A collection of sacred music

way truth life love

As a sacred music enthusiast, I have collected numerous compilations of music that has been sung in churches of Christ over the past 152 years. It is a joy to me to pour over the pages of these hymnals and to sing songs new and old. I have not listed every copy here, nor every variation. But I have largely adhered to an edited collection of major hymnals in the churches of Christ in the United States as compiled by Levi Sisemore. I also have collected various supplements, hymn story books, worship music instructional books and workbooks, and worship theology books which have served to edify greatly as I strive to serve in worship leading. I share this catalog for the enjoyment of other hymn enthusiasts.


1865     Christian Hymnbook (Alexander Campbell) – Digital only

1882     The Christian Hymnal* (American Christian Missionary Society) – Digital only

1882…

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Which Hymnal or Song Collection Should We Choose?

Thanks, Tim! Very carefully considered and logical explanation!

Get them singing

hymnals
Selecting a hymnal or collection of songs for a congregation is not an easy task. Oh, it’s easy to grab a book with songs that I like, but choosing a hymnal for a congregation carries the daunting responsibility of providing a primary source of the spiritual language of the congregation, and a couple of generations to come. The average congregation changes hymnals far less often than its ministry staff, about once every 20-30 years. That’s a long time to be singing from a collection. All the more reason to choose wisely.
Our theology is shaped by the hymns we sing–for good or bad–and it should be as we “teach and admonish one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3.16). How often we hear the cross referenced in prayers and meditations as “that old rugged cross”, or someone refers to our “blessèd assurance” in Christ. In a well-edited collection…

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A Hymn For Today – Forever With the Lord

FOREVER WITH THE LORD

“Forever with the Lord!”
Amen, so let it be!
Life from His death is in that word –
‘Tis immortality.
Here in the body pent,
Absent from Him I roam,
Yet nightly pitch my moving tent
A day’s march nearer home

My Father’s house on high,
Home of my soul, how near
At times, to faith’s foreseeing eye,
Your golden gates appear!
Ah! then my spirit faints
To reach the land I love,
The bright inheritance of saints,
Jerusalem above.

“Forever with the Lord!”
Forever in His will,
The promise of that faithful word,
Lord, here in me fulfill.
With You at my right hand,
Then I shall never fail.
Uphold me, Lord, and I shall stand;
Through grace I will prevail.

So when my latest breath
Breaks through the veil of pain,
By death I shall escape from death,
And life eternal gain.
That resurrection word,
That shout of victory:
Once more, “Forever with the Lord!”
Amen, so let it be!

SMD (6.6.8.6.D) – James Montgomery, 1835                                                                                                                    Tune: TERRA BEATA – Franklin L. Sheppard, 1915                                                                                                                # 695 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012

A HYMN FOR TODAY – God of the Living, In Whose Eyes

I posted this on March 27, 2013 — almost 2 years ago — and it seems appropriate to reblog it now.

ἐκλεκτικός

A HYMN FOR TODAY

God of the living, in whose eyes

Unveiled, Thy whole creation lies;

All souls are Thine; we must not say

That those are dead who pass away.

From this our world of flesh set free,

We know them living unto Thee.

Released from earthly toil and strife,

With Thee is hidden still their life;

Thine are their tho’ts, their works, their pow’rs,

All Thine, and yet most truly ours;

For well we know, where’er they be,

Our dead are living unto Thee.

Not spilled like water on the ground,

Not wrapped in dreamless sleep profound,

Not wandering in unknown despair,

Beyond Thy voice, Thine arm, Thy care;

Not left to lie like fallen tree –

Not dead, but living, unto Thee.

Thy Word is true, Thy will is just;

To Thee we leave them, Lord, in trust;

And bless Thee for the love which gave

Thy…

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God of the Living, in Whose Eyes

God of the Living, in Whose Eyes

Carl Peterson on John Ellerton – worth reading!

Strains Divine

When the hymnal Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (PHASS) was published in 2012 by Sumphonia Productions, it introduced to its users a number of texts which had not been available previously in hymnals commonly in circulation among its primary audience. Some of these were more recent texts that had not yet had opportunity to do so (or had not been sought out until this publication); others were much older, going back 100 years or more, that for various reasons had never penetrated “the brotherhood.”

One such hymn (to my knowledge and ability to research) is “God of the Living, in Whose Eyes.” The text was written by John Ellerton, whose hymn, “The Day Thou Gavest,” is well regarded in some quarters and has appeared in brotherhood hymnals since at least Jorgensen’s Great Songs of the Church (both editions). The tune used in PHASS was composed by C. E. Couchman in 2011, presumably…

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A HYMN FOR TODAY – O LORD Whose Law Is My Delight

From the “New Hymns vs. Old Hymns” Front: Here is a prime example of a “new” (recently written) hymn — yet filled with “old” (Biblical) imagery and phrasing. And paired with a great tune which, oh-by-the-way, is a mere 230 years old (that’s nearly a quarter-millennium for those of us who think in such terms). Hymns written in this manner have every right and expectation to survive and thrive in the repertoire of Christian hymns — especially when fitted to an enduring and musically sound tune. This is another of the hymns recently recorded in Tampa for the forthcoming third Sumphonia CD.

A HYMN FOR TODAY – O LORD Whose Law Is My Delight

O LORD, whose law is my delight,
My meditation day and night,
I have found peace through years of strife
By holding fast the word of life.

Though frail my soul and faint my song,
“When I am weak, then I am strong.”
If struggles now or sorrows new,
I have no strength but strength from You.

I need not see the pathway bright;
“We walk by faith and not by sight”:
No cloud by day, no fire by night,
But You, my God, my inward light.

Should I depart or long remain,
“To live is Christ, to die is gain.”
So help me, God, with every breath
To honor Christ by life or death.

LM – C.A. Roberts, 2009

Tune: WARRINGTON – Ralph Harrison, 1784, alt.

#276 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012

A HYMN FOR TODAY – I Could Not Do Without You

A HYMN FOR TODAY – I Could Not Do Without You

A fine example of “old” lyrics which deserve to be sung, “refreshed” by new Charli Couchman music appropriate to the lyrics. This is one of the hymns recently recorded in Tampa for inclusion on the forthcoming third Sumphonia CD.

I could not do without You,
O Savior of the lost,
Whose precious blood redeemed me
At such tremendous cost.
Your righteousness, Your pardon
Your precious blood, must be
My only hope and comfort,
My glory and my plea.

I could not do without You;
I cannot stand alone;
I have no strength or goodness,
No wisdom of my own;
But You, beloved Savior,
Are near in all I do,
And weakness will be power
If leaning hard on You.

I could not do without You,
For, oh, the way is long,
And I am often weary,
And sigh replaces song:
How could I do without You?
I do not know the way;
You know, Lord, and You lead me
And will not let me stray.

I could not do without You,
For years are fleeting fast,
And soon in solemn oneness
The river must be passed;
But You will never leave me,
And though the waves roll high,
I know You will be near me
And whisper, “It is I.”

7.6.7.6.D – Frances R. Havergal, 1873

Tune: ELBERT – C.E. Couchman, 2003

#313 in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, 2012