Celebrating Hymns, Part 1

Dr. Michael McMahon

Dr. Michael McMahon

It’s the first OYH Hymn Fest! In honor of the Feast of St. Cecilia, patroness of music, we’re celebrating some of our favorite hymn texts and hymn tunes. We’ll play a lot of music, including hymns from the English, German, Irish, and American traditions and some recently composed texts and tunes. We’ll also chat with special guests Dr. Michael McMahon (executive director of The Hymn Society), Brian Hehn (director of the Center for Congregational Song), and Dr. Tony Alonso. You’ll hear, too, from a few of our friends as they share their favorite hymns.

Brian Hehn

Brian Hehn

As we mention in the episode, this is the first of several special episodes we’ll release this season. We’ll be preparing and releasing special episodes for “Songs of Mary,” “Songs of Christmas,” “Songs of Lent,” “Songs of Easter,” as well as episodes focusing on women composers and African American composers. Be sure to follow us on social media so you can share your requests with us. Who knows? You might end up on one of our episodes!

So, please open your hymnals!

Dr. Tony Alonso

Dr. Tony Alonso


Episode links

For more information about the work of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada and the Center for Congregational Song, visit their websites. To find out more information about your favorite hymns, check out the website hymnary.org.

You can purchase the song recordings you heard in this episode: Instrumental arrangement of “Gloria from Mass of Light” (David Haas),” “When in Our Music God is Glorified” (ENGELBERG), “For All the Saints” (SINE NOMINE), “Rejoice the Lord is King” (DARWALL), “For the Beauty of the Earth” (DIX), “O God Beyond All Praising” (THAXTED), “Holy God, We Praise They Name” (GROSSER GOTT), “O Sacred Head Surrounded” (PASSION CHORALE), “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” (HYMN TO JOY), “Lord of All Hopefulness” (SLANE), “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” (ST. COLUMBA), “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow” (DOXOLOGY), “Brethren, We Have Met to Worship” (HOLY MANNA), “How Great Thou Art” (O STORE GUD), “A Place Called Home” (FINLANDIA), “Earth and All Stars” (EARTH AND ALL STARS), and “Soli Deo Gloria” (SOLI DEO GLORIA).

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Special Feature: "A Place Called Home" (Joncas)

Songs of Mercy

During our interview, Fr. Michael Joncas shared one of his recent projects, a hymn text called "A Place Called Home". Listen to his description of the hymn, and then check it out using the links below. A powerful text matched with a familiar melody, this piece would make an easy and impactful addition to your congregation's repertoire. 

Feature links

You can purchase a copy of the song score and a copy of the audio recording from GIA Publications. The recording is featured on the album Songs of Mercy

You can watch a performance of the song by viewing the video recording of the "With Gratitude" concert, originally presented at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in February of 2017 (the presentation of the piece begins at the 1:03:50 mark).

You can request the resource Singing WelcomeHymns and Songs of Hospitality for Refugees and Immigrants from The Hymn Society. 

All content of this podcast is property of Open Your Hymnal or its content suppliers and is protected by United States and international copyright laws. For information about this podcast and its use, please contact us.