United Methodist Church of Livonia, NY

I've Been Thinking About Music

I have been thinking about music in the church for the last two weeks.   Probably because of all the transition in our music ministry.
It reminds me church music has changed over time.
  • Gregorian Chant.  
  • “Be Thou My Vision” is an ancient Irish melody dating back to 560 CE.
  • “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” written in 1529.
  •  “Praise to the Lord Almighty” from 1680.
  • “Amazing Grace” written in 1779.
  • The slave trade brought us the spiritual
  •  In the mid 1700s Charles Wesley brought us an incredible number of hymns.
  • 1863 brought us “My Hope is Built.”
  • 1922 brought us “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”
  • “Victory In Jesus” from 1939.
  • 1969, “Pass It On.”
  •  In 1978 Andre Crouch brought us “Soon and Very Soon.”
  • 1988 “Awesome God” by Rich Mullin is considered the first of contemporary praise music
  • 1993 “Shout to the Lord. “
  •  2000 gave us “God of Wonders.”
  • 2004 we were introduced to Chris Tomlin and “Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.”
  • 2010 “One Thing Remains.”
  •  In 2012 Hillsong United brought “Oceans.”
  •  2014 “Good God Father.”
The point of this long list?  The music of the church has constantly been evolving.  I bet there were a few heated discussions when someone tried to introduce music that was not a chant.  Think about it. The music from each era was considered contemporary in their time.  What is important to remember is each generation has given us music to praise and honor God.  None are better than the other.  None are less than the other. It is hard for those of us from an earlier generation to accept what the next generation brings.
I see church music as a metaphor representing change in the church.   Music has changed with each generation, and so must the church.
We are entering a new era in our music ministry, anticipating, and dreading the inevitable change, all the while honoring and appreciating our past.
Pastor Hoyt