Question:

Hello,

I am writing you because I came across a blog you had on your web site concerning your review of the Songs for Worship and Praise hymnal.  I have owned the hymnal for a couple of months and also own Songs of Faith and Praise and Praise for the Lord.  I am trying to find a good hymnal to introduce to our congregation and thought you might be a good source to contact.  I am looking for a well-balanced hymnal with old standards, as well as new contemporary songs that are not too difficult for the congregation to sing.  For me, it is a toss up between Songs for Worship and Praise and Songs of Faith and Praise.  I am leaning more toward Songs for Worship and Praise.  Have you used Songs of Faith and Praise in your worship, and if so, what do you like or dislike about it compared to Songs for Worship and Praise? I would greatly appreciate your input.

Thanks and God bless,


Answer:

We use Praise for the Lord here in La Vista and we've been very happy with the selection of songs available. No song book is going to be perfect. There are thousands of songs available and a song book can only hold so many before it becomes too large.

I have used Songs of Faith and Praise when visiting other congregations. Every time I have come away distinctly not liking it. The tunes are geared toward choral groups with talented singers; they are overly complex for most people. I've sang in choirs and barbershop, but I find a number of the arrangements counter-intuitive. Many of its "modern" songs contain no depth of meaning. They would make better mantras than songs to edify the brethren. Despite the fact that space in song books is at a premium, Songs of Faith and Praise, puts in a number of readings instead of songs. When you eliminate the junk songs and the readings, there are far fewer songs to choose from than you would expect in such a large book.

I can't compare it to Songs for Worship and Praise since I have yet to have seen it used in a congregation that I've visited.

Thanks so much for your response. It seems your opinion is the same as mine in regards to the Songs of Faith and Praise hymnal. I do not know of a congregation using the Songs for Worship and Praise hymnal, but I like the arrangements of the newer songs as they are friendlier for congregational singing, and I think it would be a better fit for the congregation I attend. I appreciate your input and thoughts.