Archives For Hymns


The Genesis of a Hymnal
A Review of 

Auden, the Psalms, and Me
J. Chester Johnson

Paperback: Church Publishing, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by David E. Anderson


Choosing a new hymnal is controversial enough for many congregations, so consider the emotions that surround revising a centuries-old Psalter. In the late 1960s the Episcopal Church (the U.S. member of the Anglican Communion) undertook a revision of their Psalter in parallel with revising their Book of Common Prayer. Work on the Psalter, which had been used with minor tweaks since the 1500s, began around 1968 and was completed in 1971, and work on the BCP concluded in 1979.

One of the original members of the committee charged with revising the Psalter was the English poet W. H. Auden (1907–1973), whose winter home was New York City in the late 1960s. Auden was intimately familiar with the Psalms from his childhood in the north of England, but as importantly (and not noted in the book reviewed here), he had written librettos, with his partner Chester Kallman, to be set to music for composers including Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky, and Hans Werner Henze.

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Jan. 28 marks the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas.

We celebrate the occasion with three hymns that he wrote, and that have been passed down through church history…


Want to read more Aquinas?
Our Intro Reading Guide


Adoro te devote
St. Thomas Aquinas

(Trans. Gerard Manley Hopkins)

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[ And now for something all together different from our usual fare… ]

Hymns from the Gathering ChurchHymns Grown
in the North Carolina Soil

Review of
Hymns From the Gathering Church

Listen to and download the album at

Reviewed by John Jay Alvaro.

The renewal of hymnody in non-traditional churches is both exciting and disorienting. It seems like every week a new album of hymns is being released. Many of these albums filter the hymns through their local worship team. The latest offering from the Gathering Church is not that kind of hymns album.

This is an album of collisions. The musician line up is a who’s-who of local North Carolina artists. The songs themselves come from the worshipping community at the Gathering Church, an interdenominational church plant in Durham/Chapel Hill, who meets at a local elementary school. Many of the singers are not members of the church.

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A Brief Review of

John and Charles Wesley:
Selections from Their Writings and Hymns,
Annotated and Explained
Annotated by Paul Wesley Chilcote.
Paperback: SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Douglas Connelly

John and Charles Wesley left a spiritual legacy that has touched every facet of Christianity.  Even those traditions that are non-Wesleyan have been affected by the fervor and warmth of the Wesleyan revivals in the eighteenth century and in the revivalists who followed in the Wesley’s footsteps.

Paul Wesley Chilcote, a professor of theology and Wesleyan studies at Ashland Theological Seminary, has given the interested reader a moving and helpful introduction to the sermons, hymns, and theological writings of these two brothers.  He begins with a brief but thorough sketch of the lives and influence of the Wesleys.  They grew up in an Anglican pastor’s home and never really cut their ties to the Anglican Church.  It was only after their deaths that what became known as Methodism moved away (or was pushed away) from the Church of England.

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