Meredith Henne on Old Musical Wine & the New Wineskins
When perusing the bulletin from a pew one Sunday a few years ago, I happily noted a hymn—a hymn!—in the weekly song lineup of the church I then attended. It was some old classic, like “Rock of Ages” or “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” and a welcome reprieve from newer songs with endless rain references and a kindergarten vocabulary. Unfortunately, when the music began, I belted out a tune very different from the song leader’s and quickly petered out in embarrassment. The new melody was lovely, just unknown—confusion being the price of having a hymn in an Evangelical service these days, I suppose.
That morning was an awkward first taste of what is actually an overall encouraging trend, at least to this traditionalist and long-time church pianist. Churches that have for years relied on modern choruses are taking another look at hymns, and their musicians are returning to the content and style of time-honored religious anthems for inspiration. Over the past ten years, groups of young musicians disenchanted with shallow praise songs have increasingly formed themselves into sacred music rescue squads, dusting off poetry and tunes long forgotten in their local congregations. These musicians tend to be Evangelicals with liturgical or traditional leanings.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Purchase Print &
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
GIVE Print &
Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives