What are hymns?
Hymns are religious songs for adoration, praise and worship. Their melody is simple and easy to follow. And the words are like poetry turned into prayer.
St. Augustine couldn’t have defined hymns better when he said:
“Know ye what an hymn is? It is a song with praise of God. If you praise God and singest not, you utter no hymn: if you sing and praisest not God, you utter no hymn: if you praise anything else, which pertains not to the praise of God, although you sing and praisest, you utter no hymn. An hymn then contains these three things, song, and praise, and that of God.”
Many of the earliest hymns came from the Psalms, and were thus taken from the Bible itself. If reading of the Scriptures gives us much grace, what more then is singing and praying these words, offering everything to God in praise?
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” – Colossians 3:16 (NRSVCE)
Here are just some of the reasons why we must include singing hymns as part of our Christian life:
1. Hymns are filled with truth
Since these hymns often come from Bible verses, particularly the Psalms, they are filled with truth.
We don’t just make up the words that they contain. We are taken back to the purity of truth that can be found in the Holy Bible.
In recent times when the world is filled with so much darkness, lies and confusion, we need to hear truth as much as we need to breathe on air.
They help keep the foundations of our faith alive.
2. They are good for our memory and recall
There’s nothing quite like listening to old hymns to remind us about Jesus and His love for all of us.
Just a few lines of an old hymn could make us remember what’s truly important amidst the many activities that keep us busy each day.
How wonderful to begin the day singing a hymn and praising God!
We can also pause once in a while throughout the day and simply take in the beautiful message imparted to us by such hymns.
3. The beauty of hymns draws us nearer to God
Sometimes, what we need is to simply listen to something beautiful to revive our hearts and give us strength to carry on.
The beautiful words and melodies of these hymns touch our emotions. They take our gaze upwards where our hopes should be.
Again, St. Augustine tells us how we can be moved by such hymns in our spiritual life:
“How I wept, deeply moved by your hymns, songs, and the voices that echoed through your Church! What emotion I experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face – tears that did me good.”
Sing a Song of Praise Today
Are you in a difficult place right now? Or do you simply feel that your spiritual life is running dry?
Don’t forget to include singing religious hymns in your Christian life. Pray, sing and believe! God has given us the gift of music to strengthen us in our spiritual life.
“And I will give her vinedressers out of the same place, and the valley of Achor for an opening of hope: and she shall sing there according to the days of her youth…” – Hosea 2:15, DRA
Below are some hymns you can find in my YouTube channel “She Who Prays Twice”.