As most of you know, I believe wholeheartedly that a healthy church chooses congregational songs with theologically rich text and well-crafted, singable music. This is part one of a three part discussion on some of the differences between hymnody and contemporary worship songs.
Protestant denominations have been singing people since the days of the Reformation. Their hymns represented the mettle and fortitude they displayed in breaking away from the religious establishment (Roman Catholic church), and forging ahead in their new faith traditions. The American versions of these faith traditions initially carried on the mantle of hymnody, with much content being shared between denominational lines. In many churches today, hymns and hymnals remain, either as a vital piece of corporate worship practices or as a sentimental nod to the past.
In other churches, including churches in most if not all major denominations, there has been a decided shift . . . .