Questions tagged [hymns]

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

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Does verse 3 of the hymn "It is Well" conflate parts of two different scriptures to come up with misleading theology?

Horatio G. Stafford wrote lyrics for the hymn that has the chorus, "It is well, it is well with my soul". It may be more quickly recognised by that chorus than its title, "It Is Well&...
5 votes
6 answers
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While on the cross, was Jesus abandoned by every human?

There are numerous Christians hymns and references in Christian literature that Jesus was "forsaken by all mankind, yet to be in Heaven' enthroned", etc. In essence, there is this powerful ...
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2 answers
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What is the origin of the hymn "Fairest Lord Jesus"?

As I was listening to Christmas music over the holidays, I noticed that the popular Danish Christmas hymn "Dejlig er jorden" ("Beautiful is the world") shares a melody with the ...
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1 answer
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What are the oldest Anglican hymns

I am interested in the oldest Anglican hymns that are still in use either in the 1940 or the 1982 Episcopal hymnals.
1 vote
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What has been the argument for the entrance hymn in the Church?

I attend the Ordinary form of the Mass. In it the entrance hymn is sung more often than the Gregorian introitus. I've been thinking about the reasons for this. In the Extraordinary form we find no ...
5 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
7 votes
6 answers
536 views

Which Christian denomination removed trinitarian language from the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy"?

In a brief article on the Trinity by Gordon H. Clark, he makes a surprising claim about a popular trinitarian hymn: The hymn book of one denomination has rewritten "Holy, Holy, Holy," so as to ...
1 vote
4 answers
375 views

Are Christians children or brethren of Jesus?

I noticed the hymn Redeemed states the following in its chorus (emphasis added): Redeemed, redeemed, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed, redeemed, His child, and forever, I am. This chorus ...
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1 answer
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Is there a list of all the verses to "Were you there?"

I was singing "Were you there..." to myself while planting potatoes yesterday evening after the Good Friday service, I got to the stone being rolled away and I couldn't help but think there ...
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1 answer
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Is the hymn "I Gave My Life For Thee" inaccurate?

The hymn I Gave My Life For Thee has the following verse (emphasis added): My Father's house of light, My glory-circled throne I left for earthly night, For wanderings sad and lone It appears to ...
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1 answer
67 views

What is the earliest source containing the music for Adoro te devote?

Can someone point me to the earliest source that contains the melody for Adoro te devote? I've checked on the Cantus Index, as well as MMMO database and have not been able to find anything on this ...
2 votes
2 answers
444 views

What's the reason behind St. Thomas Aquinas word choice "angelicus" in the hymn "Panis angelicus"?

If the hymn Panis angelicus refer to the Eucharist (flesh of Christ, bread of life), why did St. Thomas Aquinas not say "Christ's bread" (Panis Christi, if that's the right Latin grammar) ...
17 votes
6 answers
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Why do Christians stand when we sing?

In my experience, every church I've either been in or seen recorded ask the congregation to stand when they sing. Without having done a scientific study, it seems this is a near-universal practice ...
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

How is the hymn "We've a Story to Tell to the Nations" postmillennial?

In a recent blog article, Dr. Roger Olson said that the popular hymn We've a Story to Tell to the Nations "is clearly postmillennial eschatologically." But when I sing it in various ...
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1 answer
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What does it mean to say "the [Holy] Spirit shall depart"?

A hymn I often hear is "Prepare to Meet Thy God," which has the following verse: If you spurn the invitation Till the Spirit shall depart, Then you’ll see your sad condition, Unprepared to ...
4 votes
1 answer
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What does Augustine mean by the "hymns and psalms" which were introduced into the liturgy?

I am puzzling over a passage in Augustine's Confessions, where he speaks of himself and his mother in the Church at Milan: We were still cold, untouched by the warmth of your Spirit, but were excited ...
2 votes
2 answers
393 views

Meaning of the word "sons" in "Our God, Our Help in Ages Past"?

Time, like an ever-rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly forgotten, as a dream, Dies at the opening day. [Isaac Watts; Our God, Our Help in Ages Past] What does the word "sons" ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is Jesus atoned for us?

The third stanza of the hymn The Breaking Of Bread states the following (emphasis added): Our Savior now doth reign in heav’n above; death's power he overcame, such matchless love; to heav’n he did ...
10 votes
2 answers
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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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2 answers
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What do these verses mean? (From Psalm 132)

I was singing in a choir at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia. One of the lyrics was as follows: God will give him the throne of David, his father. The Lord swore an oath to ...
2 votes
2 answers
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Virgin Mary under the title of "Warrior Queen"?

I heard that a Polish anthem or hymn addressed Our Lady as the "Warrior Queen". Which hymn was this? Is "Warrior Queen" one of her official titles?
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1 answer
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What is the earliest manuscript of the Gloria in excelsis Deo (Greater Doxology) hymn?

What is the earliest manuscript of the Gloria in excelsis Deo (Greater Doxology) hymn?
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Why don't Mormons sing the second verse of, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"?

