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Cover Article

HYMN SING

SUNDAY • JUNE 7

From the September 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal


THINK OF IT AS A CHORAL COLLAGE. Violin. Piano. A cappella humming. Clapping. Organ. Guitar. Wooden claves. As the voices rang out in person and via webcast across the globe, the energy for the new Christian Science Hymnal Supplement was spontaneous—and no doubt about it—spirited.

Désirée Goyette, the event coordinator, got to hear a hymn she composed over 20 years ago—"I am the Lord" (No. 444)—open the afternoon sing. After practicing for weeks, children from local Christian Science Sunday Schools introduced "Feed my lambs" (No. 439), and a trio of singers gathered at the mike to lead participants in Susan Mack's folk-intoned hymn about "tender mercies" ("Dalton," No. 445). A soloist offered up the first verse of a new arrangement of "Here, O God, Thy healing presence" by Peter Allen ("Sant Rosa," No. 442) before all voices joined in—and the chorus on stage, comprised of employees of The Mother Church and other volunteers, rallied the crowd in a range of new pieces, including Peter's "Rise Up" (No. 453) and Hal Hobson's take on "Halle, halle, hallelujah" with its roots in traditional Caribbean rhythms (No. 441).

"As our movement continues to spread around the globe," Desiree explained, "the Hymnal Supplement is an opportunity to honor our brothers and sisters in other lands." She referred to another new favorite in the supplement—a traditional South African hymn, "Siyahamba" (No. 460), which has an optional verse in Zulu. And there were some forays into our standard Hymnal, too. Among them, "Meirionydd" (No. 313, "Sometimes a light surprises / The Christian while he sings"), with lyrics by celebrated 18th-century poet William Cowper and music by William Lloyd, a cattle farmer and self-taught musician.

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