Friday, December 23, 2011
Book Review - My First Hymnal
Generations of members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) have cherished Lutheran hymns and taught these songs to their children in worship and at home throughout the years. Now Concordia Publishing House has created an exceptional hymnal designed especially for little hearts and minds—My First Hymnal. This treasured book will teach even the youngest of believers the traditions of the church as they grow and learn in faith.
“The dilemma we’ve faced is how to bring children into the worship life of the LCMS,” said the editor of My First Hymnal, David Johnson. “With this book, we’ve taken the hymns loved by all generations and combined them with realistic artwork that tells the story of the church and Jesus’ love. This is something that all children can take to church and say ‘This is my hymnal.’”
Johnson and the music department of Concordia Publishing House surveyed parents, teachers, and educators to choose the 52 hymns that appear in My First Hymnal. “These are songs that are easy to remember with language that shows God’s love for children and speaks to His relationship with them through Jesus’ grace and forgiveness.” The content is appropriate for children up to age 10.
Alongside the music and prayers, My First Hymnal features beautifully conceived illustrations highlighting the colors, seasons, and symbols of the Church Year. In contrast to similar childrens’ books, this artwork is rich in color and deeply engages children in the story of Jesus and His Church.
Johnson encourages families to use this book as a devotional resource at home, as an important way to prepare children for Sunday morning worship and equip them to use the full hymnal and benefit from it.
“Parents can help children memorize psalms, prayers, and portions of the Lutheran liturgy,” he said. “Each bit of text or hymn stanza in the book connects with the artwork on the page, so that even small children can understand and have the words of the Church in their mouths at a very early age.”
My Take on the Book
As members of a Lutheran church, this was a great book. The book itself had so many of the songs that we sing on Sundays and they are presented with full color and large words so that kids can easily follow along. What was nice about the book was that it presented the melody line of the music for people to read so they will not get confused by the notes on the staff for all four parts. Also, the book is laid out as the liturgical year progresses so kids can follow along as well and find songs that are typically sung during that time of the yeat. This was a great book that I would highly recommend!
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