We were singing Christmas Carols tonight and noticed that in the Mormon Hymn book, the following verse has been omitted from, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing": Christ, by highest heav'n adored: ...
7 votes
2 answers
494 views

Do all Orthodox saints have their own akathist?

I don't quite understand the concept of an 'akathist' (hymn devoted to a saint). Are these written, one per saint whenever someone is glorified? Are they spontaneously generated over time? I am trying ...
19 votes
5 answers
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Biblical significance of the gifts given to Jesus

Is there any spiritual significance to the gifts the Magi brought – Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh – after they were led by a “star” to Bethlehem where they worshiped the young child Jesus? Why would ...
8 votes
4 answers
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What does "Christ was born across the sea" mean in Julia Ward Howe's The Battle Hymn of the Republic?

The fifth verse of Julia Ward Howe's The Battle Hymn of the Republic, as published in 1862, goes like this: In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, With a glory in His bosom ...
8 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
15 votes
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Who are David and Sibyls in the first stanza of Dies Iræ?

The first stanza of the medieval Latin hymn Dies Iræ is as follows: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla. While the beginning is clearly taken from the prophet ...
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1 answer
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Hymns that talk to God [closed]

I am looking for hymns that talk to God / Jesus / Holy Spirit instead of about Him or us. Prayer like hymns if it makes sense. English is not my primary language so I know only one: "Fairest Lord ...
5 votes
1 answer
86 views

Finding Ancient/Byzantine Greek texts used by choirs from Mount Athos

Recently I came across some recordings of choirs from different monasteries in Mountain Athos (e.g. Vigil of the Holy Cross or just collections of chants from Vatopedi monastery). Where could I find ...
13 votes
3 answers
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Did John Calvin discourage harmonies in congregational singing?

In many traditional Reformed churches, the songs found in hymnbooks and psalters (collections of Psalms set to music) are written with four parts: a melody/soprano line on the top, and alto, tenor, ...
26 votes
12 answers
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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? For example: The Baptist Hymnal 1975 / 1991 / 2008, The Faith We Sing (Methodist, right?), The (Episcopal) ...
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1 answer
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The Wretched Word "Miser"

I have only a vague recollection of it, but I could swear that I was taught that the word "wretched" in the Bible, and "miser" in Latin, referred to poor people. I may have learned this in ...
10 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
11 votes
5 answers
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Why does the Battle Hymn of the Republic say Jesus was born "in the beauty of the lillies"?

A seldom-quoted stanza of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" says In the beauty of the lillies Christ was born across the sea with a beauty in his bosom that transfigures you and me. As he died ...
22 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
7 votes
2 answers
329 views

What hymns about death were common in the early 1400s?

I am writing a novel and would like to know what hymn a family might have sung as their loved one died - in 1405 in England.
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1 answer
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What is the meaning of "Advocata Nostra" according to Catholic Tradition & Teaching?

The famous hymn "Salve Regina" in Latin contains the words "Advocata Nostra" and it is recited at the end of the Holy Rosary. What is the meaning of that phrase "Advocata Nostra" according to Church ...
5 votes
1 answer
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Who is permitted to write a canon or an akathist hymn to a Saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and how is it done?

I would imagine it would be a wonderful and prayerful experience to dive into the life of a Saint and compose a Church liturgical hymn for him/her. Who is permitted to engage in such activities? ...
7 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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2 answers
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Is there an equivalent to cantillation or tajweed in Christianity?

In both Islam and Hebrew, the respective holy books have rules for pronunciation and recitation so that they can be sung. Cantillation is the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in ...
7 votes
2 answers
715 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
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What's the name of this setting for the Angelus?

Here's a YouTube video of an English-language setting of the Angelus that appears to be popular among Anglo-Catholics (it's used at Pusey House)...I've not been able to find the name of the hymn tune. ...
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1 answer
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Not understanding the meaning of the song Resurrecting by Elevation Worship

There is a song by Elevation Worship named Resurrecting. As I am not a Christian, I failed to understand some of these lines: Our God is alive The tomb with soldiers watched in vain was ...
6 votes
1 answer
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Byzantine Chant vs. Gregorian Chant: What are the differences in goals as far as attitude and concepts between these two chanting styles

I'm NOT interested here in the difference in musical structure and rules here, per-say, between the Byzantine and Gregorian chanting styles. What I'm more interested in is the difference between them ...
2 votes
2 answers
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Why is the term "hymn" used so frequently to refer to "old-church-hymns?" [closed]

A hymn is any song giving praise or adoration to a deity, so why is it that the term "hymn" is so popular to the traditional songs of Protestants and Catholics, such as Come Thou Fount of Every ...
5 votes
1 answer
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Did William Cowper believe himself to be saved at the end of his life?

The 18th-century poet William Cowper is best-known in Christian circles for the hymns he wrote, like "There is a fountain, filled with blood" and "God moves in a mysterious way." He had deep ...
26 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
19 votes
3 answers
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Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green? (Origin of the story)

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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1 answer
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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 ...