Monday, January 18, 2010

Give Me That Old Time Religion

Let's all stand and open our song books to number 129. That has always been my favorite part of church, the part when everyone sings together. I especially love the old time hymns. Some of them are foot-stomping, some are comforting, some are powerful and inspiring and some have ingenious harmony. They are all a balm to my spirit.

I didn't grow up in a church going family, except for  when I was 7 or 8 and  my family attended a Unitarian church for a while. When I was around 11 years old I started attending church with a neighbor family....I think I was their "project". If so, I guess I was a successful project. I continued to attend that church three times a week through high school. Though I am not at all musically talented, the songs I heard week after week during that time came to mean a lot to me.

I was a regular church attender through much of my life. I don't attend regularly now and when I go it is with my youngest daughter and her family to a church that features very contemporary Chrisitan music, rock band and all. I like it, but I still love the old church songs best.

Some of my favorites are....

The Old Rugged Cross

When The Roll is Called Up Yonder

Abide With Me

Mansion Over The Hilltop

Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere

Precious Memories

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Just A Little Talk With Jesus

And of course.....

Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art

I just wish I could carry a tune well enough to sing them the way they deserve to be sung.

Do any of these songs bring back good memories for you?


  1. I'm not a church goer, in fact am pretty much a staunch opposer of organized religion in general for many reasons. But I, too, love the hymns, and have several gospel cds that I listen to regularly and sing to the rafters - among them When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, I'll Fly Away, Just a Closer Walk With Thee, I Come to the Garden Alone, Precious Memories, and How Great Thou Art. Go figure!

    I was raised in the Methodist Church after I went to live with my dad, even belonged to the youth group all thru jr. high and high school, and the minute I was on my own I quit. Mostly because of something that happened to me when I was in the 3rd grade or so and lived with my alcoholic mother. My 'best friend's' parents took me on as their project, even had me baptised in their church (dunking and all) without my mother's permission. But guess what. One day my mother ran the car thru the garage turned bedroom one night and knocked the wall down. Did the parents allow Sandra to still play with me but not at my home? No, they forbid her to play with me and to even talk to me at school. Word got around, and every one of my friends who was a member of that church quit playing with me and talking to me at school. I was not allowed to play with Sandra at her house, and I was no longer taken to church with them every Sunday morning. I never forgot it, because I know the kids were just reflecting what their good, charitable, christian parents had said and ordered.

    Having said that, I did get my daughter involved in a church youth group in jr. high and high school, and don't let on to my grandkids that I don't do organized religion as the other grandparents are staunch Baptists. I will even go with them to xmas service. But I am missing that inner thing that makes a person a 'church' or 'religious' person. It was a social outlet for me, not a spiritual outlet.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to do my own post on your blog!

  2. I did not hear any of the hymns till I was in my forties. I was raised in a Latin speaking church and we children sang songs in latin. Not Latin American. Then in foster homes they didn't go to church till the last home and by then I didn't want to go. I can understand the sentiment and the good memories for some people when they hear some hymns and when I hear one now I like them. Of course I like Amazing Grace, and my hubby plays that on the guitar.

  3. Jeanie.... we are so like minded right now. I'm in the middle of writing a piece on religion and I would love to link to you if it's okay?

    You are such a precious soul... and it's no accident. All those hymns have pickled you sweet.

    Love you!

  4. I think we sang other songs at school in the UK.

  5. Yes, all of them flood me with memories. My fam did not attend church either but I wanted to go and daddy would drop me off and pick me up each Sunday. I am very active in the church today. We sing a mix of old hymns and the newer contemporary songs.

    Loved the post and have a wonderfully blessed day!!!

  6. Absolutely. I can remember when I was small and I would go with my parents to their cantata practice and lie in the pew and just listen:)

  7. Just came over from Alix at Casa Hice. I just commented that I miss the hymns and will sing them while in my garden. I have reached an age that I care little what people think if they happen to hear me. I care even less to be "judged" by the congregation. Think I will let God be my judge......

  8. Just reading the titles of those old wonderful songs, gave me goosebumps. I love them too, but I can rarely sing along, because they make me so emotional...
    Is that an age thing too? :)
    I´m glad you have a church that makes you feel at home.

  9. I'm with you. I attend a contemporary church and I understand that we're being all modern and trying to appeal to a younger crowd. But I miss my good old fashioned hyms.

    Every once in a while the band will do one and the whole crowd gets into it.

    My favs:
    I'll Fly Away
    Soon and Very Soon
    (And many others)

  10. I'll add "Beulah Land" to that list, as well as "What a Day that Will Be". "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". "Under His Wings." The list is endless, and don't you find you have a personal reason for every one of them?

    GREAT post, Jeanie. And I was never a church-goer after the age of 3 when my parents left the church they attended. We kids were left 'rudderless' and told to find whatever we wanted to believe in on our own. My path until age 22 when I became a Christian was diastrous. But 'whom the Lord forgiveth much loveth much' and that is so true in my case. The Lord means EVERYTHING to me.

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