Using a Children’s Hymnal at Home, Church, and School

What’s the very first thing you do when you get to church on Sunday morning? With social distancing it might look a bit different right now, but do you usually greet the people around you? Sip the coffee you grabbed from the refreshments table? Sit down, pray for a few minutes, and center yourself for worship? As a long-time music lover (and player), the first thing I always did was look up what we would be singing for the day. Knowing which hymns would ring out during service was important to me, not only to see if we’d sing my favorites but also to see what the service was going to be about.  

Growing up, I really wanted my own hymnal so I could sing or play my favorite hymns. One and All Rejoice would have been perfect. This new children’s hymnal offers the opportunity to create family devotional time with liturgies, common prayers, psalms, Luther’s Small Catechism, and hymns for all ages and musical abilities. This month’s content download includes a school year devotional guide that pairs perfectly with One and All Rejoice. Download the guide and read below to find amazing ways to use it in all parts of your child’s faith life.

For Parents

Watching your child learn and grow with their hymnal is a beautiful experience. Not only are they learning about God’s love for them through song, but they’re also learning the basics of creative expression through music! Although watching your children with a new hymnal is heartwarming of itself, in the back of your mind you might wonder how you can create devotional time for the whole family.

This month’s content downloads include musical bookmarks and a hymn devotional guide that spans the entire school year. You can sit down every Sunday (or whichever day works best for your family) and work through the week’s Bible readings and hymn from One and All Rejoice while spending time together. You can even listen to hymn recordings of some of the songs here. Challenge your young hymn lovers to find similar words or phrases in the hymn texts and the Bible verses. See if they can find thematic overlaps as well, especially during Advent or Lent.

For Sunday School

Sunday School is a great time to bridge Sunday’s music choices and lectionary readings. The downloadable hymn devotional guide creates an instant outline for the entire academic year. Help students connect the dots as to why a specific hymn was chosen for that Sunday. Is it the start of the academic year? Does the hymn align with a specific season of the Church Year?

You can even use the included audio recordings to play in your classroom and have your Sunday School children sing along. As the year progresses, you can also look back on each devotion and play past hymns to demonstrate how the Church Year ebbs and flows. Challenge your students to understand what has changed between Pentecost and Advent. What themes are present in Epiphany songs and readings? The opportunities to connect children’s hymns with the Church Year are endless.

For Music Teachers

As a former flautist, I loved learning more about the composers for each piece I played during church or in band. The One and All Rejoice hymn timeline allows you to dive into the history of each hymn with your students. While working through the Church Year, talk about the compositional choices of some of the songs. What are the differences between Lenten songs and Easter songs? Depending on the age range of your students, discuss how the compositional choices aid in painting the words of a song: text painting if you will. If the hymn text lines up with one of the readings for the day, challenge your students to think about how they would go about creating music to go along with the words.

A new hymnal for home, church, or school can be really exciting for kids and young adults. Use the bookmarks at home to mark your hymn for the upcoming Sunday and use the devotions to enrich your time in the hymnal. There are a plethora of ways to use a new hymnal. Get creative with your children or students and see what you can come up with using the devotional guide.

Download the One and All Rejoice hymn devotions guide to prepare for the new academic year. 

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Written by

Delania Byerley

Delania is a copywriter with Concordia Publishing House. She recently graduated from Valparaiso University with her BA in creative writing. On a normal day, you can find her perched under a tree reading a book, writing poetry, listening to music, or exploring St. Louis, the city she calls her new home.

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