There's a terribly sad story about a group of American businessmen who took a trip to Japan.  After work, their hosts regaled them with their favorite songs.  Then they asked their guests to share some of America's musical heritage.  The guests could think of no song they all knew except "Happy Birthday."

But only because it didn't occur to them to reach into our rich cultural tradition of hymns.  We have some good ones -- old and new, traditional and non-traditional.  We sing out of our 1931 Pilgrim Hymnal, with the words everyone knows, and out of our 1995 New Century Hymnal, with its contemporary and gender-inclusive language, as well as borrowing freely from other traditions. 

 

Come sing with enthusiasm!  Someone will be trying to do harmonies.  We'll forgive the odd tonal slip.