- Newly published by the Hymn Society
Praying Thrice: Prayers from Hymns
by Gordon Giles
This collection of prayers contains around a hundred items, many of which have previously appeared in the author’s Hymn Meditation column in Church Music Quarterly (RSCM) or in Gordon’s books The Music of Praise and O Come Emmanuel (both published by the Bible Reading Fellowship). Gordon recalls St Augustine’s dictum that anyone who sings, “prays twice” and therefore offers these prayers written in response to hymns “which might enable us to pray not so much twice as thrice!”
Available from the Secretary at £4.00 (£3.00 for Society members) including postage.
The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland present a series of four booklets. These are based on the following definition of a Hymn as agreed by the authors and editor of the series:
A hymn is a congregational expression of praise or prayer to God. It is most often conceived as sacred poetry in regular stanzas, usually in metric and rhyming form, and set to repeated music for corporate singing. It may focus on different aspects of doctrine or the devotional experience of individuals. This genre includes metrical psalms, but does not necessarily include the less structured pattern of most ‘worship songs’.
Writing a New Hymn – Martin Leckebusch
Martin Leckebusch was born in Leicester into a family with Methodist roots. He made a personal Christian commitment at the age of 14. Greatly influenced by the charismatic/evangelical tradition, he has belonged to both Pentecostal and Anglican congregations as well as spending six years as a Methodist Local Preacher (1992-98). He currently is a worshipping member of a Baptist congregation in Gloucester. He read Mathematics at Oriel College, Oxford and Numerical Analysis at Brunel University, since when he has worked in IT as a systems programmer and an infrastructure designer. He and his wife have four daughters; their second child, a son, died in 1995. Martin began writing hymns in 1987 and has now produced around 400 texts. A collection of 144 texts, More than Words, was published by Kevin Mayhew in 2000. He has since produced Songs of God’s People (Mayhew, 2006) – a collection of 150 texts, based on the complete Psalter, for singing to well-known tunes. His texts have also appeared in Sing Glory (1999), Praise! (2000), Carol Praise (2006) and other collections ranging from several Spring Harvest songbooks to the Methodist, Anglican and Catholic versions of Hymns Old & New (2001, 2004 and 2005 respectively). He chairs the Text Advisory Group of Jubilate Hymns and also consults regularly with representatives of the more informal song writers. In addition to his hymn writing, Martin has recently completed a book of contemporary parables, due for publication in 2008. Martin is keen to see the Church equipped for Christian living, and believes that well-crafted and wisely-used contemporary hymns and songs have a vital role to play in that process.
Understanding Hymns Tunes – John Barnard
John Barnard is active in church music as composer, arranger, choir director and organist in Harrow, England. He has contributed to several Jubilate publications including Hymns for Today’s Church, Carols for Today, Psalms for Today and Sing Glory. More recently he has co-edited with David Iliff The Carol Book for the Royal School of Church Music, a photocopiable resource for the Christmas period, and a sequel to cover the rest of the church year is in preparation.
John is probably best known for his hymn tune GUITING POWER (written for Michael Saward’s hymn, ‘Christ triumphant, ever reigning) which is widely sung throughout Britain and Ireland and further afield. His musical activities are a hobby. He is a languages teacher by profession and was from 1987 to 2002 Second Master (deputy headmaster) of the John Lyon School, Harrow. He now earns a living teaching German on short-term contracts in schools in north-west London.
Understanding Hymns – Edward Darling
Edward Darling studied for ordination at Trinity College, Dublin, where, in his final year, he was Student Organist in the College Chapel. He was ordained in 1956 and served two curacies in the city of Belfast. He then ministered for ten years in St. Gall’s Parish in Carnalea near Bangor, Co. Down, during which time he was also chaplain to the Bangor Hospital. From 1972 to 1985 he was incumbent of St John’s, Malone, Belfast and, for the latter part of his years there, also a minor canon of Belfast Cathedral and chaplain at the Ulster Independent Clinic. In 1985 he was con#secrated bishop, and served for the next fifteen years as Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in the south-west and mid-west of Ireland. He retired in 2000, moving from Limerick back to Craigavon in the north.
Bishop Darling was General Editor of the interim supplementary hymnal Irish Church Praise in 1990 and of the Church Hymnal, (fifth edition) in 2000. Both books feature some of his tunes and texts, the latter including adaptations, paraphrases and new versions of liturgical canticles. He compiled the lectionary hymn-guides Choosing the Hymns (Collins, 1984) and Sing to the Word (OUP, 2000) and was joint-author with Dr. Donald Davison of Companion to Church Hymnal (Columba, 2005). He became an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians in 2006 and was elected Executive President of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland at its annual conference in July 2007.
Finding Out About Hymns – Bernard Massey and Gillian Warson
Bernard Massey was educated at Watford Grammar School and Queen Mary College London. He was successively Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London 1952-85, and is the author of three science and engineering text-books. He was organist of the former Congregational Church, Redhill, Surrey 1964-88, and was president of the Organ Club 1968-70.
He edited the Bulletin of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland from 1975 to 2002, with an additional spell as acting editor in 2003. He served on the music sub-committees for the two hymnals, Hymns & Psalms and Rejoice & Sing.
Gillian Warson is a writer, teacher and viola player. She has a particular interest in hymnody and local history and has published four books on hymn singing in North Oxfordshire. She has given papers at conferences in Romania and Canada as well as all over the UK and Ireland. She has written a biography of the hymn writer Fred Kaan which is published by Stainer and Bell. Gillian is married with two almost grown-up children
July 2007 © The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland ISBN: 978-0-9505589-6-7 – Available post free from:
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