Academic journal article The Hymn

Community of Christ Sings

Academic journal article The Hymn

Community of Christ Sings

Article excerpt

All prices are in U.S. dollars. Community of Christ Sings Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 2013. $23.00.

Community of Christ (CoC) is the name the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been using since 2001 and the 664 hymns in this collection represent some of the finest new hymnwriting as well as treasures from the storehouse of hymnody. Because CoC has an international presence there are 229 hymns in non-English languages, from Arabic to Zulu (with 93 in Spanish and 72 in French). Each hymn page has up to twenty fields of information, including copyright holders, country of origin for text and music, and guitar chords, in addition to the customary tune name, meter, and topical heading.

Readers of The Hymn may recall that Lauren Hall from the hymnal steering team wrote the Hymn Interpretation column in 2012, using four hymns from this volume- "Take my life, that I may be"; "Touch me, Lord, with thy Spirit eternal"; "For everyone born, a place at the table"; and "We call out to you." At the 2014 Hymn Society Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, the hymnal was presented in showcase.

The Preface states that "[mjore than 16 percent of the texts in this book were written in whole or in part by Community of Christ authors and over 13 percent of the tunes were composed, arranged, or adapted by Community of Christ musicians." The vast majority of hymns might be found in any mainline Protestant or Roman Catholic hymnal. There are a dozen entries from the Taizé Community; 14 by John Bell of the Iona Community; Mary Louise Bringle, 17; Carl Daw, 19; Ruth Duck, 15; Marty Haugen, 9; Hal Hopson, 11; Tom Troeger, 13; Ralph Vaughan Williams, 11 ; and Brian Wren, 17.

Except for six pages of Communion Prayers in English, Spanish, and French at the beginning of the book, and the Indexes (the Scriptural Index includes the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants) at the back, the entire book consists of congregational songs divided into seven groupings. …

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