Randall D. Engle (email@example.com) is pastor of North Hills Christian Reformed Church, Troy, Michigan.
Articles by this author:
Ours is a singing faith! John Calvin says that the human voice is the most God-glorifying instrument, for it is created and given breath by God. We could add to Calvin’s observation that even more God-glorifying than the human voice are human voices singing praise to God.
We are fortunate to live in a time when worshiping communities can share musical gifts anywhere at any time through the medium of compact disc recordings. Recordings can bring us right into the middle of a community of voices singing God’s praise.
Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2001. 1-800-328-4648; order 0-8066-4074; ISBN 080664074X. $279.
The hefty price of this CD-ROM may give you pause, but stop and take a second look—it may be money very well spent.
The Bible is a materful book inspired by God. Themes, colorful characters, subplots, foreshadowings, prophecy, fulfillment, and literary balance shape this living book, an endless treasure. The Bible holds these components together through story, symbol, and metaphor. Some symbols are used only once: a burning bush, a withered fig tree. Other symbols span the Bible: trees, angels, mountains, rivers, rainbows…and birds.
John A. Dalles: Swift Currents and Still Waters: 65 Hymn Texts.GIA G-5366, paper, $19.95.
K. Lee Scott: Rejoice in God: The K. Lee Scott Hymnary. Morning Star MSM90-28, paper. $15.00.
Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr. Awake Our Hearts to Praise! Hymns, Songs and Carols. GIA G-5302, paper, $19.95.
by the Cambridge Singers, directed by John Rutter. Collegium Records COLCD 126, distributed by Hinshaw Music Publishers. $16.95.
SATB Octavos: The Cambridge Singers Festival Hymn Series. Hinshaw HMC1732; HMC1790-1803; HMC1831. $1.25.
Congregational booklet for ten hymns in the series that call for congregational participation. Hinshaw HMB222. $5.95.
Compiled by Terri Bocklund and Rob Glover. Minneapolis: Augsburg/ Fortress, 2000. 263 pp. $29.95. ISBN 0-8066-3874-5. 1-800-328-4648.
This book is just what you’ve been waiting for. The church is swimming—drowning?—in new music written for worship. We can’t keep up, let alone organize, evaluate, and learn all the new songs coming our way.
Hal H. Hopson. Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 1999 (Code 8013).1-800-323-1049. 222 pp. $49.95.
The liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter call for divergent musical expressions from an organist. Fortunately, many composers have worked to create beautiful new works for organ for these seasons. I reviewed over fifty recently released works from major publishing houses. The following collections are those I found most rewarding for worship and inspiring for congregational singing. Each is marked E (Easy), M (Moderate) or D (Difficult).
SOLO ORGAN MUSIC FOR THE SEASON
Several well-known hymn writers “reappeared” recently for one hour in Bloomington, Minnesota. They were our guests at a hymn festival that was planned to build appreciation for the hymnody of the church among our children—and adults. The service was inspired by an article by Hal Hopson in The Chorister (Summer 1998), the journal of the Choristers Guild.
The joy of the Christmas season is an unending fountain of creativity for musicians. I reviewed over fifty new organ collections for the Christmas/Advent/Epiphany season from several publishing houses. The spirit of the season is alive and well in the writing of new organ music. The following collections are those I found most rewarding for worship and inspiring for congregational singing. Each is marked E (Easy), M (Moderate), or D (Difficult).
SOLO ORGAN MUSIC
FOR THE SEASON