Hymns for each congregation (2023)

A pastor friend of mine contacted me this week and asked if I had written an article on my "Twenty Best Hymns." The reason he asked me this is that he pastors a church that hasn't used many traditional hymns for several years, and now they are trying to introduce more hymns into their congregational singing. I wanted a good list of hymns for them to use as they tried to get them back on their Sunday service diet.

Well, it so happens that I have never written an article on my "Twenty Best Hymns", although I teach Worship at Reformed Theological Seminary and have a substantial section in that course on hymnology. I've never actually written a list of my top 3, 5, 10 or 20 favorite hymns, but your question got me thinking: what hymns would I recommend any and all pastors and churches for regular use? I jotted down some ideas and sent them to him, and I've been thinking about a list of "must-have" hymns ever since.

Before offering a preliminary list, let me make a few clarifications.

First, the list of hymns I am about to suggest is deliberately crafted to be theologically compatible with Protestant churches in the Reformed tradition (Presbyterian, Baptist, Anglican, Congregational, etc.). These hymns would be found at home in churches where the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Thirty-Nine Articles, the London Baptist Confession (1689), the New Hampshire Confession or the Savoy Declaration are valued.

Second, most of these hymns are found in the Trinity Hymnal (Great Commission Publications). The so-called “Red Trinity Hymnal” is a hymnbook widely used in the PCA and OPC (Great Commission Publications is a joint effort of these denominations). Attention was paid to ensuring that the words of the hymns are theologically compatible with historic creed and confessional Christianity.

Third, friends in significantly multi-ethnic and cross-cultural environments will have an extra layer of work to do in thinking about their diet of praise songs in their churches. For example, Mike Campbell, founding pastor of Redeemer Church (PCA) in Jackson, MS, sat down with a Trinity Hymnal and an African American Heritage Hymnal, choosing to use the hymns they shared in common.

Fourth, I have not attempted here to produce a list of hymns that cover the full scope of biblical doctrine. I tried to think of combinations of hymns and tunes that would help "win" a congregation to the treasures of church hymnology. Once the congregation knows and loves some of these great texts and traditional tunes, the pastor and musicians can begin to expand the congregation's repertoire of hymns to cover more important biblical themes.

Fifth, sing psalms too! I'm going to list some of the best metric psalm texts and melodies here to encourage you to try them out. In an ideal contemporary Protestant Lord's Day service, there should be at least one solid traditional hymn and psalm, any other material used for worship.

Sixth, I have not listed the Christmas carols, in part, because this is the part of the traditional hymns that has best persisted, while the rest of the hymns have disappeared from American churches over the last half century. The "best of the best" Christmas songs are best added to a future version of this list.

Seventh, this list is a work in progress. I accept criticism, contributions, suggestions, comments and much more. I'm just trying to help pastors and congregations with the suggestions here.

Eighth, and finally, I have a pet theory (so don't start a new denomination about it!) that the average congregant can't or won't know more than 200 hymns/songs/melodies. That is, even in churches that use a wide range of traditional hymns and "require" their members to sing, say, 200-400 songs in a relatively short period, I don't think that the average non-musician memberReallyknows, or maybe could know, more than 200 songs and, very likely, knows a lot less. My guess is that number has dropped over the past fifty years and may be closer to 50. So what, you ask? Well, there are many ramifications, but what I want the pastor to realize is that if the average member only knows 50-200 songs and possibly can't or won't know more than that, we better make sure they do. best songs possible, lyrically and melodically.

Now a quick note on resources: There are some excellent online resources that should be well known to pastors and others involved in choosing hymns and psalms for Sabbath services. I list some here. These sites have material on both traditional and contemporary hymns.

cybernetic hymnbook http://www.hymntime.com/tch/

doxology and theology http://www.doxologyandtheology.com/

himnario.org https://hymnary.org/

indelible free music http://www.igracemusic.com/

Music by Matt Merker https://www.mattmerkermusic.com/

Music for the Church of God http://www.cgmusic.org/

salterio.org(PRCNA, Crown and Covenant)http://salterio.org/

sovereign grace music https://sovereigngracemusic.org/

Trinity Hymn Resources(OPC)http://www.opc.org/hymnal.html(This site features the "Old" or "Blue" Trinity Hymnal, predecessor of the "New" or "Red" Trinity Hymnal cited below), but there is a lot of overlap.

