No, I am not referring to the Bible here…That is an obvious must in our homes and churches. But there is a certain type of book that is increasingly overlooked. A book that, throughout the history of the Church, commends itself to passing on to the next generation sound doctrine and God-centered worship. What is this book? A hymnal.
Hymns have a very special place in my heart. I don’t remember a single sermon from my childhood, but I remember the great hymns of faith we sang in church. In college, away from home for the first time, I gathered with other believers on our secular campus, and we spent a significant amount of time singing hymns together. While my future husband and I were courting, we would go for long walks and sing hymns together. Our wedding march was the hymn And Can It Be. Our children grew up surrounded by hymns and grew to love them, too. There has always been a hymnal in our home—a go-to resource for times of joyful praise, tearful worship, theological education, and encouragement.
Here are two wonderful new hymnal options I highly recommend:
Hosanna Loud Hosannas Student Hymnal
Description from their website—Students of all ages, but particularly elementary and middle school ages need a book of hymns designed for them. Here is a hymn book that is also a history book of hymn backgrounds as well as a devotional book of what the hymns mean as you sing them.
These 115 hymns were carefully selected as essential hymns that every child needs to learn and sing! Ancient to modern, these hymns cover the Church Year, the attributes of God, and our responses to God for all He has done.
See a sample here.
Hymns of Grace
Description from their website—Hymns of Grace is a project of Grace Community Church & The Master’s Seminary.This collection of approximately 355 titles features current standard hymns (some rearranged musically), old hymns that have fallen out of use, many wonderful new hymns, and more than 90 responsive Scripture readings (ESV).
- Over 100 new hymns and melodies
- 34 titles written or co-written by Stuart Townend
- 30 titles written or co-written by Keith Getty
- 9 new hymns by Chris Anderson and Greg Habegger
- 7 titles by John Newton and 18 by Isaac Watts
- 5 titles by Bob Kauflin and 11 titles from Sovereign Grace Music
- 2 new hymns from R.C. Sproul
- 2 hymns from John MacArthur
- Accompaniments by Bob Kauflin, Keith Getty, Mark Rice, Tom Jennings and others
- ESV scripture readings, formatted for respons
- Only ESV hymnal in print
- Large print and binding (approximately 6.75 by 9.75 inches).
- At the core of this version are 186 titles that will match up with orchestra and instrumental parts available at lifewayworship.com.
(Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)