Luke 9:51 records a crucial moment in Jesus' ministry and mission. Fresh from hearing the voice of his Father....
The June 2013 edition of Reformed Worship features many articles about Lift Up Your Hearts. For this reason, we are making it available to everyone online (excluding copyrighted material that only appears in the printed edition). Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change is a constant. Churches change. Worship changes. Our knowledge of the worldwide church changes. The faces of our congregations change. And our hymnals must change too. I cannot imagine many of the Christians I know today worshiping with access only to the psalms and hymns I knew as a child. So how can your church successfully make the transition to a new hymnal? ~ by Annetta VanderLugt, published in Reformed Worship.
The function of hymnals in the life of the church has changed dramatically over the past thirty years. Many congregations rarely use them. Thousands of Christians seldom, if ever, open one. When people hear of the publication of Lift Up Your Hearts (LUYH), it’s natural for some of them to ask, “Why would you ever want to publish another hymnal?” ~ by John Witvliet, published in Reformed Worship and reprinted by Worship Leader.
Dr. Larry Visser, Minister of Music at LaGrave Ave. CRC, in Grand Rapids, Michigan talks about the planning process that took place in order to plan the "Lift Up Your Hearts" Hymn Festival that his congregation hosted in early February, 2013. "The overall flow and theme of the service (“Through the Church the Song Goes On”) helped the congregation understand, first, that they are part of a long line of worshipers throughout history that have expressed their faith through many types and styles of music, and, second, that they are very much a part of the entire story of God." Interested in planning a hymn festival? Find out more here.
What we sing in worship forms our big pictures of who God is, what God is doing, and how we fit in. “Story and meta-narrative are so important now, because, in a biblically illiterate culture, people hear Bible stories but don’t know how the stories fit together. Singing the true story of the whole world is absolutely crucial in this missional moment,” says John D. Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
I can say with all sincerity that the desire of this committee has been to provide a hymnal that is God-honoring, pastoral, that is inspirational and encouraging; a hymnal that will teach through song and scripture, and will connect us with our Christian brothers and sisters around the world in the mission God has called us to be a part of. ~ Diane Dykgraaf, Assistant to the Editor
You’ll be learning a “new worship language” over the next few months, as we become familiar with Lift Up Your Hearts. In many cases, it will be a familiar one. Most of the songs we’ve regularly sung from our previous hymnal are in the new one; many old favorites are back, and (thanks to the advances in modern paper-technology) there are also hundreds of new hymns and songs (literally, hundreds!) in Lift Up Your Hearts even though it’s almost exactly the same size as the hymnal we were using. Here’s my promise: we’ll sing songs you love, ones you’ll learn to love, and a few that you’ll dislike and never love. ~ by editorial team member, Tim TenClay, for his church newsletter.
Prayers to Accompany the Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs of Lift Up Your Hearts, by Cornelius Plantinga