« ForrigeFortsett »
SUITED TO THE
SPECIAL SEASONS OF THE CHRISTIAN YEAR, AND OTHER
OCCASIONS OF PUBLIC WORSHIP,
AS WELL AS FOR USE IN THE
Sunday-School and Family.
WITH ACCOMPANYING TUNES,
JAMES A. MOORE.
THE HARMONIES REVISED BY
W. W. GILCHRIST.
No. 1108 ARCH STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884, by
H. S. HOFFMAN, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.
J. M. ARMSTRON & Co.,
THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAISE, as a Hymnal, was compiled by members of the Reformed Episcopal Church with a loyal regard to the services and worship of this Church as set forth in its Prayer Book, and is now issued by the Reformed Episcopal Publication Society, Limited. It certainly meets a long-felt need in our communion.
The compilers of this Hymnal recognized the principles laid down by the Hymnal Committee, in the General Council of 1879—that “ a Hymnal is always a most effective and powerful preacher," and hence we have “sought to make this which we now offer, present the great distinctive truths of the Gospel in the fullest, clearest, and most emphatic way. No hymn has been allowed a place that does not contribute its part to the attainment of this great end; while still we have sought to present such hymns only as do this in such forms of expression as are worthy of the greatness of the theme in hand. We have variety without the encumbrance of too great weight of numbers, and have combined positiveness of evangelical truth with beauty of poetic thought, and force and clearness of expression."*
While it is probable that some will look in vain through these pages to find some old or new favorite, it is still believed that every evangelical doctrine and every mood of Christian experience has its lyrical counterpart. In the collection will be found old hymns, hallowed by a thousand sacred memories, together with many of the best English and German hymns of recent use.
The classification and arrangement makes prominent the great facts in the Christian year, as also the great truths in the Christian system and life, making the Hymnal the companion of our Book of Common Prayer. Its use will hence tend to nurture, not only a feeling of exalted and earnest devotion, but a sentiment of loyalty to our own dear Church.
The tunes for the BOOK OF COMMON PRAISE have been arranged wholly with reference to their adaptation to the hymns,—the object being to prepare a book to be used in congregational singing, for the family circle and Sunday-schools, as well as for the use of choirs.
Congregational singing is the source of true spiritual growth, and churches which have cultivated and enforced it have been blessed beyond those allowing the choirs exclusive control of the song service. It will be noticed that each hymn has assigned to it one familiar tune, while many have two or more, allowing a free choice. Experience proves that the frequent recurrence of the same tune, however good, is obstructive of congregational singing. The tune, in process of time, loses its freshness, and the people become weary of its many repetitions. To avoid this, and to give greater opportunity for pleasing the many tastes which will arise in congregations, alternate tunes will be found, either attached to the hymn or on the opposite page. A compiler of hymn tunes must provide a sufficiency, not for a short time, but such that will wear well on account of their intrinsic musical merit.
The music has been carefully selected from the best works of American as well as foreign composers, including many of the finest German chorales. Among the appointed tunes will be fouud those venerable ones which have been greatly prized by the Christian Church, as well as many now first offered for the service of the sanctuary, and contributed expressly for this work.
A word upon the subject of congregational singing: If practicable, let the congregation be invited and urged to assemble occasionally, if not every week, for practice. This method is now employed by many churches with the happiest results. Also, let the Sunday-school be instructed in the hymns and tunes which are to be sung in the church. If such plans are carried out, there will be no fear of failure. To bring out the spirit and feeling of Church music, everything depends upon the director of the choir. When a competent musician is found, he should be proportionately valued—for such are rare.
* Journal of Seventh General Council, 1879, page 77.