Hymns That Keep On Going

Here is a link to an interesting article in the current Christianity Today about church music. christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/march/hymnsthatkeepgoing.html?start=2

The article, written by Robert T. Coote, is called “The Hymns That Keep on Going,” and it contains a list of 27 hymns that have appeared over and over in hymnals over the decades. There is also a short discussion about hymn-singing in Protestant churches.

I am interested in what fellow Catholics think of this “list” of hymns, and also their perspective on the subject of hymn-singing discussed in the article.

I find it fascinating that so many of the hymns on this list are often mentioned on CAF by the more traditional Catholics as “favorites.” We sing a lot of these hymns in our parish; in fact, tonight we sang There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy." (I like that hymn!)

I’ve never heard “Just As I Am Without One Plea” in a Catholic Mass. Neither have I heard “Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us,” although I’ve heard plenty of versions of the 23rd Psalm sung during Mass. I’ve played these two hymns as part of a prelude because they are quiet and worshipful, and because they invite people to contemplate Jesus and enter into a frame of mind that is conducive to worship. But I’ve not heard them sung.

One hymn that I would like to hear more of in the Catholic Mass is “O Sacred Head Now Wounded.” This very Catholic song, written by a Catholic, is sung often in Protestant churches (at least in evangelical Protestant churches). I realize that in the Catholic calendar, it’s probably most appropriate during Easter time, but if we can sing the simple folk hymns all year long, I don’t know why we can’t sing an awesome hymn like this all year long. After all, we leave the Crucifix up all year and don’t take it down just because Easter is over.

There are certain hymns in the Catholic Church that you can just have someone start it, and everyone joins in the singing, even without musical accompaniment. For example, “Immaculate Mary,” “O Salutaris,” “Tantum Ergo,” “Bring Flowers of the Fairest,” “Jesus, Remember Me,” and a few others like that.

It’s a really awesome experience when the singing just spontaneously starts, all around you, and no one is opening a hymn book. :slight_smile:

I saw that they had “Christ, the Lord, Is Risen Today” but not “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”. I would think that would be a popular one as well.

I love “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” on Palm Sunday!

Our parish’s very well worn scores have both titles and both sets of words, one under the other. (Christ the Lord…. is on top.)

Since the former set of words is usually considered Protestant and the latter set Catholic it would make sense that the former title would be the one mentioned in Christianity Today.

I especially expect to sing “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” during Holy Week.
(I almost always insist that religious music be sung. Here is a notable exception for me. :))

I, too, love “All Glory, Laud, and Honour” for Palm Sunday. We almost never sing it though.
For Trinity Sunday I always expect to sing “Holy Holy Holy”.

One hymn that I love but never get to sing is “Crown Him With Many Crowns”. That’s a whole lot better for Mass than, say, “Gather Us In”.

I think they’re the same hymn, or at least the same melody, but there is a difference in the words. It may be that the words sung by Catholics more closely reflect Catholic theology, and same for the Protestant version.

In my OCP missal, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” is set to the EASTER HYMN hymn tune. “Christ, the Lord, Is Risen Today” is set to the LLANFAIR hymn tune. I think in most Protestant hymnals, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” is set to LLANFAIR. Every time I find a video of “Christ, the Lord, Is Risen Today”, it’s set to EASTER HYMN. In most Catholic hymnals I believe it is reversed. I like singing “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” moreso on Easter Sunday since the words are somewhat clearer and more precise.

Another one I don’t really hear that often is “Love Divine, All Love’s Excelling”. The only way I’ve heard this hymn is on the HYFRYDOL (Alleluia! Sing to Jesus) hymn tune. Another one I love to hear is “How Firm a Foundation” to the FOUNDATION hymn tune.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.