Top 10 Hymns

63 Comments

At our church we sing many different songs in many different musical styles. We sing a good number of hymns. But this year we'd like to deepen our appreciation and love for some great hymns. So in the coming year I'm going to challenge members of our church to memorize ten of the best Christian hymns. The plan, led by Bob Kauflin and Ken Boer, is to record the hymns this summer on a CD that will produced by two gifted musicians in our church—Dave Campbell and Roger Hooper—and will feature the voices of members of the congregation. Then, after we distribute the CD to the church, we'll set a schedule of memorizing one each month.

The purpose of the project is to get great theology into people's hearts and minds. I want my kids to know these songs. And I have this dream of gathering the church, turning off the screen that projects the lyrics and then belting out these classic songs of praise to God.

Right now we're facing one of the toughest parts of the process: choosing just ten hymns! We don't mind if they're familiar, but we're not just looking for the most well-known. We want songs that are rich in truth about God and the gospel. And we're trying to strike the right balance of doctrinal themes.

I need your help. I'm wondering if you could give me suggestions. What hymns do you think should be on the list? If you have a "top 10" please share it. Or maybe there are two or three hymns that you feel have to be on the list. Please post a comment and share your opinion. And if you think other people are overlooking something, please jump in with that thought. Post away...I look forward to hearing from you.

63 Comments

This is my families favorite hymn...

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessings

You read the words on here>>
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/o/comethou.htm

1. It is Well
2. Great Is Thy Faithfulness
3. Praise To the Lord The Almighty
4. Be Thou My Vision
5. Come Thou Fount
6. Jesus Paid it All
7. Abide with Me
8. All Creatures Of our God and King
9. All Hail The Power of Jesus Name
10. Come Ye Sinners Pour and Needy
11. The Solid Rock
12. When I Survey
13. This is My Father's World
14. O Sacred Head Now Wounded
15. What Wondrous Love is This?

Sorry, couldn't keep it to 10.

That's such a great idea! We struggle to get good solid gospel songs ... so it would be cool to see what you have on offer.

some of the songs I would put on.

1) How deep the Father's love
2) The Glory of the Cross
3) In Christ Alone

:)

Here are some suggestions:

1) Come Thou Fount
2) Amazing Grace
3) Be Thou My Vision
4) Rock of Ages
5) Great is Thy Faithfulness
6) When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
7) Before the Throne of God Above

(You can find this one here: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/b/e/beforetg.htm )

I discovered this last one later in life and really like it.

1. How Great Thou Art
2. As the Deer
3. Easter Song (I forgot the title, but it goes something like "My Lord, He died for a kingdom/To redeem the hearts of men/Now my people don't You weep/He has risen from His sleep...)

Here's some recommendations:

1) Before the Throne of God Above
2) By Grace Alone
3) The Love of God

In no particular order:

1. I Will Sing Of My Redeemer
2. How Firm A Foundation
3. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
4. Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine
5. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
6. All Hail the Power of Jesus Name
7. O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
8. A Mighty Fortress is Our God
9. Be Thou My Vision
10. Crown Him with Many Crowns
11. Then Sings My Soul (How Great Thou Art)
12. Great is Thy Faithfulness

Ya just can't stop at 10.

Maybe you can look for the "Top 15" hymns?!

Tom
Doctrine Matters

1. Great is Thy Faithfulness
2. Come Thou Fount
3. And Can It Be
4. When I Survey
5. Like a River Glorious
6. Come Christians Join to Sing
7. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
8. I Know Whom I have Believed
9. Holy God We Praise Your Name
10. Crown Him with Many Crowns

This is a great idea!

Immortal, Invisable God Only Wise

You can't forget the hymn One Day! It's my dad's favourite because it goes through the whole gospel story. I have no idea how you are going to keep the list to just 10, but I'll look forward to finding out. :)

One I would suggest is a favorite of mine, although I don't believe I ever actually heard it sung in church throughout 25 years of being a Southern Baptist: "Blest Be the Tie That Binds." The lyrics are very touching. In fact, in his epic novel "Hawaii," James Michener described this hymn as "one that seemed especially written for those who travel in God's work to far places."

Some of these are pretty obscure, but they are oh-so-excellent. In no particular order...

