Christian Life Hymnal, 2006: Kudos and quibbles

Re: Christian Life Hymnal

Christian Life Hymnal, published in 2006 by Hendrickson Worship, a division of Hendrickson Publishers, is one of my favorite hymnals. I could be quite happy for months, stranded on a proverbial desert island, if I had Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal, Hymns of Truth and Light, ADORU: Ekumena Diserva Libro, and the Christian Life Hymnal (CLH2006) along to keep me company.

One of the nice things about CLH2006 is the large number of hymns for which it gives two (or even three) tunes:

  1. Come, thou fount of every blessing (NETTLETON and WARRENTON)
  2. From all that dwell below the skies (LASST UNS ERFREUEN and DUKE STREET)
  3. O for a thousand tongues to sing (BLESSED NAME, AZMON and LYNGHAM)
  4. Love divine, all loves excelling (BEECHER, BLAENWERN and HYFRYDOL)
  5. All hail the power of Jesus’ name (CORONATION, DIADEM and MILES LANE)
  6. Come, thou long-expected Jesus (HYFRYDOL and STUTTGART)
  7. O little town of Bethlehem (ST. LOUIS and FOREST GREEN)
  8. Away in a manger (CRADLE SONG and MUELLER)
  9. In the bleak midwinter (CRANHAM and CASTLE)
  10. While shepherds watched their flocks by night (WINCHESTER OLD and CHRISTMAS)
  11. In the cross of Christ I glory (CRUCIFIXION and RATHBUN)
  12. When I survey the wondrous cross (HAMBURG and ROCKINGHAM)
  13. Alas, and did my Savior bleed (MARTYRDOM and HUDSON)
  14. The day of resurrection (LANCASHIRE and ELLACOMBE)
  15. Look, ye saints! The sight is glorious (REGENT SQUARE and BRYN CALFARIA)
  16. At the name of Jesus (WYE VALLEY and BELLE RIVE) [Why no KING’S LYNN?]
  17. Lo! He comes with clouds descending (REGENT SQUARE and HELMSLEY)
  18. I sing the mighty power of God (ELLACOMBE and FOREST GREEN)
  19. Amazing grace! how sweet the sound (NEW BRITAIN and LAND OF REST[!])
  20. Search me, O God (MAORI and ELLERS)
  21. Take my life and let it be (YARBROUGH and HENDON)
  22. Christ is made the sure foundation (REGENT SQUARE and WESTMINSTER ABBEY)
  23. In Christ there is no East or West (ST. PETER and MCKEE)
  24. Rise up, O men of God (FESTAL SONG and ST. THOMAS)
  25. We have heard the joyful sound (JESUS SAVES and LIMPSFIELD)
  26. The King of Love my Savior is (ST. COLUMBA and DOMINUS REGIT ME)
  27. Jesus, Lover of my soul (MARTYN and ABERYSTWYTH)
  28. My hope is built on nothing less (SOLID ROCK and MELITA)
  29. Stand up, stand up for Jesus (GEIBEL and WEBB)
  30. Dear Lord and Father of mankind (REST and REPTON)
  31. Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult (GALILEE and RESTORATION)
  32. I heard the voice of Jesus say (KINGSFOLD and VOX DILECTI)
  33. On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand (EVERGREEN SHORE and PROMISED LAND)
  34. God be with you till we meet again (TOMER and RANDOLPH)

(…that’s right, 34 such cases, where a competing hymnal might have, what, five?…)
…as well as three settings of the Gloria Patri, four of Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, two of the Sanctus, and three of the Lord’s Prayer…

CLH2006 also gives a number of pairs of hymns set to the same or similar tunes, or with the same or similar first lines, next to each other (often on facing pages), e.g.:

