came into vogue, I loved those, too, but now that we have been going back to hymns in the churches we have recently attended, I love them all over again. So does my 19-year-old son. Actually, I love everything that the Lord has provided for us, hymns, choruses, whatever.
I, too, was a military wife. My husband is retired from the A.F., and I miss the life.

Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family said...

I love hymns too :). A Mighty Fortress is awesome!

robert said...

Great to learn of your love for the traditional hymns of the church. I share your enthusiasm--which is one reason I created my daily blog Wordwise Hymns, about hymn history. It is sad when churches totally abandon this treasure out of a concern to be "contemporary." There is a depth of spiritual insight in them that speaks to the heart. God bless.