Part of the reason I chose these hymns below is that they still "work" in contemporary American English-speaking Protestant congregations, with their traditional melodies (although some of them also have very good contemporary melodies now associated with them, and I highly recommend some of these) . I've been to numerous churches and conferences across the country (and across the English-speaking world) in places where most of the material given to the congregation to sing comes from today's popular Christian music. , and whenever a hymn of the quality I will suggest below is sung, these congregations/conferences have invariably sung the hymn better than anything else they have sung. it fascinates me on many levels.

So, again, the hymns a continuation are not solo or even a "list of favorite hymns" (he omitted many personal favorites and he included others that are not among my personal favorites), nor is this a "list of the best hymns of Everytime". (many of the hymns here wouldn't top a list of the greatest hymns of all time), but all of these hymns are solid and, in combination with their melodies, will resonate with a congregation. These are hymns and tunes that not only still "work" in our time and culture, but are also easier to sing than other materials used by our congregations.

There are just under a hundred recommended hymns and psalms here (and many unique songs). In the left column is the hymn number in the Trinity Hymnal, then the name of the hymn, followed by the name of the melody in the hymn. You'll notice that there are almost no duplicate hymns (those used more than once are marked with an asterisk *).

hymns of praise to God

(Video) Old Hymns of the Church - Hymns Beautiful , Relaxing

92 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God - Ein' Feste Burg

115 All Creatures of our God and King - Let Us Rejoice

642 Be You My Vision - Slane

101 Come, King Almighty – Trinity

32 Great is your faithfulness – Faithfulness

100 Holy! Sacred! Sacred! –Nicea

44 How great you are! O Gud store!

38 Immortal, Invisible, Wise God Only – Joanna (San Denio)*

2 Oh, adore o rei – Lyon*

53 Praise the Lord Almighty – Lobe Den Herren

76/7 Praise be to you, my soul, the king of heaven – Lauda Anima or Andrews

55 To God be the glory - To God be the glory

jesus christ the savior

296/7 Hail the Power of the Name of Jesus: Coronation, Diadem, or Miles Lane

277 Christ the Lord is risen today – Llanfair

302 Come, Christians, unite to sing – Madrid

295 Coroa-o com muitas coroas – Diademata

170/1 The Most Beautiful Lord Jesus – Hymn of the Crusaders

647 How sweet the name of Jesus sounds - St. Peter

168 I salute you, you are my redeeming art –Toulon

498 Jesus! What a friend of sinners! –Hyfrydol

172 Let us love, sing and wonder - All Saints

246 Man of Sorrows! What a name, hallelujah! What a Savior!

465 Wonderful grace from our loving Lord – Moody

307 Nothing But Blood – Plainfield

164 Oh for a Thousand Tongues - Azmon

(Video) When We All Get to Heaven - Congregational Hymn

247 Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded – Passion Chorale

167 When the morning gilds the skies – Lauds Domini


463 A Lonely Debtor of Mercy - Trewen

254 Wow! and I bleed my Savior - Martyrdom

460 Amazing Grace - Amazing Grace

455 And can it be? vagina

466 I sought the Lord and then I knew: peace

182 My song is unknown love - unknown love

535 Oh, deep, deep love of Jesus! –Ebenezer (or Ton-Y Bottle)

499 Rock of the Ages, Cleft for Me – Toplady

253 There is a fountain full of blood - Fountain

261 What a wonderful love is this - wonderful love

252 When I examine the Marvelous Cross – Hamburg

Christian life

540 A Few More Years Will Pass - Leominster

