The Value of Hymnals in the Life of the Church Today
This hymnal is a unique collection, gathering together hymns of the broad Wesleyan tradition from across the scope of many denominations that emerged from that great movement. In addition to this vast heritage are a number of new hymns that are continuing to emerge in concert with Wesley’s legacy. In a day of ever-expanding digital resources, the value of a physical hymnbook for worship is tremendous:
- A hymnal provides a lasting collection of a shared canon of worship that tells the story of who we are and who we worship. The story of salvation is here laid out in musical form, for reflection, contemplation, and remembrance; and through this worship we are tangibly connected to all those who have been a part of that faith which stretches back through millennia.
- A hymnal allows the eye to see the contours and continuity of the text at a single glance, taking in the full flow of the verses, and the theological progression of the entire hymn.
- A hymnal provides the musical notation for confident participatory singing, with awareness of structure, direction of melody line, and rich harmonizations for vocal beauty.
- A hymnal offers the structure of the church year as a means for aligning our worship with the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. This grounds our worship in the salvific life and work of Jesus Christ, and provides a rhythm for worship that corresponds to the preaching of the Word.
- A hymnal provides the historical source material of both text and tune, which helps to root the hymn in context of time and place. It also provides metrical information that can aid in singing, or in adapting the text to other similarly metered tunes.
- A hymnal provides a rich devotional resource for both personal and public worship, for meditation and prayer, for nourishment of spirit, and for guidance in the Christian pilgrimage through the legacy of other pilgrims who become our companions in the journey through their footsteps left for us in their worship.
- A hymnal contains a rich resource of additional worship aids – creeds, prayers, liturgies for Eucharist, Baptism, Confirmation, the Covenant of Marriage, Watchnight service, and Funerals. In addition, this hymnal includes outlines for family devotions, class meetings and bands.