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Why do hymns keep changing?

November 17, 2019 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm


WHAT’S OLD AND WHAT’S NEW – why do hymns keep changing?

Just as seasons, communities, and religious patterns change over time, so hymn texts and tunes evolve in response to the world around us: theological insights; fresh liturgical celebrations; climate change; shifts in population; the instruments available (or suitable) for accompaniment. Recently the Bahamas experienced severe damage resulting from hurricane Dorian, and within hours, there were new hymns available on the internet expressing prayers for mercy for those who have lost and endured so much.

Often such a hymn text is paired with a well-known tune, so that congregational access is simplified, and the import of the text is immediately recognized. One can readily think of numerous texts that can be supported by the tune for “Amazing Grace,” for example.

On November 17, the Southern Ontario Chapter of the Hymn Society (SOCHS) will host 75 minutes of singing new texts to old tunes, new texts with new tunes, and worship songs from the Two-Thirds World in recognition of the reverse flow of Christian song.

Co-leaders will be Dr. Fred Graham, former Deer Park Professor of Church Music at Emmanuel College, and Jason D. Locke, a graduate of Emmanuel College and minister of music at Islington United Church.

This event is open to the public, parking is available, and commences at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday November 17 at Islington United Church, 25 Burnhamthorpe Road, Etobicoke (near the Islington Subway.) Come along: we need your voice too!


November 17, 2019
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
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Islington United Church
25 Burnhamthorpe Road
Toronto, ON M9A 1G9
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416-239-1131 x221
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