Friday, June 11, 2010

"We Hymn the Father"

To put this post in perspective, I (briefly) looked up the origin of the word worship. It is from the Old English weorthscipe, or, worthiness. It can also me used a noun as in "your worship". More recently the word has been used to describe the part of church where one sings and a band plays on the stage.

The fundamental idea of worship then, is that glory and praise are being given to God. Secondarily, worship deepens the worshipper's faith.

Hymns are more decidedly "old church" than contemporary worship songs. Often hymns contain more complicated lyrics than modern worship songs. On the way home from church several months ago, one of my siblings complained that these songs were hard to understand. But that is part of why I love hymns so much. They make me pause and consider God in a new way--new to me, anyway. That said, from a missional viewpoint, they may not be easy for outsiders to understand.

An interesting part of the debate over worship music is what hymns less liturgical churches choose to adopt. For example "Jesus Paid It All" is played occasionally at my church, while a hymn called, maybe, "Who Is On the Lord's Side" would be played less often. Also hymns more specific in focus, such as "A Christian Home" are left behind.

One pastor I know asks that there be two hymns at ever church service. I like this policy. There are certainly some gems among hymns. My favorite hymn is probably the Doxology, but I'm not certain. There are always more out there to find.

So, gentle reader, what are your thoughts on this subject and which is your favorite hymn?

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