Tomlin, meanwhile, takes on 1833’s “O Worship the King,” faithfully rendering the well-known verses and writing a new chorus that also portrays God as a shining light. British worship leader Matt Redman follows with “Father Let Me Dedicate” from 1864. Originally sung only on New Year’s Day, Redman tweaked the opening line, changing the word “year” to “life” because he says the song is, “biblical, poetic and relevant. … It felt far too powerful to only make an appearance once every 365 days.” Watermark vocalist Christy Nockels offers 17th-century hymn “Fairest Lord Jesus,” adding a new chorus as well. Other contributors include David Crowder Band (“Doxology”) and Charlie Hall (“How Great Thou Art”).

Giglio addresses the practice of altering the original songs by saying, “In many cases, ‘breathing room’ has been added – an attempt to balance the abundance of words and verses that characterize many hymns with a simple, repeating chorus, more in the style of contemporary music.”

And therein lies the most immediate purpose of "Passion: Hymns Ancient and Modern – Live Songs of our Faith": It connects today’s worship music listeners with vital songs of the past, shifting the “ancient hymn vs. modern praise chorus” debate away from fleeting matters of style to focus on eternal matters of the heart.

© 2004 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  Click here to subscribe.