They Don’t Go Home Humming the Sermon!

humLiturgy has the power to from us in ways that preachers can only dream of. The truth is worshippers don’t go home humming the sermon. What we sing in worship matters precisely because music has the power to both open us up and shut us down to change. As our theology evolves, so too what we sing in worship must evolve. But familiar chestnuts  are familiar for a reason. Our favourite hymns are singable! Sadly, so many of the best loved hymns inscribe theologies that posit a god that few of us are willing to worship. But rather than throw the babies out with the bath water, we can give the best loved hymn tunes a new lease on life with texts that do not re-inscribe theories of atonement that we are trying to leave behind. I have been asked to share some of the resources that we have found helpful at Holy Cross and over the next few weeks I hope to post several resources.

Inclusive Hymns Aldredge-ClantonIt hasn’t been easy to find new words with which to resurrect old hymns. But there are two resources that warm the heart of this particular worship planner. Both “Inclusive Hymns For Liberating Christians” and “Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice” are the work of Jann Aldredge-Clanton who is responsible for the hymn texts and Larry E. Schultz who provides a few new tunes for Aldredge-Clanton’s texts. I highly recommend both volumes for those progressive Christian worship planners who seek to use music to open people to the possibilities of  more expansive theologies. Aldredge-Clanton’s texts go far beyond “inclusive language” for God and for people.Inclusive hymns for liberation

Jann Aldredge-Clanton currently serves as adjunct professor at Perkins School of Theology and Richland Community College, Dallas, Texas. Her vivid imagery opens the mind while familiar tunes comfort the spirit.  

The good news is that although these resources are not easy to get in Canada, I ordered mine from in the U.S. and the shipping charges were minimal. Better yet, with the purchase of 10 or more you get permission to reproduce hymns for worship.

Here are two videos that provide of just two of the pieces sung in very different worship styles.

4 thoughts on “They Don’t Go Home Humming the Sermon!

  1. If you check out the Gathering magazine of the United Church of Canada there are some beloved hymns that have been given a new lease-like How Great Thou Art. There are also hymns written to familiar tunes. Sue

    • Thanks Sue: resources from the United Church of Canada have been a God-send these past few years! I have an upcoming post on the More Voices hymnal supplement which has some marvellous pieces which we are already enjoying at Holy Cross. I’ll hunt down the Gathering magazine as I’d love to have an alternate set of words for How Great Thou Art!

  2. Hello Pastor Dawn,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog article, “They Don’t Go Home Humming the Sermon,” and for your blog on my “Midwife Divine” video! Larry E. Schultz, the composer whom I collaborate with on hymns, discovered these articles and sent them to me. Of course, I’m delighted by your enthusiastic recommendation of my hymns. I hope you can use some of the hymns in Holy Cross Lutheran worship services.

    I’m writing also to ask for information on Holy Cross Lutheran to include in my new book “She Lives! Wisdom Works in the World.” In addition to stories on my blog and in my “Changing Church” book, this new book will have inclusive/expansive liturgical resources and locations of churches/communities/groups who include female divine names and images in their worship services. I found in your liturgical resources some prayers/litanies with “Mother/Father,” so I assume that Holy Cross does include female divine images? I would love to include Holy Cross Lutheran in my list of churches/communities/groups in the new book. Would you be so kind as to email me this information on Holy Cross Lutheran: (1) meeting time and location; (2) mission statement; (3) contact information (email address and/or phone number.

    Thank you,
    Jann Aldredge-Clanton

  3. Pingback: Womb of All Creation Flowing: Jann Aldredge-Clanton | pastordawn

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