Die verruiming van die klank – Die verruiming van geloof
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EXTENDING THE POSSIBILITIES OF SOUND – EXTENDING THE FAITH 500 years of the Reformation are commemorated in 2017. Apart from new hymns, the commemorations present the opportunity to sing ecumenical hymns, connecting people over the world and over the centuries. Many of these hymns are unknown in Reformed congregations in South Africa. Some reasons for it could be identified as prejudice due to the tedious ways in which they were sung and accompanied in the past (where the possible performative power of these hymns thus was not recognised); the influence of the surrounding musical culture; a dominant spirituality where there is no room for hymns from the past, or for (old and new) ecumenical hymns, newly included in the official hymnal, Liedboek van die Kerk, and ministers and worship leaders lacking in knowledge of the possibilities these hymns have to communicate the faith creatively. These problems are aggravated by insufficient hymnological and liturgical training, which means that ministers often are not exposed to 28 these hymns and therefore also do not use them in worship. In this article a number of ecumenical hymns, which could be introduced or introduced anew and be sung in new ways, are discussed. A few of them have Gregorian roots, which does not mean that the Gregorian period is idealised or ideologically legitimated. They are discussed to show that, even if they originate from times before the Reformation, they have stayed alive and were constantly given new life over hundreds of years. They still could be given new meaning and fulfil new functions in the liturgy, provided that they are used, sung and played in new and creative ways. The hymns discussed (all with texts in the Afrikaans language) are Surrexit Christus hodie; O Filii et Filiae; Allein Gott in der Höh (together with a canon based on the tune); Christe, du Lam Gottes (Luther); Siehe, das ist Gottes Lam (Rolf Schweizer); Jubilate Deo (from Taizé); Mayenziwe ’ntando yako (Your will be done, on earth, O Lord).