Singing Hymns

So it’s been a while. I got distracted, as I tend to do, and took a pause on the blog. But here I am, for today, with an awesome story to share.

The bedtime routine for my two-year-old is fairly simple. We clean up toys, watch 30 minutes of her current favorite TV show (today is was Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy on HBOMax for your streaming pleasure), read books for 30 minutes, brush teeth, get into bed, read from the Bible, sing a hymn, say a prayer, and tuck her in (after typing all that out, I’m questioning my definition of simplicity…).

Tonight, we sang Holy, Holy, Holy: one of her favorites. She’d been singing the first three words randomly for several months now. Tonight, however, she sang along to every single word in the first verse. I cried.

It’s amazing to me how much toddlers pick up. She’s only two, and she knows every word to that first verse. How incredible is it that she’s already singing hymns!? I’m thrilled more than I can express. 

My husband and I had a conversation about the purpose of hymns the other night. Why do we sing them? What’s the point? I’ll summarize what he said, and you can be sure that he’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

  • God commands us to “make a joyful noise to the Lord” (Psalm 100:1).
  • We’re singing praises to God for all of the wonderful things he has done in our lives.
  • Setting things to music is an incredible way to memorize and learn things (ie, ABCs; and hey, check out this blog post I wrote while working at Concordia Publishing House on this exact subject).

I’ll be the first to admit that in a church service, I can be a bit distracted while singing hymns. I’ll start to think about how lovely the hymn sounds or I’ll wonder if I can sing the harmonies and then try. I’ll get nervous thinking other people can hear me. I’ll look around and question anyone not singing. How often am I focusing on the words of the hymns? Less often than I should.

There’s nothing like hearing a two-year-old sing to remind you of what a hymn is doing. What better than to hear someone that young belt out “Holy, holy holy, Lord God almighty, early in the morning our song shall rise to thee” to show us what it’s like to praise God fully and unabashedly?

Three cheers to toddlers who always manage to put us back in our places, show us a great example of praise, and blow us away with their joy. 

Keep singing to and with your children!

Image taken from Classic Christian Hymns, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

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