Beautiful hymns are an indicator of times past. The hymns I grew up with have a beauty all of their own. I find that they are most meaningful when sung with attention to their words. Some have lyrics of great theology and awe for GOD if one turns their heart toward the language of their writing. I think it is interesting that one can also tell a lot about the writer's beliefs in God, reverence toward God, hope in God, and relationship with God by the depth and content of their presentation and how the lines are arranged together. Often, the tune was added after the words were written.
Some hymns have the power to deliver meaning to the soul like a devotional writing, uplifting and true. This afternoon, a gathering at my parents' home took place...all people in their eighties and nineties except my sister and me.
After a potluck meal, the music began. Besides my sister on the piano, there were two violinists, one flutist , a harmonica player, a wooden flute -type recorder were played by these sweet aging saints, their physical limitations showing the wear of time. This small band of musicians accompanied the rest of us as we sang hymn after hymn from church hymnals, old familiar songs came back to us like water rolling down an embankment.. Very natural. Truly lovely. I find I like the old songs in their old state without alterations to their rhythms or speed...they retain their grace, beauty, and majesty when left unaffected by the pressure to become modern in taste.
Old school has its place at times, although I adapt, one has too. I was glad for today, to remember the songs that speak of a great God and sung and accompanied by people getting closer toward the Promised Land. As we sang, these gentle elderly people would comment after we finished a song, expressing their joy received in singing these meaningful words that encourage and comfort. A small foretaste of Glory. Amen