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.