Writing on the Church Society blog, Liam Beadle has posted a thoughtful essay titled A Plea for Hymn Books. He notes that “Screens have replaced hymn books in very many of our churches. But in gaining flexibility and storage space, what have we lost?” and I have to agree with this. He lists three advantages hymn books have over screens:
It has become fashionable to dispense with hymn books, but they have a number of advantages over screens. Here are three:
1. Words which appear on screens appear ephemeral. They literally appear and then disappear! Words in hymn books have an obvious longevity about them: they are words for the Christian life.
2. Good hymns take the singer on a journey, and so properly to understand verse five, sometimes you need to be able to see verse two. It helps if it hasn’t disappeared!
3. Many Christians like to read (or even sing!) hymns in their quiet time, and they will find a well chosen hymn book, used in church and at home, a great help.
Quite a thoughtful essay – please read the whole piece!