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The Speechless Sing

I enjoy music, I enjoy the physical process of singing, of feeling rhythm; of hearing melody; of letting the music sweep through the imagination and transport me somewhere new. We live in a society that has forgotten how to sing, yet singing together is still an integral part of church life and for many of us it is the only place where we are allowed to sing without embarrassment. Within the congregation we are joined as one voice a people gathered in praise and acclamation, each part coming together as a whole. As a leader of worship it is through my hymn choices that each service will be judged and accepted/rejected as a valid expression of our faith - hence this attempt to study two congregations from the perspective of the hymns they sing (or would like to sing).

The aim of this piece of work is to look at the role of hymns through the voices of two congregations and one minister. We will attempt to look at the relationship between favourite hymns and our faith; exploring the validity of the view that we learn our theology through our hymn singing. We will see which theological themes seem to have most importance and which may be missing. We will attempt to create a portrait of each church from the hymns they have chosen. We will examine which new hymns are becoming favourites, do they say something new or is it the old story in new clothes? We will look for hymns that can become teaching tools - highlighting the gospel message within our song.

Rejoice, the reign of God is here;
the broken down stand tall
the speechless sing,
we all draw near
To crown him Lord of all

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