Yesterday, the three copies (2 pew, 1 accompanist’s) of the Celebrating Grace Hymnal that I had preordered last fall finally arrived. I rushed over to the church and gave the accompanist’s copy to Verne and one of the pew copies to Pastor Judy as belated Christmas presents, and Verne and I took a swing through a few of the contents, focusing mainly on the first few pages, the Christmas section, and the Getty/Townend hymns.
Among the pieces we particularly enjoyed and will undoubtedly use in the future:
- #18 “Too splendid for speech, but ripe for a song”, a Troeger text I don’t think I’d sung before, set to a new Mark Edwards tune, DANIEL.
- #31 Ancient Words (“Holy words, long preserved”), which I remember fondly from Japanese Baptist (is there a Japanese version, I wonder); this only the second hymnal I’ve seen it in, and I find it more clearly presented here than in Baptist Hymnal 2008
- #82 “Light the light, the fire of life”, an Advent candle song, set to IL EST NÉ, written by David Montoya, presumably the Spiritual Samurai himself.
- #92 “Young Mary lived in Nazareth”, set to BALLAD OF MARY, an accessibly folkish tune the people will pick up readily. The text has been around 20 years and the tune for 16, yet this is the first time I’ve seen either.
Much more to follow, I’m sure. Celebrating Grace will be showcased at the Hymn Society confab in Birmingham in July, and I intend to go in armed with facts and opinions! 😉
Etikedoj: Celebrating Grace