Some Hymn Resources

Singing the ‘Hymn of the Month’

Rex A E Hunt


How can we sing in a strange land... when the Spring festival of new life called Easter 'down under', comes in Autumn, the season of little deaths when leaves turn gold, fall, and the grass has turned from green to brown?  Or when the warmth of Christmas is not from some domestic fire in an iron grate, but from the sun high overhead - 38 degrees celsius (102 degrees fahrenheit) and rising?

How to face this contextual problem constructively has exercised my imagination and hopefully, my liturgies, for many years now.

Shaping a distinctive Australian theology is a recurring problem for us in Australia generally, and for those of us who have the communication task of shaping the ‘Sunday morning’ worship experience, specifically.  Especially when we are invited, if not expected to, follow a Lectionary and liturgical year shaped in the main by natural European/northern hemisphere seasons, as well as it reflecting an ancient cosmology that is no longer credible…

We believe what we sing.  Hymns are religious artefacts created to allow us to speak of our experience of the sacred.  They are also historical artefacts.  A hymn is not written to be sung once but rather a hundred times.  To become part of the familiar, often-used tradition of a living religion.  But that is also reason why it is very important to sing new songs/hymns and appropriate ones at that, because those same hymns weren't written to be sung for a hundred years!  Our perceptions and experience of the sacred, change.  And so too should what we say and sing.

The creation of a Hymn of the Month is an excellent way of introducing new hymns to a congregation, in a way that is not too threatening.  A new hymn is chosen each month.  The ‘month’ is influenced by both the season of the Lectionary as well as the season of the natural year.  The hymn is introduced each week for four or five weeks.  Each of the first and second weeks the tune is played through twice – first the melody followed by the harmony - then people are invited to sing on the third time through.  Music is available to those who can read music.  Words are printed in the Liturgy or projected onto a screen.  This is repeated on the third week and following.  Usually by the fourth or fifth weeks folk have been able to pick up the tune quite well.  The hymn is repeated in the normal selection of hymns about one month later.  And so on…  A congregation’s repertoire can be greatly improved/broadened by this method.

What follows is 12 years of the Hymn of the Month as used in local situations. The title of the hymn is given then an indication as to the published collection: hymn number and a key to that collection. Full details of the collection is given at the end of the listing.

Twelve Years of New Hymns For Liturgies

2012

We Gaze In Wonder    30 WNC
When Evenings Shorten    147 HoS
Simply To Be (Altered)    118 HoS
Sing With Me, Friends    40 TEL
God Of The Northerlies    45 HoS
I Will Talk to my Heart    69 HoS
Yahweh    158 HoS
Spirit Of Springtime    59 FFS
Come, Teach Us, Spirit    11 FFS
We Sing Now Together    67 SLT
This Land Of Bursting Sunrise    82 SLT

2011

Nothing Is Lost    50 FFS
Wisdom Far Beyond    157 HoS
On A Cool Autumn Dawn    110 HoS
Where The Light of Easter    58 TEL
As The Wind Song    7 HoS
Beautiful Presence    9 HoS
Named Unnamed    31 SLT
Silent Spring Song    36 TEL
To God The Process    140 HoS
The Pen is Greater    320 SLT
There Is No Child So Small    133(i) HoS

2010

Climate Is Warming    44 SNS2
Singing of The Sacred Circle    23 TMT
God of Diversity    40 HoS
Creative Love    289 SLT
Life Into Life    28b TEL
Further Still    (WmF)
Through Winter Cold    139 HoS
Spirit of Life    123 SLT
How Can We Confine    69 WNC
Come Celebrate    17 HoS

2009

Where Are The Voices    75 FFS
People Are Language    GS/SNS2
Down The Ages    2 SLT
From Atoms to Planets    108 WNC
Christ is Our Peace    16 AA
All Over Creation    3 COC
Our World One World    134 SLT
Imagination of The Heart    104 RP
Chant For The Seasons    73 SLT
Where Are You Going?    86 RP
Children of The Human Race    302 SLT (Another tune)
Colour and Fragrance    78 SLT
Now Star of Christmas    105 HoS

2008

Music of Creation    41 AA
Gather The Spirit    347 SLT
The Cosmos is Revolving    147 RP
God Sets Us On A Journey    32 FFS
Playful God    75 RP
Touch The Earth    301 SLT
Shake up The Morning    18 HSNW
We Are Not Our Own     317 SLT
Whispering Gently    77 FFS
Jesus Comes To Me    77 AA
You Are Born In Us Again    52 COC

2007

Perfect Singer    332 SLT (Another tune)
May the Mystery of God    95 AA
When our Heart…    1008 STJ
Christ is Alive    15 AA
Come and Find    10ii FFS
Where the Love of God    76 FFS
We Are Many    67 FFS
Buried in my Being    3 TMT
Great God Many Names   39 WNC
Maker of Mystery    47 FFS
We Laugh, We Cry    354 SLT
Dream a Dream    12 FFS
God of Unexplored Tomorrows    27 FFS

2006

Where is the Room    48 COC
As the Sun Beats Down      2 FFS
In the Singing    38 FFS
As a Chalice Cast in Gold    476 TiS
Song of Faith    57 FFS
Lithe Spirit You’re Bounding    85 WNC
Inspired by Love and Anger    674 TiS
Travelling the Road    52 EOA
God Who Carved    31 FFS
It all Depends    39 FFS
Let my Spirit    41 FFS
Star Child    40ii COC

