Hymn of the Month
We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder
I have a friend who says, "In Lent we ought to be singing less of 'O Sacred Head Now Wounded' and more of 'May the Mind of Christ, My Savior."' My friend's point is that often in Lent we tend to focus more on the passion of Christ and less on our spiritual journey. "Jacob's Ladder" is a hymn that does focus on our journey, calling us to be soldiers of the cross and to love Jesus.
The three songs in this issue are all built on short repetitive refrains. None are in the typical hymn structure; two are simply refrains, and one is intended for leader and congregation.
One of the appeals of short refrains and choruses is that they are easily committed to memory. All three songs are short enough so that most worshipers will find themselves singing them during the week, long before the month is over. All three will also be included in Songs for LiFE, the new children's hymnal to be published this fall by CRC Publications.
Lord, You Give the Great Commission
September is often a season of renewal in the church. The congregation resumes church activities and programs, and both preaching and music reflect a revitalized purpose and commitment. In this context of new beginnings, new challenges, and new commitments, "Lord, You Give the Great Commission" is most fitting.
All of the songs in this issue of Reformed Worship—the three "Hymn of the Month" selections as well as the song on page 41—will be included in a new chUdrens hymnal scheduled for release by CRC Publications later this year. The new hymnal, Songs for LiFE, is designed for use with children in preschool through grade 6. It will be an excellent resource for church school, children's choirs, or Christian day schools. Some churches may even want to consider using it as a supplementary pew hymnal.
Child So Lovely/ Nino Lindo
One of the most pervasive Christmas folk traditions is the singing of lullabies. The Austrian "Silent Night" the Polish "Infant Holy" and the North American 'Away in a Manger" are some common examples of Christmas carols that often function as lullabies in Christmas season tableaux, church school programs, and carol services.
Anyone who takes a close look at the history of the Christian church in the United States and Canada cannot help but be struck by the many ways in which our cultural and ethnic diversity has enriched and blessed us. We are truly a body that has been influenced by people of "every tribe, language, and nation."
Go Now in Peace
June is often a month of partings. Children finish another school year, families leave on vacations, and many young couples get married, leaving their parents' homes to begin new homes. This little parting song of blessing would be appropriate in a number of these settings.
Were You There
The season of Lent is a time for Christians to learn more of what it means to be followers of Christ, whose love for us went all the way to the cross. The hymn "Were You There" provides a means by which we can thoughtfully relate the Lenten events to our own lives.