I've blogged elsewhere about my love for the great hymns of yesteryear.
BBC's Songs Of Praise conducted a survey last year to find the most popular hymns - the full list can be seen here - Kirby Muxloe Free Church had a special afternoon service yesterday at which we sang the top ten:
Guide me, O thou great redeemer
I the Lord of sea and sky
And can it be
In Christ Alone
How Great Thou Art
Dear Lord and Father of mankind
Make me a channel of your peace
Abide with me
The Day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended
I found it a lovely reminder of the songs that have been sung to worship and praise God down the years, and a great opportunity to celebrate the songs that have really stood the test of time. With so many great songs and hymns still being written, I wonder what the top ten will look like in 50 years? One difference that comes to mind is that we don't have a culture of singing hymns in school assembly anymore - that was a daily occurrence at my old school - people won't have memories of singing hymns while growing up, which may mean some of the "classics" falling out of favour.
It would be a great pity if these songs were consigned to history - they serve as a connection to the congregations of old, and with songwriters like Wesley being represented, as a connection to the development and growth of Church in the UK into the form we see today.
Let's keep these songs being sung!!