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What Songs Are Stuck in Your Head?

I was leaning into the fridge and looking for a snack when the blasphemous lyrics popped into my head from out of nowhere.

It was a line from a song by a band my husband and I had recently seen in concert. Their songs are relatively clean, any crude or uncouth language typically warranted by the dark life circumstances they detail, things like broken homes and hurt people. This band sings about these things as a way to cope with a sinful world, not in order to praise them; however, it is not a Christian band.

Uniting Church Hymns throughout Time and Place

This summer, One and All Rejoice, a new children’s hymnal for K–8 students, will be released. There are two hundred well-loved hymns along with newer songs debuting in this hymnal. Among them are six modern hymns that can be used throughout the Church Year. Learn more about the hymns below, and listen to them on the One and All Rejoice playlist.

Cling to Hymns in a Pandemic

This pandemic is certainly horrific, but I have found many positives during this time. One of these positives was a slower and more reflective Holy Week, allowing me to ponder and study Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and to write some lessons on it for my school. In this Passion, as the evangelist—St. Matthew—and the rest of the biblical characters narrate the story, Bach uses chorales to mark the communal response of all believers to the biblical events. These chorales, or hymns, can be seen as our congregational response to Christ’s saving work, much like our hymns act within the church service.

Composer of the Month: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (1607–76) is in a tier only with Martin Luther as the most beloved and celebrated Lutheran hymnwriters in the church today. Seventeen of Gerhardt’s 100-plus hymn texts are in Lutheran Service Book.

Comforting Hymns for Listening at Home

I know I’m not alone when I say that during times of distress, I cling to music. I cling to melodies that I have come to love, especially melodies and lyrics that I can repeat as a source of strength. As Lutherans, hymns of comfort and strength have been passed down for generations. These hymns help each and every believer remember the Savior through music, singing praise to Him as one united body.

Music during Tragedy

In October 1966, tragedy struck the Welsh town of Aberfan when heavy rainfall mixed with coal waste and caused a mountainside to collapse. The sodden coal waste slid down to the town, burying the primary school and the students inside. A total of 116 children died in the disaster. 

Music of the Month: Four Easter Hymns for Twelve Bells

Sandra Eithun’s primary collection of popular Easter hymns and second set of popular Easter hymns are perfect for the busy Easter season, especially if you are shorthanded for church services or would like to travel with a small group ringers. Each piece uses only twelve bells, spanning F5 to C7. Because not every piece is in the key of F, these collections offer a wide variety of harmonic possibilities while still maintaining a small number of ringers. Scored for 3 octave handbells or handchimes. Set 1 is Level II–II+. Set 2 is Level II.

God’s Generous Gift of Music

Food. Water. Shelter. Oxygen. Not much is required for a human being to exist. Appropriate nutrients and an appropriate atmosphere. That is essentially what we need to survive.

Composer of the Month: August Crull

August Crull (1845–1923) was born in Germany but moved with his mother to the United States as a young boy following the death of his father. His mother remarried, and Crull began studying to enter the pastoral ministry at Concordia Seminary in 1862.

How to Network with Local Church Musicians

The professional world is full of networking opportunities, from connecting with individuals at conferences to networking entirely online. For a church musician or a music director, these networking needs are far different than, say, a marketing manager of a Fortune 500 company. In fact, making connections with other local musicians in your community can be challenging but also rewarding. The ability to use resources through networking for your church will not only free up your precious time but also give you the tools you need to broaden the musical selections your congregation hears every Sunday without having to dip further into the budget. For those trying to network with local musicians or churches in your area, try these tips below.