Christian Worship, 1941

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This is a hymnal published collaboratively, on the eve of World War II, by the Northern Baptist Convention (now American Baptist Churches, USA) and the Disciples of Christ denominations. The collection was compiled by a Joint Committee consisting of eight people from each denomination, including denominational chairmen, meeting under Mr. B. Fred Wise, Editor.

The 650 numbered contents are as follows:

  • 1 - 52 : Pairs of Responsive Readings (one each from the Old Testament and the New Testament) on topics such as "Courage" or "Festival of the Christian Home (Mother's Day)"
  • Prose:
  • Music:
    • 94 - 610 : Hymns
      • 94 - 150 Worship
      • 151 - 181 God, the Father
      • 182 - 269 Jesus Christ, the Lord
      • 270 - 276 The Holy Spirit
      • 277 - 422 The Christian Life
      • 423 - 485 The Church of the Living God
      • 486 - 567 The Kingdom of God and Christian Society
      • 568 - 582 The Life Eternal
      • 583 - 610 Special Times and Services
    • 611 - 650 Responses (including Doxologies, Glorias, Service Music (Opening, After Prayer, Offertory, Closing) and Amens)

In the preface one reads, "The committee met under the influence of the epochal changes in thought and life caused by world-engulfing war and social revolution." This urgent background to the compilation of the hymnal is reflected in particular in the inclusion of, for example, both No. 358, "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" and No. 559 "The Son of God Goes Forth for Peace"; of the Christmas song "Hush, All Ye Sounds of War" (No. 195), of the transatlantic patriotic song (to the tune National Anthem) "Two Empires by the Sea" (No. 549). The press of "social revolution", the twinned challenge of Marxism and Fascism, is reflected in hymns such as No. 500, "My Master Was a Worker", and the threat of racism and nationalism is countered by songs like No. 514, "My Country Is the World".

The generally liberal bent of the editorial committee is reflected in the relatively large number of Unitarian hymns, by hymnists such as Samuel Longfellow (9 hymns) and William G. Tarrant (5 hymns). And the section for Mother's Day contains the theologically intriguing (some would say heretical ;-) ) "Motherhood, Sublime, Eternal" (No. 604).