Cori's Corner-showing St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Very Reverend Cori Olson

Cori’s Corner

Greetings Friends,

Well, it is that time of year again – Summer! It isn’t the official state of Summer that gets me thinking, it is the choir going on hiatus for a couple of months. Most of the members will be here each Sunday, but they’ll be sitting with their family and friends in the pews and not sitting behind me in the choir stalls. I’ll miss them there!

As we look at the time of the year when we don’t have the choir leading us in song, it makes me think about everyone’s favorite hymns. One of our members sent me a list of their 70 favorite hymns that they’d like to sing more of. It made me wonder if folks had any idea of how we chose the hymns.

Each Tuesday at 1:00 we have a staff meeting. We discuss the previous weekend, look over the announcements, plan the liturgy and that includes selecting the hymns. We look at a book called The Episcopal Musician’s Handbook: 66th Edition, Lectionary Year A, 2022-2023. For each Sunday they recommend hymns from The Hymnal 1982, from Wonder, Love, and Praise, from Lift Every Voice and Sing, second edition, and from Voices Found. These are the four hymnals approved by the church. We mostly use 1982.

In the list, if a hymn is particularly appropriate for the reading of the day, that hymn will have a little *  next to the number. So, for this Sunday, which is Trinity Sunday, the hymn Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! #362 has that * next to it. We picked it, of course!

Since we are all there, we debate the choices, each of us expressing our opinion as to text, melody, number of verses, etc. All of those elements are important! And here’s the thing,  sometimes we ignore the suggestions in the handbook and pick other hymns that we prefer for one of those reasons.

So, even though you haven’t published a book with your suggestions, I’d still like to know which hymns mean something to you. Are there hymns you haven’t sung in a while and wish you could sing?

Please let me know your thoughts! We figured out the other day that in the course of a year, we sing about 232 songs. There are 710 choices in the hymnal. So, you can see that your suggestions could help us decide which ones the congregation would prefer! And don’t worry if you think it is TOO popular. The more a single hymn is requested, the more we will know to privilege it on the day of decision!


Thanks and Summer blessings!!

The Very Reverend Cori Olson
Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church