Sunday, September 21, 2008

A New Hymnal

Wouldn't a new hymnal be a blessing to Christian Scientists and their branch churches? A reliable source told me years ago that the hymns for a new hymnal had been selected by a formal committee decades ago, but nothing further had ever been done.

The next steps are somewhat costly ones: setting the hymns into type, printing the hymnals (including those large, loose-leaf ones for organists and pianists), and working up a new hymnal concordance. This would undoubtedly take a few million dollars to accomplish, but wouldn't it be a natural and loving thing for The Mother Church to do for Christian Scientists? The cost would also be defrayed over time by purchases.

Many hundreds of millions were foolishly squandered on the DOA Monitor television fiasco and more recently tens of millions on a white elephant, a dismal memorial to a few Brobdingnagian egos. Yet something which might enrich all of us gets elbowed aside for the sake of a few million dollars, what one suspects is the small prospect of its conferring a high luster to the names of those responsible, and the wish, no doubt, to pursue more glamorous undertakings.

Unless something has changed fairly recently, the large loose-leaf, hymnals haven't been available for years, and need to be. The present hymnal dates from at least the late 1930's, and that is probably the Supplement. Why can't we have a fresh hymnal while there are still some churches left to use them? Or is the unspoken, sinister message here that Boston has secretly written off Christian Scientists and branch churches and is now only willing to engage in self-indulgent pastimes?


Anonymous said...

You neglected to mention the time and effort to "spiritualize" the words to the more modern music. I can't recall any Christian Science hymns that mention the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior and many beautiful modern songs contain references to Jesus as Lord and Savior which I assume, they would have to rephrase.

Anonymous said...

You bring up an all-important issue, and I am going to go through every last hymn later when I get some time to see about references to our blessed Master as Lord and Saviour.
Thanks for mentioning this...