Over the last few years, hymns have made a comeback in many churches. At Sojourn Community Church, in Louisville, Kentucky, we rediscovered hymns, and it revitalized our corporate worship. From Mars Hill Church to Sovereign Grace, to campus ministries and worship bands, many Christians have discovered the same richness and depth of the hymnal. Great music is being written and recorded for “retuned” hymns—traditional lyrics with new melodies.
I had the privilege of sitting down with Isaac Wardell and Kevin Twit to talk a bit about the effect of hymns on the life of our congregations. Wardell is the director for worship arts at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of the founders of Bifrost Arts, through which he’s recorded a number of traditional and retuned hymns. Twit is a pastor with Reformed University Fellowship at Bellmont University in Nashville, and the founder of Indelible Grace, a collection of musicians who have been writing retuned hymns for many years.
In this conversation, we talk about why we’ve returned to hymns and some of the reasons for retuning hymns with new melodies.