A member of our church today came up to me and made the point of telling me how much he enjoyed the opportunity to sing some old hymns today. My reply: if the words are good we will sing them. I could have gone on to say that we don’t sing new songs just because they are new but because we believe what they have to say helps us communicate to God and him to us. We don’t sing old songs just because they make us feel good; we sing old songs because what they have to say help us to communicate to God and him to us. A caution flags for me in choosing any song; will the congregation participate with intent and passion and not just from of rote memory?
In our setlist this week there were two hymns from past generations: It is Well with My Soul and I Stand Amazed. Each of the arrangements we used help breathe life into these hymns which helped us all think about what we were singing.
The arrangement of I Stand Amazed is one based on an arrangement by Mark Condon which adds a ‘gospel’ feel to the song. To add to the impact of the song we sang the 1st verse twice up front to help the congregation settle into the newness of the arrangement.
The version of It Is Well With My Soul is one I heard at Catalyst 2009, which is based on an arrangement by Todd Fields that adds a nice feel to the melody and also a new chorus. Here are the words to that chorus:
We sing songs because of what they say, not because they are new or old.
Here is our Sunday Setlist for January 23, 2011
Today is the Day by Lincoln Brewster
Songs and Scripture
Our God by Chris Tomlin
I Stand Amazed based on arr. by Mark Condon
Come Unto Me by Cliff Duren
Lead by our pastor using Matthew 11:28-30 as intro which is basis of previous song
It is Well, based on arrangement by Todd Fields