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Revenge of the Red Hymnbook

Today one of my lay preachers was taking our service; the fact that I was there, and had always intended to be there, caused some confusion, people having assumed it was one for my free Sundays, rather than, as is the case, my desire for these folk to serve us now and then rather than only preaching in places where they get paid.  Also, I feel that I have a repsonsibility to them, and to other congregations, to be sure that they aren't too far off the rails in what they are saying.

The preacher who led today is very experienced and is a competent speaker.  That she was married to minister shows in some of her language, that she has not had any training shows through in other ways.  Nonetheless, I am more than happy that she leads worship, even if she did inflict on us a set of fairly grim hymns from the red book.  Some people loved them - old tunes with proper harmonies remembered by those who once sang in the church choir did make it a pleasant sound, even if most of these hymns were last sung in nineteen hundred and frozen to death and I struggled to connect them to the theme of 'ordinary people'.

I have no problem with old hymns, some are truly inspiring and timeless, others would be better consigned to the waste bin.  I guess I can say I learned a cople of new songs today - just that new meant 19th century! So the red hymn book struck back - until next week when Palm Sunday will mean a real blend of old and new all on screen or large and giant print sheets.

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