Technically a distinct style of Music, generally referring to the music typically sung in a worship service.

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Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green?

William Blake's preface to Milton, commonly called Jerusalem and set to a famous hymn tune by Hubert Parry, questions whether the child Jesus might have visited England. And did those feet in ...
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320 views

Could you please help me locate this hymn?

I heard a sermon that was recorded in the 1980s. The speaker was Dr. Paul E. Toms, who at the time was senior pastor at Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts. In his sermon, Dr. Toms ...
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Why did “Lift Every Voice and Sing” become the “Black National Anthem”?

Attending an African American church service recently, I was introduced to the hymn Lift Every Voice and Sing. One of my colleagues said this was the "Black National Anthem," uniquely Christian and a ...
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What is the oldest hymn (with music) that is still sung in churches today?

Using any of the standard hymnals, what is the oldest hymn that people are still singing? e.g. The Baptist Hymnal 1975 / 1991 / 2008, The Faith We Sing (Methodist, right?), The (Episcopal) ...
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380 views

Did Mary know that her Baby Boy would “soon deliver her”?

It's a little past Christmas, but I forgot to ask this question based on the song "Mary did you know", which really raises the question. Did Mary know? As a Catholic, there are lots of traditions ...
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Do Mainline Presbyterians oppose Satisfaction Theory? Is this why “In Christ Alone” was rejected for their Hymnal?

Satisfaction Theory is a theory of atonement that, in a nutshell, says that God's justice demands a certain amount of punishment for sin. In that, God's "wrath" is often used as a metaphor for that ...
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201 views

What is Matt Redman's denominational background?

So, I've been learning to love a new (for me) song called 10000 Reasons. I discovered that he is also the writer of another "modern classic" Blessed Be Your Name. In writing his music, he takes an ...
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919 views

Is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” preaching heresy?

I love the song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." Its beautiful, and the backstory is pretty amazing. My problem is that I always shudder every time I sing the third verse. It says, "O to grace, ...
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Why was Christ's sacrifice such a big cost?

Many hymns refer to the immense cost that Jesus paid on the cross. In one sense this is consistent with evangelical theology in that Jesus was taking the sins of the world upon himself. But some ...
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793 views

What is Heaven's Mercy Seat?

In Revelation Song, Jesus is portrayed as sitting on "Heaven's Mercy Seat" at God's right hand. I'm trying to get a handle on what that is. (At 1:07, we praise 'Him who sits on Heaven's Mercy Seat" ...
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327 views

What is the role and significance of Zion in Christianity?

The meaning of Zion is uncertain. There is a hymn related to Zion. The refrain part says, We’re marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion; We’re marching upward to Zion, The ...
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Did Luther Really Use Bar Tunes for his Hymns?

The title sums it up: I often hear it said during the debates on liturgy and music styles that are appropriate for worship that even Luther used common bar tunes (equivalent to days pop songs) for his ...
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Why is the Exsultet so keen on bees?

The Exsultet or Exultet is a beautiful Latin hymn for the Easter vigil. There are a few different versions. Part of the ceremony involves lighting the Paschal candle, and the text thanks the bees who ...
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Why do I sing, “Here I raise my Ebenezer?”

In "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," the second verse, says, "Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I've come." I have heard that an Ebenezer is a monument of some kind, but even armed with ...
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376 views

Is “A mighty fortress is our God” anti-Catholic?

So there's a hymn called A mighty fortress is our God (Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott), written by Martin Luther; there's also a famous version by J. S. Bach. It is a call to arms against the devil, ...
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115 views

Why is “We Three Kings” a Christmas hymn, and not a Lenten one?

I'll admit, when I was a young'n, I thought "We Three Kings" was a silly song. I mean, it was just about a star, right? After all, since I only knew the chorus, and the first verse: We three ...
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461 views

“I will lift Your Name”

Lots of Christian Rock songs have a curious metaphor about "Lifting Your Name". Is this a direct reference to the words of St. Paul, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend (Phil 2:10)? ...
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149 views

What role does hymnody play in non-Western churches?

My wife and I were discussing the central role that congregational singing of hymns takes in Western churches, when it dawned on me that I don't real have a good understanding what its like outside of ...
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156 views

What was Isaac Watts' theological background?

Isaac Watts has often been called "the Father of English Hymnody." He is responsible for many of my favorite hymns: Joy to the world (arranged by Lowell Mason to an older melody originating from ...
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157 views

What denominations use gender-inclusive hymnology?

Recently, I was asked to substitute "souls" for "men" in the hymn, "Good Christian Men, Rejoice," in order to be more gender-inclusive. In this same congregation, I caused quite a stir by suggesting ...
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What's the new rite in Tantum Ergo?

St. Thomas Aquinas' Hymn Tantum Ergo, which is usually sung at Benediction always seems better in Latin: Et antiquum documentum Novo cedat ritui: Mainly because in both the transliterated and ...