2005

Let Justice Roll Down    85 AA
Tree of Life    307 GA
A Prophet-Woman    696 TiS
O Threefold God      110 AA
A Place at the Table    17 FFS
God of our Every Day    52 AA
The Majesty of Mountains    139 AA
Advent Song    281 GA
Sing a Different Song    62 HSNW
Faith Has Set Us on a Journey    14 FFS
Spirit of Peace       58ii FFS

2004

God of all the Galaxies    54 AA
God of all Time    49 AA
Just as a Lost…    26 TiS
Church of the Living Christ    19 AA
At the Dawning of Salvation    392 TiS
Like the Murmur…      419 TiS
Since the World was Young    544 TiS
In Water we Grow    494 TiS
The Spring has Come    140 AA
The Bright Wind…    263 TiS
Come to be our Hope    688 TiS
Child of Christmas Story    12 AA

2003

Praise the God 178 TiS
Come of God 181 TiS
I Shall Praise you O God 36 LA
We are an Easter People 146 AA
He Came Singing Love 59 AA
There’s a Spirit in the Air 414 TiS
A Touching Place 677 TiS
Sing to Celebrate the City 122 AA
Jesus Calls us 477 TiS
Where the Road Runs Out 156 AA
A Spend-thrift Lover 676 TiS
Cloth for the Cradle 54 HSNW

2002

All who Love and Serve your City    634 TiS
Love Will be our Lenten Calling    684 TiS
Ride on, Ride on    24 EOA
Christ is Risen!    394 TiS
I Dream of a Church (Special music)
Hymn to Christ the Companion    1 FTS
Our Life has its Seasons    113 AA
Spirit of Love    125 AA
Here in the Busy City    166 AOV2
She Comes Sailing…    51 ISIT
Anna’s Song    55 ISIT
Carol our Christmas    9 AA

2001

Sing to God    92 TiS
Among Us and Before Us    259 TiS
Sing of the Lord’s…    183 TiS
Help us Accept    648 TiS
The Blind Man    579 TiS
Sing a New Song    166 TiS
Colourful Creator    190 TiS
Glory to God, Above    94 TiS
We are your People    468 TiS
Who is the Baby    325 TiS
Long Ago Prophets Knew    283 TiS
Spirit who Broods    126 AA

2000

Christ is Alive    387 TiS
Enemy of Apathy    418 TiS
Gather Us In    474 TiS
Loving Spirit    417 TiS
Take of your Shoes    651 TiS
I am the Church    467 TiS
Touch the Earth Lightly    668 TiS
Light a Candle    286 TiS


Hymn Resources (incl. above)

(i) New Words, New Music…
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and Songs for all Churches. 1993. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
(COC)
Carol our Christmas. A Book of New Zealand Carols. 1996. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
(FFS)
Faith Forever Singing. Songs for a New Day. 2000. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
(HoS)
Hope is our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. 2009. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
(TEL) Murray, S. E. 2008. 
Touch the Earth Lightly. New Hymns Written between 2003 & 2008. Carol Stream. Hope Publishing.
(WSJ) Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. 2005. 
Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs Without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.

(ii) New Words, Old Music…

(HH) Habel, Norman. 2004.  Habel Hymns 1. Songs to Celebrate with Creation. Adelaide. Flinders Press.
(SiF) Kearns, S. (ed). 2009. 
Sing it Forward. Traditional Hymns Recast and Rewritten for Non-exclusive Communities. In circulation from the author.
(RP) Pratt, A. 2006. 
Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a Spiritual Journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
(WNC) Pratt, A. 2002. 
Whatever Name or Creed. Hymns and Songs. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. 2009. 
Singing a New Song. Traditional Hymn Tunes with New Century Lyrics. Volume 2. Toronto. G Stuart.
(George Stuart has four volumes in his collection)
(TMT) Wallace, W. L. 2001. 
The Mystery Telling. Hymns and Songs for the New Millennium. Kingston. Selah Publishing.

(iii) A Mix of New Words with New Music/Old Music…

(AOV2) As One Voice 2. Uniting God's People in Song. Manly Vale. Willow Connection.
(LA) Bell, J. & G. Maule. 1990. 
Love and Anger. Songs of Lively Faith and Social Justice. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
(EOA) Bell, J. & G. Maule. 1990. 
Enemy of Apathy. Wild Goose Songs Vol. 2. Revised edition. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
(HSNW) Bell, J. & G. Maule. 1989. 
Heaven Shall Not Wait. Wild Goose Songs Vol. 1. Revised edition. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
(LFB) Bell, J. & G. Maule. 1989. 
Love from Below. Wild Goose Songs Vol. 3. Glasgow. Wild Goose Publications.
(FTS)
Forward Together Songs. 1991. Melbourne. JBCE.
(GA)
Gather Australia. 1995. Ashburton. NLMC Publications.
(ISIT)
In Spirit and in Truth. A Worship Book. 1991. Geneva. World Council of Churches. Seventh Assembly.
(STJ)
Singing the Journey. 2005. Boston. UUA.
(SLT)
Singing the Living Tradition. 1993. Boston. UUA.
(TiS)
Together in Song. Australian Hymn Book 2. 1999. NSW: Sydney. HarperCollins Religious.Web sites…
Andrew Pratt Hymns and words blog site. UK.
Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com
William Flanders.
Sceptics Hymns

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