Thursday, January 27, 2011

Christ in Song: Hymns of Immanuel, Selected from All Ages, with Notes, Volume 1, by Philip Schaff


An excellent resource for hymn lovers. Or people who have yet to appreciate hymns but want to learn more. Or people who like poetry. Or history. Or music. Ok, fine, pretty much everyone.

Schaff lays out the text of hundreds of hymns from throughout Christian history, some dating as far back as a few centuries after Christ. The melodies are not included, but anyone with passing familiarity with hymns can readily fit the lines to some well-known melody or other. Or the more musically gifted reader could simply compose music for the words. (To this end, I gave a copy to my incredibly talented brother.)

The section on the passion of Christ was particularly moving and meaty. The hymns to Mary, less so. And it was sometimes surprising to find that some of the hymns dating back centuries upon centuries are still in use today.

I find myself intrigued by the idea that I am worshiping God using the words of a hymn-writer from long ago. If God is outside time, then perhaps to Him, we are singing in unison.

Definitely worth picking up, though many may prefer to use it as a reference, rather than reading it straight through.

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