Peace family, when was the last time that you found something special from your childhood, particularly, your favorite hymns? What are some of the hymns or spiritual songs that take you back to sweet memories?
My parents love (and play) Bluegrass music, so a lot of old Baptist favorites were a part of my childhood, but at the same time, I was raised at a very traditional Episcopal church school where we had chapel every day. For years, I have wondered about certain songs that I have never heard outside of that school and church. A few of my favorites are a Christmas carol that begins, “Watchman, Tell us of The Night,” (I’ve found one version of this on Youtube, but the tune was not the right one,) one that starts with, “Jerusalem, My Happy Home,” and another that starts with, “They Cast Their Nets in Galilee.” There are many others. Throughout my life, as I’ve run into Episcopalians, they often don’t recognize my favorite songs, and I always wondered why, but now I know.
I recently found a teacher from that school on Facebook, and asked her about it, and she informed me that my school had used the 1940 hymnal, which is now out of print. However, I found a copy online and ordered it, and now I can play these songs whenever I like! I went through that hymnal over the weekend, and it was like visiting memories with an old friend. I remembered Christmas concerts in the choir loft, the semi-scratchy feeling of the carpeted pews and the resin-cedar-smell of the church. I remembered singing certain hymns with my classmates, and silly things we would do, like all looking at our friend, Magdalen, when one particular song went, “Now Magdalen hath left her moan, and cheerfully doth sing…”
As a history lover, something that was very fun for me, was paying attention, for the first time, to the origins of these songs as credited in this hymnal. Some dated back to the 1500s, and I think one was even from the 1300s! As I looked through, I thought about the generations of believers who I will join with in Heaven, who sang those songs as part of their daily lives through the centuries. I know that we will be praising God in Heaven, and it just delighted me to think of singing along with the other saints to the praise songs from throughout history and other nations that I’ve never heard (as well as future songs I might never hear before I die), and which I have to look forward to!
Peace family, with the internet, it’s easier than ever to find those kinds of old songs and books that we loved as children, and be encouraged. We know you love the modern music that we play on Peace 107, but there’s something so beautiful and moving about so many of those old songs. Take a musical vacation today and visit some of those old melodies and poetry! If you aren’t familiar with the vast treasury and heritage that we share of Christian music, then today is a great day to start discovering! I’m sure you will find some new favorites that speak to your heart!