Article updated on July 20th, 2018
There is nothing like the soothing sound of traditional hymns being played from my Spotify account while I write or while my son and I are working on schoolwork. The peaceful sounds the instrumentalist is playing brings a calming peace about our home. Most of these old hymns I grew up singing in church and in Bible class at school. My son knows them through church and hearing them at home. Many adults and children don’t know hymns because churches have left them behind. Hymns are part of our heritage and they need to not be forgotten.
Children need to learn hymns and the story behind them. Hymns tell the foundation of Christianity in the words we sing.
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Not too long ago, a friend of mine mentioned how she felt there would come a time soon when the younger generation would leave the worship and praise songs they are singing in church today for the old traditional hymns. When asked about this, her words caused me to stop and think. She said, “there is no doctrine in the praise and worship songs. Most of them are feel good phrases repeated to get them through a rough patch. There is not enough why behind what they are singing”. I have to agree with her. It is very important to know the doctrinal truths of why you believe the way you do and hymns are perfect for learning those truths.
I found this article interesting because it says the same thing my friend said. The only thing I have to disagree with the author on is he feels the words to hymns need new music for the younger generation. Traditional hymns need not be modernized for the young people to want to sing them. Young people need to know the original tune when they hear it. If we take away the true old hymns, there will come a time no one knows them and the sound of their music.
There are hundreds of traditional hymns important for Christians to know, but I’m only sharing ten to get you started on teaching hymns to your children.
10 Hymns Every Child Should Know
- The Old Rugged Cross – 1913, George Bennard
- Amazing Grace – 1779, John Newton
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – 1707, Isaac Watts
- We’re Marching to Zion – 1701, Isaac Watts and Robert Lowry
- There is a Fountain – 1772, William Cowper
- A Child of the King – 1877, Harriett E. Buell
- Hold the Fort – 1870, Philip P. Bliss
- When Peace Like a River – 1873, Horatio Gates Spafford
- Be Thou My Vision – translator, Mary E. Byrne
- A Mighty Fortress is Our God – 1529, Martin Luther
- Dare to Be a Daniel – 1873, Philip P. Bliss
Learning hymns does not have to be boring. Finding music that is upbeat and pleasing to help you learn and teach the hymn helps. You don’t have to have a pipe organ playing the music while you are teaching the hymn or a formal choir singing the old hymns.
Hymnary has scripture references listed that go along with the hymn. Scroll down the page of the hymn you choose and click on Scripture References in the Text Information box.
Celebrating Holidays has a wonderful schedule of monthly themes.
Notebooking Pages, my friend Jimmie at Jimmie’s Collage has some awesome notebooking pages for hymn study to aid in learning.
If you can get your hands on Hymns for a Kid’s Heart, it is a 4 volume set written by Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth. These books are perfect for younger children.
For older children, teens, and adults you may be interested in more of a devotional type book.