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! If you have the piano recording on the USB Flash drive, it will make this even more enjoyable.
"Effectively compiled, this inspiring, informative collection of Christmas hymns is an essential resource, rejoicing the hearts of those who envision themselves as participants in the incarnation narrative. Emphasizing the church year, Hosanna in Excelsis invigorates the inner spirit, bringing expectation, fulfillment, and light to our darkened world."