Potter, David. Man of Sorrows Glorious King. 2010. Omaha: David Potter, 2010. mp3 audio download. $12.00.http://davidpotter.bandcamp.com/album/man-of-sorrows-glorious-king (H)
The Church's hymnody is being rediscovered and reinterpreted around the country. This review of Man of Sorrows Glorious King is one of a series of reviews that focus on this resurgence of hymnody.
It is my assertion that this trend is a good thing.
And here's how I think it is happening.
The generation of children raised in megachurches is coming of age. They tire of worship trappings of their Baby Boomer parents (like the boomers tired of traditional Christian worship in the 1960's, give or take a decade).
Then what? They look for something older, something more constant, more sure. So I see various artists, groups, and congregations look at the oldest worship books in their particular tradition for theological depth. And they seem to be finding it in hymns.
As a Lutheran Christian, I can watch what is going on with some detachment. I find it curious that "contemporary worship," a generational reaction against the shallowness of revivalistic (and revival-era hymns and worship practices) emerged in Lutheranism. Lutherans have tried to preserve the best Christian song of every time and place, sung in the context of the historic western Divine Service, itself the heir of the synagogue and home worship of Judaism in the context of the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ, the Prophet, Priest, King, and true Temple. In retrospect, it seems silly (at best) to abandon the song of the saints for the fad of one generation's song and style. In fact, I think the rise of CCM in the LCMS is due to the difficulties many in our Synod had with the revised version of Lutheran Book of Worship published by the LCMS in 1982, Lutheran Worship. I'll leave it to my generation and the children of the Baby Boomers to grow up out of their parents' preferences. So far, the future looks promising with over 80% of our congregations using Lutheran Service Book (2006).
I could go on, but David Potter's album deserves the rest of our attention for now.
I thought I was well-acquainted with hymnody of most Christian traditions, but I have been humbled by this "hymnody resurgent" trend.
The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.