Academic journal article The Hymn

Singing Grace = Von der Gnade Singen: European Methodist Songbook

Academic journal article The Hymn

Singing Grace = Von der Gnade Singen: European Methodist Songbook

Article excerpt

Singing Grace = Von der Gnade Singen: European Methodist Songbook Ulrike Schuler and S ? Kimbrough, eds. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Medienwerk der Evangelischmethodistischen Kirche, 2010. 135 pp. ISBN 978-3940463-10-4. $12.00.

This first Pan-European bilingual (English/German) Methodist songbook is co-edited by Schüler, Professor at the School of Theology of the Evangelisch-methodistischen Kirche (EmK) in Reutlingen, Germany, and Kimbrough, currently of Duke University's Divinity School. It is intended for use at European Methodist conferences. With an emphasis on communal singing of familiar repertory in worship, it comes as no surprise that this songbook focuses on known songs in twenty-six different European languages. (The inclusion of Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian witnesses especially to the growth of the United Methodist Church in those countries.)

A short preface is followed by some helpful instructions on how to use the songbook, which contains forty-six songs. Hartmut Handt, a German pastor of the EmK, a poet, and a member of this hymnal committee, provided over half of the German versions of songs as well as a few originals. The table of contents is very helpful because it lists each song with the title in the original language, followed by all available language versions. This simplifies the planning of communal singing: one can easily match songs with conference language(s).

Similar to the United Methodist Hymnal (UMH), the songbook is organized by themes beginning with "Praise and Thanksgiving" and Charles Wesley's "O for a thousand tongues to sing" is provided in sixteen language versions. …

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