I have been thinking recently about how much the Christian Science Hymnal has meant to me over the decades. As a young girl attending Sunday School, the hymn-singing was one of the highlights of the hour, and early on I memorised all of Mrs. Eddy’s hymns.
Over the years, my little words-only Hymnal became worn and dog-eared, with little markers popping up from many of the pages to make it easier to find my favourite hymns. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, “Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love – be it song, sermon, or Science - blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty”.
When faced with any challenge in life, often my first port of call in seeking comfort and healing will be found in the pages of the Christian Science Hymnal. Much-loved hymns were at the heart of our wedding ceremony in 1970, and when our boys were born, I would regularly sing hymns to them as they fell asleep... one of their favourites was number 53, “Everlasting arms of Love”. I can still vividly recall one evening when I was tucking up our younger son when he was little. I was exhausted after a very full-on day with the children, so I thought to myself, “I’ll just sing the first two verses, and skip the third and final verse...David won’t be any the wiser”. I came to the end of the second verse, and was about to say goodnight, when a little voice piped up: “From”. I was nonplussed for a moment, and then the little chap said, “You forgot to sing me the last verse...”From earth’s fears and vain alarms...”! I burst out laughing, and together we sang the final verse before he settled down to sleep.
In recent years, I have found The New Song Group CD, GRACENOTES, a wellspring of comfort and inspiration, especially when I’ve been under the weather, when in-depth study of the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s writings has eluded me. Just companioning with a few lines from a much-loved hymn has often been enough to bring healing and much-needed peace.
The PREFACE to my words-only Hymnal includes this paragraph:
“For ages, psalms and hymns have been used by Christian people to express their hopes and aspirations. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was an appreciator of music, and knew that it could have a religious character. The love and truth expressed through the hymns in the Christian Science Hymnal have helped and comforted many, and will continue to do so in increased measure”.