The Evolution of the Christian Science Hymnal
Williams, Paul O. The Evolution of the Christian Science Hymnal. Principia Corporation, 1979.
The early Christian Scientists sang from the Unitarian hymnal, or printed out their hymns for each service. What prompted the publication of the first authorized hymnal in 1892 were rival groups of Christian Scientists publishing their own hymnals. The first edition was mainly the work of a young musician and composer Lyman Brackett who gave new musical settings to many of the beloved traditional Christian hymns. Many of the hymns were adapted from the writings of prominent literary figures such as Oliver Wendell Holmes. The hymnal would go through five revisions leading up to the present 1932 revision which contained 143 new hymns including Eddy’s poems set to music and hymns written by Christian Scientists. Williams highlights several hymns to demonstrate the careful editing and revising that took place with each new edition to bring the hymns in conformity with Christian Science concepts. Also it was a frequent practice between revisions to switch hymns from one set of tunes or lyrics to another, depending upon familiarity or meaning. Williams notes that even with the revisions, the hymnal would remain “predominantly a nineteenth century songbook” (2). In 2017 the Church published a supplemental hymnal with 174 contemporary hymns from around the world.
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Principia Archive ID: BV387 .W72 1979
See also annotations:
A Most Agreeable Man: Lyman Foster Brackett: Performer, Composer and Hymnal Editor for the Church of Christ, Scientist by Peter J Hodgson
“The Role of Singing in the Christian Science Church: The Forming of a Tradition” by Patricia L Robertson
Annotations related by category:
- Organizations: The First Church of Christ, Scientist
- People: Gestefeld, Ursula
- Publication Date: 1956-1980
- Resource Types: Conference Papers, Reports, and Manuscripts
- Resource Types: Web Resources
- Subjects: Arts
- Subjects: Branch Churches
- Subjects: Christian Science History after 1910
- Subjects: Church Growth and Change
- Subjects: Church Practices