CW Hymns and CCM Cousins

CW Hymns and CCM Cousins

Several months ago, one of our fine Pastors from the state of Florida asked me if I had a cross-reference table that compares hymns to contemporary equivalents.  I did not have such a resource at the time, so I directed him to where the blogger has commented on a few hymn vs CCM “cousins”.   Where a cousin is defined as two pieces of music expressing the same message but using differing styles.

Since this time, I have set out to create a larger and more comprehensive list, but as I read through our hymns and pondered equivalent contemporary pieces, I was struck by the massive differences between these two forms of worship music.  My conclusion is that in general and with very few exceptions, there are no equivalents to hymns.

Hymns generally have a lot of detailed lyrics, are poetic, use some old English, and cover almost every detail found in scripture.  They are also usually written as pieces that we use to teach each other, to admonish, and to profess our faith, our beliefs and our doctrine; some are even as deep as sermons set to music.  Contemporary music on the other hand has fewer words, is less poetic, uses today’s phrases and vernacular and concentrates on praise, worship and prayer.   Both types of music in my opinion are worthy and necessary parts of our worship and our Pastors would do well to keep both in mind when planning worship.

So my resulting cross-reference table has mostly become a resource that defines locations and sources of modern hymn arrangements.  In a few instances I have included some contemporary equivalents but these are the exception rather than the rule.  This table is most useful to those congregations that currently use only hymns, and are ready (for whatever reason; and having willing and capable musicians is a great place to start) to move towards some different instrumentation but want to maintain the lyrical content of hymns.

This is an excerpt of the resulting table:

103 Glory Be to Jesus “Glory Be to Jesus “ by
104 Go to Dark Gethsemane “Go to Dark Gethsemane” by
105 O Sacred Head, Now Wounded “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” by
106 Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain
107 Deep Were His Wounds
108 Jesus, Refuge of the Weary
109 When O’er My Sins I  Sorrow
110 My Song Is Love Unknown “My Song Is Love Unknown” by
111 Sweet the Moments, Rich in Blessing
112 There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
113 Upon the Cross Extended
114 Christ, the Life of All the Living “Endless Praises” by Stephen Altrogge (SovereignGraceMusic) – see note 2
115 He Stood Before the Court “He Stood Before the Court” by

Copies of the file are available as a free download from my file sharing area.  The file name is “CW Index – CCM Cousins.doc.”  Or, I would be happy to email a copy to you.  My email address is sjbrown58 “at”