1. Thy Mercy
2. How Firm a Foundation
3. Mighty God, While Angels Bless Thee
4. Before the Throne of God Above
5. The Love of Christ is Rich and Free
6. There's a Wideness in God's Mercy
7. Of the Father's Love Begotten (not just a Christmas song!)
8. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
9. O Thou that Hear'st When Sinners Cry
10. Crown Him with Many Crowns

I live in England so I don't know if you know these songs, but a few of my favorites would be;
In Christ Alone
Before The Throne Of God Above
All my Days
Blessed Be Your Name
King of Kings Lord of Lords
Psalm 23
Amazing Grace

xxx

To use an oxymoron, the following are in random order:

1. Come Thou Fount
2. Great is Thy faithfulness
3. Man of Sorrows
4. Take My Life and Let It Be
5. The Church's One Foundation
6. When I Survey the Wonderous Cross
7. It is Well With My Soul
8. Be Thou My Vision
9. And Can It Be, That I Should Gain
10. How Firm A Foundation

Fantastic idea - I LOVE the hymns - great songwriting!! I think these are essentials for your list :) I also think you should do a top 20 instead :)

1. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
2. How Great Thou Art
3. O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
4. Amazing Grace
5. In Christ Alone
6. Great is They Faithfulness
7. Here is Love
8. It Is Well
9. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
10. The Old Rugged Cross

ummm, I want more votes... :)
worth mentioning:
Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine
Alas, and did my Savior Bleed
Rock of Ages
I Need Thee Every Hour
I Surrender All
What A Friend We Have in Jesus

Okay, I'll make myself stop. Thanks!

This is a great idea!! Hard to just pick a few but here you go...

It Is Well
Come Thou Fount
Rock of Ages
Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy
Be Thou My Vision

There are so many! I look forward to seeing what you choose.

Be Thou My Vision
Come Thou Fount
O Sacred Head Now Wounded

And definitely PSALM 51!

How Great Thou Art
Come Thou Fount
The Old Rugged Cross
When We All Get to Heaven
And Can It Be
Take My Life

A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Be Thou My Vision
It Is Well With My Soul
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
Crown Him with Many Crowns
On Jordan's Stormy Banks
O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

It's hard to pick my favorites.

1. Amazing Grace - by John Newton
2. O Love that Will Not Let Me Go - by George Matheson
3. Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted - by Thomas Kelly
4. Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed? - by Isaac Watts
5. Beneath the Cross of Jesus - by Elizabeth C. Clephane
6. Come ye Sinners, Poor and Needy - by Joseph Hart
7. Dear Refuge of my Weary Soul - by Anne Steele
8. Grace that is Greater than All My Sin - by Julia Johnstone
9. Holy, Holy, Holy - by Reginald Heber
10. It is Well With My Soul - by Horatio Spafford
11. There is a Fountain - by William Cowper
12. More Love to Thee, O Christ - by Elizabeth Prentiss
13. Not What My Hands Have Done - by Horatius Bonar

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Rock of Ages
The Old Rugged Cross
How Great Thou Art
Amazing Grace
Beneath the Cross of Jesus
It is Well with my Soul
Jesus Paid it All
Man of Sorrows
A Mighty Fortress

Wow I really like Emily's list ^ too.

I am so excited about this! I grew up with hymns, and although I enjoy our church's music, I have desired that hymns be incorporated into the worship time. Some of my favorite cd's are with hymns on them (Selah and Wintley Phipps both have awesome hymn cds and get frequent play time in my car- I already have most of them memorized.)

Here are some of my favorites:

It Is Well
A Mighty Fortress
Immortal, Invisible
Be Thou My Vision
Be Still My Soul
His Eye Is On the Sparrow
I Need Thee Every Hour
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
All Hail the Power
And Can It Be

Thank you for starting this great project! I look forward to belting the hymns out in church!

