Category Archives: Hymn tunes

Foothold (Psalm 25)

10 years ago, my friend Debra Rienstra wrote a hymn text based on Psalm 25, called “Foothold.” Not only that, she won the Fuller Seminary School of Psychology Fortieth Anniversary hymn competition with it. As I began to work on an … Continue reading

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Tenebrae: The Shadow of Desertion

The 2nd movement of my Maundy Thursday piece for cellos. Since the text  begins with “when they had sung the hymn,” I decided to give this movement a hymn-like structure–very simple rhythms with a singable melody. Of course, the harmonies … Continue reading

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Rhyme or Reason

I was challenged to write music for a somewhat irregularly metered hymn text based on Ecclesiastes. (Okay, not directly challenged, but I accepted it as such.) Since the text talked about stretching and striving, I thought this rising melodic figure … Continue reading

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Come, Join in Cana’s Feast

A few months ago I wrote a tune for a text by Herman Stuempfle. Strangely, when I went searching for a text to accompany this week’s sermon on the Wedding in Cana, I was led again to Stuempfle. Even stranger? … Continue reading

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How Wide the Love of Christ!

Now that my book is finished, I have a little more time for creative ventures. The first fruit of that time is a setting of Herman Stuempfle’s text “How Wide the Love of Christ!” I came across the text when … Continue reading

Posted in Choir, Church, Congregational Songs, Demos, Hymn tunes | 1 Comment

Three for Emily Brink: What Wondrous Joy

The grande dame of congregational song, Emily Brink, recently retired. I was asked to provide some music for a book celebrating her career: “One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church: A Scrapbook of Worship Resources for the Worldwide Church.” Of course, I was happy … Continue reading

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The World Lay Languishing in Pain

I will not enter any more contests. I will not enter any more contests. I will not enter any more contests. I will not enter any more contests. I will not enter any more contests. I will not enter any more contests. I will not enter … Continue reading

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I Eat Rejection Like Pizza

Anybody for a slice of humble pie? A few years ago FaithAlive asked composers to submit tunes for four texts slated for their forthcoming hymnal. The hymnal is no longer forthcoming. Lift Up Your Hearts was published this year, and as … Continue reading

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Blest Is the Man Whose Bowels Move

What this world needs is more hymns about digestive regularity, don’t you agree? Well, wait no longer, world, because Isaac Watts and Greg have you covered. Two decades ago, a friend of mine showed me the Isaac Watts’ text “Blest Is … Continue reading

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DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING (3 tunes for Isaac Watts, part 3)

In our third installment of hymn tunes for Isaac Watts texts, we encounter a 6.6.8.D text based on Psalm 93. The text implied to me music that was somewhere between regal and rustic–something that would be at home in a … Continue reading

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