The first time I heard the hymn “Be Still My Soul,” I literally cried and texted my two oldest friends to tell them I wanted it played at my funeral. I’m not even kidding. It’s beautiful, insightful, and true.
The version I heard was by Page CXII and you can listen here, although there are several more versions online that are super good.
At our home, to do hymn study, we follow Ambleside Online’s monthly plan. I make a Spotify playlist with a few versions of the hymn of the month plus a couple of other songs that match thematically or musically. We listen throughout the month and learn the lyrics if we can. After you’ve heard the same song everyday for 30 days, you’ve pretty well got it.
Over the course of the year, we are familiar with 12 new hymns. If they are a good fit for our Sunday School class, we learn them there, too. Honestly, pouring deep, meaningful hymns into your life is nearly as good as learning a catechism. When the children I work with come back and tell me a hymn was stuck in their head all week, I know they hymn is doing it’s work.
In my own home, if I can tell my kids are really loving a certain song – maybe they request it or just really belt it out in the mornings- I will add it to our family hymn playlist. We listen to it in the car, usually if we are going somewhere in the mornings and need some peace. A slow, sweet hymn played at just the right moment can calm many nerves.
Then once per year, we go over the whole list as a family and see if anything needs to come off…except for Page CXVI’s Be Still My Soul. That one stays! Mom says.