Academic journal article The Hymn

And Jesus Said: Parables in Song

Academic journal article The Hymn

And Jesus Said: Parables in Song

Article excerpt

BOOKS And Jesus Said: Parables in Song edited by Richard Leach and David P. Schaap. Pittsburgh: Selah Publishing, 2008. 74 pp. ISBN 978-0-9677408-1-9. US $16.95.

According to its introduction, this book was published to meet the need for hymns based on the parables of Jesus, especially in light of the widespread use of the Revised Common Lectionary which includes more than two dozen parables in the course of its three -year cycle. The 55 hymns in this soft- cover, spiral-bound volume were written by seven contemporary authors, except for one African American spiritual and one hymn that includes two stanzas by Isaac Watts. Twenty- six of the texts are by coeditor Richard Leach. Forty of the hymns have copyright dates earlier than 2008, implying previous publication. Only eight of the tunes or texts are copyrighted by a publisher other than Selah.

The small number of poets represented, however, does not result in a lack of variety in this collection. The poems are written in 32 different meters, plus six classified as "irregular." The music comes from 40 different composers or sources and no tune is used more than once. Three hymns are each set to two different tunes. Two of the tunes are provided with descants for C instruments. Most of the tunes are recently composed, although the collection includes such classics as B UNESSAN, Detroit, Dove of Peace, Morning Song, Ellacombe, Charlestown, Land of Rest, Restoration, Ye Banks and Braes, Rhosymedre, and the English folk tune Barbara Allen. Some of the hymns are especially suitable for children, such as "A Sower Went Forth," "Help Me, Help Me, Help Me" (based on the parable of the Good Samaritan), "Shepherd, Shepherd" (based on the three parables in Luke 15), and "My Elder Son, Go Work Today. …

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