A debate that has flown under the radar compared to other hot-button worship issues is that of new v. old language. Even though it’s not as prevalent a topic, it’s an important one. As such, I found this Banner of Truth article arguing to retain old language in hymns to be interesting: “Thou Should Be Preserved In Hymns.” While I’m not convinced of each argument he makes, this is a topic that many church leaders should think through, especially those printing words in the bulletin or on a screen. The author’s seven main points are:
- Hymns are poetry.
- We do not address God in the same tone of voice as we do with others.
- Thou, thee, thy, and thine extend the range of rhyming and contrast with I, me, and mine.
- Thou, thee, thy, and thine are sweet sounding words.
- The tradition of writing hymns with these words is still active.
- Using such words ties the current church with that of history.
- Changing hymn words is difficult for the sight-challenged, as they sing from memory.