In the days leading up to Christmas, one of our friends (Sam) posted on his blog about all the Christmas hymns in the LDS hymnbook. He talked about what he likes about each one, what the lyrics are talking about, why they're related to Christmas, etc. It was nice to take some time to really think about these carols, and not just sing them on autopilot.
People liked the series, and gave a lot of positive feedback. Sam thought it would be fun to expand it into a year-long series examining all the hymns in the hymnbook. That's a lot of work, though, so he invited a few friends to help out. I (that is, BJ) was invited to participate, and my first post is tomorrow!
Since it wasn't just a Sam thing anymore, we decided to make a new website for the series. We're calling it The Beesley Project. It's named after Ebenezer Beesley, one of the more prolific early LDS composers. He's credited with composing the music for 12 hymns in the current hymnbook, and I know of at least one more where he arranged the music a bit. (Check the website tomorrow morning to find out which one.)
So far, the posts have been excellent. We sing these songs in church every week, and they're supposed to be part of our spiritual nourishment, but so often we just sing them without even thinking. I've enjoyed reading everyone else's thoughts about these hymns, and I'm honored to be taking part in this project.
I'd love to hear your feedback on the series, and I hope you'll read it when you get the chance.
Happy New Year!