Treasure No 67: Mrs Alexander

[Condensed from an address at the Society’s conference in Dublin, July 2000.] Cecil Frances Alexander, that most notable and prolific of all the Victorian hymn writers, was born in a well-to-do part of Dublin in 1818. Her mother’s stock had produced a line of Army officers and her father, Major John Humphreys, had seen service in the Marines until wounded …

Treasure No 66: Farewell to the Twentieth Century

A revised version of the lecture given at the Annual Conference, Lampeter, July 1999 The first—and the last—response to twentieth-century hymnody should be praise. In between I shall suggest some problems, but they are general problems of belief, and worship, and, although they have serious consequences for twentieth-century hymnody, they should not be allowed to obscure some very real causes …

Treasure No 65: Hymnody and Belonging

[This article is condensed from part of the dissertation presented by Mr Deans in November 1998 for his M.Th. degree at Westminster College, Oxford. The original title was ‘Hymnody and Belonging: an Examination of Effective Uses of Christian Hymns in Ministry to the Confused Elderly’. However, the present article is of more general import, as is a companion article on …

Treasure No 64: The English Hymn (review)

The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study, by J R. Watson. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997. xi 4–552 pp. £65.00 (£48.00 to Hymn Society members using special order form with July Bulletin) The publication of this scholarly, thought-provoking and enormously enjoyable book is a major event for hymnologists. In scale and scope it is comparable only with Louis F. Benson’s …

Treasure No 63: The Hymnologist’s Bookshelf

Back in Bulletin 142 (May 1978) we published, under this title, an article surveying the various books then available giving information about hymns, tunes, and their use. The article arose because members of the society were being asked ‘Where can I find information about such and such?’ People still put that sort of question. After nearly two decades, however, the …

Treasure No 62: Ten Laws of Hymnal Committees

Books of hymns are called hymnals. Books about hymns may be historical companions or devotional compilations. Then there are books about hymn-writers, from the popularly glossy to the academically scholarly. There are even books about hymnals which we know as surveys, guides or dictionaries. But what is in print about hymnal committees? There is material here for massive research and …