Hymnals and Beauty

Since it’s Saturday, I thought it would be good to take a break from my usual format of talking about classes and talk about something that’s been interesting me lately: hymnals.

For those of you who don’t know me…..I hate Singing the Living Tradition. Absolutely hate it. So I’ve been looking at hymnals for the past few years hoping that I would find one that I really like.

I have a copy of the UCC hymnal. It’s ok, but nothing spectacular.  I really like the Chalice Hymnal (from the Disciples), and wish I had a copy here with me.

But I have to tell you, I have fallen in love (or very serious like) with Worship In Song, the hymnal from the Friends General Conference. Maybe it’s because I’m spending time with Quakers, but I find the simplicity of this hymnal to be striking.  It would do us UUs a world of good to have a hymnal like this one.

So I’m wondering…….are there any hymnals out there that you enjoy that you think I should take a look at?


4 thoughts on “Hymnals and Beauty

  1. I don’t like Singing the Living Tradition (except to demonstrate the relative size of computer hardware) and like the UCC Hymnal less. I agree with you on the Disciples and Quaker hymnals. Have you seen the Brethren hymnal, simply entitled Worship?

    The problem is that there’s a dire shortage of new, good hymnals. I doubt a hymnal today can last 30 years as they once did, but even so, Singing the Living Tradition and its litter mates have lives half their lives. Not a happy thought.

  2. I haven’t had the chance to look through the Brethen hymnal yet, and they are right here with the Quakers. (ESR and Bethany share the northeast corner of the Earlham campus)

    The next time I go to the Earlham bookstore, I’ll check and see if the Brethen hymnal is still there. When I was last there, there was only one copy of Worship in Song in stock.

  3. I love both Singing the Living Tradition and Singing the Journey! How funny. Before almost everything we sing during our worship services, I say, “This is one of my favorites!” I have about 50 favorite hymns, I suppose. The thing is, I like just about every kind of music. As long as it’s live, I’m into it. Plus, as long as I’m not expected to sing that Jesus is my lord and savior, I love singing. So I’m extremely easy to please in the music department….

  4. I have fewer problems with Singing the Journey than I do with SLT. I find half the songs in SLT un-singable. Part of that is that the word alterations are not the right ones. There are other reasons, but that’s the biggest one.

    That said, I know a few people who really like SLT. And I like the readings part of it. But I would have preferred a different hymnal all around.


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