Is the hymnal on the way out?

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SueS

Puritan Board Freshman
A few months ago someone in our choir suggested that we get a screen and project the hymns - our director replied, "Over my dead body!!!" and then went on to say that in her opinion when the hymnbooks are replaced by an overhead it eventually dumbs down the worship. I couldn't agree more.

At our former church hymnbooks were done away with over 20 years ago and, yes, there was definitely a dumbing down process. With a screen, only the words are projected which means that only familiar, easy to sing hymns could be used. Eventually P&W's replaced most of the hymns although our pastor made it a point to do at least a couple of them every week because he was aware that the younger generation is becoming almost totally illiterate when it comes to the great hymns of the faith. When the new man took over hymns became almost completely a thing of the past and inane, repetitive 7/11 songs are about all that is sung. What a pity!

With a hymnal there is a great variety of music and if chosen correctly, much sound doctrine can be derived from the hymns. Congregations can be exposed to many of the great hymns of the faith, many of which were written by outstanding composers of the past. Simply using a hymnal enables a person to gradually learn to read music well enough to follow an unfamiliar melody without much of a problem.

In our congregation we have many people who are able to sing various harmony parts which makes the singing particularly pleasing to the ear. If the hymnals were taken away all of these benefits would eventually disappear as well.

Our pastor is hoping to begin introducing Psalm singing in the near future and I expect the quality of congregational singing will be at least as good if not better.
 

SueS

Puritan Board Freshman
My church uses songs by RUF and Townend, etc. We have moved to printing the music or putting lyrics in the bulletin. I personally think that overheads or projectors are more efficient compared to printing out music or lyrics every week.

I love the uniformity of a hymnal, but my church does to many songs by different sources to have all the music confined to one book.

That is the way it is at our church, and from what I am hearing from my PCA friends, this is where most of the PCA churches are headed.



Our pastor (PCA) is in the process of collecting various contemporary hymns as well as Psalms to put together in a spiral bound hymnal to complement our regular one. There are so many really good contemporary hymns out there - by Townend and Boice, for example - and he wants our congregation to be exposed to them.
 

SueS

Puritan Board Freshman
For the record, our church would be purchasing the Trinity hymnal. We tend to sing a lot of hymns from the Trinity hymnal anyway, but the arrangements are slightly different.

By the way, I agree with those who complain about the RUF arrangements. There are a few really good ones, and the rest need a lot of help.

Please keep the comments coming.



When we were between churches we visited one that used the RUF arrangements of old hymns. They were sounded pleasant enough but they all had a '60's folk music sound that got very boring after a short time. Keep the old arrangements with the old lyrics!!!!!
 
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