Short Guide No 25: Ordination and Commissioning Hymns

Ordinations and commissioning services happen in a variety of contexts, and are a cause of great celebration and spiritual power. Liturgies and traditions notwith-standing, the singing of hymns on these occasions plays a crucial role, and their selection is, therefore, not to be undertaken lightly. Approaches taken towards the discernment, vocation and formal commencement of a person’s authorised ministry vary …

Short Guide No 24: Confirmation Hymns

‘Confirmation’ covers various approaches to Christian initiation and commitment. When adults make a commitment and are received into membership of the church, the act of worship surrounding it can be a celebratory, evangelistic, sacramental expression of unity, and the hymns have a vital role to play in the blend of joy, hope and affirmation that a Confirmation should be. For …

Short Guide No 23: Baptism Hymns

Baptism can occur in different contexts and at different stages in life, yet the fundamental spiritual and ecclesiological purpose and outcome of such initiation is the same. Nevertheless, each context and understanding of baptism demands its own approach if they are going to be not only welcoming celebrations of commitment but opportunities to preach and sing the faith of Christ …

Short Guide No 22: Funeral Hymns

Christian funerals take place either in a church or at a crematorium or cemetery chapel. While the circumstances are different the issues surrounding the picking of hymns are similar. Hymn singing at funerals is in decline, so even greater care needs to be taken in using hymns to enhance the hope of a funeral, rather than increase the discomfort. As …

Short Guide No 21: Wedding Hymns

Many couples still choose to marry in church, yet the combined impact of more choice and the increasing lack of prior knowledge of hymnody has made it increasingly more difficult to accommodate their needs and desires with Christian integrity and wisdom. Tunes are the key to wedding hymns. Notwithstanding the decline in the number of couples choosing to marry in …

Short Guide No 10: What are the Pastoral Considerations when Using Hymns?

The pastoral use of hymns covers both the occasional offices of the church – baptism, weddings and funerals – but also those relating to healing and healing services. It is also necessary to examine the pastoral impact of hymns in ordinary and seasonal acts of worship. Here are some principles which may be applied in various contexts. Initially it is …

Short Guide No 9: Our Musical Resources are Limited; What Can We Sing?

Successful congregational singing entails careful, imaginative organisation. We need not emulate the local choral society but our singing must be the best we can offer; nothing less will be good enough. We tend to rely on instrumental support for our singing, but let’s start with using the voice. Unaccompanied singing can be highly effective. Opinions expressed in this paper are …

Short Guide No 7: What are the Best Places to Find Hymns on Specific Subjects?

Hymns for worship usually follow a general pattern, either being necessary at a particular place in the liturgy or, in some circumstances actually providing the framework for the liturgy itself. Nevertheless there are some occasions when hymns on specific subjects are sought. These may be of a seasonal nature, church or secular, or related to a particular theme. Most hymn …