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Trinity Times

Here you can find selected material from issues of Trinity Memorial Church's monthly newsletter, the Trinity Times

What is a HYMNATHON?

Over thirty years ago I led my first Hymnathon: singing through a hymnal from cover to cover in a single event. Hymns are a concise musical form, often 16 bars like a good blues riff. Poetry expresses faith ideas and experience in fresh ways. When the tune and text are a particularly good fit, one can treasure a Sunday hymn for several days after for comfort and inspiration.


Singing the hymnal, in our case 720 hymns, all at once is a total immersion. The hymns mean many 

different things to different people, so unlike a concert of a particular genre, a hymnathon invites the broadest participation. Singing and listening are equally satisfying. 


Yes, it’s also a bit of a gimmick. Singers gather sponsors who pledge to support the singer with a monetary amount per hymn sung. If Sue Carpenter signs up to sing 200 hymns, and Charlie, somewhat skeptical she’ll actually do this, pledges .10 per hymn sung, then Charlie will end up paying $20 to Sue. Sue is a determined alto. She will turn in Charlie’s $20, plus the funds gathered from other friends and family who have sponsored her, to Trinity’s Choir tour fund. 


We encourage our singers to reach out to friends far and wide to sponsor them. Most singers will sing 150-250 hymns. Here’s how it works. We begin Friday September 20 at 5 pm, singing a hymn a minute until 9 pm. There is a 5 minute break at each half hour. We begin at Hymn #1 at 5 pm, so at 9 pm will finish with Hymn #240. Here is the breakdown by time:

5:00 pm Morning, Noonday, Evening; 5:30 Evening, Compline, Sunday, Advent; 6:00 Advent, Christmas; 6:30 Christmas, Epiphany; 7:00 Epiphany, Lent; 7:30 Lent, Palms, Holy Week, Easter; 8:00 Easter; 8:30 Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Saints Days


On Saturday September 21 we start again at 9 am with Hymn #241, and sing until 5 when the National Anthem, Hymn #720 concludes the hymnathon. At any given time at least four singers will be present. We hope to have a large group on hand to start the Friday session and close the Saturday session. This takes place in the chancel with the organ. The piano will be used for a few accompaniments, and some of the Gregorian hymns will be sung unaccompanied.  Here is the Saturday time breakdown:

9:00 am Saints Days; 9:30 Saints Days, Baptism, Eucharist; 10:00 Eucharist; 10:30 Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Burial, Ordination, Consecration of a Church; 11:00 Consecration of a Church, Trinity, Praise to God; 11:30 Praise to God; 12:00 Praise to God, Jesus Christ; 12:30 Jesus Christ; 1:00 pm Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit; 1:30 The Holy Spirit, The Church, The Church’s Mission; 2:00 The Church’s Mission, Christian Vocation, Christian Responsibility; 2:30 Christian Vocation & Responsibility; 3:00 Christian Responsibility, The Kingdom of God, The Church Triumphant, Holy Scripture; 3:30 Holy Scripture, The Christian Life; 4:00 The Christian Life; 4:30 The Christian Life, Rounds and Canons, National Songs   


If you’re not a choir member, you may support choir members as sponsors; you may attend and sing along, or you may yourself gather sponsors if you’d like to sing and help the choir realize its financial goal for our trip to Cleveland and Toronto in October. Sponsor sheets will be available starting in mid-August in the Hoyt Room. If you have further questions, please email me We need your voice and your support!


Tim Smith, Organist & Choir Master      

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