16 August 2023 |
In that phrase—“what language shall I borrow”—the translator of “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” captures the sense of speechlessness we experience when confronted with divine mystery. When we experience life’s greatest joys or sorrows, when we sense the Divine presence in church, in the natural world, or in our relationships, we can be at a loss for words.
Both music and verse come to our aid in these moments, and the church’s hymns can be a wonderful resource. New religious movements, as Adventists, Methodists, Lutherans, and others once were, find ways to draw on existing material—often biblical material—to create their own “soundtrack.” At their beginnings, new movements find musical and poetic resources to give voice to their unique insights. Singing their songs together helps to bind them together as communities by creating a common experience that goes beyond the merely rational and intellectual.
New social movements do the same. Finally, as established religious movements face major social change—such as increased acceptance of women’s leadership or the broader recognition of LGBTQ rights—they will either seek a new soundtrack that will allow them to expand their embrace or they will seek cohesion by entrenching their former “playlist.” David Neff, retired editor of Christianity Today magazine, will draw on his 60 years as a professional church musician to look at the history, the issues, and the resources related to our hymn singing.
David Neff is a retired editor of Christianity Today, who now works as a minister of music.
Loren Seibold is the Executive Editor of Adventist Today.
How to join:
One-click link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86128812498
ATSS starting time depends on where you are. If you’re on the west coast of the United States, it’ll be 10:30 AM. On the east coast, 1:30 PM. Please double-check the correct time where you live.
The class is intended to last about 2 hours, though the conversation often continues to 4 PM (Eastern time).
About our class:
- The AT Sabbath Seminar is intended to be a courteous forum. We discuss and ask questions politely. We don’t accuse, get angry, put people down, or judge the state of their salvation.
- Stick to the topic in both comments and chat discussion.
- Make your comments and questions short—don’t dominate.
- Keep your microphones muted unless you are called upon to make your comment or ask your question.
- Indicate your interest in speaking by raising your electronic hand—under the “reactions” button.
- Please use your name when you sign in! Not your phone number, not your initials. This will help us differentiate you from unwelcome guests who want to disrupt us. You can set your name after signing on by clicking on the 3 dots next to your picture, which drops down a menu.
We look forward to getting acquainted with you!
- Pilira Zapita (Newbold)
- Kärt Lazic (Newbold)