Tagged hymn

The New Song, Part 2 (Authors and Hymn Writing)

The New Song, Part 2 (Authors and Hymn Writing)
Many times we find that excellent hymn writers have been ministers who penned hymn poetry to “preach” that way. In the case of Isaac Watts, Martin Luther, John and Charles Wesley, and many others, this was a means by which the congregation could remember the Sunday sermon and take it home. The truths of the sermon would “live on” in the minds of the people who would more easily recall the poetry and tune than they might the verbal presentation itself.

Wesley’s Instructions on Hymn-singing

John Wesley, the preacher and hymn-writing brother of the more famous and prolific hymn poet Charles, gave directions for singing in his Select Hymns of 1761. These instructions are sound advice to this day and merit repeating. Wesley wrote these instructions to his congregation regarding that hymnbook and its tunes:

Practical Suggestions for Hymn Singing

One aid to a fuller appreciation and understanding of a hymn or psalm text (and we should be singing both) is to read through the text ahead of time; so a printed Order of Worship can be very significant to good preparation. In the case of a Psalm, read the entire psalm and become familiar with its context. Another help is to try to sing stanzas in phrases, according to punctuation, rather than simply singing one word followed by the next. The organist or other participating instrumentalists should attempt to lead the congregation this way, “breathing” with the text and connecting words or thoughts that are not separated by punctuation. This approach is very helpful to greater comprehension of the meaning of a hymn text.

How to Sing a Hymn/Psalm

One of the most significant activities in gathered worship is corporate communication with God on the part of His children. Our heavenly Father desires and requires such communication. Prayer and praise are the two most obvious examples of this, and our singing is often one or both of these. One expedient way to note that a hymn is a prayer hymn is to discover direct address of the Father, Son or Holy Spirit in its text.