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I do. I did a series over Lent (2012) on biblical covenants. I'd be happy to send you an overview if you're still interested.

Hello Joyce and all,

I had a thought for the new hymnal that I wanted to pass along. It seems to me that one of the great needs and opportunities is for the use of a hymnal as a common resource for worship outside of Sunday mornings (though that receives the most attention). I’m thinking of small groups, family worship, church committee meetings, prayer groups, and even individual prayer. So what if the new hymnal contained orders for morning and evening prayers? And perhaps other suggestions or resources along these lines?

I can imagine several potential benefits...

- It could help encourage the ongoing recovery of the practice of morning and evening prayer (aka the "daily office", fixed-hour prayer, liturgy of the hours). Since this has always (early church, medieval, Reformation era, and contemporary) included the Psalms as prominent (and usually sung or chanted), it would be a natural fit with a hymnal encouraging Psalm singing.

- It could help to provide a much needed link between our corporate (Sunday morning) worship and the daily worship of individuals, families, and groups throughout the week.  I’m thinking of Jamie Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom and his comments about the need to keep our various prayer, worship, and spiritual disciplines linked to the corporate worship of the church, about how crucial this is for our spiritual formation as communities of disciples.

- As has been noted, many churches are using projection in Sunday worship - but nobody I know uses projection in small group or family worship, or personal devotion times! Yet here is where a hymnal can provide such a rich resource! I might even be so bold as to suggest it could increase sales...I know I would be more likely to buy a copy for home use if it could serve in this way (maybe even one for home, one for the office, etc.).  And I would recommend the same to others. And maybe our church would be more interested to have it in the pews if it was also in use in our homes.

A few other related thoughts...

- This could be as simple as a couple pages with morning and evening prayer liturgies for home and small group use. Liturgies adapted to church seasons could be included. Or it could be made more robust - including a cycle of suggested Psalms as many prayer books do. Maybe a couple pages of explanation of the long practice of daily morning and evening prayer and some instruction for the use of these liturgies.  And possible adaptations for families with small children, for example.

- If this suggestion is too late in the process, or even if its not, perhaps publishing a separate edition of the hymnal - say, Lift Up Your Hearts - Home and Small-Group Edition - could serve a similar purpose. Include, say, 50 of the most central Psalms, another 50 hymns and songs, some daily prayer liturgies, and make it a smaller, more portable size I can carry with me.  Here’s where a digital edition for our various portable devices could also be helpful.

- Some resources that came to mind as I thought of this - Arthur Paul Boers’ book The Rhythm of God’s Grace: Uncovering Morning and Evening Hours of Prayer.  Or some of Hughes O. Old’s work on common prayer in the early Reformed churches (an article I just read recently), the various common prayer books from Episcopal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic sources. Not to mention, of course, Phil Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face that I’ve only glanced at so far, but I know is doing some similar recovery work.

- I even wonder if having these others settings as a consideration would guide (and enrich) the decision process about which songs to include

Perhaps this has already been suggested and considered (and dismissed). But I didn’t see any mention of it on the website posts I came across. I’d love to hear some discussion of this - pros or cons I haven’t thought of yet.

To submit my lone vote at this point, my interest in a new hymnal would significantly increase if this could be made part of it!  


I'm delighted to hear it. Can you tell us any more?

What shape such a section might take? What models or resources are being looked at?

What other hymnals have included resources along these lines?

This is going to be a rather "Bah-humbug" comment for something I enjoyed viewing as well. But here's some grist for the discernment mill, from Jamie Smith:

"So what to make of these irruptions of the Messiah in the food court? How should we think about these insertions of the church's music in the mall? Does this represent a little "redemption" of the mall, a reorientation of the mall's liturgies?

I don't think so. For at least a couple of reasons.

First, while we might associate this with "liturgical," high-churchy music, in these flash mob performances it only functions as an event. Liturgies are formative precisely because they are repetitive, shaping us over time within the context of the Christian story as it is "carried" in the practices of worship. Too much of North American evangelicalism already thinks of worship as merely an expressive event, and these flash mob events do nothing to displace that.

Second, these irruptive events do nothing to counter the formative effects and disordered telos of the mall's consumerism. Indeed if anything, they provide comfort to such practices--injecting a little dose of transcendence into the frantic pursuit for stuff, thus leaving the shoppers to happily continue on their way after the event."    (Read the rest here)

So is this being Scrooge or simply being shrewd (ala. Matt. 10:14)?

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