Unique Books of Hymns everyone should know with melodies, all stanza, biography of authors and composers, and devotionals on the meaning of the text.
HOW TO USE Our Hymns, Our Heritage & Hosanna in Excelsis AS A DAILY DEVOTIONAL
In his book Family Worship (Crossway), Dr. Don Whitney suggests three things that are needed in family or individual worship: read the Bible, pray, and sing. He quotes Charles Spurgeon: “They that pray in the family do well; they that pray and read the Scriptures do better; but they that pray, and read, and sing do best of all.” It’s easy to remember—read, pray, sing!
These books enable you to do all three. Please try the following suggestions with Our Hymns, Our Heritage or Hosanna in Excelsis.
Carefully read aloud the entire text of the hymn. Reading aloud helps you to read it slower and hear the rhythm of the poetry. Even if you have sung the hymn for years, you will hear things you have never noticed before. Words you have sung routinely in the past will come alive.
From your Bible read the context of the passage listed under the hymn title. Even a few verses before or after will provide deeper understanding of the listed verse.
Now read the left-hand page. Note the dates of birth and death, thinking about what history you know that was taking place at the time. Does the historical context tell you anything about the life of the author and composer? Maybe you even share a birthday!
Highlight or underline phrases from “As you sing this hymn…” that particularly help you learn or apply the truths of the hymn.
Have a time of prayer, asking God to fix these truths in your mind this day. Pray about your particular circumstances and ask God to make the praise, devotion, and faith expressed by this hymn writer become yours.
End your devotional time by singing the entire hymn. Remember that God is your audience; He delights in your singing and does not judge its quality! It will make this even more enjoyable if you have the piano arrangements or sing with the downloadable MP3 files.
Psalm 145:4 proclaims, ‘One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.’ Our Hymns, Our Heritage reminds us that we stand on the spiritual shoulders of those who came before us, but equally challenges us to pass the faith once given on to the next generation. To this end, Barbara and David Leeman have given the church an extraordinary, multi-use resource. At one and the same time a hymnal, hymnal companion, and devotional guide, Our Hymns, Our Heritage seeks to foster the love of singing God’s praise for generations to come. I heartily commend this hymnal to churches, families, Christian schools, Sunday schools, choirs, and anyone who seeks to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Colin Howland, Director of Music Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA