Vision and Scope
This publishing initiative proposed in this pan-Wesleyan hymnal is a first hymnal ever undertaken that incorporates the overlapping hymn-singing practices of the historic Wesleyan-Methodist-Holiness traditions. The scope of this work encompasses the core musical heritage of the North American expressions of these great denominational traditions of the Christian faith.
The overarching editorial vision is to draw together hymns that emphasize the doctrinal richness of our traditions, which are often identified as “sanctifying grace”; “the love of God”; or “Holy love”; or “the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.” A heavy emphasis on the hymns of Charles and John Wesley will mark this collection as a return to traditional Methodist roots.
A further focus on the church’s traditional use of hymns to communicate doctrinal and creedal teaching will return the hymnal to its essential role in catechesis: that is the nuanced role of singing the truth of Scripture in public worship.
Our methodology for establishing the core selections was the examination and comparison of the hymn title and first lines indexes of the hymnals of the most current hymnals of the Church of the Nazarene (1973), the Free Methodist Church (1951), the Wesleyan Church (1951), the Salvation Army (1949), The United Methodist Church (1989), and The Celebration Hymnal (a commercial hymnal published in 1986 by Word Publishing) which contains a special Free Methodist supplemental section. The previously published Asbury Hymnal will also provide a solid core of hymns from which to start the selection process.
The result is a comprehensive collection of hymns that span both the centuries in time as well as the rich diversity of Wesleyan worship experience. It may be that in the decades ahead there may be a drawing together of some of the various “tribes” of the people called Methodist in North America. Our Great Redeemer's Praise represents a marvelous opportunity to offer some of the favorites from across the Wesleyan spectrum to sister churches in our various denominational traditions. A sharing of worship traditions will be be a beautiful foreshadowing of other forms of unity which may occur in the years ahead.
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Due to supply chain issues, frequency of reprints, and choices of color, quantities may be limited.