The Old and the New

Worship Blog by Chloe Tyghe

I love keeping up to date with the latest worship music. I often find that several churches across the globe will be writing music at the same with similar intentions and themes. Its so exciting when this happens, it really shows how we are all connected to the same God, the same source of love and that we are all listening to what he has to say to us fresh today.

With this in mind I often find that some of the old hymns come back to me time and time again. Not just their melodic and harmonic content but the rich depth of the lyrics are enough to chew on throughout the day. From a young age I have always valued the old hymns but I sometimes struggle to detach feelings of restraint and often frustration when I sing them. I believe this was because as a little girl whilst attending a different church I would become so confused watching people singing “oh the deep, deep love of Jesus” for example, with very little passion or joy. Not that I believe worship should be consistently happy but the stuff we were singing was completely radical and there was no obvious expression that as a church we were engaging with that.

So now, let me introduce to you a man who has revitalized christian hymns. This guy has become a huge success via YouTube through uploading hymns that are acapella.  Just listen to this:

 

For me this version of the hymn, Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go is completely outstanding. He has managed to marry the lyrics and harmonies so perfectly that it truly resembles the essence and purpose of this hymn. I have listened to this song countless times and I believe that with each time I grow stronger in spirit and mind. The hymn was written by George Matheson (1842-1906) here is an account from him as to why he wrote it;

“My hymn was composed in the manse of Inellan on the evening of June 6, 1882. I was at that time alone. It was the day of my sister’s marriage, and the rest of my family were staying overnight in Glasgow. Something had happened to me which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice than of working it out myself. I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high. I have never been able to gain once more the same fervor in verse.”

Wow. Researching the background stories of old hymns can completely transform their meaning and relevance to every day life, a bit like examining the oldest parts of the bible. How beautiful that Jesus can speak to us through history and day to day. I would love to challenge you all to broaden your listening and research when it comes to sung worship. There are so many revelations of love out there that have been wonderfully compacted into a ‘dusty old hymn’, hidden treasures you might say.