September 22, 2007

78 Hymns

Undeception's recent post about worship caused me to reflect about how much I prefer hymns to some of the modern worship songs that don't have meaningful lyrics. While that wasn't the point of his post, I have been disturbed for a while by the increasing amount of praise songs that don't seem to say anything. As Christians, we are called to excellence, but not all new music reflects excellence, simply a desire to sound popular. I believe that many traditional hymns far better express what we should be feeling as we worship. But hey! This is a list blog! So, here is a list of my favorite hymns:

  1. A Mighty Fortress is Our God

  2. All Hail the Power

  3. Angels We have Heard on High

  4. At Calvary

  5. At the Cross

  6. Be Still, My Soul

  7. Because He Lives

  8. Blessed Assurance

  9. Blessed Redeemer

  10. Breathe on Me

  11. Christ the Lord is Risen Today

  12. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

  13. Have Thine Own Way, Lord

  14. He Lives

  15. Heaven Came Down

  16. His Eye is on the Sparrow

  17. Holy, Holy, Holy

  18. How Great Thou Art

  19. I have Decided to Follow Jesus

  20. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

  21. I Need Thee Every Hour

  22. I Surrender All

  23. In the Garden

  24. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

  25. It is Well with My Soul

  26. I'd Rather have Jesus

  27. I'll Be a Sunbeam

  28. I'll Fly Away

  29. Jesus, Lover of My Soul

  30. Jesus Paid it All

  31. Just a Closer Walk with Thee

  32. Just as I Am

  33. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

  34. Love Lifted Me

  35. Low in the Grave He Lay

  36. Majesty

  37. My Faith has Found a Resting Place

  38. My Jesus I Love Thee

  39. Nothing but the Blood

  40. O Come, All Ye Faithful

  41. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

  42. O How I Love Jesus

  43. O Little Town of Bethlehem

  44. O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

  45. On Jordan's Stormy Banks

  46. Only Trust Him

  47. Onward, Christian Soldiers

  48. Praise Him! Praise Him!

  49. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

  50. Redeemed

  51. Rock of Ages

  52. Silent Night! Holy Night!

  53. Softly and Tenderly

  54. Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

  55. Surely Goodness and Mercy

  56. Surely the Presence of the Lord

  57. Sweet, Sweet Spirit

  58. Take My Hand, Precious Lord

  59. Take My Life, and Let it Be

  60. Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

  61. The Old Rugged Cross

  62. The Solid Rock

  63. There is a Fountain

  64. There is Power in the Blood

  65. This is My Father's World

  66. 'Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus

  67. To God be the Glory

  68. Trust and Obey

  69. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

  70. Victory in Jesus

  71. We're Marching to Zion

  72. Were You There?

  73. What a Friend We have in Jesus

  74. What Child is This?

  75. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

  76. When the Roll is Called Up Yonder

  77. Wherever He Leads, I'll Go

  78. Wonderful Grace of Jesus


  1. After singing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" today at a wedding, I was reminded that I really don't have too much use for contemporary praise and worship. Let me first say that there is nothing inherently wrong with modern-styled worship music. However, although it does provide an emotional/moody kick, not only is that feature no prerequisite for real worship, the fact that most people singing them don't realize how bereft those songs are of meaning is evidence that musical styles themselves are a potential distraction.

    Of course, that cuts both ways: a lot of people think that older styles of music and diction are distracting. I wish those people luck in finding beefed up modern lyrics, especially because modern styles are more attractive to unchurched seekers. The cosmetic attraction of modern music serves good purpose so long as the tail does not wag the dog: people tend to forget that the lyrics are primary and the music secondary.

    This is also not to say that just because it's old, it's good. There are some real clunkers out there equally as doctrinally unsound as "Days of Elijah" and as dreadfully tired as "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High". But as far as I'm concerned, we stand more of a chance finding a good apple in a barrel with fewer bad apples.

  2. Yes, singing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and hearing the instrumental versions of those other hymns at the wedding made me long for hymns. Especially hearing "All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name". I forgot all about that song:

    All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
    Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
    Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

    Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
    Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
    Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

    Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
    Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
    Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

    Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
    Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
    Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

    I'm sorry but Redman and Tomlin just can't touch that.

  3. That is a great one. The diction, which is no small part of its resonance and effect, would be violated and suddenly rendered a distraction if removed from the original musical context. Too bad we can't do more of that without seeming irrelevant to modern Christians. Modern English is not a tool well-suited to reverence.

  4. And yet the simplest "I love you, Lord" sung from a devoted heart resonates in the Father's heart as deeply as when your little one says, "I wuv you, Daddy; I wuv you, Mommy." The reverence is there even if the English is lacking.

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  6. Good point! Yet I can't help thinking that I will fear something has gone amiss if Daniel's expressions of affection haven't matured a bit by the time he's a young man. But I don't want to cast aspersion on the simple heart's love for God.


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