Give me Hymnals

(At right: Sermon notes doodle from church last Sunday.)

I’m a big fan of hymnals. Though I was raised on text-only lyrics sheets inserted into missalettes (as a Catholic) and overhead projectors (later as a pop-Baptist), I found my home of worship when I first came to a church with hymnals in the pews. (Berean Bible Baptist Church in Paranaque, where I discovered that there are actually Filipino Baptists who sing traditional hymns.) In my opinion, projectors, especially those that run on computers, serve only to detract from a church service. Computers crash, Powerpoint shows the wrong slides, lyrics software shows the wrong words, and bible passages flashed on screen distract people who can easily read along with their own bibles or even listen to the Word as it is read.

Give me the rock-steady certainty of a community-shared hymnal any day, so we know the parts for our voices; so we know that we’re all singing the same words as is in the choir’s own songbooks; where “Ein Feste Burg” is always on page 151, “Victory in Jesus” is always on page 353, and “The Star-Spangled Banner” is on page 802. (Okay, maybe not that last one.) Give me the written word rather than an electronic flash card; a page which does not ephemerally pass away like the world; a book I can grasp with my hands and know that it was there yesterday and will be there tomorrow. Give me hmynals!

(And throw the drums and electric guitars out of church! Burn them! Burn them all!) </miserableoldcoot>