Last night at church, we sang some really rockin’ older hymns, which always makes me happy. I’m a sucker for “thee”s and “thou”s, and references to the majesty of the mountains, the glory of God displayed in the prettiness of nature; I much prefer these songs to the more contemporary “I’m forgiven because you were forsaken” sort, that unfailingly rhyme “grace” with “face” (or “praise,” if they’re feeling really tricksy), and tend to be about how bad I feel about that whole Cross business. Depressing. And boring as all get out.
The hymns, though, they’re another story. Song with seven verses, and stacks of unusual lyrics! Singing “How Great Thou Art” broadens my vocabulary in a flash (“harken” and “fount” and so on), and the melodies are so fun to sing, and difficult. With all those runs and high D’s, it’s amazing to hear our little congregation belt out the chorus, harmonies and all, and it makes me appreciate what a slew of accomplished musicians we have at Breakwater.
But I’ll tell you what: nothing livens up a drab old worship song like leaving my glasses at home. Given my nearsightedness, there’s a certain element of adventure, a dash of the unexpected, in trying to read the words on the monitor while also keeping time with the music. You end up with “appreciate Your mighty wrath” instead of “mighty worth,” and “He sent His son to lie for me” instead of “die for me.”
Really keeps you on your toes, that does. On the one hand, it makes you think a bit more about the lyrics, and what they actually mean; on the other, it’s just funny. Nothing like giggling in the middle of a nice, quiet, emotional chorus, as you meaningfully hum “your love makes me sin”, instead of “your love makes me sing.”