Saturday, 19 January 2013

Baptist Hymns and Hymnals

Many Baptists (Southern Baptists and other Baptist groups as well) are currently using the Baptist Hymnal 2008, or one of its many prior versions (1991, 1975, 1956, etc.). In the hopes of a future revision, I'm keeping notes mostly on what songs should have been included but were excluded. I've been at this a long time, posting on Facebook, but I decided it is time to keep a running list.

  1. We Shall Overcome. What hymns do you sing if you want to reflect on themes pertinent to MLK day? Well, here's an obvious one. It is difficult to understand why this song is not included in the 2008 version (although we might well understand why it was excluded in earlier versions). 

Morehouse College Men's Chorus: 

Roger Waters' stirring rendition (ignore the video which appropriates this iconic civil rights song for a propaganda piece against Israel for those living in Gaza):

2. Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven to the tune Lauda Anima (Goss). It appears in the Baptist Hymnal with a different tune, Lauda Anima (Andrews). But the Goss tune is so much more magisterial. Here is a rendering at St. Paul's Cathedral for some "Jubilee Service"--I'm not sure if it's Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee service, although it was sung at her wedding. Note that it is introduced as one of England's most beloved hymns. Note also how vigorously this crowd of dignitaries and ordinary folk sing. It starts out a bit slow for me, but grows to great heights in the last verse:

The magisterial text can be found here:

There is a new text written by a Regent Alumni that has been adopted by Regent College as its alma mater; the new text (which I'll post some day) is entitled "Regent's of Our God and Savior"

3. He Lifted Me. Baptist Hymnal 1991 was the last time this Charles Gabriel hymn was included. Here's a nice contemporary setting of the text of the hymn: Another hymn on the same theme is omitted from the new Baptist hymnal:  "He brought me out of the miry clay...." And here's a not-to-be-missed rendition of it in congregational worship:

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