Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Additional New Hymn Book

04 July 2006

Dear Friends

Additional NEW Hymn Book

The decision: At our Council Meeting on 27 June 2006 we made the decision to purchase a new Hymn Book, Songs of Fellowship Volumes 1, 2, & 3 Combined (SOF), to be used in addition to our present volume of Ancient & Modern Revised (A&M). The initial purchase of 100 copies (ideally we need 150 copies) will be made with part of a generous donation received from one of our fellow parishioners.

Why a new additional Hymn Book? Our present Hymn Book (Ancient & Modern Revised) is a collection of what one may choose to describe as “Classical Hymns”, and is itself a compilation of what was known as Ancient & Modern, 100 Hymns for Today, and More 100 Hymns for Today. There is a need to have access to more contemporary hymns, and Songs of Fellowship Volumes 1, 2 and 3 Combined is one of the more complete volumes of this nature. Yes, we have met this need by printing hymns in the Pewleaflet, but this is limited, and does not provide easy access to more contemporary music, especially outside of Sunday Worship.

Why Songs of Fellowship (SOF)? There are a number of compilations available, all of which try to have a balance of classical and contemporary hymns. The value of SOF is that it keeps the wording of the older hymns in more traditional language. Other compilations, such as The Complete Anglican Hymnal, have modernised the traditional language - often successfully, sometimes jarringly. In terms of the ethos and history of Corpus Christi the choice of a more traditional language compilation makes sense.

Why not throw out the old Hymn Book? Although SOF uses traditional translations of the more classic hymns, the wording is not always the same, and there will be times when we want the A&M words. There are also many hymns in A&M that have not been incorporated into SOF. The purpose of purchasing SOF is to enhance, not replace, our present collection.

Will SOF change the traditional nature of our Worship? A hymn, be it classic or contemporary, is neither good nor evil of itself, and either form can be used to enhance or detract from our worship experience. The singing of a contemporary hymn does not equate to throwing tradition out the window. SOF does contain hymns that some may consider puerile, but these have been included for children, and will not normally be used in our Sunday Worship. We will also not sing hymns over-and-over-endlessly-and-needlessly. The challenge is to move beyond “either/or” comparisons in our thinking, to “both/and”. The issue is not, “Is this classical?” or, “Is this contemporary?” but, “Does it add value to my experience of worship and to my relationship with God?” We believe much of what SOF offers, will.

What is the cost? We have sourced copies of SOF at R90 each (normal retail price is R160 each), and the initial purchase is being funded out of a donation, not out of day-to-day funds.

Can I and my family contribute? Yes! If you wish to make a donation towards the purchase of further copies of SOF, please place R90 x the number of copies you wish to donate into an envelope clearly marked “Hymn Books”, and place it in the collection plate, hand in to the office, or post. If you wish your donation to be “In Memoriam” of someone special, please indicate this, and we will make sure this is inscribed in the books you donate.

Yours faithfully


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