Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Battle Rages: Hymns? or Praise and Worship?
It’s Interactive Theology Thursday!
The Prude is slinking cautiously into this one and tackling the ‘Hymns vs. Praise and Worship Songs’ controversy.
Didn’t know such a dispute existed?
Oh yes. Churchgoers have almost come to blows over this.
The Prude will either stir up the pot or pour soothing oil on troubled waters. And she wants you to jump into the fray.
Hardcore PRAISE AND WORSHIP FANS (or those who believe Christian songs written in the 1970’s are ‘classic-nudging-to-ancient’) don’t care for hymns because they can be difficult to sing, use archaic lyrics, have too many verses and are dull.
Hardcore HYMN FANS (or those who believe anything written after 1898 is ‘contemporary’) don’t like P&W songs because they can be difficult to sing, use fluffy language, repeat the same lyrics, and are dull.
If you are starting to see that we are dealing with two coins on the same side here, join The Prude for the next couple of Theology Thursdays. She’ll share her favorite songs from both coins and hopes you will do the same.
Below are the lyrics of one of The Prude’s favorite hymns. Next week will showcase a favorite P&W song.
The designations are a little dicey– hymns are more formal, chordal, use 4-part harmony, and technically a hymn consists of only lyrics which are then sung to a tune that fits its rhythm. Worship songs tend to be birthed as lyrics and tune together, and are often written to be sung in unison. There can be some repetition of phrases although not always. Many hymns were intended to teach, P&W songs are intended to be an outburst of praise and honor.
Without further ado The Prude presents a mere babe of a song in the hymn world.
‘Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendour’. Lyrics by Frank Houghton (1894-1972). Tune a French Carol Melody.
So... do you have a favorite hymn?
1. Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour, All for love's sake becamest poor; Thrones for a manger didst surrender, Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor. Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour, All for love's sake becomes poor.
2. Thou who art God beyond all praising, All for love's sake becamest man; Stooping so low, but sinners raising Heavenwards by thine eternal plan. Thou who art God beyond all praising, All for love's sake becamest man.
3. Thou who art love beyond all telling, Saviour and King, we worship thee. Emmanuel, within us dwelling, Make us what thou wouldst have us be. Thou who art love beyond all telling, Saviour and King, we worship thee.