Tuesday, March 29, 2011


March 29, 2011

Thanks to everyone for reaching out to us with such kind words after my last post.  You all have a right to be angry and sad and frustrated.  Right now, the person is only accused of crimes and not yet convicted, so we should probably remain patient.  That is why I offer the following, much lighter post today:

Quick.  Name the first three hymns that come to your mind.  Maybe your favorites.  Maybe ones you hear frequently.  Maybe ones you have heard your whole life.

Here are mine:

Amazing Grace
Holy, Holy, Holy

and because Easter is approaching

Christ, the Lord, Is Risen Today

Did yours make this list?

And what exactly is this list?

This is a list of hymns that have stood the test of time in the US in mainline protestant churches. 

Robert T. Coote looked at successive hymnal editions of the following six mainline Protestant denominations, starting in the late nineteenth century and stretching forward to present day hymnals:
  • Anglican (Episcopal), four editions, from 1892
  • American Baptist, four editions, from 1883
  • Congregational (United Church of Christ), five editions, from 1897
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, five editions, from 1899
  • United Methodist, five editions, from 1878
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), five editions, from 1885
His study uncovered that 4905 different hymns had been published in these 28 hymnals.  Only the first 13 hymns on the list above appear in all the editions.  Nine more appeared in all but one edition, and five showed up in all but two of the hymnals spanning that time.

Did you find yours in the list?  Amazing Grace didn't make it, but my other two did.

Did looking over the list make you start singing or humming?  I didn't know all the hymns on the list, but it did give me pause and comfort to imagine my grandparents, great grandparents, and maybe even great-great grandparents standing in the pew singing the same songs I know.

If you want to read more, here is the original link to the story, Hymns That Keep on Going.


  1. Amazing Grace,
    Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee,
    Just a Closer Walk With Thee

  2. Pescador de Hombres
    I Am the Bread of Life
    Humbly I Adore Thee

    (But that's today)

  3. The annoying thing about the epsicopalian (anglican) hymnal is that there aren't titles. just numbers. so i can't remember.

    so my favorite? for the beauty of the earth.
    another favorite stems from my 1.5 years with the mormons "count your blessings" (

    and amazing grace. because i saw the young man sing it to the old man who was on the brink of death. for a few moments during that song the old man came back from the other side and looked into the young mans eyes. that old man lived another two weeks. that young man lived another 4 months. the old man, my grandfather, austin wilkins, d. 13 jan 2010, age 90. the young man, my father, harry robertshaw, d. 24 april 2010, age 67.

  4. Love the list of hymns, and I'm at least familiar with most of them, but I was surprised that "It is Well with My Soul" didn't make the list. I'm glad some of these are being "resurrected" by today's artists. Fernando Ortega does an awesome job on hymns. Thanks for sharing, Vickie.
    By the way, only one of mine made it.

  5. I did start singing/humming reading over the list! :) I can't pick a favorite but I love love love the music in Church. I love it anywhere anytime but especially hearing it in church. :)