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You need look no further than the pew rack to find an excellent source of hymns for heritage-related worship experiences. The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House, 1989) contains many hymns and worship resources that recall different historical eras and reflect our diverse heritage as United Methodists. We can only make a few suggestions here, and encourage you to use the hymnal intensively as you plan worship for heritage events. Some hymns generally refer to history and heritage, such as:

  • #108, God Hath Spoken by the Prophets
  • #117, O God, Our Help in Ages Past
  • #555, Forward Through the Ages
  • #711, For All the Saints
  • #712, I Sing a Song of the Saints of God

Other hymns recall the early days of the Methodist movement in eighteenth century Britain; these include a few of thousands of poems written by Charles Wesley that express Wesleyan theology in a memorable, accessible way:

  • #101, From All That Dwell Below the Skies
  • #157, Jesus Shall Reign
  • #181, Ye Servants of God
  • #384, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
  • #511, Am I a Soldier of the Cross
  • #554, All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord
  • #603, Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire
  • #616, Come, Sinners, to the Gospel Feast
  • #718, Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending

Some hymns became closely identified with the early nineteenth century camp meeting movement and the church’s movement and growth across the American continent. New music and rousing choruses were often combined with older hymn texts:

  • #340, Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
  • #357, Just as I Am, Without One Plea
  • #359, Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
  • #375, There Is a Balm in Gilead
  • #378, Amazing Grace
  • #400, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • #529, How Firm a Foundation
  • #622, There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
  • #724, On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand

Spirituals from the same era remind us that African Americans have long made a vital contribution to the American religious experience, even when in chains:

  • #134, O Mary, Don’t You Weep
  • #333, I’m Goin’ a Sing When the Spirit Says Sing
  • #404, Every Time I Feel the Spirit
  • #416, Come Out the Wilderness
  • #520, Nobody Knows the Trouble I see
  • #719, My Lord, What a Morning
  • #722, I Want to Be Ready

For several decades after the Civil War and into the twentieth century, hymnists like Fanny Crosby and Charles Albert Tindley wrote hundreds of hymns, gospel tunes, and revival songs that are among the best known and most well-loved in the hymnal today. Just a few from the wide range of choices are:

  • #128, He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought
  • #165, Hallelujah, What a Savior
  • #354, I Surrender All
  • #369, Blessed Assurance
  • #399, Take My Life, and Let It Be
  • #419, I Am Thine, O Lord
  • #462, ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  • #504, The Old Rugged Cross
  • #512, Stand By Me
  • #526, What a Friend We Have in Jesus
  • #600, Wonderful Words of Life
  • #723, Shall We Gather at the River