Tuesday, May 6, 2014
It's All About Hymn
It really hurts when I have to admit that I have traditional traits. Honestly, I really want to be a radical guy in a contemporary world. Things just seem to get in my way however, and sometimes these things worry me.
Take worship music. Nothing says traditional worship more than a hymnal. I grew up in the United Methodist Church, so therefore I grew up using the United Methodist Hymnal as the main focus in worship. The hymnal had lots of things we used in worship; liturgy for baptism and communion, psalters and creeds, and hymns- lots of hymns. Most of the hymns were, maybe 150 years old, and they were meant to be sung by people who sang them as contemporary worship. They were old songs sung by old people. They were sung with organ accompaniment and it sounded like a bunch of cows mooing for their calves.
I want to be radical, I want to throw off the shackles of the traditional worship. I want to dress comfortably and sing songs accompanied by a band with guitars and drums. I do like contemporary worship, but really the songs lack. I see the same hymns that I grew to hate are far superior to most contemporary works. The big Christian seasons really bring this out. Advent and Easter are almost ignored by contemporary music. We all love to sing the old carols during advent, and Easter may be even more dramatic.
Let's look at Easter songs traditionally sung on Easter morning:
Up From the Grave He Arose (322 in the Hymnal)
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o're His foes
He arose a victor from the dark domain
and he lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose-He arose
Halleluiah Christ arose.
This pretty much sums it up!
How about Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (302 in the Hymnal)
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens and earth reply, Alleluia!
It may help if we do them in a different way. Try reciting those songs in rap style. It may change your world!
The theology, the passion, and the guidance found in hymnals can no longer be ignored. Aside from your Bible, a hymnal can be your best tool in worship. Ouch! I said it. But they are not perfect. my next rant will be to fix the hymnal. Now, before it's too late.