Living Hymns Hymnal
Several have asked for my opinion in regard to hymnals. I don’t spend much time with English hymnals, but a couple of years ago I examined Living Hymns (second edition) and found a lot to like. It was first published by Al Smith in 1972 and is still copyrighted by Al Smith Ministries. The latest edition is distributed by Paul Chappell’s Striving Together Ministries. It has a large selection, with 887 songs and hymns, which I appreciate. There is no author index, but I tried to look at the author of every song. There are two by the Gaithers but none by any of the other contemporary worship artists, as far as I can tell. It has hymns that are rarely seen, such as Charles Weigle’s “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.” There are some little-known hymns by old-time fundamentalists such as R.A. Torrey, James Gray, and Lewis Sperry Chafer. Thousands upon thousands of sound sacred songs and hymns have been written just in the last couple of centuries, so any hymnal is just a sampling, and no one hymnal will meet every church’s needs, but Living Hymns seems to be a good all-around English hymnal. It’s too bad that Lancaster Baptist Church isn’t content with the nearly 900 psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in its own hymnal and feels the need to mess around with contemporary worship and thus lead many other churches into those exceedingly dangerous waters.
(Friday Church News Notes, October 9, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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