My Research Uncovers a Treasure
As I research ideas for our new book, 21 Easy Ukulele Hymns, I am looking for ways to meet church musicians. Church musicians will be interested in using our book to promote community in their churches. A ukulele choir or people playing ukulele will bring together people of different ages.
In the course of my research, I found a wonderful podcast called “Music in the Church.” The host Sarah Bereza presents many thoughtful ideas about music and worship.
The Role of the Hymnal
One of my favorite episodes talks about the role of the hymnal. Sarah has served as a church musician in many denominations. She grew up in a Conservative Protestant tradition but has served in liberal churches as well. I found it very refreshing to hear that concerns about the role of music in worship exist among all faiths and are similar across denominational lines.
What is the role of music in worship? Is it simply textual, or are there emotionally deeper roles as well? What role does the hymnal serve? As the times change, do we “modernize” lyrics to represent our currently more sensitive use of language? When we modernize a lyric, do we destroy its poetry? What is the role of the choir in worship? What is the role of a praise band?
Co-host Crawford Wiley Brings a Fresh Perspective
Dr. Sarah Bereza addresses all of these questions and more as she discusses her favorite hymnals with her co-host Crawford Wiley. He has served in the Catholic Church, so he brings a fresh pair of eyes to this topic. Together they delve into the choice of music, lyrics, indexes and how a church musician or congregation uses a hymnal to plan congregational worship.
I was so excited to learn more about music, text, and worship as Rebecca and I get ready to add our contribution to this genre with the publication of 21 Easy Ukulele Hymns. I fervently hope our book will bring together communities of young and old to build connections and to serve communities. After all, together we spread love and joy with each other by raising our voices in songs of praise.