One of the beautiful ways christians have let the Word of God fill our hearts with grace, the enjoyment of God, throughout history has been through singing hymn songs (hymns of praise). The word “hymn” derives from Greek ὕμνος (hymnos), which means “a song of praise”.
It refers to a kind of song, sung to God by the entire congregation in public worship to give them hope and faith, help us minister to each other. Hymns and their structure have been derived or originated from classical music. They were sung for over hundreds of years.
Have you ever wondered what the most popular hymns are? Enjoy the lovely melodies and lyrics of traditional and classic Christian hymns and songs in our Most Loved praise and worship hymns list .
Related Playlist: Beautiful Hymns & Chants
14 great hymn songs, let’s start:
1. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
There Are certain songs that capture different times of winter. ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’ is an advent Christmas carol.
This coral was originally written in Latin with a title of ‘Veni, Veni, Emmanuel’, possibly in the 12th century (900 years ago). First translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851, whereas the melody most commonly associated in the English-speaking world has its origins in 15th-century France (the setting for the funeral hymn Libera me). However, additional verses and alternative translations have been added over the centuries.
The name”Emmanuel” in the title is a a sign of God’s protection than an actual person. However, It refers to the Hebrew ‘Immanuel’ which appears in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, but in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament, it refers specifically to Jesus Chris.
2. Ave maria song
Ave Maria is one of the best classical songs that attempt to touch the realm of mysticism and all its strange wonders. It is a humble Catholic prayer based on the salutation of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, meaning “Hail Mary” with a simple but incredibly moving tune which induces serenity for everyone, so It is also used as hymn of death as well as Wedding songs.
Many classical composers have created musical settings for Ave Maria down through the centuries. It has become one of the most popular works of Schubert, bach and other classical composers. Also, artists like Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas and Celine Dion have all recorded beautiful versions of this hymn.
We have created a list of different adorable versions of Ave Maria, you can find it here
3. VIVALDI: Filiae maestae Jerusalem, II. Sileant zephyri
This worship hymn “Sileant Zephyri” is the second movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s motet “Filiae maestae Jerusalem” RV 638.
According to Antonio Vivaldi, “this is how nature mourns the death of Christ”. The text of the following aria is saturated with Arcadian imagery—wafting breezes, rippling brooks and so forth. It concerns sad daughters of the Jerusalem after the death of Jesus Christ and the mourning of nature itself.
“Filiae maestae Jerusalem” RV 638 is one of the two motets Vivaldi composed as introductions for his now lost Miserere. RV 638 consists of two recitatives around a single aria. Filiae Maestae Jerusalem is the first of two introduzione written to come before a setting of the Miserere (the second is RV 641).
4. Angels We Have Heard On High
James Chadwick (the Roman Catholic bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, north east England) wrote the words of this traditional Christmas carol “Angels We Have Heard On High”, in 1862 to the music of a traditional French carol called Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes (literally, “Angels in our countryside”) composed by an unknown author in Languedoc, France.
The hymn’s theme is the birth of Jesus Christ narrated in the Gospel of Luke, particularly the moment in which shepherds in the fields cast their gazes skywards as angels rejoiced in song. In celebrating the birth of the newborn King.
5. Adeste Fideles
Many people know this praise and worship hymn as “O Come All Ye Faithful”. Some have attributed the English hymnist John Francis Wade (1711-1786), Others say the song to King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656), who called “the musician-king is the true author of this carol.
It was originally written in latin, then was translated to English in 1841 by Frederick Oakeley, a British Catholic priest. Many artists have covered this Hymn such as Luciano Pavarotti, Andre Rieu, Enya….
6. Hymn of the Cherubim by Tchaikovsky
Hymn of the Cherubim is one of the oldest liturgical hymns of the Christian tradition. The core of the text is attributed to Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople in the 5th century then it was added to the liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church during the mandate of Emperor Justin II at the end of the 6th century.
Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was listening to this hymn in the Church. He loved it and considered as one of the greatest productions of art, so he created sacred music for it in the 19th century.
7. Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Agnus Dei (English: Lamb of God) is a prayer to Christ and a part of the Roman Catholic liturgy, written in Latin but It was brought into the Latin mass from the Eastern Church in the 7th century.
Many Classical composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Verdi and Samuel Barber have added it to their mass and requiem compositions.
About Samuel Barber’s version:
Samuel Barber rejected many arrangements, of Adagio for Strings, published by G. Schirmer, such as the organ arrangement by William Strickland. However he did transcribe the piece in 1967 for eight-part choir, as a setting of the Agnus Dei (“Lamb of God”).
8. Miserere mei, Deus by Allegri
Miserere mei, Deus (Have mercy on me, O God) is a setting of Psalm 51 by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri in the 1630s. this sacred work was regarded by the Vatican during the papacy of Pope Urban VIII as one of the most holy musical pieces they possessed in their library. So much so that they forbid it to be performed elsewhere outside of the church (Sistine Chapel).
In 1770, a 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was on a trip to Rome with his father, heard the piece twice and transcribed it faithfully from memory thus creating the first known unauthorised copy!
9. Amazing Grace song
This popular Christian hymn is one the most widely recorded songs of all time. John Newton, a former slave trader wrote it after a career of slave trading. He came to regret the position he had held, and wrote the song about seeing the failings of his decisions.
Find more: Is Amazing Grace a scottish song?
10. Salve Mater Misericordiae
The work was composed during the Middle Ages and originally appeared in Latin, the prevalent language of Western Christianity until modern times.
11. Pange Lingua Gloriosi chant
This catholic song is widely known and a fan favourite among the faithful. It was composed more than 800 years ago by Thomas of Aquino, the Angelic Doctor. He is known as the Common Doctor of the Church.
12. Kyrie Eleison song
“Kyrie, eleison” is Greek for (Lord, have mercy). Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox services used it as a prayer. Greek was the original language of the New Testament and it was later translated in to Latin.
This mystical gregorian melody gives a glimpse of the core of western spirituality…. It is a perfect hymn for meditation!
13. Credo III chant
This hymn is a living part of Church tradition. It is a setting of the Latin Nicene Creed (Symbolum Nicaenum) has been published in a number of books. The original source and composer are unknown, although most sources seem to date it from the 17th century.
14. Gradual And Alleluia
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