I can’t say for certain, but I think it’s highly probable that there are several wards (or congregations) that tend to sing the same 40 – 80 hymnals with each meeting. That doesn’t even cover 50% of what we’ve been given. And there are some choristers who have tried to introduce new hymns – which may have been enforced in recent years. If I was called as chorister, I’m afraid our hymns would be the same familiar ones that we have sung at least 20 times during any given year. I don’t think I have to be concerned about being called to chorister position. I enjoy listening to music – and I will even lead – but not with expertise I’m afraid.
My brother, Corey, has often made the complaint that with over 300 hymns (and those are just the ones currently published in today’s hymn book – there’s got to be even more that we don’t have access to each week) – why is it that someone feels the need to sing the same hymns over and over again?
I’ve been in a few wards in which the chorister has introduced the hymn and we’ve actually had a “practice” but I don’t remember any of those becoming part of the curriculum for future meetings. I think we have the opportunity to sing it one time and depending on how badly our voices butcher that hymn depends on whether we will ever sing it again or not (apparently our voices haven’t worked together well enough to pursue keeping it on our agenda. That’s also a guess on my part. I really don’t know.)
Corey would LOVE the ward I am at now just for the opportunity of singing new hymn each week – even ones that the congregation obviously does not know. I believed our chorister had given us every hymnal to sing three times over, until today when we were introduced to hymn #13 which only a few of members from the High Priest group were familiar with. They sounded awesome. I don’t know why this ward doesn’t have a choir. Thus far it is the only ward I’ve attended that doesn’t have one.
There are some hymns I obviously enjoy more than others. Many people (who are familiar with it) like the hymn 284 – and I notice that all of those who admit to liking the song are very gifted with voices and knowledge of music. I personally find it haunting and draggy. I like the hymns to be uplifting and move. There are some that drag on like you’re walking in a death march or something. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. It’s not even the words, but the tunes themselves. Maybe sometimes it’s the words. Perhaps it is just from my own lack of understanding.