photo courtesy of Martin-ko
Well, here I am some 20+ years later doing that very thing... heheh. Not only that, but I am making my kids study hymns too! hahahahahah! Well. Fortunately, they ENJOY it even NOW, even though they are still kids. :)
Knowing hymns provides the believer with SUCH a rich background... presenting theology in a poetical way... bringing joy to the heart when one least expects it when some happy tune gets stuck in the head... Precious. But in order to have this treasury to draw from, one has to have some knowledge of the hymns already there. It gets there by becoming familiar with the hymns. We don't have the added benefit of having hymns sung in English every Sunday at church (it's all in Spanish!). So, what my kids learn of hymns is what Micah and I will teach them.
There are so many! Where does one begin?! Well, AmblesideOnline does give suggestions, and that is one place to start. OR you could just make a list of all your favorite ones and concentrate on one a month. I do both! ;) One a month isn't enough for us, we'd get kind of tired of singing the same one over and over again (though we do sing hymns occasionally as part of our family worship). But, either way, we plan to study 2 per month. One from the AO Hymn Schedule and one of our own choosing. I feel all the liberty to substitute hymns from the following list. After all, I don't know all of those, and there are others that I like more, etc.
Here is the AO schedule for this year:
(click over to the AO site for links to the cyberhymnal pages)
September: I Am Resolved
October: To God Be The Glory
November: The Love of God
December: Tell Me The Story Of Jesus
January: O God, Our Help In Ages Past
February: I'll Fly Away
March: At Calvary
April: Am I A Soldier Of The Cross?
May: I Know That My Redeemer Lives (Wesley/Handel)
June: 'Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus
July: Nearer, My God, To Thee
August: More Love To Thee, O Christ
So, once I've chosen my hymns, I google the title for more information. I'm only partially interested in the history and the writer information. Sometimes it is interesting, sometimes not. Mainly, I need an audio file of the song to sing along with, since none of us can play an instrument (yet) and the lyrics. If you play the piano and have your own hymn book, you could skip this step :)
Then I print off a copy of the music/lyrics for our family hymn book (a 3-ring binder) and several for each of the reading kids to use (4 total). You could either take a copy from your hymnal, get hymnals for everybody, or print it off from the internet like we do.
photo courtesy of anissat
Our kids keep their copy of the hymn in their 'everything' notebooks.
At lunch time on Tuesdays I put the music on the computer on repeat, and we sing along once before we eat and pray, then I just let the music run in the background while we eat. Thursdays I do the same thing with the other hymn that we are studying for that month. This month for example, we are studying 'I am Resolved' from the AO list, and 'We Rest on Thee', my choice. Tuesdays we focus on the former, Thursdays the latter.
It's as simple as that! :)
You can find LOTS of hymns sung in different styles on Youtube. Just search using the title.
Timeless Truths has a lot of resources including the music file and sheet music.
igracemusic.com also has overhead files, sheet music and the like.
Here's an excellent post from AmbleLore where Lorraine describes hymn study in her family.
If you haven't started, I encourage you to pick some hymns and start a new tradition in your family!
Stay tuned because tomorrow I'll be posting links for this month's AO hymn suggestion :)
Does your church sing hymns every Sunday?
Do you sing hymns at home?
How do you do it at your house?