It is Well With My Soul--especially for the verse that goes:
My sin (O the bliss of this glorious thought)
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross
And I bear it no more
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Other favorites:
And Can It Be
Be Thou My Vision
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Holy, Holy, Holy
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
A Mighty Fortress
Blessed Assurance
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Holy Holy Holy
Als and did my Savior Bleed
It is Well with my Soul
Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Be Thou My Vision
All Hail the Power
Jesus Paid it All
There is a Fountain
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

I'm not sure if you are familiar with this byt its title is "WHO AM I"

WHO AM I
THAT THE LORD OF ALL THE EARTH
WOULD CARE TO KNOW MY NAME
WOULD CARE TO FEEL MY HURT
WHO AM I
THAT THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR
WOULD CHOOSE TO LIGHT THE WAY
FOR MY EVER WOND'RING HEART

NOT BECAUSE OF WHO I AM
BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU'VE DONE
NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT I'VE DONE
BUT BECAUSE OF WHO YOU ARE

I AM A FLOWER QUICKLY FADING
HERE TODAY AND GONE TOMORROW
A WAVE TOSSED IN THE OCEAN
A VAPOR IN THE WIND
STILL YOU
HEAR ME WHEN I'M CALLING
LORD YOU CATCH ME WHEM I'M FALLING
YOU TOLD ME WHO I AM
I AM YOURS

WHO AM I
THAT THE EYES THAT SEE MY SIN
WOULD LOOK ON ME WITH LOVE
AND WATCH ME RISE AGAIN
WHO AM I
THAT THE VOICE THAT CALMED THE SEA
WOULD CALL OUT THROUGH THE RAIN
AND CALM THE STORM IN ME

(REP REF & CHORUS)


it would help a lot.. n_n

one that hasn't been mentioned...
Day by Day

one that hasn't been mentioned...
Day by Day

Great post!

Most of my favorites have already been noted:

1. Praise to the Lord the Almighty (Neander)

2. Before the Throne of God Above (Bancroft)

3. A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Luther)

4. Be Thou my Vision (Traditional)

5. Rock of Ages (Toplady)

6. When I Survey (Watts)

7. And Can It Be / Amazing Love (Wesley)

8. Come Thou Fount (Robinson)

9. Holy, Holy, Holy (Heber)

10. Amazing Grace (Newton)

I love the idea!

I would echo many of the ones already mentioned and add...

Faith Reviving (Toplady)
God Moves in a Mysterious Way (Cowper)
I See the Crowd In Pilate's Hall (Bonar)

Faith Reviving is without doubt one of the most poignant hymns I've ever read. But I have no idea what the melody line sounds like and would love to hear it set to music.

Josh,

We make it a practice to highlight a hymn every month ongoing. That way you don't need to stop at 10:)

Be Thou My Vision
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
All the Way My Savior Leads Me
More Love to Thee
My Jesus, I Love Thee
And Can It Be
Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him
Come Thou Fount of Evey Blessing
Before the Throne of God Above
How Firm a Foundation

Gently they took Him down;
Unfixed His hands and feet;
Took from His head the thorny crown;
Brought forth a winding sheet.

Fine linen, fitly made,
Wrapped they around His face;
Where never man before was laid
Made they His resting-place.

Spices most sweet they chose;
Aloes they brought and myrrh;
Wound Him with these in linen clothes,
Gave Him a sepulchre.

Laid Him in hewn rock;
Rolled to the door the stone;
Watched the world add its waxen lock,
And left Him there alone.

Dead in a garden gay,
Dead with the wanton bloom
Giving, in incongruity,
Last touched to His tomb!

One more...

God and Man at Table Are Sat Down

1. Mighty Fortress
2. Come Thou Fount
3. Holy Holy Holy
4. Amazing Grace
5. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
6. Jesus Paid it All
7. Day by Day
8. I Need Thee Every Hour
9. Come Ye Sinners
10. This is my Father's World

It would be really awesome if your church learned to sing the hymns in parts!

When the Saints Go Marching In
Amazing Grace
In the Garden
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Old Rugged Cross
Jesus Christ is Risen Today
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Every Time I Hear the Spirit
I Danced in the Morning
Lift High the Cross
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Joyful, Joyful, We adore Thee
All Things Bright and Beautiful
For the Beauty of the Earth
Here I Am, Lord

I'm sorry I couldn't pick just 10. A lot of these hymns were sung to me by my grandmother when I was a child. I also remember singing some of them when I was a child in church. I pray that you will be able to pick just 10. Peace and grace

Here are a few that come to mind....

