GS 2010 art 142

GS 2010 Article 142 – Direction re: Hymns

1.          Material

  • 1.1       SCBP Report, Section Four, 10.3.IV (8.2.j).
  • 1.2        Letters from Elora (8.3.J.1), Carman East (8.3.J.2), Hamilton-Cornerstone (8.3.J.46), Cloverdale (8.3.J.40), Spring Creek (8.3.J.28), Glanbrook (8.3.J.32), Surrey-Maranatha (8.3.J.29), London (8.3.J.30), Langley (8.3.J.31), Flamborough (8.3.J.22), Burlington-Ebenezer (8.3.J.26), Attercliffe (8.3.J.25), FergusMaranatha (8.3.J.21), Guelph (8.3.J.4), Burlington-Fellowship (8.3.J.18), Grand Valley (8.3.J.10), Orangeville (8.3.J.6), and Grassie (8.3.J.7).

2.          Observations

  • 2.1        At this point the SCBP is seeking direction from the Synod with respect to the question whether, with the addition of some new hymns, the search for additional hymns is completed, or whether the churches are looking for more hymns to be added in the future. The SCBP has noted that 28 hymns had been made available to the churches by way of the Augment, but only 14 are being proposed at this point. There may still be a desire to “augment” the hymn section further.
  • 2.2        Some churches prefer that the committee cease its work of obtaining more hymns. Some emphasize the need to ensure that the Psalms predominate in worship. Most of these churches reason along the practical line of Orangeville, namely that “to leave the mandate open ended would potentially lead to constant changes in new printings of the Book of Praise.”
  • 2.3        Some churches advocate the inclusion of more hymns and some include the rationale of Synod Chatham 2004 to cap the total number of hymns at 100. One church requests that the SCBP review and choose from hymns that are being sung in the churches of NAPARC, since selecting hymns from churches that we recognize as faithful and have a relationship with will foster closer ties, while making the selection process easier. This church also requests the SCBP to provide the rationale used for choosing hymns, along with the complete list of hymns considered when the 28 Augment hymns were chosen so that churches know which songs were reviewed and why they were excluded previously.
  • 2.4        The SCBP seeks direction from synod as to whether or not it should continue searching for more hymns to be added in the future.
  • 2.5        The SCBP recommends that, if mandated to continue their search, churches will consider carefully new hymns which may enhance corporate as well as family and personal worship, and that such hymns be presented by individual members to local consistories, and then forwarded, complete with the rationale, to the SCBP.

3.          Considerations

  • 3.1        None of the letters from churches give principial reasons for not obtaining any more hymns than proposed.
  • 3.2         The decision of Synod Chatham 2004 (Article115, 6.1.1) not to exceed 100 hymns remains in place at this time. It illustrates that the Psalms will continue to receive primary emphasis in the worship services, and as such will continue to guide the committee in its work.
  • 3.3        The adopting of a definitive Book of Praise at this time does not exclude that more hymns may be submitted and examined by the SCBP and tested by the churches in a supplement and added in a future edition of the Book of Praise.
  • 3.4        It would be useful to review the hymnaries of churches with which we have contact and also to make available to churches the songs which have previously been reviewed and the rationale for rejecting them.

4.          Recommendation

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1        To instruct the SCBP to seek, receive, evaluate and recommend additional hymns to be compiled and proposed at a future date for testing by the churches, and for possible recommendation to a future Synod.
  • 4.2        To instruct the SCBP upon request to make available to churches the songs which have previously been reviewed.