401 All praises to Thee, my God, tonight – Canon of Tallis

402 Fique comigo: Fast Falls the Eventide-Eventide (Monk)

305 Arise, my soul, arise-Lenox

689 Be still, my soul - Finland

251 Under the Cross of Jesus – St. Cristobal

457 Come, Fountain of All Blessings - Nettleton

128 God Moves in a Mysterious Way – Dundee

598 Guíame, oh you, great Jehová–Cwm Rhondda

600 He guides me: O blessed thought! he guides me

94 How Firm Are the Foundations – Fundamentals

(Video) All Creatures (Sing the Harmony) [Live] | Shane & Shane

469 How sweet and awesome is the place - St. Colombia

705 I Know Who I Believed - El Nathan

691 My soul is fine – Ville Du Havre

644 That the Mind of Christ My Savior – St. by leonard

521/2 My hope is based on nothing less: solid rock

707 Jesus, I took up my cross - Ellesdie

706 Jesus Lives, And So Will I Live—Jesus My Trust

616 Leaning on Everlasting Arms – Showalter

708 Oh Love, Won't You Let Me Go–St. Daisy

546 The Sands of Time Are Sinking - Rutherford

111 This is my father's world – Terra Beata

95 Even if trouble overtakes us – Joanna (St. Denio)*

624 Through all the changing scenes of life-downs

672 Trust and Obey – Trust and Obey

629 What a friend we have in Jesus! What a Friend!

108 What God commands is right, was Gott Tut

Church and Sacraments

358 For All Saints – Sine Nomine

345 glorious things are said about you - Austrian anthem

378 Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face -Morecambe

353 I Love Your Kingdom, Lord–St. thomas

347 The only foundation of the Church – Aurelia


441 Jesus Shall Reign Where'er the Sun – Duke Street*

448 We hear the joyful sound: Jesus saves

587/8 Who is on the Lord's side? armageddon

(Video) When We All Get To Heaven • Congregational

165 Servants of God, your Master Proclaim – Lyons*


715 Win, agradecidos, win – S. Georges Windsor

116 For the Beauty of the Earth – Dix

98 Now We Thank All Our God-Nun Danket

363 We Gather – Kremser

New hymns/melodies

A Christian's Daily PrayerMarcas, Fournier, Kauflin

305 Arise, my soul, ariseKevin Twit (FRU)

Before the Throne of God on High–Vikki Cook (SGM)

Come, behold the wondrous mystery -Boswell, Daddy, Bleecker

Dear Haven of My Weary Soul–matte marks

554 From the depths of affliction–Christopher Miner (FRU)

He'll catch me fast–matte marks

Only in Christ -Getty/Townend

707 Jesus, I took up my cross–Bill Moore (FRU)

392 Oh, day of rest and joy!Christopher Miner (FRU)

708 Oh love, won't you let me go–Christopher Miner (FRU)

The power of the cross -Getty/Townend


1 All People That Dwell on the Earth (Psalm 100) – Ancient Centenary

7 Of All That Dwell Under Heaven (Psalm 117) – Duke Street*

486 God, have mercy on me (Psalm 51) – Redhead

57 Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah (Psalm 146)–Ripley

30 Our God, our help in the past (Psalm 90) –St. A-N-A

6/7/85 The Lord Is My Shepherd (Psalm 23) – Crimond

(Video) Songs of Comfort | 8 Catholic Church Songs and Christian Hymns of Faith | Catholic Choir with Lyrics


731/2/3 Doxología: Hundredth antigua, mod. the Canon of Tallis

734/5 Gloria al Padre - Greatorex, O Meineke


1. 10 Greatest Hymns - Congregational singing
(Martijn de Groot)
2. Best Old Gospel Songs - Includes beautiful images that showcase the music - Church Gospel Hymns
(Visual Worship)
3. (03/19/23) | Music & the Spoken Word
(The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square)
4. All The Way My Savior Leads Me • Congregational
(Daniel Baptist)
5. Old Hymns of the Church l Hymns Beautiful , Relaxing
(Old Hymns Songs)
6. BBC One - Songs of Praise, The UK’s Favourite Hymn (12/07/2020)
(Choirs on TV)


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