UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2021
It is a long time tradition that methodist congregations are known for their singing. Nowadays different congregations vary in style of implementation and for different circumstances. The methodists at Hedge End use a number of different resources at different times and appreciate variety, however they tend to be on the more traditional spectrum of taste as far as singing material is concerned.
Editors Opinion: Many modern hymns rely on the quality of the singer to project and embellish the melody; most of the more traditional hymns that have become standard are in your face easy singables with obvious metre and stonkingly good tunes.
The methodist publishing house has published a number of specific hymn books over the years. The currently used text at Hedge End is called “Singing the Faith”. This is one blunderbuss of a brick, specifically designed to fall off of pianos during performance thereof. It comes in several tomes, ranging from unwieldy to fork lift. Numerous copies are available to use. Fortunately during chapel worship projection screens are used to display the text of hymns for those with/without their reading/driving glasses and are windowed in Zoom Worship.
During a standard Sunday chapel worship it is usual for five hymns to be performed Congregationally. And yes, those who go to church actually like singing. Its rare in this modern world for people nowadays to do anything together apart from shop. There is a feeling of togetherness in the process. And boy oh boy, did some of the writers of these hymns know what they were doing! Congregrational singing can range from dreary to sublime, and sometimes sublime plus!
Nobody expects anybody to sing. Sometimes its good just to listen to the words. And nobody expects you to live up to the expectations of some of the hymnal writers when you sing the words. I would just like to be aspirational enough to have the faith and holiness to live up to them. And that is a good enough reason to sing.
There has been a history of Organ playing at Hedge End carried on by our long time organist. Other instruments are used too. There is a digital piano, and a drum kit. There is occasional a brass band, and occasionally the choir reforms for presentations. Many people are encouraged (but never forced) to play. Sometimes Zoom Worship has used pre-recorded material . Hedge End is not really a Pop Concert type of church and is not really going in the direction which many other churches have chosen to tread.
Editors Opinion: I’m a big fan of Rock, Classical, Jazz, the lot (and so is our organist), but the Pop Concert model is too much performance and not enough participation for my taste. It just seems so shallow.
In terms of material the works of Charles Wesley still reign supreme (and so they should).
The editorial team would very much appreciate further contributions of text, images, audio or video on this subject. ☆ What Hymns do you like? ☆ Notes on Performance? ☆ Photos of instruments? ☆ Great past events?