Why Do We Sing Hymns AND Contemporary Songs?

Some churches still sing hymns, but more and more congregations only sing contemporary songs.
Why does New Hope sing both?

Read below to find out why both are important, and then join us for worship this Sunday morning at 10am!

Throughout Biblical history, God’s people would often compose new songs to commemorate great acts of God. (Think of the Song of Miriam, the Song of Moses, the Song of Deborah, etc.) However, they didn’t stop singing the older songs; they simply added these new songs to the collection of songs that God’s people sang. This is how the Psalter (the Book of Psalms) was eventually assembled.

With the rise of the New Testament church, God’s people began to sing hymns and spiritual songs along with the psalms. (Otherwise we would have no songs that actually refer to Jesus by name!) A hymn typically has a more formal structure designed for congregational singing; a spiritual song would probably be any religious song (regardless of structure) not divinely inspired.

Our Trinity Hymnal reflects this Biblical pattern: it contains many psalms put to music; it also contains many original hymns and hymns based on psalms, some of which could be considered spiritual songs. Every generation, it seems, produces its own worship music; some songs fall out of use over time, while the best survive and are sung by God’s people for generations. We sing mostly from our hymnal, as this reflects some of the best songs of God’s people throughout the ages, but we also sing some contemporary songs, as each generation is encouraged to “sing a new song!”

“…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thanksgiving in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)


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Why Do We Sing Hymns AND Contemporary Songs?

New Hope Presbyterian Church • Bridgeton, NJ

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