Holy, Holy, Holy
A Mighty Fortress
This is My Father's World
The Church's One Foundation
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Jesus Paid it All
Just As I Am
All Creatures of Our God and King
And Can it Be
Moment by Moment

And Can it Be
Amazing Grace
Rock of Ages
Be Thou My Vision
Fairest Lord Jesus
A Mighty Fortress
Hallelujia What a Savior
All Hail the Power of Jesus Name
Holy Holy Holy
It is Well with My Soul

Josh,

If it does not contain A Mighty Fortress is Our God, I'm not buyin it!

;)

drt

Ouch - I ditto, just 10? :)

BE THOU MY VISION - not only beautiful, but very challenging and inspirational.
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL - very helpful in trials, especially when you know the background and the circumstances of when it was written.
HE LEADETH ME - wonderful!

my top 6...
1. How Great Thou Art
2. Great is Thy Faithfulness
3. Holy, Holy, Holy
4. I Surrender All
5. It Is Well
6. Come Thou Fount

we should sing at least some of the hymns a capella too!

In no particular order

Be Thou My Vision
Beneath The Cross of Jesus
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
To God Be The Glory
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Nearer My God to Thee
Holy Spirit, Breathe on Me
Behold What Wondrous Grace
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Just As I Am

my heart is longing to praise my savior

And here are more resources re: hymns you may find helpful and informative.

http://psalm305.blogspot.com/2008/02/hymns-of-faith-mp3-sermons.html

Tom

Lots of people have been recommending a lot of really great hymns! Good job, all of you!

I think it is a good idea to memorize the songs we sing so that we can really sing from our hearts and focus on God instead of keeping our eyes on the words and open to distractions (for example, at one church I attended -- which held services in a foreign language, as well -- once or twice they had on the overhead screen the lyrics to "Amaging Grace.")
But while memorizing the songs will ingrain their theology into our minds, will it really cause them to permeate our hearts with their message?
Such as, we can read and memorize verses and hear about the Gospel, but we need to actively choose to believe in God and believe His Promises if we are to obtain what He offers us. I am thinking that perhaps we (or I) too often sing songs that speak of complete surrender or rest in God, for example, yet we do not actively choose to surrender or know how to attain the full rest of abiding in God and thus the message of the song and the benefits of really being the believer it speaks of do not really penetrate our hearts or influence our lives and bear fruit in us.
Do you think that it would be a good idea to include prayers, and perhaps verses to coincide with the hymns to help convey the full meaning of both the hymns and prayers, when the lyrics are distributed to be memorized?
Or, instead of including verses for some, would it be cool to include the story behind the writing of the hymn so that people could sing it with more meaning?
Such as, with the song, "It Is Well With My Soul," often I, because of hard circumstances, would not be in the mood to sing something of that title and message. But, reading the notes (the following quote) in the lyric book of one of Selah's CDs, I have been inspired to sing this song, with even more passion and heart, just then.

"The inspiration for many of the great hymns come out of incredibly painful experiences. Many times that is when writers write their greatest works. Horatio Spafford wrote this song after receiving word that his four precious daughters had drowned in the Atlantic Ocean. While en route to meet his grieving wife in England, he wrote these words as the ship passed over the waters where their lives were lost . . . 'When sorrows like sea billows roll, it is well with my soul.'"
-- Todd Smith

I've been doing sort of a personal One on one Bible study and prayer journal, since I read of your idea, based on several favorite hymns. I'll share with you the first three entries to better explain this idea about praying, too:

(Note: Most of the verses listed I read in the Amplified version -- if you don't have a Bible in that version you can use the search engine at http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearch.php to look up any that don't seem to match up fully with the corresponding prayer or hymn.
And in each of the prayers I, even though I was the only one praying them so far, wrote "we" because I felt led to declare myself as part of the Church of Christ in my prayers, when praying).

