SINGING IS GOOD FOR YOU!
From childhood I have always enjoyed singing, especially hymns. I did not always understand all the words of the hymns but I like to think that I do now!
Recent research has shown that singing is good for you- Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London says “The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.”
In my opinion congregational singing is a most important part of worship; we must not let it belong just to football crowds. Personally I have found that singing hymns is a very good way to learn more about the Christian life and can be a most uplifting and enjoyable experience. Therefore I have compiled a list below of some video links to great hymns which are online and can be viewed with a Broadband connection. Many of the links have the words shown as well which is very useful.
|Charles Wesley- the most sung hymn writer of all time.
Surely the greatest hymn writer of all time.
One of the most famous hymns of all time, written by Charles Wesley, is “And can it be” which can be found at the link
One line has the words “My chains fell off…” and ever since a local preacher at Winchester Road referred to the song as the bicycle song I have thought of it like that!
Another famous Wesley hymn is of course “Love Divine” and is at
Yet another famous Wesley hymn is “O thou who camest from above” and a good solo version is at
“Christ is made the sure foundation” is a song written in the 7th century and sung to a tune from the 17th century. To my mind it is still as relevant today as when it was written and sung- translated from the original Latin and sung to a tune from Henry Purcell. It is at
Making no apology for another Wesley hymn, my next choice is another foundation hymn of our church “O for a thousand tongues to sing” and is at
All Saints’ Day is 1 November when we remember all those who have died. The best hymn to praise those who have gone before us is of course “For all the saints who from their labours rest” at the link
The composer of the tremendous tune was Vaughan Williams.
A famous Christmas carol by Charles Wesley is “Hark the herald angels sing” at
For Easter the best hymn must be “Christ the Lord is risen today” and a good site is at
For Ascension day my favourite hymn is “Hail the day that sees him rise” and is at
I hope that if you view any of these sites you might find them as helpful as I have. Please accept my apologies if I have omitted your favourite hymn, but the choice available online is not limitless. If anyone else knows some other links to good hymns then please let us know.
Finally I finish with the closing lines of “Christ the Lord is risen today”-
Thee to know, thy power to prove,
Thus to sing, and thus to love:
Thus I hope that we might be able to not only sing, but love; right down to the exclamation mark.