  • “Come, thou almighty King”, set to ITALIAN HYMN, opposite “Thou, whose almighty Word”, set to MOSCOW (which is a variant of ITALIAN HYMN)
  • “A mighty fortress is our God”, set to Isometric and Rhythmic versions of EIN’ FESTE BURG
  • “Fairest Lord Jesus”, set to CRUSADERS’ HYMN, followed by “Beautiful Savior”, set to SCHÖNSTER HERR JESU
  • “This is holy ground”, set to BEATTY, followed by “We are standing on holy ground”, set to HOLY GROUND
  • “Of the Father’s heart begotten” and “Of the Father’s love begotten” set, respectively, to triple and duple arrangements of DIVINUM MYSTERIUM (but not opposite one another; #80 and #86 in this case)
  • “Lo, how a rose” and “A great and mighty wonder”, set to ES IST EIN ROS in higher and lower keys, respectively
  • “O sing a song of Bethlehem” and “When Jesus left his Father’s throne”, set to KINGSFOLD in higher and lower keys
  • “All glory, laud, and honor” set as three stanzas opposite the same text and tune set as five stanzas with refrain
  • “Jesus Christ is risen today” opposite “Christ the Lord is risen today”, set to EASTER HYMN in higher and lower keys
  • “Jesus love me” set opposite “Jesus loves even me”
  • “Softly and Tenderly” set opposite “Jesus is calling”
  • “All for Jesus! This our song shall ever be” followed by “All for Jesus! All my being’s ransomed powers”
  • “Deeper and deeper” opposite “Deeper, deeper”

A few (but very few) things seem out of character, e.g. “Ride on, ride on in majesty” is set to WINCHESTER NEW, where I would have predicted ST. DROSTANE, and both “There is a green hill far away” and “Majestic sweetness sits enthroned” are set to HORSLEY, where I would expect GREEN HILL (Stebbins) for the former and ORTONVILLE for the latter.

What’s missing? I’d have liked to see ABBOT’S LEIGH as a second tune for “Glorious things of thee are spoken”, but I suppose it would have involved royalties, driving up the cost of the book, and BROTHER JAMES’ AIR for “The Lord’s my shepherd”. And rather than setting both “is risen today” hymns to EASTER HYMN (in different keys), I’d have liked to see one maybe to an alternative tune (and I don’t mean LLANFAIR, I’m thinking more of ASCENSION (Monk) or maybe even LAUS SEMPITERNA. I miss LEOMINSTER and GWALCHMAI and “My Anchor Holds” and (©!) “Precious Lord, take my hand”. I think “Soldiers of Christ, arise” could have used a second tune; I’d gladly sacrifice “Precious Mem’ries” to make room for it!😉 “Will the circle be unbroken” is given as a refrain only. CLH2006 does have a section of copyrighted praise songs (mostly from #66 to #71), a few Getty hymns, and some others, including several by editor Eric Wyse and/or his wife, Dawn Rodgers, and of course “How Great Thou Art” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. Fred Pratt Green is represented by “When in our music God is glorified”, but otherwise the “hymnic explosion” of the late twentieth century is completely absent. Not a single item by Brian Wren, Fred Kaan, Ruth Duck, Sydney Carter, Thomas Troeger, Marty Haugen, Sylvia Dunstan, Shirley Erena Murray, Jeffrey Rowthorn, Timothy Dudley-Smith, etc., etc. The only Catholic piece that’s more recent than Faber seems to be “On Eagle’s Wings”; I would have expected also to find “I, the Lord of sea and sky” and probably “We are one in the Spirit”. Almost nothing from Africa, Asia, or Indigenous America. No Spanish or Korean texts (not even in translation); there is a tiny amount of Latin and transliterated Greek. These are just a few of the reasons why, on my desert island, I’d need at least 2 or 3 other hymnals in English. Although in some cases there are commendably many stanzas (the full 7 for “O come, O come, Emmanuel”, and 7 as well, of a possible 9, for “Crown Him with many crowns”; 6 for “O come, all ye faithful”, for example), in other cases there are too few, e.g. only four each for “God of grace, and God of glory” and “It came upon the midnight clear”. “Mine eyes have seen the glory” has the “He is coming” verse, but lacks “the Hero born of Woman”.

And so on. Anyhow, I recommend it for hymn-sings of a nostalgic bent.

2 Respondoj to “Christian Life Hymnal, 2006: Kudos and quibbles”

  1. Haruo Says:

    I corrected the part about Catholic hymns; I had said there was nothing more recent than Faber, but then recalled that “On Eagle’s Wings” made that untrue.

  2. Christian Life Hymnal, 2006: Kudos and quibbles « Mia Himnareto … | Christian Music Jukebox Says:

    […] Google Blog Source- Christian Music […]

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