--

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

"God, we are so weak to maintain a close walk with You and to continually submit to cleansing so that we can have unbroken and full fellowship with You. Teach us and help us to rely on You for all strength and to continually go to You and seek cleansing by the precious Blood of Jesus that was shed on the Cross for us so that we might be restored to a close walk with You. We are sorry for our sin and what it cost You and we ask You to put to death all in our lives that is of the fall -- that separates us from You. So often we cry out to You wondering where You are hiding, but in truth, You have been crying out to us and waiting for mankind to come back to You since the fall. Make us dead to all sin that we might have victory through Christ and may live in the Power of the Resurrection that You made available to us by laying Your Life down to take the punishment for our sins so that we could be justified, by the Blood of Your Son, and thus could approach You and walk with You again -- so that we could be alive in You and abide in You and no longer be dead because we are cut off from Your Presence. Guide us daily into a closer walk with You. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

Genesis 3:1-9, Ephesians 2:5, 1 John 1, Hebrews 7:11, 1 Peter 5:6-10, 2 Corinthians 13:4, Romans 6:11

--

You Are My Hiding Place

"God, so often we stop trusting in You because we are afraid or stop praising and honoring and serving You because we are weak. Please use the times of fear and weakness in our lives for Your glory. Teach us to trust in You whenever we are afraid and help us to let go of our human strength that is weak and learn to rely on Your Strength. Please use our times of waiting on You for deliverance to fill us with a new song of praise and love for You that will testify to this world of the abundant blessings You give to those who fear You. Teach us to seek You with our whole hearts and to abide in Your Love and hide with child-like faith in You -- our Rock and Refuge and ever-present Help. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

Psalm 56:3, Psalm 32:7, Psalm 91, John 15, Psalm 40:3-4, 2 Corinthians 12:9

--

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

"God, You were so merciful to us. And in Your great mercy, You didn't just not give us what we deserve, but You gave Your best -- Your one and only Son -- to suffer and die for our sins that we could be Saved and spend Eternity with You in Heaven. How rich is Your Mercy and Love that for us You bore the sorrows and excruciating pain of walking this earth and dying on the Cross! We can never repay You for all that You have done or all that You have given us. We thank You for Your Sacrifice and with a grateful heart we ask You to fill us with Your Love and give us a heart that seeks to please and glorify You so that we will willingly give our all to You. May we see all that we surrender for Your sake, not as a sad sacrifice or loss, but with joy as a blessing from You that You have given us something or someone so precious to us that we can offer it or them up as a heartfelt gift to You. And may we see all suffering You honor us with as the honor that it truly is -- that You have blessed us with the fellowship of sharing in Your sufferings and knowing more of what You bore for us and thus Your Heart and Love in a deeper way than peace and comfort could ever afford us as we are. Help us to live our lives humbly and with a heart of service and willing, full sacrifice in thanks to You. Help us to testify of Your Heart, Your Sacrifice, and Your Love in such a way that all are drawn to believe in You and Love You. Thank You for Your Mercy and Your Love! In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen."

John 3:16, Matthew 27:28-31, John 15:20, Philippians 3:7-14

P.S. I mentioned to my mom the idea of including the history of a hymn and/or verses and a prayer with the hymns to be memorized and she pointed out to me a book we have that tells the history of the writing of, etc. of 100 hymns. It's called, "Songs in the Night," and it's by Henry Gariepy. I looked up its publisher and it's out-of-print, but used copies are still availible through amazon.com. Whether or not you include the history, verses, or prayers, the book is really interesting to read and gives a greater appreciation for many hymns we've become familiar with, or is a good introduction to ones we've never heard of.

The first song that came to mind as one of the best, most gospel-rich hymns was "And Can it Be".

"And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain--
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?"

This hymns project is a great idea My husband and I were recently convicted of our need to commit these wonderful songs to memory as well. We've been doing this by choosing one song each month and singing it each night as part of our evening worship time together. Thus far, we've chosen to focus on hymns based on or incorporating a particular verse of Scripture, and memorizing that verse as well. By the end of the month, we've memorized all of the stanzas, as well as a new verse of Scripture. I can't tell you what a tremendous blessing this has been, not to mention fun.

"The King of Love My Shepherd Is."

Words: Henry Baker
Music: the tune is St. Columba

The six stanzas center on Psalm 23, but it's also a hymn that, in my opinion, captures the sweep of the Christian life -- the struggles, the blessings, and the goodness of God throughout life.

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

1. Come Thou Fount
2. Great is Thy Faithfulness
3. How Deep the Father's Love For Us
4. In Christ Alone
5. Before The Throne
6. I Will Glory In My Redeemer
7. Rock of Ages
8. How Great Thou Art
9. When I Survey
10. It Is Well With My Soul

: )~

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